I usually like to have one of my accessories match my shoes, so I probably would wear a timepiece the same color as them. However, you don’t always have to choose the same shade for both your watch and shoes. Most of this advice applies to men and women, by the way.
With a Black Dress
“Watches are a lot like rings in that if you wear them, you probably rarely take yours off,” says Hilary George-Parkin of Who What Wear. Some of what Parkin says about watches applies to all-black outfits, including dresses.
If you’re wearing a black dress, then a metallic silver or gold watch may add sheen to your outfit. A watch with a black leather strap would also combine well with an evening gown or other formal dress.
A leather watch with any color band with a metallic trim around the face would look exquisite with a black dress, I think. However, if it’s a formal occasion, you may want to choose a thin band and a small face. Otherwise, choose a metallic band and face.
To me, the dress length doesn’t matter. All-black dresses look extraordinary with a watch that has at least a bit of metallic in it, and there’s not much chance of choosing the wrong band to wear with them. I base my decision on having at least a skinny gold chain or accent in my black shoes too.
Another way to liven up a plain black dress is to match a print leather or suede fabric watch with it. It will add texture to your outfit. Otherwise, you could try the opposite. If your black dress has a course or matte look and feel, pair it with a smooth-textured band.
With a Print Outfit
A plain gold or silver bracelet watch would perfect this outfit, and I found one that had a smooth, minimalist but unique band. Otherwise, a solid-colored black or white band works, or you could choose one of the main colors of your dress or outfit as your watch band.
Usually, print outfits mix with a solid-colored wristband, but some may have two colors. By the way, wearing a print outfit is a time when I’d probably not wear all-black shoes because I’d want them to have a colored upper or a metallic ornament added to the shoe that matches the watch band.
With a Monochrome Dress
A monochrome dress may have one or two colors, and you may see black and white or white and beige ones the most often. Since the one or two colors don’t feel as “busy” as a print dress, you can get away with wearing a watch that may have two contrasting colors in it.
For a dress that has black on one side and white on the other, I might choose a black watch and a white face, and you also may have fun picking out your favorite face style.
Even though I don’t wear watches that often, I had fun choosing one for this black and white dress. I was hoping to find a watch that also had black and white in the band, but I do like the simple dot and hand on this face.
It’s just fun, and if you’re using it just for fashion’s sake and already have your phone to check the time, it won’t matter if you don’t understand how to read it. (I hope I’m not the only one who sometimes gets confused telling time when there are no numbers on the face.)
For a black and white dress, I thought it may be fun to try a multi-colored watch. I might have chosen a different band, such as may be black, white or orange, but it’s an example of what you could wear with black and white, especially if you’re stuck with black shoes. I think this works because black and white usually serve as base colors for anything you create, including clothing outfits.
With Jeans and a T-Shirt
With any color jeans and a T-shirt, you probably would want to wear diving or sports watch, or you might find one made of plastic. Just for the fun of it, I picked out a multicolored neon one. I don’t know why. I just thought it would look awesome with blue jeans, but it may depend on your T-shirt background color and print.
You could always try a black and white watch instead, or a black and white watch if wearing black sneakers with black jeans. By the way, I think choosing a watch with more than one color in it works the best if your shoes have similar accent colors in them, such as an all-black shoe with bright pink, green or white trims.
I like face watches better because they feel more elegant. I’d make an exception if I found one with a large enough screen and numbers on it. Digital watches match well with casual outfits, especially denim. They’d also fit well with denim jackets and sports or activewear, including black sneakers.
With Bright Colors
A white watch will provide a bright, neutralized base to any bright-colored or multicolored outfit. It also may work well with print shirts, pants, or dresses. If you’re wearing black shoes with a bright outfit, however, it’s probably wise to have at least a bit of black in the watch around the face.
I couldn’t find one with black trim, so I chose this one, and there’s one that also has a black face instead of a white one. I’m happy that this one also has the markers where the numbers should be too.
With Khaki Bottoms
If you’re wearing pants or shorts, a brown or tan band of either a similar or contrasting shade as your bottoms will compliment them nicely. The same applies to any neutral-colored skirt or dress.
I chose one that has a metallic gold trim around it for dressing up a little before going to the office or a business meeting. I also found some “fun” ones that you could wear with khaki pants though.
I really like this “chocolate” colored watch with a bit of print texture on the face. Come to think about it, some contemporary office environments, such as working at an ad agency or if you have a home office, may find this acceptable. I think it also might fit well for a night out at a club with maybe a suede leather skirt or jacket and the black shoes you’re wearing.
With a Suit (Men’s and Women’s)
“Most guys limit their jewelry to a couple of rings max. This means a watch is an expression of their personality,” says Real Men Style.
You have to choose the watch you wear carefully, however, because not all styles will coordinate well with the suit you’re wearing. I chose the one I’ve seen most often on men first, which is pictured above. Scroll down to see one I’ve seen on women. A leather watch pairs well with a blazer and dress pants, and the same applies to a blazer and a skirt.
I didn’t suggest a colored watch because women must wear color. I just happened to like this one because it comes in a color I wear – besides black—most often. I’ve seen similar in all black, brown, or other combinations of these and other shades that will work well with women’s pants and skirt suits.
With Dress Shoes
If you’re wearing black shoes, then any watchband color will match — from silver to gold to rose gold. However, you must beware of clashing textures.
You might want to try for a smoother band if wearing a print outfit, or when wearing textured fabrics like suede, glossy leather or vinyl, or velour. I found a watch you could wear with just about any kind of black dress shoe, including close-toed heels or flats and strappy sandals and oxford footwear.