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Do Your Belt And Shoes Have To Match? Here’s How To Know

Fashion, Men's Style Guides
Monday, 27th March, 2023

Should You Match Your Belt With Your Shoes?

This is one of those questions which I’ve been asked a couple of times, and if you ask people or the Internet, you’re likely to get different answers.

Some will be strict high class fashion etiquette, and some will be a more informal approach.

Should your belt match your shoes?

Matching your shoes and belt is definitely the smart way to go, and should be done if you’re dressing formally. But you can mix the colour of your leathers, your shoes and belt when dressing more informally, for instance as part of a business casual or smart casual outfit.

You can also match other accessories, such as the leather strap on your watch if you’re wearing one.

To put it simply, brown shoes with a brown belt, and black shoes with a black belt. The more formal the occasion, the more strict this rule becomes.

When the dress code is less strict, you can wear a belt to compliment your outfit. It can be a different colour. This would be when you’re in a more casual setting, with a smart-casual or casual dress code.

But what about other colour shoes? That’s where it can become a little tricky.

There’s a few different pairs of shoes you may own, and If you own an oxblood pair of shoes, you may not own an oxblood leather belt, so what do you do?

In this instance, I think that a brown belt combo would work. This is a colour which is quite close to the shoes, and should be fine.

If you have a pair of oxblood shoes you love and wear a lot, you may want to invest in a matching colour belt. That way you’re covered for every occasion.

Formal occasions will mean you’re wearing smart shoes. You should match your shoes in belt in colour. For less formal occasions where a casual outfit is being worn, matching your belt and shoes is less important.

What Belt To Wear With Shades Of Brown (Tan, Light, Dark, Sand)

Is it just me, or does brown never seem to be universal?

I have a couple of pairs of brown shoes, but they are completely different in colour. There’s the typical colours we know, which are dark brown, mid brown, light brown, tan and sand, which covers most colours.

But even those can come in a variety of shades, so how do you go about matching those?

As you have probably guessed, it’s really easy. You can just colour match the closest you can get. Matching a sand colour pair of chelsea boots with a brown belt will be fine.

What About Blue Shoes?

I actually own a pair of blue shoes, they’re not leather, but suede Uggs as you can see in this outfit post. I didn’t wear a belt here, but if I wanted to match up a belt, I’d go for black with the blue shoes.

Black is a more of a universal colour, and will work with blue shoes.

What About Other Colour Shoes? What Belts Should I Wear To Match?

You don’t need to go out an buy a leather belt for every pair of footwear you own.

You will likely own shoes and belts which don’t colour match perfectly, they’ll be in-between. That’s fine. You don’t need to own every shade of brown or red to cover your leather.

I wore my brown leather belt with my Loake Aldwych shoes which are also brown, and they worked very well. The colours may not be an exact match, but different browns will work fine together.

Wearing an appropriate colour will look good. You should always consider the outfit as a whole, especially the trousers or whatever you’re wearing on your lower half.

What About A Leather Wallet And A Leather Watch Strap? Should They Match?

As we’ve learnt above, you should be matching if the occasion and outfit dictates.

If you own a black wallet along with a black leather strap watch, it makes perfect sense to wear them in an outfit with the black shoes and belt. Accessories are discrete, so not matching will be less obvious.


If you’re ever thinking about if your shoes and belt colours should match, think of the occasion first. The more formal occasion the smarter shoes you’ll be wearing, and the belt should match.

For more casual occasion, different colour belts and shoes can be fine.

Remember that each piece of clothing is supposed to work well together, so you put together an overall good outfit.

Learn more in the men’s fashion guide, and get tips and advice on dressing better whether you’re into casual or smart menswear.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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