5 Tips On How To Match Watch With Outfit

How To Match A Watch With Your Outfit

A wristwatch can either break or build an outfit! Since men wear limited jewelry, a watch is an expression of their personality. The best wristwatches are simple, versatile, sophisticated, and classic. Most men prefer to own more than one watch so they can wear the appropriate timepiece to complement their outfits. The style of watch you choose to wear needs to match the formality of your outfit. Here is a guide on how to match a watch with your outfit; the 5 rules that are timeless and relevant in any situation.

How To Match Watches With Different Clothes

Match The Formality Of Your Watch With The Formality Of Your Outfit

Digital or analog watches? Dress or casual? What’s the difference? Analog watches have a face with hour and minute hands and either markers or numbers that display a 12-hour day. These watches considered classic and more formal, making them suitable for business, formal events, or a date. Digital watches have an LCD display or LED face that shows time in numeric form. These watches considered casual.

Watch Categories

Main Watch Types

The recent developments in wearable technology have allowed watchmakers to make nifty gadgets that are far advanced than simple timepieces. You can make calls, track your GPS coordinates, and check your calendar through gadget watches.

Leaving exclusive gadget watches out of the equation, there are five categories of watches that most men own:

Dress Watches

A watch with a plain white face and no complications and a black leather band is as formal as it gets. The most formal dress watch is the one that only shows hours, minutes, seconds, and maybe the date. Complications in dress watches are simpler and not related to sport.

Diver’s Watches

Also referred to as a diving watch, these originally worn as work/tool watches. Designed for underwater diving, these watches feature a minimum water-resistance of up to 100 meters.

Chrono / Sports Watches

Not a true dress watch, but can be quite dressy especially in the higher brands. Sports watches are durable, sleek, and made from high-quality plastic composites. Expect compasses, odometers, altimeters, GPS technology, pulse monitors, and a range of other functions for the guy leading an active lifestyle.

Pilot Aviation Watches

Featuring a simple dial design and a rather large (over 50mm) diameter; pilot watches were made to be accurate and easy to read. Originally worn over the pilot’s jacket – they were made with a large crown that could be operated while wearing gloves.

Field Watches

During World War I, the hacking character of a field watch allowed infantrymen to stop the second’s hand on their timepieces in order to synchronize their watches. Field watches are versatile timepieces that are tough enough for active duty. The simple design improves the legibility of the numerals. Typically, these watches moderately sized, with white or green numerals against a black dial, and work on a hand-winding mechanism.

Levels Of Formality

Matching watch by dress codes

Watches made for a specific purpose. Avoid common fashion blunders by matching your watch style with the formality of the occasion.

Black tie / White Tie

For formal events such as a black-tiesimplicity is key. Historically – it would be considered rude if you were to refer to your watch at such an event. A simple dress watch in a classic style and black leather band will mute any objections from conservative observers.

Business dress

For business – go with a simple and classic styled gold or silver watch with a thin dial with limited or no complications. A dark conservative suit is best paired with a classic dress watch or a diver watch with a leather strap.

Business Casual

A light-colored suit with no necktie is best complemented with a high-end Chrono, a pilot, or even a smart field watch for business casual attire.


If a watch has a metal band, it is considered less formal. A metal band is generally suitable for casual dressing while a leather band is suitable for any purpose. Any of the watch categories can be worn with jeans, a chambray shirt, and a dress boots combination. Digital watches worn only with casual clothes or workout attire.


For activities that involve unpredictable physical movements, such as sports, a dress watch would be inappropriate. The strap, case, and watch dial protected with materials that allow you to focus on the activity; no need to worry about your watch snapping off your wrist or the glass shattering mid-game.

Selecting Straps for Shoes and Belts

Selecting Straps for Shoes and Belts

Leather Complements Leather; The material and color of your shoes are a suitable reference for the choice of the watchband. You should start by matching your belts and shoes. A black watchband should be worn with black shoes and a belt; a brown band with a brown belt and shoes. A silver or gold band suits either color.

Interchangeable bands are an excellent option for men who own shoes in different colors. The watchbands don’t have to be the exact same color as your shoes, but a similar tone (light vs. medium vs. dark).

  • Don’t wear a black band watch with a brown tone shoe. Or a brown band with black shoes.
  • A watch with a rubber band is strictly for casual or sporting occasions.
  • A chronometer made for sport and styled for sport. It should generally be worn for sport.
  • Plastic bands used for more casual digital watches.
  • In analog timepieces, the watchband either made of leather or the same kind of metal used on the case.
  • Rough, worn-in leather straps work better with jeans. Such a watch would not be appropriate at a fine-dining event.
  • A good leather strap is a classic choice, but gold or silver bands are appropriate when they complement the rest of your outfit.

The Dos and Don’ts of Matching Metals

The Dos and Don’ts of Matching Metals

Metal Complements Metal; The metal case of the watch (the frame around the face) should complement the metal accents of your other accessories. The case can be square, rectangular, round, and polygonal. The finish on the case can be matte, shiny, matte, patterned, or inlaid with crystals or other jewels. Metals used to make the case include steel, gold, silver, platinum, and titanium. A rose gold watch can be worn with a gold belt buckle – it is close enough.

What if the metal casing on the watch is blacked out? Then you can go with either gold or silver.

You want to coordinate the metal color with your watch and ring, so that all your accessories, for example, are gold.

The other accessories you will need to pay attention to include cufflinks, shoe buckles, buckles on the side adjusters of trousers or on the back of your waistcoats, and any other piece of jewelry on your outfit.

A gold-tone watch best-suited to clothes and shoes in earthy tones, while silver goes with grey, blue, and black.

When In Doubt Match Your Watch To Your Shoes

Black is generally dressier, but that doesn’t make it the default right choice. Sometimes brown shoes are just a better choice. Interchangeable leather bands are useful here – one in brown and one in black for each watch. Or another color for more variety.

  • Black leather is more formal than brown. A black watchband is more suited for formal events.
  • Slip-on tassel loafers are considered business casual.
  • Not able to decide between a brown or black leather band? Equate the dressiness to the brown shoe versus the black shoe category.
  • Silver watches match best with shoes in black, gray, silver, and blue shades. Gold watches go with browns, beiges, tans, and other earth tones.
  • Wearing Oxford balmoral black shoes with a dark suit? Go with a formal watch.

For the best effect, pick a watch according to your size as well. Watches should be proportionate to your body. Thin men can work slim watches, while bigger guys can carry watches that have boxier and robust watch faces.

Use these tips to ensure harmony between your clothes and your watch.