SIGNATURE STYLE: Sneakers – a soft shoe worn for sports or casual occasions; a trainer.

I call them trainers, Cindy calls them sneakers. They really are the same thing. Trainers, sneakers, plimsolls, runners, joggers, kicks… and there are probably a few other names that refer to what Cindy Hattersley and I will be talking about this month in “Signature Style”.

This style of footwear has obviously been around for decades! But interestingly, it wasn’t until late 2017 that I finally got on board with the above pair of Stan Smiths (the first pair of Stan Smith trainers was launched the year before I was born, 1965). I’m not sure why it took me so long to wear a white trainer again, perhaps it’s because I wore them so much as a teen myself (anyone remember the Dunlop volley?) or that in the 80s women embraced them for the commute to work only (then popped on power heels once there) ? or even that my own teenage children were wearing the very same brand at the time 🤔. Whatever the reason, since putting this pair on my feet over 3 years ago, I’ve become a convert ! Initially because of the comfort factor, but more recently because my lifestyle has changed. It’s never been so relaxed and casual. And this is the perfect shoe option for just that, (As Balenciaga’s CEO Cedric Charbit said “sneakers…they blend nicely with the way we live” 😉), plus I do believe a pair of trainers/sneakers (you choose what you wish to call them) do make whatever we wear in midlife look and feel fresh. And that is certainly a good thing!

So what do I wear my trainers with? I’m definitely a dress girl and think nothing looks more modern than a maxi (or midi) with a clean crisp trainer. I also love them with my linen pants, with my jogger pants and jeans. I also wear them with skirts. In fact, I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t wear them with. Infact, I took my silver pair with me (in a small black bag) to a Wedding recently, where I took off my killer heels and donned them for dancing. So much easier and so much fun, not to mention a great idea!

In my own collection, I now have quite a few pairs. A mix of looks, from laces to loafers and beyond. Mostly white or off white, I find they work with so many outfits. I wear them most days, and in every season, alternating the colours and styles so I don’t feel like I’m wearing the same ones, which also happens to extend their life! I’ve bought from small and large businesses and a couple from below are still available. Click here and here to find those 😉

If you haven’t bought a pair yet, or are interested in a new pair, here’s what I look for:
1. I prefer leather, because I find it reasonably easy to keep clean (as opposed to canvas, which I learnt the hard way). I use a household product called Gumption to do this, although I have heard that the Magic Eraser does a great job too!
2. At 163cm (5 foot 4 inches) I like a flat form, which is a flat platform. I like the “bulk” of it, which gives me height and helps balance out my chunky calf. But if you have finer calves and are taller you may suit a lower pair.
3. I prefer mine unbranded, as I’m not a huge fan of large advertising logos on anything, so I steer clear of these. In fact, for the past 3 years I have lent towards simpler plainer styles, and for these I shop around.

But now I am comfortable with my base collection, I’m beginning to step out of my comfort zone and look for more fun additions. You might have spied the fur ones above 😉, these were a recent purchase. Called the Unisa Fulvia, I can’t seem to find them anywhere online… but here’s a video of my styling them in my wardrobe last month.

And if my budget would allow, I’d step further towards cool and choose these chunky wowsers 😮:

Trainers really are a wonderful shoe alternative any time of the year. Perfect now for Spring in the northern hemisphere and for Autumn here in the southern. They are extremely comfortable and so versatile, they go from day to night, from work to play. They are the “it”shoe of the moment and have certainly become a part of my Signature Style… but I do wonder what Cindy Hattersley thinks of them 🤔, press here to find out!

Sarah x


  1. LA CONTESSA · March 17, 2021

    THE STAN SMITH are what WE me and Cindy would call TENNIS SHOES!
    Back in MY day and I am older than YOU ONLY the TENNIS KIDS wore these!BUT the TRETORNS……… we all wore!
    THIS look with the STAN SMITH is VERY BIG in EUROPE and to be completely HONEST I can’t STAND IT!Women of a CERTAIN AGE in SKIRTS and or dresses with a Tennis shoe on looks RIDICULOUS!I get the COMFORT bit and THAT is CRUCIAL but put on what I’m calling an ESPADRILLE your TRAINER has much MORE APPEAL………..
    I just gave a pair away on the BLOG as I purchased the wrong size!They are Now headed to FLORIDA where they will be the perfect shoe in THAT SUN!
    Now off to see THAT CLOSET of YOURS and how many YOU HAVE!!!

  2. sarahlondonstyle · March 17, 2021

    I guess “trainers” is a loose term for this relaxed shoe. And luckily there are so many styles there is bound to be one that suits everyone! It took a long time for me to come around to this way of dressing..and now there is no going back 🤪

  3. cynthiahattersley · March 18, 2021

    Another wonderful informative post. I love your base collection. I wonder if we could get the rattan number in the states or if they ship to the U.S? If I didn’t have the dreaded bunion, I would have so many more options. I would love a silver pair they are on my list!

  4. sarahlondonstyle · March 18, 2021

    I’m sure you could. I think Nordstrom had these. A few years ago now.. I’ll go check and dm u if I have any luck!

  5. Ann Townes · March 26, 2021

    Love your style. I would like to subscribe to receive your post each/week.

  6. sarahlondonstyle · March 27, 2021

    Thank you Ann and welcome !

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