It might work for Seinfeld, but not for you

Back in the days of note passing and recess, slipping on a pair of sneakers with your favorite jeans was not only accepted, it was stylish. But in today’s fashion world some would argue that the sneakers and jeans combo is a trend of the past.

Though some fashionistas prefer fancier footwear, many students still opt for the cushiony comfort of sneakers.

“I’m not here to make a fashion statement,” said junior marketing major Dongkeun Oh. “I wear sneakers because they’re comfortable.”

While he also enjoys the support sneakers provide, sophomore biology major Michael Martin feels that there are many fashionable sneakers on the market.

It is important to note that the term “sneakers” refers to a large grouping of foot apparel, and in the minds of most students, there is a distinct difference between nice sneakers and running shoes.

According to Martin he wears sneakers with jeans most of the time, but this usually does not include running shoes.

“The only time I wear running shoes with jeans is when I’m in a rush or I’m wearing sweatpants,” Martin said. “I don’t usually wear them if I’m trying to look nice.”

When dressing to impress, however, Martin typically sports boots or black leather shoes and insists that his date dresses for the occasion as well.

“If I dress up I expect the woman with me to look nice too,” Martin said.

But not all students pay special attention to their partner’s footwear. “If I were going out with a guy I would actually prefer him to be wearing sneakers if that’s more comfortable for him,” said junior advertising major Maj Shehab.

Although she rarely wears sneakers herself, Shehab feels that they are an acceptable fashion trend as long as they match your style. “Sneakers haven’t always been so accepted,” Shehab said. “Now they’re definitely more mainstream and there is a sneaker out there that accommodates every type of style.”

But are sneakers as acceptable for women as they are for men? According to Martin, men tend to wear sneakers more than women simply because women enjoy dressing up more.

“Guys don’t have a lot of options like women do,” Martin said. “Women have all different types of shoes to choose from.”

Freshman English major Danielle Mancinelli doesn’t think that the sneakers-and-jeans look is a good look for girls, but feels that men can get away with it. “The only time I wear sneakers is when I go running,” Mancinelli said.

“I just like to dress up a little bit more.”

Whether you agree with sneaker fashion or not, one thing is for sure – clonking around in dingy sneakers is never stylish.

“If you’re going to wear sneakers they have to be fresh,” Shehab said. “If they get old, don’t wear them anymore.” And though some think mismatched socks are harmless, think again. The black shoes-white socks combination is a fashion disaster sure to make anyone cringe.

“Unless you’re Michael Jackson, you just can’t do that,” Martin said.

Rachel Madel can be reached at

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