They are two little words capable of filling anyone with dread as an invitation falls through their letterbox. Sat next to the information detailing where and when, comes the dress code ‘smart casual’.
There isn’t a man (or woman, for that matter) who really know what it means, but something we do know is that any foundation to a good look begins from the bottom and works up — so getting your footwear right is key.
With this in mind, GJ has curated a list of the best smart trainers on the market right now, to ensure that your footwear strikes the perfect ‘smasual’ tone. Read on for our round-up of the sneakers that will take you through the working day, right through to your evening dinner date.
Keep it simple: Original Achilles Suede Sneakers by Common Projects
A favourite brand at Gentleman’s Journal, Common Projects doesn’t rely on overt branding or novelty features to afford its sneakers cult status – the timeless simplicity of its designs speaks for itself.
This ‘Original Achilles’ pair has a lovely streamlined look – and paired with a light jacket and smart trousers, will provide the perfect autumnal look.
Original Achilles Suede Sneakers by Common Projects
Subtle styling: No–1 Black Weatherproof by North 89
Designed in Stockholm and handmade in Porto, these trainers offer an instantly recognisable European flair. The No-1, Black is a part of the North 89 Essential Collection.
Using a weatherproof upper with luxurious Italian suede detailing, matching waxed cotton laces and calfskin lining — the trainers also feature a rugged Italian Margom sole with reflective stitching, making it the perfect shoe for the colder weather.
No–1, Black Weatherproof
Stand the test of time: Race 17 Sneakers by Officine Creative
If you’re going to invest in a quality pair of trainers, it’s good to know that they are guaranteed to last you a long time, without becoming outdated.
A go-to brand is Officine Creative, who carefully hand make all of their shoes at small-scale workshops in Italy, so if you like sneakers to be as long-lasting as formal footwear, this ‘Race 17’ pair will fit the bill.
Race 17 Suede Sneakers
Smarten up: Warwick Perforated Suede Sneakers by Tom Ford
The best thing about these Tom Ford sneakers, is that they work just as well with smart outfits as well as casual ones – they can even be worn with tailored trousers or a two-piece suit.
We love the navy suede for an understated elegant look, and everyone knows that a Tom Ford investment is never a bad decision.
Warwick Perforated Suede Sneakers
Dress like a European: CQP All Black
Designed in Sweden, hand made in Portugal, and crafted in Italian suede. These trainers are a classic quarter top style and offer durability, and extreme comfort with several layers of cushioning.
Perfect for the gentleman who spends his day on his feet as opposed to behind a desk. A top tip here: CQP sneakers are only available in full sizes. If you normally wear a half size, buy a pair half a size smaller than usual.
CQP All Black
For day to night style: Ariza Very Black by Rubirosa
Swiss label Rubirosa produces exclusive sneakers for men with the finest Italian quality — an all items are handmade with the utmost attention to detail and offer unrivalled comfort.
With the Ariza design, style and quality are complemented by sporty elegance — making them the perfect, comfortable choice for wearing as you dash between meetings, before heading out for post-work drinks.
Ariza Very Black
Put a spring in your step: Suede-Trimmed Leather Sneakers by Brunello Cucinelli
Brunello Cucinelli’s first rule of dressing has always been ‘don’t be afraid to mix and match’, and these nubuck, suede-trimmed leather sneakers are a great way to adhere to the advice, since they’re smart enough to team with tailoring as well as sweatpants or jeans.
Suede-Trimmed Leather Sneakers by Brunello Cucinelli
Looking for more style inspiration? Here are our style kings of 2019…