Allison Bornstein has garnered over 235,000 views on TikTok thanks to her theory on “wearing the wrong shoe.” A phenomenon that has taken over the most fashionable section of the Chinese social platform and turned this approach into a book, Wear it Well, challenging the way we think about pairings. Bornstein’s theory is extremely simple: pair an unexpected shoe with each outfit. All to add a more interesting and cool touch to the end result. But can this method also work for the male wardrobe?
@allisonbornstein6 how to make your look feek styled and intentional….. #stylist #stylingtips #sneakers #summerstyle @Lucy Williams @Lauren Chan @Kendall Jenner @Imani Randolph ♬ original sound – Allison Bornstein
Usually, the shoe is the last element we choose to complete our looks, and the celebrities involved in this trend are all women, from Kendall Jenner to Elle Fanning. If, according to Bornstein, even a flip-flop can change the perception of the final result, perhaps in contrast with tailored trousers, even a prim dress can quickly become more playful when paired with a sneaker.
On one hand, Bornstein caters primarily to a female clientele, but we wonder if this method is applicable to men’s fashion as well. After all, the Wrong Shoe Theory could theorize a trend that is already in motion. If we think about Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2024 – the first under the creative direction of Pharrell Williams – we can trace some looks where there seems to be a connection with the Wrong Shoe Theory, like the famous rain boot paired with a jacket and shorts.
While it might be premature to speak of the Wrong Shoe Theory for men, we can certainly discuss smart casual, a trend that reflects the new interpretation of a suit jacket paired with sneakers. Smart casual in men’s fashion, now quite normalized, uses sneakers precisely to add a casual touch to serious looks. After all, as far back as the 1990s, Brad Pitt was employing this strategy, and more recently, Stanley Tucci as well. But can we go beyond the suit-sneaker model for men? We then wonder if someone will take on the task of studying the rules of the Wrong Shoe Theory for men. And what do you think about it?