While the shoes by some are considered the cherry on the cake for an outfit, the belt one decides to wear with the shoes can prove to be a make or break addition to an otherwise well-balanced look.
Unsurprisingly, there are also some recognized rules on how to wear a belt with shoes to consider. As with most rules, some can be broken – while others are best to follow.
Without the intention of limiting anyone’s freedom of dressing according to personal preferences, we merely want to offer our take on how to look the part wearing a belt with your shoes.
Here are some rules of thumb to consider:
The choice of fabric is arguably the most straight-forward aspect of where to draw the line. An almost universal truth is that you should never contrast entirely different materials, such as a suede belt with a pair of calf leather shoes.
Though one can be a little bold and wear an embossed leather belt with a pair of plain leather shoes, matching the fabrics and their finish as closely as possible is always the safest and universally appropriate option.
When it comes to the choice of colour, Black shoes should always be worn with a black belt, while the answer is not as clear-cut when it comes to other colours, such as brown.
At casual occasions, it is not a crime to not exactly match the shades of brown, but it’s nonetheless a sharper look if you are able to find a similar match also when it comes to a pair of denims and a plain T-shirt, or other similar attire.
At any moment of uncertainty: go for the same material and colour for both the belt and the shoes.
The buckle of the belt is where you are able to more extensively interpret what’s suitable for a given situation. The guiding principle concerning the buckle of the belt is that it should match the formality of the rest of the outfit.
A western-esque look with a pair of denims and a buckle taking up half of the waistline can theoretically be pulled off. However, a distinctly shaped Single Tongue buckle in proportion to the width of the belt offers an unmatched degree of timelessness, that makes it wearable with wool as well as denim trousers – yesterday, today and 20 years from now.
A golden tip is to alway consider how strict the dress code for the occasion is;
The importance of matching the right nuances of leather or suede will vary substantially from an afternoon at the beach to an evening cocktail.
More formal: matching is key
Less formal: matching is ideal, but also a question of personal preference.
For example, when wearing a pair of oxfords the belt should match the shoes as precisely as possible, while a pair of sneakers can be worn with almost any belt.
To conclude: Feel the room, consider what would work best with your outfit, and most importantly: What do you personally feel most comfortable wearing?
Here are a few ways we like to match our shoes with a belt: