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Black Belt, Brown Shoes?
A black belt paired with brown shoes is one of the biggest fashion faux pas you can make, right behind white socks with your slacks. Just think of the color combinations at play: brown shoes (hopefully with brown socks), blue or gray pants, whatever color shirt you are wearing and then add to that a black belt? The combination of colors can never hope to be flattering.
To set the record straight, while your shoes and your belt don’t need to be the exact same shade (although I don’t understand when black belt, black shoes became a hard rule to follow), they should be the same color (think, dark brown shoes, plain brown belt). This will help tie the entire outfit together.
When matching your ensemble, a similar rule applies. While there’s no need to pick two colors and perfectly coordinate your entire outfit in them you should pick similar tones and shades that belong to the same family and work well together - browns, tans, and greens, for example. Doing so will make your outfit more dynamic and you’ll look expertly dressed.
Take away tips:
DO Always match your belt and your shoes. Brown belt, brown shoes, black belt, black shoes.
DON’T Perfectly match every color in your outfit.
DO Use colors in the same family that go together.
DON’T Use too many colors. Pick a core color and an accent color or two. They way you accent your outfit depends on what kind of statement you want to make.
The primary colors are red, blue and yellow are primary colors. Orange, green and purple are secondary colors, and along with black and white these hues form the color spectrum. If you want an outfit that will really pop, use two colors that sit opposite one another in the color spectrum, such as blue and orange. If you want a more subtle complement, pick two shades that are side-by-side on the color wheel, like blue and blue-green. As long as you remember to keep your belt and your shoes matching, these basic guidelines should help you to pull together an outfit that is nicely coordinated.
Remember: Colors don’t need to match exactly, but they absolutely must go together. This means no well dressed gentleman would normally pair a black belt with brown shoes.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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