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Do your Shoes and Belt Need to Match?

Nothing ties your look together like the right shoe-belt combination. For the well-dressed man, making sure the belt matches the shoes is essential. If a belt does not complement the shoes, it doesn’t matter how nice either one is, the overall look will appear awkward and inattentive. Here are some basic rules to follow:


What colour is the shoe? For dress occasions, just like you wouldn’t wear a black suit with brown shoes, if you are wearing black shoes, you should also be wearing a black belt. The dressier the outfit, the closer the shoes and belt should match. If you’re wearing a suit, your belt and shoes should match in both colour, leather finish, and texture. Dress shoes also require a belt with a dress buckle. If you have a blue suit with brown shoes… that’s a little more difficult. Shoes come in numerous brown tones with very subtle differences. So, don’t worry about matching it exactly. Just keep it as close as possible.


The more causal the outfit the more freedom you have in matching the belt. A strategic, controlled degree of disharmony can be very chic but don’t go overboard. No matter how casual your attire, brown shoes with black pants is generally a no go. Same can be said of a black belt-brown shoes, or brown belt-black shoes combination. For colours other than black and brown, aim to keep all accessories in the same tonal family. In other words, grey and reds pair with black and anything in blues and greens go best with a brown. Choose the shoes first. It is crucial that your shoes match your pants so always choose the shoes first, and then find a coordinating belt.

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