Belt & Shoes

This is the big one. It’s also the simplest, and it’s also the least acceptable to get wrong. So what’s the golden rule for our clueless dude?

Your belt and shoes should be of a similar color and formality.

The color bit alone seems to give guys trouble; how matchy-matchy is too matchy-matchy?Can I pair brown with tan? What about these bright blue shoes – am I meant to find a matching belt for these? Rest assured, it’s easier than you think.

  • Match leathers from the same color family: Black with black, browns with browns, tan with tan, etc. This is the easiest part; if you get nothing else right, get this right. Equally, you don’t need to be too exact, which leads to the next point…
  • Get in the right ballpark: It’s pointless to waste hours and hours hunting for the tone of brown that matches your shoes with utter precision. Not only is this going to be barely noticeable to some, but to others it is bound to look too meticulous; a slight discrepancy is going to give you a bit of cool nonchalance, not scruffiness. Conversely, if you’re too far out you’ll just look lazy; deep brown shoes and a light brown belt, for example, might just end up looking tacky and dry.
  • Don’t attempt to match wild colors: A fluorescent yellow belt could be the perfect statement for you, and you could probably build a good look around it. But to find and wear a matching pair of shoes would be not only difficult but ridiculous. When you have a statement color, let it breathe!

So far, so easy. The next bit is the one you’ll hear less of; formality. Just as a tan belt can look out of place with black shoes, an ultra-casual pair of brown suede loafers is going to be poorly matched with an equally brown but much dressier slim leather belt. Similarly, your finely polished oxfords could do without that great big belt buckle.

It’s not as easy to offer specific guidelines, so use your own discretion.


There’s an awful lot to cover when you think about it; your watch strap, your bag, your wallet, your gloves and any other leather pieces. Those are main four though, so let’s go over them one by one:

  • Watch strap: Assuming that this is leather, you should match it to your belt and shoes. You can afford to be even less exact with the color matching here; as long as you hit the right color family, the tones can be different. A brown watch strap could even work with a tan belt and shoe combination should you need it to, for example.
  • Bags: Do you really want to empty out its contents every time you feel like changing your shoes? I may be fashion conscious but a man is still a man. Don’t fuss over this, as long as you coordinate the smaller details you’ll be good.
  • Wallet: People should only see this when it comes out of your pocket. While a stylish man should have a stylish wallet, it shouldn’t change with your outfit. If you have a ‘go-to’ leather bag, consider matching your wallet to that to tie both pieces together and prevent either from looking out of place.
  • Gloves: These might not be leather but if they are, you can be adventurous. Matching them to your belt and shoes can look fantastic, but it’s not essential here. You can afford to mismatch a statement piece like leather gloves; as long as it works within your outfit, you should be alright.

2017-09-25T19:12:28+00:00 April 13th, 2016|Fashion|


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