Sneakerheadz Anonymous: What, Where, and How to Vans

Wherever I walk, I first look at shoes. For one, shoes are my favorite part of any outfit; second, sneakers don’t make awkward eye contact. As I strolled down Main Street yesterday, shoes stopped me dead in my tracks: a grown man of approximately 35 was wearing off-white Vans Authentics. Overall, he looked quite professional: dark washed jeans, a plaid shirt, and a navy blue vest. Then, there were his Vans.

I could not figure it out. Why did he think that the shoes donned by so many angst-filled preteens, myself included, were a proper fashion choice? Don't get me wrong, I love the skateboard sneaker. However, context can make or break even the best of outfits. Everything from season to occasion needs to be taken into account when lacing up your favorite pair. Inspired by my middle-aged rebel, I'm going to use today's post to offer some tips on What, Where, and How to style Vans sneakers!

If you too like the classic "off white" sneaker look, the Vans Canvas Old Skool in White/Dirt is a good alternative. Compared to the Authentic, the Old Skool is cut closer to the ankle (like a loafer) and can be wore formally. The off-white base and blue foxing stripe lend themselves well to a more preppy aesthetic and can live alongside every piece of Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren nicely. 

For a statement piece, the Old Skool Reissue in Indigo Puce/Marshmallow is a pick that people will definitely notice, in a good way. The causal shoe pairs well with slim fit Levi's and a short sleeve button down or cool graphic tee. This bright Old Skool also complements cuffed black jeans and plain black shirt to make a big impression on a night out. 

If you’re looking for high tops, look no further than the Vans SK8-Hi. As a proud owner of more than a few pairs myself, I can personally vouch for their quality and versatile good looks. If you're trying to stay on trend, the Leather SK8-Hi Reissue in Brown/Guate is a good choice. Reminiscent of winter-ready sneaker boots, these rugged sneakers go with anything and everything. For a new take on a menswear staple outfit, expect pair them with navy pants and a crisp white button down. Your brown leather high-tops will out-boot the best of them.

If leather isn’t your style, try the Denim C&L SK8-Hi Reissue. Vans is famous for their diverse palette of sneaker materials, and denim shoes are no exception. The Navy/Saddle Brown colorway is subtle to the say least, but the all-over denim texture gives the shoe an unexpected, visually-interesting detail. 

For all my ladies, Vans does not discriminate. All of their shoes can be and are worn by men and women, which is something I really appreciate about the company, but if you are looking for a more feminine style these are a few of my favorites.

To any female sneakerheadz, detailed SK8-Hi's are the way to go. As someone who embraces cropped jeans and accent socks, pattern-heavy shoes are perfect. Snake Leather Sk8-Hi Reissue in Antique White (above left) are a great color and an even better choice to shake up a wardrobe. Paired with coated black skinny jeans and a simple black shirt, these sneakers complete everyday outfits and are minimal enough for a night out. However, for pure looks, the SK8-Hi 46 in Italian Weave/Pig Suede Ash (above right) are at the top of my wishlist. With a denim button down and cropped olive slacks, these shoes are divine. 

Even though the Canvas Old Skool in Skyway (above left) are not high-tops, I still am a big fan. Since they are already a nice light blue I would suggest cuffed boyfriend jeans and a slightly oversized grey fishermen's knit sweater for the perfect coffee shop apparel. I am usually not the biggest fan of the Authentic silhouette that Vans makes (it’s the faux-pas shoe that inspired this post) but after seeing the Scotchgard Authentic Decon in Fig (above right), my tune changed. These are the perfect shoes to thrown with a part of dark washed skinny's and a chunky cardigan to rough out a long day of lectures.  

I hope some of you will try out a few pairs from my favorite, reasonably priced sneaker brand. Stay Sneaky.  

all photos courtesy of