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!