How to wear Vans like a pro

Vans shoes in the desert

If you’ve invested in a new pair of Vans, but aren’t quite sure how to style them, then you’re definitely not alone. Whether you’re curious about what colours to pair with different patterns or what type of Vans shoe to start with, wearing Vans is an art.

The key to tackling life “Off The Wall” is to wear Vans with confidence. We built this brand back in 1966 in the hills of Anaheim, California, to inspire people to conquer the unexpected headfirst. After all, the Vans #95, known as the Era, has endless different colour combinations and has long been the shoe of choice for a generation of skateboarders. Even in 2021, the signature Era shoe was re-released with a blueprint graphic to further satisfy a modern audience. 

As you consider how to wear Vans, consider three specific elements: the size, style, and design of the shoe. Before you reach for your board, our experts will explore how to dress with Vans and what to wear with your new favourite Vans shoes. 

Can you wear Vans with sweatpants?

Yes, you can wear Vans with sweatpants for a night in or a day out. From Sk8-Hi's to authentic originals, keep an eye out for key features, including the material of your loungewear, the style of the hem, and the length for optimal fit. 

With many people working from home in recent months, loungewear has become a total must-have. While some shoes are too formal to wear with sweatpants, Vans are an on-trend alternative to classic trainers.  Complete the look with a sweatshirt, tank top, or a simple, crisp white t-shirt. 

How to wear Vans with jeans

Vans pair well with all styles of denim. While they are easy to style with jeans, you can wear the same pair of Vans for both casual and formal events. Keep an eye out for key features, including the style of the jeans you’re wearing, whether your Vans are hi-top or low-top shoes, and the colour of the shoes. 

If you are not quite sure where to start, consider wearing High Top Vans with your favourite pair of skinny jeans. Then, layer a denim jacket over a white t-shirt to further capitalise on this season’s denim trend.

How to style red Vans

Red Vans are considered neutral casualwear and can pair well with both formal and casual outfits. For instance, both ripped jeans or polished high waisted trousers work well. Pay close attention to colours, and be sure to coordinate other accessories around your red Vans.

The best way to style red Vans is to wear dark sweatpants or skinny jeans with fun graphic socks. Vans Old Skools in racing red with a true white stripe are a total classic to pair with jeans. Vans slip-on shoes, on the other hand, can work well for more formal settings. 

For a bit of inspiration, Pinterest boards have ample content surrounding styling red Vans authentic shoes. If “view this pin” isn’t quite your thing, take style inspiration from celebrities including Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who have worn the Vans Era 2-Tone Checkered Sneakers in a striking red.  

How to style white Vans

White Vans and denim are the definitions of street style. White Vans are ubiquitous among celebrities and skaters alike and can be styled in an endless number of ways. From dark denim to a mini dress, you really can’t go wrong when styling white Vans shoes.

Generally, consider wearing white Vans with either neutral or more pastel-forward colours. For instance, classic chino trousers or denim will help your white shoes stand out. Just be careful to keep your white Vans pristine, as white canvas uppers are more prone to showing dirt and grime. If the white stripe on your Vans is looking a little worse for wear, you can easily bleach the white stripe on your Vans to restore them to their former glory. 

Related: How to clean Vans shoes

How to wear black Vans 

The beauty of black Vans is that they go with anything and everything. Whether you prefer a laid-back, contemporary look or prefer a more elevated approach, you can rock the black and white Old-Skool Vans or the classic authentics all day, every day. 

To start, consider pairing your black Vans with matching black skinny jeans and an on-trend leather or denim jacket. Although black Vans were made famous by professional skaters, don’t overlook formalwear. Consider wearing black Vans with a pair of socks to dress down a sleek suit. Just be sure to keep other accessories to a minimum.

How to wear Vans for guys

Vans skate shoes are a style staple in any man’s wardrobe, and it’s easy to see why. Comfortable, on-trend, and built to last, Vans shoes can work well with any outfit. As you style these versatile shoes, keep in mind they work well for casual and formalwear. 

If you tend to keep it classic, wear your Vans with a classic collared shirt or buttoned down oxford and skinny jeans. For a more casual approach, layer a crisp white t-shirt over your favourite pair of distressed denim jeans. 

Whatever your day has in store, you can’t go wrong with Vans by your side. As our founder, Paul Van Doren, once said, “Vans offer an outward culture and an inward purpose.”

Go ahead, make them yours.

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