I can’t remember the last time I wore high heels out at night. Probably when I was a senior in college, if I had to guess. I spent a good chunk of my late teens and early twenties wearing shoes that hurt my feet whenever I went out — spindly heels, slightly-too-small-pumps that squeezed my toes into an unnatural V-shape, platforms so high I had to clutch my friends’ elbows to make sure I didn’t tumble — but lately, in response to the desires of my gut, I’ve started favoring other options.
In the years since graduating from college and tentatively constructing the popsicle sticks of my existence into something resembling adulthood, one of my biggest lessons has been learning how to dress myself in a way that feels less like throwing proverbial spaghetti at the wall and more like pinpointing the exact spot that speaks to me personally. In other words, eschewing the idea that I have to wear something or try something because everyone else around me is wearing or trying that thing and listening to the voice that lives in my gut and tells me what I really, truly want to do.
It took some time for me to find my footing — pun intended — in the world of comfortable “going out” footwear. At first I thought I would have to make some aesthetic concessions to give my toes the comfort they deserved, but I quickly discovered that these priorities are not mutually exclusive. With the right pair of sneakers, I could have my aesthetic cake and eat it comfortably, too. In fact, I came to discover that the inherently athletic vibe of sneakers provided a much-needed element of contrast to my comparatively “glamorous” nighttime getups — the classic peanut butter to my sequins’ artisanal jelly, if you will.
Wearing casual footwear actually made me feel freer to lean into my frequent desire to turn out a Full Look, capital F, capital L. Grounded in sneakers, no combination of clothing feels like “too much” or “overdressed.” In that sense, my sneakers are the most fancy-friendly shoes in my closet. Who would have thought?
adidas Originals, apparently. Inspired by nineties running shoes, the brand’s new Falcon silhouettes are the perfect mixture of sleek and comfy. I wore a pair last week to the Man Repeller x adidas Originals black-tie sneaker party and not only did they seamlessly offset my gown, but they were also so heavenly to walk in that I decided to transport myself from the East Village (where the event took place) to Chinatown (where I live) at the end of the night instead of taking the subway.
To further illustrate their versatility in the going-out style department, I concocted three ready-to-party ensembles for your copying pleasure. In each, I attempted to showcase exactly what I mean when I say that sneakers are uniquely conducive to pairing with Full Looks. From summer suits to glittering two-pieces to structured white denim dresses, it’s all fair game — and that’s just from a purely fashion-focused standpoint. When it comes to utility…well, don’t even get me started. I could wax poetic about the practical joys of going out in sneakers, whether I’m sprinting to catch a train or being weird on the dance floor or jumping up and down because my favorite song just started to play or walking home because I want to breathe in some fresh air, but I’ll spare you the obvious and say this: Wearing sneakers when you go out reminds you exactly what’s so fun about it in the first place.