Ignore the Dennis the Menace jumper. This is not a column about stripes, or knitwear. We’re focusing on something far more boring – the minimal trainer, like the white plimsolls I’m wearing. Boring, you see, isn’t boring any more. It’s exciting. Normcore – the fashion trend wherein Larry David is a style icon, and pool slides and mid-blue jeans are “it” items – has made it so.
White plain pumps have replaced the stiletto as the alpha-wear of the fashion editor. Not all of them, obviously – Anna Wintour might be Roger Federer’s biggest fan but she’s not going to be seen swapping her trademark mules for tennis sneakers. The trainer movement started with the Lego-like Air Max – with all the neon ticks and brightly coloured laces – in 2012, Olympic year, of course. Editors and celebrities were off their usual perches and down to earth, on an air bubble. Susie Lau, the blogger behind Style Bubble, is the poster girl, if you’re interested.
Minimal trainers are the sign that those statement shoes have settled down to something where you don’t have to worry about colour clashes. The squeak of rubber is likely to become a more fashionable sound than the leathery slap of a £1,000 tote hitting the floor of a black cab. Phoebe Philo, the Céline designer who can make something as dull as a navy blue jumper the most desirable thing in the world, is responsible. She has been wearing Stan Smiths for her quick-as-a-flash post-show bow for years, as part of a slightly 90s look; Marc Jacobs is also a fan. While other brands have had a go at this trend – Common Projects and Tom Ford have made posh versions – the Stan Smiths are the insider choice. Pretty handy when you realise they’re a snip at £67.
At the risk of sounding boring (oh wait…), the best thing about these shoes is that they really do go with everything. Mine have rarely been off my feet since I got a pair in the spring. I like them sans socks with a knee-length skirt; with trousers cropped at the ankle; and silky socks like the ones businessmen wear. Boring, yes – but, right now, that means fashionable, too.
Jess Cartner-Morley is away.