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by Ryno Mulder


Style has a lot to do with knowing how to match colours, textures, and elements coherently and authentically, what is practical and appropriate yet true to who you are. Simply put – your watch should complement your clothes. So here’s the math on how to dress like a dandy.




The rule of thumb is that leather trumps metal, and black beats brown. A leather watch strap is considered more formal than a metal (or another type of material) wristband. And that a black leather strap is more formal than a brown leather strap. The rules on leather straps exclude roughly textured leather straps or leather straps with a worn look. These strap styles are reserved for smart-casual or casual dressing – think button-up shirts paired with jeans or chinos. You can wear a watch with a gold or silver band to a smart occasion when donning a dark suit – except at black-tie events.




You should consider the colour of your leather watch straps in conjunction with any other leather you may be wearing, such as your shoes. Usually, the order of priority is shoes, belt, watch. So, in other words, if you are wearing black leather shoes, you would usually wear a black leather belt and therefore choose a watch that sports a black leather strap. The same goes for brown or navy. Don’t fret about getting an exact tonal match. Your watch strap does not, for example, have to be the perfectly matched same shade of chocolate brown compared to your shoes but keep to colours within the same colour intensity, so dark with dark and light with light.




Watch faces and bands are, of course, available in a variety of metal finishes from traditional gold and silver to gunmetal, rose-gold, and every imaginable metallic colour hue. The metal finish of your watch should ideally link to the other metal accessories you are wearing, like a ring, belt buckle, or cufflinks. But, again, you don’t have to strive for matchy-matchy perfection. If your accessories are gold, keep to a more or less gold theme. Also, keep in mind that cool-toned metal finishes on your watch and other accessories are better suited to cool-toned fabrics like black, grey, and blue clothes, whereas warm-toned metallics pair best with warm-toned garments in brown, beige and tan.




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