Mastering The Art: How to Style New Balance 550

how to style new balance 550

How to style new balance 550? The New Balance 550 is an iconic pair that is a staple in shoe closets around the world. Known for their timeless design and unparalleled comfort, they are versatile shoes that can be styled in a myriad of ways. Regardless of your personal fashion sensibility, whether you lean towards a casual aesthetic, prefer a more polished look, or enjoy experimenting with trends, there are countless ways to incorporate the New Balance 550 into your wardrobe. 

This guide is designed to help you unlock the full potential of these sneakers, offering invaluable styling tips and ideas, whether you’re stepping out for a casual brunch, hitting the gym, or making a style statement at a social event. With the right styling, the New Balance 550 can elevate your look and accentuate your personal style.

History and Popularity of New Balance 550 

The New Balance 550, often abbreviated as NB 550, has a rich history and a growing popularity that makes it a coveted piece in the sneaker world. The story of this iconic shoe began in the 1980s when New Balance, originally an arch support company in Boston, decided to venture into the athletic footwear industry. The 550 was first introduced in 1989 as a basketball shoe, boasting a unique design and comfort level that set it apart from the competition. 

how to style new balance 550

Over the years, the NB 550 had its ups and downs, but the turning point came in 2020 when designer Teddy Santis collaborated with New Balance to reissue the 550. Santis’ brand, Aimé Leon Dore, brought a fresh and modern interpretation to the classic silhouette of the 550, revitalizing its appeal. The reissued version, with its nostalgic yet contemporary design, began to gain traction among sneaker enthusiasts and style influencers, leading to a resurgence in its popularity.

Today, the New Balance 550 is more than just a basketball shoe. It has evolved into a fashion staple that transcends age, gender, and style categories. Its blend of retro charm and modern aesthetics has garnered a broad fan base, from celebrities and athletes to fashion-conscious individuals. The shoe’s distinct design, characterized by a chunky sole, bold color blocking, and the signature “N” logo, makes it instantly recognizable and highly sought after. 

The NB 550’s rise to popularity is a testament to New Balance’s commitment to quality, innovation, and timeless style. Whether worn for sports or as a fashion statement, the New Balance 550 continues to leave a lasting impression in the sneaker world, proving that it’s not just a shoe, but a symbol of style and individuality.

Understanding the Aesthetic of New Balance 550 

Introduced in the late 1980s, the 550 model was initially designed to offer optimal support and comfort to basketball players. However, its aesthetic appeal transcends the boundaries of sport, effectively blending functionality and style, thereby attracting a diverse range of consumers.

The New Balance 550’s design is a nostalgic nod to the past, harking back to the golden era of low-top basketball shoes. The silhouette is a blend of simplicity and subtlety, featuring an unassuming leather upper adorned with New Balance’s iconic ‘N’ logo and unique model number detailing. It’s this very simplicity and understated elegance that gives it an effortlessly versatile aesthetic, allowing it to pair seamlessly with a multitude of outfits, from sportswear to casual and semi-formal attire.

The color combinations available in the 550 line further amplify its aesthetic appeal. The vivid colorways, typically contrasting against a white or cream base, strike a balance between boldness and subtlety, offering an array of options for different individual styles and preferences. Whether it’s the muted elegance of the cream and navy version, the vibrant pop of the red and white pair, or the timeless appeal of the black and white model, there’s a 550 that corresponds to every aesthetic.

Yet, what truly sets the New Balance 550 apart is its ability to bridge the gap between the old and the new. While its design is a clear homage to its sports heritage and the fashion sensibilities of the 1980s, it also resonates with contemporary trends. This duality lends it a timeless appeal, ensuring its relevance and popularity across different generations of sneaker enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the aesthetic of the New Balance 550 is characterized by its simplicity, versatility, and timeless appeal. Its design is a perfect blend of sports and fashion, appealing to a wide range of consumers. Whether you’re a sneaker enthusiast, a basketball player, or a fashion-forward individual, the New Balance 550 has something to offer. Its ability to effortlessly transition from the court to the street, coupled with its nostalgic design and diverse colorways, makes it more than just a shoe – it’s a testament to New Balance’s enduring commitment to quality, style, and performance.

Basic Tips on Styling New Balance 550

General Tips On Styling

Mastering the art of styling the New Balance 550 comes down to a few key principles. Firstly, it is important to understand the adaptable nature of these sneakers. The New Balance 550 is a versatile shoe that can effortlessly transition between different styles and occasions, making it a valuable addition to any wardrobe. The shoe’s classic silhouette and distinctive color-blocking lend it a unique characteristic that can elevate a casual outfit or add an edge to a more formal ensemble.

When styling the New Balance 550, consider the color palette of your outfit. Given the shoe’s bold color-blocking, it can often act as the centerpiece of your look. Pairing these sneakers with neutral tones can allow them to stand out, while matching them with similar color hues can create a cohesive, well-coordinated outfit. 

Furthermore, don’t shy away from experimenting with a variety of clothing items. The New Balance 550 pairs well with a range of garments, from jeans and sweatpants to skirts and dresses.

For a sporty, casual look, consider pairing these sneakers with joggers and a graphic t-shirt. If you’re going for a more polished look, try wearing them with tailored pants and a well-fitted blazer. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your creativity and personal style.

Common Mistakes Need To Be Avoided

Even with the shoe’s versatility, certain styling mistakes should be avoided. One common mistake is ignoring the importance of proportion. Given the 550’s chunky silhouette, it is essential to balance it with the right clothing items. For instance, pairing these sneakers with excessively baggy clothes can result in a look that is disproportionate and unflattering. Instead, opt for a balance of fitted and loose items to create a silhouette that complements the shoe’s structure.

Another mistake to avoid is over-accessorizing. The New Balance 550, with its bold design and vibrant color-blocking, is a statement piece in itself. Overloading your outfit with accessories can distract from the sneaker’s aesthetic appeal and make your outfit appear cluttered. 

Lastly, while the New Balance 550 is a versatile shoe, it is not suitable for every occasion. It’s important to recognize when a more formal shoe is appropriate. While the 550 can be dressed up, there are certain settings, such as formal dinners or business meetings, where a more formal shoe would be more appropriate.

In conclusion, styling the New Balance 550 revolves around understanding its unique aesthetic, experimenting with different styles, and avoiding common styling pitfalls. It’s about embracing the shoe’s versatility and using it to express your individual style. With the right approach, the New Balance 550 can be an exciting addition to your wardrobe that showcases your personal fashion sensibility.

How to style New Balance 550?

Styling the New Balance 550 for different occasions is all about understanding the vibe of the event, and then constructing your outfit around the sneakers. Let’s take a look at how you can style the New Balance 550 for casual, sporty, and semi-formal outings.

Casual Outings

For casual outings, the New Balance 550 offers a myriad of possibilities. Given the relaxed nature of casual dressing, the 550’s chunky silhouette and bold colorways can truly shine. Pair the sneakers with your favorite pair of jeans or chinos. You can opt for a monochrome look by matching your top to your shoes or create a more dynamic ensemble by playing with contrasts. Layering can also be an effective approach. Consider wearing a plain tee under a statement jacket or a denim shirt, which can add depth and interest to your look. The aim is to create a balanced outfit that is stylish without appearing overly curated.

Sporty Outings

Sporty outings call for comfort and functionality. In these scenarios, the New Balance 550 serves as both a performance shoe and a style statement. Pair them with athletic shorts and a breathable tee for a run in the park, or with joggers and a sweatshirt for a gym session. The shoes’ vintage-inspired design creates an interesting juxtaposition with modern athletic wear, resulting in an outfit that is both functional and visually appealing. Remember, the key is to keep the outfit simple and let the sneakers be the standout piece.

Semi-Formal Outings

Semi-formal outings might seem challenging for styling a sneaker like the New Balance 550. However, with the right outfit, these shoes can fit seamlessly into a semi-formal setting. Opt for a pair of tailored trousers in a neutral color. Pair them with a crisp button-down shirt, and maybe throw in a blazer if the occasion calls for it. The trick is to choose clothes that are more refined and polished. 

This contrast allows the vintage charm of the 550 to stand out, while the overall outfit maintains an air of formality. However, it’s important to gauge the appropriateness based on the specific event and location.

Outfit Ideas with New Balance 550 For Men and Women

how to style new balance 550

Outfit Ideas For Men

The New Balance 550 lends itself to many practical and stylish outfit ideas for both men and women. For men, one go-to option could be a laid-back streetwear look. Pair your 550s with black slim-fit jeans, a graphic tee, and a bomber jacket for a look that’s stylish yet comfortable. Another outfit idea for a casual weekend outing could be pairing the sneakers with khaki chinos, a plain white tee, and an open checked shirt. This outfit gives off a relaxed feel without compromising on style.

For a sporty look, pair your New Balance 550s with joggers, a breathable tank top, and an athletic sweatshirt tied around your waist. This outfit is not only functional for a day of sporting activities, but also gives off a cool, effortless vibe.

For semi-formal occasions, pair your 550s with dark jeans or tailored trousers, a crisp white button-down, and a blazer. This outfit perfectly marries formal and casual, creating a look that’s both stylish and appropriate for a range of semi-formal events.

Outfit Ideas For Women

For women, the New Balance 550 can be paired with a wide range of outfits to create looks that are both comfortable and fashion-forward. For a casual day out, pair your 550s with a pair of high-waisted jeans and a cropped tee. Add a denim jacket for an added layer of style. Another casual outfit idea is pairing the sneakers with a mini skirt and a graphic tee. This look is fun, feminine, and perfect for a warm day.

For a sporty look, pair your 550s with bike shorts and an oversized sweatshirt. This look is comfortable and perfect for a day of sporting activities. The New Balance 550s add a vintage twist to the modern athleisure trend.

For semi-formal occasions, pair your 550s with tailored trousers or a midi skirt, a blouse, and a blazer. This outfit creates a unique blend of sporty and formal, resulting in a look that’s stylish and suitable for a variety of semi-formal settings.

The New Balance 550 is an incredibly versatile shoe that can be styled in a myriad of ways to suit any occasion. With the right outfit, these sneakers can be the perfect statement piece to elevate your style game. Regardless of your personal style or the occasion, there’s a way to incorporate the New Balance 550 into your outfit. So, embrace your creativity, have fun styling, and let your sneakers do the talking.

Case Studies Of Celebrity Styles

how to style new balance 550

The influence of celebrities and fashion-forward influencers in popularizing the New Balance 550 is undeniable. Let’s explore a few case studies of notable personalities who have styled the New Balance 550 exceptionally well.

Aimee Song

One such personality is Aimee Song, a renowned fashion blogger and New York Times bestselling author. Song was seen pairing the New Balance 550 with a casual, chic outfit – a pair of high-waisted jeans and a white turtleneck. Her outfit perfectly complemented the vintage charm of the sneakers, offering an effortlessly stylish look that was both comfortable and on-trend.

Kawhi Leonard

Next up is NBA star, Kawhi Leonard. Known for his laid-back and understated style, Leonard was spotted sporting the New Balance 550s with a pair of black joggers and a simple white tee. The sneakers added a pop of color to his otherwise monochrome outfit, striking an excellent balance between style and comfort.

Aleali May

Fashion influencer, Aleali May, also deserves a mention. Known for her eclectic style, May was seen wearing the New Balance 550s with an oversized blazer, baggy pants, and a bucket hat. Her outfit brought out the versatility of the sneakers, proving that they can be worn with more unconventional, androgynous styles.

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid

Celebrities and notable influencers like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have also been photographed wearing the New Balance 550. They styled their sneakers with everything from jeans and sweatpants to dresses, showcasing the shoe’s versatility and its ability to complement various styles. 

The New Balance 550’s popularity among celebrities and influencers underscores its versatility and timeless appeal. It’s clear that this sneaker can be styled in a myriad of ways, catering to a wide variety of personal styles and occasions. Whether you’re aiming for a casual, sporty, or semi-formal look, the New Balance 550 is a reliable choice that will ensure you stand out in any crowd.

FAQs about how to style new balance 550

how to style new balance 550

What makes the New Balance 550s suitable for different styles?

The New Balance 550s are a versatile pair of sneakers that can easily be styled for different occasions due to their unique blend of retro design and modern aesthetics. Their minimalist color palette, combined with the classic silhouette, allows them to pair well with a variety of outfits, from casual streetwear to more refined looks.

How can I style my New Balance 550s for a casual look?

For a casual look, New Balance 550s pair well with your favorite jeans and a simple t-shirt. You can add a denim jacket or a hoodie for the cooler weather. The shoes’ design leans towards the sporty side, making them a great companion to casual, everyday outfits.

Can I wear my New Balance 550s with formal attire?

While the New Balance 550s are primarily casual sneakers, they can be styled with more formal attire for a fashionable, high-low mix. Pair them with tailored trousers and a crisp white shirt for an unexpected yet stylish look.

What colors complement the New Balance 550s?

The minimalist design and neutral colors of the New Balance 550s make them easy to style with a variety of colors. They pair well with both bright and muted tones, giving you the freedom to experiment with your wardrobe.

How do I style New Balance 550s for a sports-inspired look?

 For a sports-inspired look, pair your New Balance 550s with joggers or athletic shorts, and a sports jacket or sweatshirt. This look reflects the sneakers’ sporty origins and is perfect for a casual, comfortable outfit.

Can I wear New Balance 550s in the winter?

Yes, you can style your New Balance 550s for winter wear. Pair them with thicker socks, and opt for darker trousers or jeans, layered tops, and a heavy jacket. However, remember that these sneakers are not designed for extreme weather conditions.

What accessories go well with New Balance 550s?

Classic sporty accessories like baseball caps, backpacks, and sporty watches complement the New Balance 550s well. For a more refined look, try minimalist accessories like simple necklaces or bracelets.

Can I style New Balance 550s with skirts or dresses?

Absolutely, New Balance 550s can be paired with skirts and dresses for a feminine yet sporty look. Pair them with a midi skirt and a simple top for a chic outfit, or with a casual dress for a relaxed, weekend look.

How do I keep my New Balance 550s looking fresh and stylish?

Keeping your New Balance 550s clean is key to maintaining their stylish look. Regularly wipe them down with a damp cloth and use a gentle cleaner for any stubborn dirt. This will ensure that your sneakers stay in top condition and continue to complement your outfits.

Can I wear socks with my New Balance 550s? If so, what type?

Yes, you can wear socks with your New Balance 550s. For a sporty look, you can opt for crew socks. If you prefer a more streamlined look, choose no-show socks that won’t draw attention away from your sneakers.


In conclusion, the New Balance 550 is a highly versatile sneaker that lends itself to a myriad of styles and occasions. Whether you’re aiming for a casual, sporty, or semi-formal look, the New Balance 550 proves to be a reliable choice. Its popularity among celebrities and influencers further underscores its adaptability and timeless appeal. 

No matter your personal style, there’s a way to incorporate the New Balance 550 into your outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment and put your unique twist on it. After all, fashion is a form of self-expression, and what better way to express yourself than with a sneaker that’s as adaptable and trendy as the New Balance 550.

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