Belts might be the single most common style accessory for men. They're practical, functional and, well, pretty much essential.
But are you wearing them properly? Here's how to match your belt with your shoes (and other accessories).
The “rules” around wearing belts are like a lot of other menswear rules – pretty strict and kind of outdated.
That said, there are a couple of guidelines you should follow when you can. In other words, you don't have to buy a belt to match every single pair of shoes you own.
If you have one pair of blue suede shoes, you don't need a blue suede belt to wear with them. You can go with a black or grey belt instead, for example.
With that in mind, here are the two things to remember when choosing the right belt:
- Match your leathers
- Match your metals
Let's look at each guideline in greater detail.
Match Your Leathers
At the most basic level, you'll want to wear the same color leather throughout your entire outfit.
I'm talking about your shoes, belt, watch strap and any other leather accessories you choose to wear (like a bracelet).
So, if you're wearing brown leather boots, you'll want to wear a brown leather belt. It doesn't have to be the exact same color, but it should be brown. You typically (not always) want to avoid mixing brown and black leather in the same outfit.
If you're wearing black Oxfords, you'll want to wear a black leather belt.
Again, it doesn't have to be an exact match, but bonus points if it's close (for example, patent leather shoes look good with a belt that has some sheen to it).
Match Your Metals
Just like with leather, it's a good idea to coordinate the metal details throughout your outfit.
For example, if you're wearing a watch with a silver metal bracelet, a belt with a silver metal buckle will look great.
Don't worry too much about the different shades of brown. Sure, it's great if you have a reddish brown belt to go with your burgundy wingtips, but it's not the end of the world if you have to pair them with a regular old brown leather belt.
What About Other Colors?
Of course, we're not just dealing with black/brown/silver/gold. Belts, watches and other accessories come in all sorts of different colors, including navy, olive, grey and gunmetal.
The great thing about these not-as-traditional colors is that they're even easier to match. Various shades of blue, grey and black all go very well together, so you can mix and match them any way you like.
I actually find myself wearing blue or grey shoes quite often these days, so I love mixing and matching black, grey, navy and gunmetal accessories.
For example: a watch with a navy strap strap and gunmetal case, paired with midnight suede chukkas and a grey canvas belt…
Always try to match your belt to your shoes, but don't overthink it, and don't worry if the match isn't perfect.
Similarly, try to match your metal accessories, but don't be afraid to mix in some different colors and materials every now and then.
Thanks again to Anson Belts for sponsoring this post and making it easy to craft the perfect belt for any outfit!