Imagine a man in a tux at a black-tie event. He has the looks and style that grabs everyone’s attention, only to pose and reveal a canvas-strap wristwatch. Not to say that the canvas strap watches are inferior, but they are just not appropriate for the outfit.
Matching your watch to an outfit can be quite simple for a fashion savvy person, but it can be challenging for those who lack basic knowledge. Matching your watch with an outfit is actually a form of art.
The choice of watch you choose is a reflection of your personality, your style, and your tastes. Some may argue that matching your watch with your outfit depends on the band or strap, but a person who understands fashion will tell you that it’s more than that.
Many other factors come into play when choosing the right watch-outfit combinations. Below are a few guidelines to help you understand what goes with what.
Match Your Watch to the Formality of Your Outfit
Watches and outfits have levels of formality. A general rule of thumb when matching your watch with your outfit is to match the formality of your timepiece with the formality of your outfit. Let me explain further how you do that.
Black Tie, White Tie
Traditionally, people were not supposed to wear a watch to a black-tie event. However, today you can wear a simple, classic dress watch. You don’t need to look flashy and extravagant on a black tie or white tie occasion, so a dress watch will do just fine.
Dress watches come in a wide range of styles and colours, but one with minimally embellished face and black leather band will be acceptable even to conservative observers.
Business formal dresses are worn every day and are more versatile regarding what you can wear them with. Here you have a wide choice, but you don’t want to appear frivolous when at a meeting or business deal.
Dress watches are a perfect choice, especially if you’re wearing a dark suit. Dive watches are also an option as they are formal while still maintaining their functionality.
This is the outfit that you wear everyday as you go to work such as a non-formal necktie optional business suit. Here we are talking about khakis, button-down shirts, sports coats, denim, leather shoes, etc.
The outfit is best complemented with a pilot watch, a high-end chronograph, or even a field watch. However, almost every type of watch can blend well with your casual business outfit.
This is where your most casual clothes fall, including your jeans, polo shirts, and tees. All watch types, except the dress watch, will be perfect.
Dive watches, sports watches, pilot watches, and smartwatches can easily be matched with casual outfits. If you’re going to get involved in physical activity, the more rugged military watches would be ideal.
A note on military watches: Just like pilot watches and dive watches, military watches are not worn solely by officers, but rather can be worn by anyone.
They are quite classic and high-tech, and ideal for outdoor activities. To learn more about them, you can check out this list, and you might just fall in love with one.
There are only a handful of watches you can wear while you engage in sports. However, this also depends on the kind of sport you’re participating in. If you’re only engaging in sports for recreational purposes, a field watch, dive watch, chronograph, and smartwatch can do. Just ensure that the watch is light and comfortable.
Match Your Watch Strap to the Formality of Your Outfit
Once you’ve decided on the type of watch that will match best with your outfit, you should go a step further to pair in terms of the material of the watch strap.
Leather bands are considered more formal than metal bands, and black is more formal than brown. Gold and silver metal bands are also appropriate for the most formal of events and can be ideal for dressy occasions.
Metal Complements Metal
The metal case of the watch and the metal bands should complement other metal accessories you’re wearing such as cufflinks, belt buckle, and shoe buckle. A gold watch can be worn with a gold belt buckle.
Leather Complements Leather
When wearing a leather strap watch, you should use your shoes as a reference. Match your belt to your shoes and then match your watch with both.
A brown leather band should be worn with a brown belt and brown shoes while a black band should go with a black belt and black shoes.
Metal Bands Match Better With Certain Colours of Clothes and Shoes
When a watch has a metal band, you can wear it with black or brown shoes. However, certain band colours work better with certain colours of clothes and shoes.
Gold watches are ideal for clothes and shoes in brown, tans, and beige tones while silver goes best with black, blue, and grey.
Wearing your watch to complement your outfit can be challenging but fun. People can often judge your sense of style by the small accessories you wear.
Therefore, while you may have a favourite watch in your collection, it’s important to match your watch to your outfit appropriately.