Why Don’t You: Wear Black Tie to a White Sneaker?

The idea of formal tops never seemed very appealing to me.

With a skirt, or a pair of pants that could moonlight as black tie appropriate, “faking it” with a t-shirt is easy — and adding a denim jacket makes “it” decidedly White Sneaker (the antithesis of Black Tie?) appropriate.

When you want to fake it with a formal top, what happens south of the torso? A skirt? Snooze. Huge pants? Yeah, sure, maybe. But that’s limiting — what about when you’re not formal event bound? Who wants to wear a non-t-shirt anyway? That’s like conceding to going out in going out tops and doing that unironically.

Or is it?


When Vika Gazinskaya first showed her blue chiffon, hand-painted off-the-shoulder blouse for Spring 2010, my whole perception of these alleged going out tops changed. (See also: this). Why wouldn’t I wear one casually? T-shirts are great — but frankly, when they’re paired with jeans, and jeans only, they’re just t-shirts.

When Rosie Assoulin revealed her first collection, my microcosm of a world devoid of raw silk and faille and dupioni silk imploded. I was doing it wrong and the trailblazers of this decidedly unfancy, fancy livelihood were doing it right, so I’m rectifying my wrongs starting right here, on this fine looking Friday afternoon and tampering with one black faille one shoulder blouse which could have debuted at the Oscars last week but instead debuted with $3 jeans, a striped shirt from Zara, and a pair of Saint Laurent sneakers on Bleecker Street yesterday.

To be fair, I did also wear it like this last week in Paris:


Which I feel pretty good about. So, I think that officially makes it your turn to take what’s fancy and supermarket it the shit up like no one, not even Karl Lagerfeld, has ever normcore’d before.

Should we talk about that term or save the conversation on mindless virality and every Gen. Y stereotyped having cometh true for next week?

As of right now, this conversation, in its unpublished state, is actually a monologue so I’ll go ahead and make the executive decision to hold off until Monday and instead suggest that with the help of the neat little tool below, you shop, which, you know, is different from buying, but it’s Friday, so… Treat. Yo. Self.

Rosie Assoulin top, Zara t-shirt, Levi’s jeans, Saint Laurent sneakers, Armani sunglasses

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  • To be honest, I’m a bit unsure about the first look. You pull it off, but it’s a bit too out there and experimental for me. The Paris version though? That I’m digging.


  • I really like your Paris look too!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Great look! Very Tibi and Leonard Fall 2014!


  • Blake

    Very, very chic. I like the Parisian look to it.


  • Love both your #pfw and the above look, Leandra! Rosie makes the clothes of my dreams.

    As for a discussion on normcore, I don’t even know if it’s worth the energy. I honestly didn’t know that it was a non-trend trend until last week. I hate this tendency of having to name everything. Like why can’t someone who just genuinely seeks comfort in a pair of sneakers, have that freedom? No doubt some are trying to go for that don’t-give-a-hoot look, but to give credit to these young people for a look that has been around forever just seems a decision made with total lack of the bigger picture.

  • Between the Blondes
  • franny glass

    I love the first look. It’s all about lifestyle, though, really. Depending on where you’re going, an outfit can or won’t make sense. In NYC it’s a bit easier to get away with… anything. I actually waxed poetic about it just this morning. (Maybe I’m getting old; there’s an investment pun in there at least once.) http://bondi-roco.blogspot.com/2014/03/game-theory.html

  • Floor | www.jadepillar.com

    You are so right. Adore you for your courage to wear something the way it is not supposed to be worn. Great things never came from comfort right? 😉

  • I’m glad that there are others out there trying to find uses for their more formal top-halves. I wear a lot of frilly, girly tops at work, but being on a tight budget, I know it’s important to make them work on my non-work days too!

    Not sure I’d go full on “dress with jeans,” but it’s a good start!

  • Ania

    love your style

  • LilyP

    I think the first look has balls.

  • Andrew

    I feel like the Saint Laurent sneakers are unremarkable and overpriced but that’s also exactly why I want to buy them.

    • Leandra Medine

      Can you expound on this? I am right there with you but I need to feel closer.

  • Manuela

    very cool look ! i love the Saint Laurent sneakers <3


    xoxo manu

  • The Civilian
  • We dig both looks, especially the Paris one!

  • Rachel Bell

    I love mixing classic denim with intricate tops. Love this.

  • Elyssa W

    guuuurl, this is good

  • Kinda weird look until you pulled on the outerwear. Now it just looks super cool. *thumbs up*


  • Martine

    I din’t know that people did things ironically anymore. I thought we kind of just either liked it, or didn’t and left it all at that. Do like off shouldered blouses, though. They go with lots and lots o sht.

  • Chloe H

    Dear Leandra, I would like to know where you get the silver cuff that’s beaming at me on your left wrist. Thank you!

    • Leandra Medine

      It is the Elsa Peretti Tiffany bone cuff!