Watch Strap Color Rules: How to Match Your Timepiece with Your Outfit


When Shakespeare wrote, “clothes make the man“, he clearly forgot about the accessories. If you wouldn’t wear ratty sneakers with a tuxedo, it makes sense you wouldn’t wear a watch with a plastic strap either. 

Men don’t usually wear as many accessories as women, which is why the few that are worn stand out even more. 

If you don’t know watch strap color rules, you can easily ruin the image you’re trying to convey. 

If you’re interested in learning how to match clothes with your watch, keep reading. We’re sharing tips on matching watches with clothes. 

Watch Strap Color Rules If You’re Only Buying One Strap

Not everyone can afford or wants a huge watch collection. If you are only planning on buying one strap, start by considering the dial color of your watch. 

Having some contrast between the dial and the strap is helpful. Black dials work well with light to medium browns. Silver or white dials look great with medium to dark browns. 

If your wardrobe is mostly made up of earth tones, try watch straps that are brown, earthy gray, or olive drab. If you’re unsure, medium brown works every time.

For wardrobes that are mostly black, grey, or monotone, stick to what you know. Black or grey straps are fine to stick with. However, you can also add any color since your wardrobe lacks any.

For red or warm toned wardrobes medium to dark brown and black work very well. You can also try purple, green, and blue, which are complimentary. Stay away from yellow and orange.

And for those with blue or cool toned wardrobes, light to medium brown always works. You can also match with a blue, navy, purple, green, or grey strap. Just stay away from purple or green colors. 

How to Choose Between Gold or Silver Watches

A gold or silver watch never goes out of style. But it’s not always easy to figure out which one works best. 

One easy way is to take a look at your wrists in natural light. Find a spot where your veins are most noticeable. 

For those with veins that look purple or blue, it means you have a cool skin tone. In that case, silver, white gold, and platinum look best on you. 

If your veins appear green, it indicates a warm skin tone. Warmer skin tones look best in rose and yellow gold, copper, and brass. 

If you fall somewhere in between, congratulations! You can wear gold or silver.

Match Your Watch to the Activity

Before you strap on your favorite gold or silver watch, take a moment to think about what you’re doing that day. Then think about what you plan on wearing. 

  • Casual
  • Dressy
  • Sporty
  • Dressy Casual
  • Formal

The type of watch band you wear will depend on where you’re going. 

Business Settings

If you plan on wearing your watch for business, it’s best to go with a simple style of a gold or silver watch with a thin dial. Pair your conservative suit with a classic dress watch. 

If you’re a little less formal, you can opt for a dive or sports watch. You can even make it a watch with a leather strap. 

Casual Settings

If you plan on working out or running errands, your dress is sporty or casual. If you’re having dinner with friends or family or heading to the movies, your dress and watch are casual. 

Formal Settings

However, if you’re going to a wedding, gala or taking your spouse out for your anniversary, then your watch and outfit are more dressy casual to formal. However, it’s worth noting that you’re not technically supposed to wear a watch at formal events.

That’s because a formal event isn’t a place where someone is looking at their watch to note the time. It’s a timeless event, after all. 

However, if you want/need to wear one, opt for a simple classic dress watch with a small, barely embellished face. Most people consider a black leather band is appropriate for formal settings. 

Less Is More

Remember that your watch is an extension of your outfit. You’re not trying to purposely attract attention to your wrist.

Watches enhance your outfit. They are not the centerpiece. But watches are a way to show off your personal style and your story. 

Your watch should always enhance and complete your outfit in a harmonious way. 

Have More Than One Watch to Choose From

If your budget allows for it, consider investing in more than one watch. That way, matching watches with clothes becomes much easier. 

Here are a few watches to add to your collection so you’re always able to match your watch with your clothes. You can also find what you’re looking for by checking out Omega Aqua Terra

Simple Dress Watch

Unless you are very warm-toned or cool-toned, it’s best to get two simple dress watches. One with a silver case and one with a gold case.

Then match the silver or gold with a slim, high-quality leather band. You can get a strap in brown and black, but both should have a simple finish. Avoid bands with lizard or alligator which are too flashy for the understated elegant look you’re going for. 

Casual Sports Watch

A casual sports watch requires metal or a dark strap to complete the look. Make sure it’s water resistant. 

A Personal Timepiece You Love

Find a watch you love. Any kind will do. The purpose is to show off your own personal style so there aren’t any limitations. 

This is a watch that somehow works perfectly with all of your wardrobes without having to try too hard. 

The Ultimate Watch Cheat Sheet

If you’re in a rush and need a quick cheat sheet to help you out, here are a few easy tips. 

If the watch has a digital interface with a rubber strap, it’s a sports watch. Wear it with casual or sporty clothing.

If there’s a simple dial with roman or stick indices along with a glossy leather or an exotic hide strap, it’s a dressy watch. Wear it to work or other situations where dressy or dressy casual is appropriate. 

If your watch has a complicated dial matched with a casual band, it’s sporty or casual. Feel free to wear it with shorts or jeans. 

Knowledge Is Power

Now that you know which watch strap color rules to follow to ensure you’re always looking your best, it’s time to learn something new. 

Our blog has tons of advice on everything from how to market your business to how to keep your car in tiptop shape. Click here to learn more tips on how to be successful

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