Build Your Platform (Sneakers Outfit): 6 Ideas for How To Style Platform Sneakers
Having a platform can help you stand taller, see farther, and get a new perspective on your life. While that could apply to a social platform or a personal one, we're talking about a literal platform on the bottom of your sneakers. Platform sneakers are essential for '90s and Y2K revival styles, but they're also a perfect finishing touch for modern outfits and dresses. Learning how to style platform sneakers is easy because of the many fashion associations.
Let's be real, though — the true selling point of platform sneakers isn't their style versatility, as impressive as it may be. Platform sneakers let you wear literal sneakers and still be tall, and if that's not a style superpower, nothing is. Rely on a pair of platform sneakers to add a few bonus inches to any look.
How To Style Platform Sneakers 6 Ways
Platform sneakers can be the Swiss Army knife of your shoe wardrobe, filling voids and adding a little edge at the same time. Here are six foolproof ways to style them.
1. Flash Back to the '90s
Platform sneakers are a must-have for any '90s-inspired outfit. Retro revival looks always benefit from turning up the volume on what people were actually wearing in the era, and platform sneakers perfectly evoke the '90s without subtracting any of the fun.
There are aesthetic benefits to going with a platform sneaker for your '90s looks, too. Big sneakers are as thoroughly '90s as a pair of JNCOs or the Nirvana smiley face t-shirt (you know the one), but they're also subtle enough to blend into non-'90s looks. The platforms' visual heft is a balanced complement to baggy jeans, crop tops or both. Model Gigi Hadid proved the point with her retro cropped sweater, oversized black pants and a pair of platform sneakers.
Since sleek and fun '90s fashion never seems to go out of style, here are some throwback wardrobe pieces to mix and match when creating a platform sneakers outfit:
- Puffy track jacket
- Big cargo-pant-style jeans
- Hair scrunchies or butterfly clips
- A denim midi skirt
- Printed knit crop top
Platform sneakers aren't just for throwback looks, though. They can add style points to a variety of casual outfits.
2. Elevate a Casual Dress
Do you have too many flowy summer dresses in your closet? Putting aside whether or not that's possible (Probably not! They're so pretty and nice!), one of the best ways to up the style factor on a typical sundress is to add a statement shoe. Platform sneakers are an easy styling touch that will elevate any day dress look — literally.
The few inches of height you get from a platform sneaker goes a long way to lengthen a tricky midi or maxi dress hemline. Celebs from Sophia Vergara to Jessica Alba to Kylie Jenner all paired white platform sneakers with flowy dresses that hit the hemline Twilight Zone between mid-calf and ankle.
3. Prop Up a Preppy Look
Preppy looks — button-downs, pearls, pencil skirts, blazers, the Chanel-inspired works — can almost always benefit from a little dressing down in their styling. Contrasting one element of an otherwise preppy look with a casual or subversive one can make this fashion choice way more interesting.
A tee dress embellished with pearl strands and trimmed with tulle already puts a big spin on the typical prep style with its trompe l'oeil elements. The short length and embellished top are begging for a chunky platform sneaker or boot. A platform sneaker and pleated skirt is another combination that combines prep style and modern edge.
4. Make a Simple Look Shine
Platform sneakers are the best of both worlds: A style statement that reads mostly neutral. Embrace this philosophy for how to style platform sneakers by picking out more pieces that are more than they appear to be at first glance.
A long dress shirt-inspired top and black leggings may not seem like much, but details such as the tailored back and puff sleeve and the leathery sheen on the pants bring this basic outfit into street-style territory. A pair of platform sneakers continues the outfit's theme of blending feminine and masculine touches with unexpected details.
5. Take Sneakers To the Dark Side
That said, there are definitely times when subtlety is overrated. For a more extreme platform sneakers outfit, embrace the over-the-top platform aesthetic and add some darker elements to your look.
Biker jackets, leather and chains, a short and shiny black dress, Victorian mourning black lace — whatever your style of 'dark,' platform sneakers can complete the fantasy and add a bit of lightness for balance. The sneakers don't tone down the volume of these extreme elements, but they do bring them back down to earth in an eminently stylish way.
6. Shake Up a Club Fit
We've all been there, putting together the perfect combination for a night out but blanking when it comes to the shoes. Black pumps can only take a person so far before they start to feel a bit samey. Instead, try pairing platform sneakers with your next killer club outfit.
Contrast is the hallmark of great styling, and it doesn't always mean literal contrast such as oversized and tight or shiny and matte. Juxtaposing different clothing, shoes and accessory associations is key to creating unexpected and exciting outfits.
Plain sneakers and fishnets may feel a little too far apart on the dressy spectrum to work, but platform sneakers have the extra style heft to easily bridge the gap between club and casual. They also work perfectly with a dressy jumpsuit or matching separates situation. Plus, you get all the extra height of heels with none of the drawbacks. What's not to love?
Learn How To Style Platform Sneakers the Easy Way With the Latest Fashions
Having a variety of inspirations and cutting-edge looks is a huge help when you're experimenting with how to style platform sneakers. At Kate Hewko, we believe that fun and unexpected fashion is for everyone, so skip the runway price tags and get the newest looks for less. Browse our collection of just-in pieces to find the perfect match for any platform sneaker.