In the crazy world of fashion there are many trends and styles all vying for a place in the male wardrobe; from modern day dandies to street style kids, designer clad rude boys to underground hipsters, the world is awash with a smorgasbord of looks all adding their own ingredients to the melting pot of fashion. However, amongst this clothing kaleidoscope of colour and cuts (not the hair kind) there is one look at present that continually jumps out at me – the minimalist man. In actual fact this is a look that blends in but within that subtle camouflage lies its beauty.
The minimalist look is all about clean lines, pure colours – think black, white, navy – and a sense of understated style which exudes a sense of modern tailoring underpinned by a desire to look classic and cool at the same juncture. This is a look inspired by those style gurus of Scandinavia who at present seem to be blazing a trail of style that has the rest of us looking on in awe. This look is about plain t-shirts, shirts with minimal patterns, well-tailored trousers and jackets but perhaps most of all it’s about plain white trainers.
Everywhere you look at the moment those in the know – think about those attending all the fashion shows – are often clad in unadorned white trainers with that elegant round toe, smooth leather lines and very little in the way of embellishment other than white stitching and a small logo – often hiding in the same colour white.
Simplicity, a wise man once said, is genius and within those few words lays the essence of this new trainer breed. This is about style over substance – although the price tag on some of these trainers is pretty steep – a look that commands respect due to its understated nature and refined appearance.
Everyone can wear these trainers and more importantly, everyone can look good in them. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you wear, thanks to their beautiful minimalism, this is as broad a fashion church as you shall find. So, here’s a guide of the three best pairs currently on the market, what fashion tribes are wearing them and what to team them with.
The Style Insider
You can spot the style insider a mile off; they may run some hipster shop or edit GQ Russia and they will most certainly be seen at any fashion extravaganza no matter where it is on planet Earth. Their white trainer of choice will more than likely be The Achilles Low by hip New York based Common Projects. Crafted from the finest Italian leather, this really is the hip trainer brand of the moment and for those in the know most certainly the trainer to be seen in. Wear with cool summer trousers, a casual t-shirt and a light wash denim jacket to top this look off.
The Urban Kid
While this new breed of white trainer generally maintains a sense of decorum, this being fashion in the 21st century means room has to be made for the street kids and their style which has shoe horned it way into the consciousness of high end designers from Belgium (Raf Simons, Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten) to Japan (Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, Kenzo Takada). The Nike Air Force One Low is the shoe of choice and the rest of the outfit is black and a little more black. Bomber jackets, skinny jeans, baseball caps, t-shirts all in black and those world famous Air Force One’s standing proud in pristine white.
The Classic Cool
Back in the 70’s, I doubt American tennis player Stan Smith thought his name would still be a buzz word for uber cool but thanks to his partnership with Adidas, the Stan Smith trainer is one of the most iconic shoes on the planet. A favourite of the football casuals of the 1980’s the shoe is once again having a resurgence in the name of fashion – Raf Simons has recently reinterpreted this classic trainer. Wear with a pair of slim legged jeans, white t-shirt and casual jacket to complete the minimalist look.
Best Of The Rest
One Final Note…
The white trainer is certainly a shoe that lends itself to the minimalist look but it doesn’t matter if it’s suits or skate shorts, this summer and beyond it’s the ideal and essential part of your wardrobe. This is a trainer which manages to exude a sense of class and cool at the same juncture creating a truly iconic and timeless piece of footwear that no matter your style tribe and whatever the era, shall always hold the attention of those who love to look good.