Style 101: The Belt/Shoes Dilemma

In life, there will always be old age questions which we shall never be able to answer:

  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Why is that man wearing white socks with a black suit and shoes?

However … that OTHER old age question; whether your shoes and belt have to match … well, I am going to answer that for you right here and now.
The answer … is YES.
Matching your shoes with your belt pulls your look together and making this small change to your daily outfit can really take your personal style up a grade.

Y’see, belts aren’t just functional. Done right, belts can be the perfect statement to cap off a stylish look.
When selecting your belts, it’s probably advisable to stick with the traditional colours such as black, dark brown and tan … especially if you aren’t particularly confident in your own style yet.

It’s important to state at this point that if you are wearing trainers, don’t match them with formal shoes. For the best look, try a belt that’s made of fabric or something equally casual. You can mix it up and experiment a little more in terms of belts for casual outfits. If your shoes are casual, the belt that you chose should coordinate rather than match. The more formal your outfit – the bigger the necessity that your shoes and belt should match!

If you are wearing a suit you really need to go the extra mile and try (as best you can) to match your belt and shoes in both colour AND leather finish (texture/shine).

We Need to Talk About Brown…

There are a significant number of brown shoe tones … and it can often be very difficult to select a belt that matches exactly. However, don’t panic too much, you don’t have to match exactly but it has to be close enough that they look the same at a casual glance. They will be separated by your trousers remember … they won’t be placed side by side.


Easy “Go To” Combinations

  • Black Leather Belt

Dark jeans and black shoes pair perfectly with a black leather belt for a smart, formal, look.

  • Dark Brown Leather Belt

Darker colors, like olive and maroon, should be worn with a dark brown leather belt.

  • Light Brown Leather Belt

When wearing brighter hues like light blue or green, go for a brighter brown belt.
If you stick to the combinations above, you simply can’t go wrong.

As you get more experienced and confident, feel free to experiment; however, other colours will always be more difficult to match. Ultimately, it comes down to the shoes that you are wearing rather than the outfit. If you are wearing dress shoes, the belt should match.


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