Should Your Shoes Match Your Belt?

Should your shoe match your belt?


There are certain style ‘rules’ that have become ubiquitous among gentlemen’s fashion aficionados. Some of these rules include statements such as:

  • Never pair black with navy or brown
  • Always match your socks to the colour of your trousers
  • Never wear a white suit
  • Always wear a tie with a shirt
  • Never wear shoes without socks
  • Always match your belt to your shoes

But wait… who made these style rules, and who says you should stick to them?! Many of these types of rules are grand sweeping statements that have little to do with you and your style preferences.

Let’s take that last one: always match your belt to your shoes. Should you?


Where does this tradition come from?

The practice of matching the leather of your shoes to the leather of your belt is a long-held one. Traditionally, gentlemen would have been expected to match their shoes and leather accessories, especially at formal events.

However, the modern gentlemen is lucky enough to have a great deal more fashion choices at his disposal. The practice of matching leathers isn’t always practical, especially in less formal ensembles.

Do your shoes ever need to match your belt?

In a word, no. Style rules today are a lot more flexible than they used to be. The benefit of this is that we have a lot more flexibility in our wardrobe choices.

Having said that, matching the colour of your shoes with your belt can make your outfit look more put together, which is ideal for more formal events.

However, for more casual occasions you may want to just co-ordinate your shoes and belt, rather than matching them exactly. This is an especially good call for brown leathers which can be difficult to match.

Choosing two leathers which have similar tones but aren’t exactly the same can ensure your outfit looks intentional, but can give it a more casual, less fussy vibe.

Are you looking for a pair of shoes in a very particular shade? The Louis Taylor Smith bespoke shoemaking service could be just what you need.

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