I’ll admit it. I’m one of those people who wouldn’t be caught dead leaving the house in sweatpants and sneakers. I understand the appeal — walking out for coffee in the comfort of leggings and an oversized sweatshirt — but the second I try to slip on those UGGs hidden in the depths of my closet, I hear Karl Lagerfeld’s words ringing in my head. “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

While Karly-poo is not always the most reputable guy to get advice from (re: his thoughts on anorexia), those words always stuck with me. Fashion and style are about expression of personality. Oversized sweatshirts and sneakers are a cop-out. However, I’ve recently turned over a new leaf. I still think sweatpants should be worn exclusively in the privacy of one’s home or when working out, but sneakers can be so much more than just running shoes.

I spotted these bright red kicks walking down the sidewalk the other day. I could have spotted those flashy sneaks from a mile away. This Fashionista epitomized sporty-chic with her high-tops and leather jacket. For a similar look, opt for these red cheetah print Nike High Dunks. Try pairing them with skinny jeans and a blouse to keep a slim silhouette. By airing her form-fitting leather jacket with an oversized sweater, this Fashionista added an edgy hip-hop flare to her casual ensemble.

My interest in statement sneakers probably started this spring in Paris. In February, I started seeing all of these beautiful Parisian women traipsing around the city in none other than heeled sneakers. Initially so against the oxymoronic shoe, I wrote them off as a crazed trend. But soon thereafter I was converted.

Wedged sneakers with a sheer maxi skirt? Yes, please! Try these black ALDO CHISM Wedge Sneakers with this By Way Of Isis Maxi Skirt for a paradoxical sporty and feminine look. How about high-tops and a mini skirt? Love it. Go for a pair of high-top Converse or these Guate Stripe Sk8-Hi sneaks with a bandage skirt and cropped blazer à la Man Repeller.

A good pair of stylish sneakers can work with most outfits. From PF Flyers to Isabel Marant, there are countless kicks out there for you to experiment with. After all, we all work out nowadays, so we might as well get inspiration from the gym. But let’s get real: I’m not encouraging everyone to go out looking like Sporty Spice (just imagine Karl's two cents on her).

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