Watch Guide: 5 Tips to Match Watches with Your Outfits

If you’ve recently invested in a new or luxury watch, you’re bound to want to show it off! You might even own more than one timepiece and aren’t sure when to wear it or what to wear it with. When faced with different watch colors, you need to avoid a clash or mismatched outfit fail at all costs. How do you manage that? Check out this watch guide.

It’s best to know how to match your watch with what you’re wearing to have the overall ‘wow’ effect. Here are five watch tips to keep in mind so that you can make a statement in style.

1: It’s All in the Strap

For starters, what kind of strap does your watch have? Most watch straps are either leather or metal —we’re not even counting that 90’s Casio number with the rubber strap and glow in the dark hands. As a rule of thumb, watches with leather straps are fancier than those with metal straps. Moreover, black leather looks more formal than brown leather. Think cocktail parties and gala dinners.

What about gold and silver? These watch colors typically complement the classic business look. Whether it’s a shirt and suit or blouse & skirt, you’ll nail it with your golden or silvery strapped watch. Regarded as a dress watch, you can totally ‘dress it up’ for a fancier occasion, although leather will still trump it.

front view of Tag Heuer watches

A Smartwatch functions as more of a mini wrist phone, so this should be limited to the office, gym, or outdoors. Apart from its name, it actually isn’t as formal as you’d think and can be distracting in social or more formal settings, especially with all its beeps & lights.

Similarly, field watches with leather straps of a rougher, more worn appearance match casual outfits the most. With a field watch, you’d look much better in a pair of jeans than in work attire. Watches with bigger faces and additional features have their own place in smart casual settings.

2: Formal Clothing and Dress Watches

It’s all about the image. Picture a James Bond-type suave groomed gentleman or one of his breathtakingly beautiful girls in a sophisticated evening dress on his arm. They ooze confidence, elegance, and timeless splendor.

Now, imagine how different they’d look if they were dressed to the nines but wore a digital plastic wristwatch! A dress watch certainly has the effect of making or breaking your overall look. It can enhance or kill your atmosphere instantly.

Rolex Sea Dweller black dial watch on the wrist

A formal or luxury watch requires formal clothing and vice versa. A formal watch always best suits a formal occasion. What categories of watches does yours fit into?

3: Family Treasures Forget Fashion Trends

An inherited timepiece isn’t guided by fashion trends or any specific outfit rules. This is a standalone item that’s meant to be prominent. It’s of infinite value to you so you’ll wear it with pride and look for occasions on which to do so.

Regardless of your reason for wearing it, people will be interested and ask you about it. Be prepared to share your special story.

4: Let Leather Lead You

Ladies know their handbag should match their shoes. Men do the same with their belts and shoes. In the same way, let your leather watch color lead you to bring your whole outfit together.

front view of IWC watches

A leather watch strap should correspond with your shoes’ color and fabric. Does your belt do the same with your leather watchband? Wear black with black and brown with brown. While it might be tricky to match these colors up perfectly, make sure they’re at least of a comparable shade (light, medium, or dark).

5: Metal Matches Other Metals

Look at the metals your watch is made of. What frames its face and what’s in the strap? The main color of your watch should match your other accessories. Think of belt buckles, bracelets, brooches, chains, cuff links, earrings, necklaces, rings, shoe buckles, and tie pins. Most accessories are gold or silver in color, so match your watch to the same metal.

side view of Panerai Luminor black dial watch (left); side view of IWC Automatic blue dial watch (center); side view of TAG Heuer black dial watch (right)

Is your watch gold, platinum, silver, steel, or titanium? Try to more or less blend your watch colors with your accessories:

  • White gold can go with silver
  • Rose gold works with yellow gold
  • Platinum & titanium are metals of similar hues
  • A metal watch strap matches with black or brown shoes
  • Silver watches look their finest against black, blue, and gray clothes
  • Beige, brown, tan & other more natural, earthy tones are the answer to gold watches

Watch Guide Conclusion

While none of these guidelines are solidly set in stone, they can save you from some potentially uncomfortable watch fashion faux pas situations. Remember these watch tips as you get dressed and be set to impress in every situation!

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