As we learned at The Brooklyn Museum’s The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker goes way back, before its namesake even endorsed the shoe. (Fun fact: it was first produced in 1964 for tennis star Robert Haillet; it was only in 1971 that court pro Smith took it up as his own.)
But despite its athletic roots, lately Stan Smiths (the shoe, not the athlete) can be spotted just about anywhere off the courts. Whether it’s on the feet of healthy celebs like Elle Macpherson and Anne Hathaway, or grounding nearly every fashion girl strutting through the streets of New York City’s Soho, the white lace-up is arguably the “It sneaker” of 2015.
What’s behind the humble sneaker’s recent ascent? It could have something to do with the fact that, while they pair perfectly with your pre- and post-workout ensembles, Stan Smiths are also highly complementary to everyday pieces—think boyfriend jeans or faux fur jackets.
But it’s not as simple as just pulling on a pair and calling it a day. (Though you can pick up your pair here.) Here are the seven key Stan Smith-ified looks that are the wardrobe equivalent of a game, set match. —Jamie McKillop
Why: The structured sneaker is the yin to your favorite lived-in jeans yang.
Why: Want to tone down any va-va-voom outfit? The boyish shoe makes even your most over-the-top late night outfits acceptable in the early a.m.
Why: It’s perfect for those moments when you’re not quite in the mood for some power clashing.
Why: An easy way to go from business to business casual.
Why: Because running errands post-barre class on a Sunday can (and should) look laid back and chic.
Why: It’s an understated, minimal look that doesn’t skimp on style.
Why: Adding the casual sneaker to the iconic rock’n’roll staple is unexpected, in the best way possible.