There aren’t many rules when it comes to men’s wear, but matching your belt to your shoes seems to be one of them as old as time. But times have changed. So should your belt match your shoes?

Anyone who follows the old rule will say, Yes! That you should always keep the shades of your belt and shoes identical and made of the same leather and texture when possible. So if your belt is smooth genuine leather, so should be your shoes.

But society’s new rule is that the more dressy the outfit, the more necessary it is that your belt matches your shoes. And for casual outfits, you should aim to coordinate.

For the new rule, you should match the color of your shoes and belt as closely as you can. When going to the office or for a job interview, this is the perfect scenario where you would want your belt to match your shoes. Any time you wear a business outfit or a suit, you should follow the old rule and match your belt with your shoes as best as possible.

However, if you have on chinos or jeans, then you have a little more flexibility and are free to coordinate rather than match. You should still aim to keep your accessories in the same tonal family though. For instance, you might decide to keep your belt and shoes the same color but vary in their texture by having a genuine leather belt but pebble-grain leather shoes.  

Ultimately, in the end, it comes down to the shoes you are wearing. If you are wearing dress shoes, your belt should match. If your shoes are casual, then you have a little more free reign and your belt needs to coordinate rather than being a perfect match.

One old rule you should always follow while pairing your belt and shoes though is to never ever wear a dress belt with casual shoes.