Rules for matching a watch with your outfit

Whilst intended to be worn for telling the time, watches are valuable accessories that can easily liven up an outfit and make a statement. A watch can help to compliment your outfit but can be distracting if not paired correctly.

To ensure that your watch seamlessly matches your outfit, below are some fundamental rules to follow.

Follow the dress code

The first rule to consider when pairing a watch with your outfit is to consider the dress code. If you’re attending a formal meeting or event that requires black-tie attire, you’ll want to keep your look sharp yet stylish. Light-coloured suits work well with a high-end chronograph or dress watch.

Classic dress watches also work for business casual apparel but are best when worn with a dark, conservative suit. The key here is to keep things simple and have the watch stand out from the outfit, as a statement piece. A sleek leather strap goes well with smart attire, with black considered more formal than brown.

With casual wear, watches that have a metal band are the ideal choice, such as dive watches. Opt for one that is classy but not too bulky. You can find high-quality models from brands like OMEGA, which specialise in dive watches. These can easily be paired with dress boots, jeans, and a relaxed shirt or t-shirt.

Pair with appropriate accessories

If you’re planning on wearing a watch with leather straps, you’ll want to make sure the finer details of your outfit work harmoniously. A black leather strap will look best when combined with black shoes and a black belt – vice versa for a brown leather strap. 

For other colours, you can use an online colour wheel to see what colours work well together, to create a well-balanced outfit.

If you’re deciding on a metal watch, you’ll also want to consider the accessories you’ll be wearing. From necklaces and earrings to belts, buckles and cufflinks, the colour of the metal should match that of the watch.

Consider the colours of your outfit; if you’re donning grey, black or blue clothing, then go with a silver watch. Shades of brown and earthy tones are best complemented with a gold watch.

Consider the size of the watch

The size of your wrist and the watch matter. Too big or too small for your wrist can throw off your proportions or look careless. Make sure to pick a watch that not only fits your frame but also pairs well with your outfit.

Generally speaking, thinner watches work well with formal attire, such as suit and tie, as they need to effortlessly glide on and off a suit jacket. Bulkier timepieces are typically reserved for occasions where your jacket provides enough breathing space so that the watch can be worn comfortably.