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How to Pull Off the Pastel Sneaker Athleisure Trend

Even though it's true you can find a way to wear sneakers anywhere these days, styling statement kicks can be tricky. Pastel sneakers are one of the buzziest trends in footwear this summer, but those who are used to wearing classic white sneakers may struggle with how to actually wear them IRL. Luckily, once you learn some simple strategies for integrating them into your wardrobe, it starts to feel like the options for making them work are endless.

Here's how fashion and active influencers do it with both activewear and everyday clothing, plus how to replicate their style-savvy outfit ideas on your own.

Use another accessory to tie your outfit together.

By incorporating a pastel pink bag, Christine Andrew of Hello Fashion Blog seamlessly integrates her pink Adidas sneakers into her outfit. And while Andrew happens to be wearing a cute athleisure-y leggings-and-tee combo, this strategy works with all types of outfits. Grab a bag, watch, headband—whatever, in the same shade as your sneakers and watch them get tied effortlessly into any ensemble. (Get a similar look: Adidas Campus Shoes, $65; adidas.com)

Make a match.

An easy trick for making pastel sneakers work with non-workout clothes is to pull a color out from your pastel sneakers and make it the main color in your outfit. As Stella Uzo of Jadore Fashion's outfit proves, you can experiment with different shades of the same color for an amazing result. (Get a similar look: New Balance 501 Heritage sneakers, $70; newbalance.com)

Break it up with black.

 

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The monochrome look is definitely in, but if an all-pastel ensemble isn't your thing, try adding a pair of black leggings—the ultimate athleisure staple—to the mix. That's the trick Remy Park of Veggiekins used, and it works like a charm. By breaking up the top and bottom halves of her outfit with basic black leggings, she's able to carry off two highly trendy pieces—pastel sneakers and a fuzzy pink sweatshirt—without looking over-the-top. (Stock up on all the pink workout clothes your millennial heart could desire.)

Add a super-bright color to the mix.

Courtney Quinn of Color Me Courtney knows how to wear color. Brights, pastels, neon—you name it. So it's no surprise that she masterfully styled these pastel purple sneakers with an incredibly vibrant outfit and made it work. The secret? Choose one other shade to focus on. In Quinn's case, it's orange. For bonus points, find an accessory or jacket that ties both colors together in one piece, like Quinn's purple-and-orange crossbody bag. (Pst, we rounded up the best cross-training shoes to get you through any workout class.)

Go all neutral with your workout gear.

 

Running has a very special and interesting place in my heart. About 7ish years ago I signed up for one of my first races ever that I was completely unprepared for. I was still extremely overweight but I was convinced I could run the 5 miles without stopping. I was wrong. Instead, I walked almost the entire way while my mom ran in literal circles around me, entertaining me and keeping me motivated to just finish what I started. I remember I was extremely frustrated, mad, and I wanted to cry almost the entire way. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t run more than a few seconds without becoming completely winded and breathless. But I did finish that race. I finished it and felt so many emotions, but mostly I was pissed off that I wasn’t better. It was the starting point of me becoming obsessed with learning how to run. I was convinced that if I could run I would be fit. So I ran as far as I could most days of the week and then when I would get tired I would walk till I caught my breath then run again. I would go out and run on trails with my parents and both my mom and my dad would pass me, almost twice my age but more fit than I was. With every day and week that passed, I was able to run further without stopping. Until one day I was finally able to run an entire 5 miles without stopping and even keep up with my mom. It was slow but I didn’t stop. Then I wanted to run 5 miles faster. So I started running sprints to improve my time and slowly but surely I became faster. Running has taught me so many things over the years but the most important thing I learned was that I AM DETERMINED. Running humbled me in so many ways and still does. Just like most things the more you do it the better you become, one stride at a time, one foot in front of the other, eyes focused, heart pounding, strong, resilient, better for it, and fierce as hell #womenwhofly // Shot by @grantpuckettphoto in partnership with @hokaoneone #womenwhofly — #run #running #hokaoneone #losangeles #california #curvy #wellness #healthy #healthylife #healthylifestyle #fitfam #fitspo #fitgirl #fitnessgirl #fitnessmotivation #movement #motivation #inspiration #ootd #runningshoes #potd

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If you're wearing your pastel sneakers for a workout, like Britney of Fitty Britttty, going for an all-neutral sports bra and leggings combo is a solid—and easy to implement—option. By going this route and focusing on black, white, gray, and nude tones, you can easily make any pair of pastel sneakers part of your workout wardrobe. (And if you're still in search of the perfect pair of black leggings, scope these black leggings for gym-goers who just don't like colors.)

Just add denim.

Most styling questions can be solved with the simple addition of a pair of jeans. In Chelsea Lankford of True Lane's case, it's easy to see how a great-fitting pair of lighter wash jeans makes her pastel sneakers work with a brown jacket—a combo you wouldn't necessarily expect to be a natural fit. But denim is the go-between for straight fashion and athleisure, so be sure to use it to your advantage when you're stuck in a styling rut. (Want more of the latest styling tips? Check out how to wear all the biggest athleisure trends this spring.)

More Pastel Sneakers We Love

  • For a cushy running sneaker, try the HOKA Clifton 4, a collaboration with Outdoor Voices in mint green ($140; outdoorvoices.com), or the APL Techloom Phantom in soft pink ($165; athleticpropulsionlabs.com
  • For a training shoe that looks just as cute with jeans as it does in the gym, try the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE in the new 'it color' of the season, lavender ($65; newbalance.com).
  • For a lifestyle shoe that you can easily wear to the office, try the Reebok Classic in pastel blue ($80; reebok.com).

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