How to Wear White Sneakers and Shorts, Summer's Favorite Pairing
See what looks make our expert's *short list.*
Every summer, a handful of beloved, classic looks swing back into style. Maxis and platform sandals, denim skirts and cowboy boots, and, the OTP of warm weather outfits: white sneakers and shorts. A pair of fresh white kicks and shorts is truly the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of summer 'fits: tried and true, delicious, and sometimes a little boring. No shade to familiar faves, but even the classic need an update every now and again which is why InStyle tapped fashion stylist Audree Kate López to give us the deets on how to style white sneakers and shorts for 2023.
Her biggest tip when it comes to white sneakers and shorts? When in doubt, don't shy away from being extra. López explains that "the key to dressing up white sneakers and shorts is to pair them with an unexpected top and to layer on the jewelry. These small additions take the everyday casual sneaker and shorts combo to a more fashion-conscious place."
When it comes to jazzing up this classic combo, López has three pro-tips that can be applied to any aesthetic or personal style. First, she recommends adding a layer. "A vest, draped cardigan, button-down worn over the shoulders, lightweight blazer, or jacket will completely elevate the entire look," she says, adding that you shouldn't skimp on accessories.
"Jewelry is always my answer to elevating and pulling a look together," López explains. "But adding a belt, crew socks, a wide-brim hat, or even a pocket chain or scarf will make the outfit more interesting." Last, but not least, López suggests you think about the proportions of your white sneakers and shorts 'fit. "If you want an effortless summer look, pair oversized pieces together," she says.
On the other hand, if you're looking to elevate a white sneakers and shorts look, López recommends creating contrast between the pieces. "If you want to elevate a pair of long, oversized Bermuda shorts, style them with a fitted bodysuit or feminine blouse." Ahead, you'll find a dozen 'fits that combine López's fashion expertise with the latest trends which means enough white sneakers and shorts fashion inspo to last you all summer long.
With Sunny Separates
López loves a look with layers when it comes to white sneakers and shorts. She recommends wearing a "button-down shirt undone, layered over a fitted tank top, with white crew socks with the look to keep things casual. If it’s really hot outside, opt for a short sleeve button-down or a linen fabric so it’s lightweight and breathable."
Shop Similar: Amalie The Label Azariah Linen Shirt, $80, and Amalie The Label Estella Relaxed Shorts, $60.
With Bike Shorts
Bike shorts and white sneakers are a classic combination. Pair them with an untucked, oversized tee, and you've got "the perfect look for outdoor activities like a baseball game, picnic, or concert," says López. For a 'fit with a bit more edge, try a tube top and an oversized blazer.
Shop Similar: Alo Yoga Seamless High-Waist Limitless Open Air Shorts, $74.
Related:How to Wear Your Bike Shorts, According to Street Style Stars
With an Oversized Button-Down
There are so many ways to pair an oversized button-down shirt with white sneakers and shorts, starting with rocking a boyfriend-fit button-down as a shirtdress. López also loves an oversized button-down tucked into shorts. "Leave the top couple of buttons undone, push up the sleeves, and add a leather belt and stacked necklaces to complete the look," she advises.
Shop Similar: G-Star Raw Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, $85 (Originally $170).
With a Rugby Shirt
Activewear and street-style energy come together with this 'fit. We recommend really leaning color matching and opting for the brightest shades you can find for a look that as bold as it is comfortable.
Shop Similar: GANT Lunar New Year Heavy Rugger, $150, and Beyond Yoga Spacedye High-Waisted Biker Shorts in Red Hot, $68.
With a Sports Bra and Blazer
For a look that perfectly blends high-end athleisure with trendy activewear, you can't go wrong with a sports bra, linen blazer, and white sneakers. Add bike shorts for a monochromatic look or denim shorts for a more casual vibe.
Shop Similar: Lululemon Align™ Bra in Pale Linen, $44, and Quince 100% European Linen Blazer in Driftwood, $70.
With a Barbiecore Canadian Tuxedo
Denim on denim is having a moment and López thinks this white sneakers and shorts take on the Canadian tuxedo is a perfect opportunity to "lean into the denim on denim craze." Hit two trends with one 'fit when you pair white sneakers with a Barbiecore Canadian tuxedo. Not crazy about jean jackets? Lopex recommends swapping out the jacket for a jean vest for the same vibe.
Shop Similar: Z Supply Classic Hi-Rise Denim Short, $69, and Lily Pulitzer Laylani Denim Jacket, $178.
Related:13 Outfits to Wear With a Jean Jacket You Haven't Tried Yet
With Colorful Stripes
We look that this look can go street style edgy, athletic, or high end, depending on the striped set you choose. Adding a bag that matches the main color of your matching set places this look firmly in the fashion-forward arena, even if you're wearing the most laid-back of separates.
Shop Similar: EMPORIO SIRENUSE Ikat Striped Multicolor Shorts, $735, and EMPORIO SIRENUSE Tessa Ikat Striped Button-Front Shirt, $1,060.
With Leather Shorts
For a look that makes a major statement, but takes under five minutes to throw together, there's nothing quite like white sneakers, colorful leather shorts, and a statement necklace. Wear what you like on top — a short-sleeve sweater makes the look more luxe, while a simple T shirt makes the look more casual.
Shop Similar: 7 For All Mankind Faux Leather Tailored Shorts in Atlantis, $168.
With a Sweater Vest
A patterned knit adds a bit of unexpected flair to the classic combo of white sneakers and cut-off denim shorts. Add a quilted purse and sunnies to keep the "academia, but make it fashion" vibe going strong.
Shop Similar: Endless Rose Houndstooth Sweater Vest, $80.
With a Bustier
Athletic roomy shorts go great with crop tops, but a colorful bustier or corset top delivers the same snatched, but comfy silhouette. Toss a roomy blazer over the top and you've got a fashion girlie 'fit that can carry you from day to night.
Shop Similar: Zimmermann Wonderland Strapless Floral Corset Top, $895.
With a Collared Blouse
We're not talking button-downs. Instead, look for a top with flirty, feminine details like oversized collars, puff sleeves, and embroidery along with delicate patterns like gingham. Paired with denim shorts and a brightly colored bag, this look serves an elevated, but still casual vibe.
Shop Similar: Maje Printed Linen Shirt with Embroidered Collar, $173 (Originally $345).
In Shades of Sage
Sage green is popping up everywhere which makes it a great way to update your favorite white sneakers and shorts silhouette. We recommend investing in a pair of sage green shorts — y'all, it functions as a neutral while still delivering fresh color. Don't sleep on sage and add a pair of ankle socks in a similar shade. There's no need to go overboard on matching every piece in this 'fit either. A close approximation of greens will add depth and a touch of sophistication.
Shop Similar: Lulus Jemima Sage Green Paper Bag Waist Shorts, $49, and UNIQLO Colorful 50 Socks in Light Green, $5.
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