Matching the colour of your belt and your footwear was the stylish way to go until about a decade ago. Fashion loosened up and mismatching became the trendy thing to do. These days, both options are current and stylish. I went through a stage where I preferred the mismatch, but over the last three years my preference has returned to matching my belt and footwear. It creates instant outfit cohesion and makes me feel more pulled together. 

Here are two examples where the belt and footwear are closely matched. The one on the left matches a burgundy belt with booties. The outfit on the right matches a tan belt with sandals. The colours of the leather are exactly the same, and the repetition makes a strong visual statement.

ISABEL MARANT Klaude Perforated Leather BeltTory Burch Leather Belt Bag

The belt and shoes do not need to be an exact match. The effect can be subtle, like the outfits below, and still be an effective way to pull the outfit together. The first example pairs a silver belt with white and light grey snakeskin shoes instead of silver shoes. The second pairs a grey and black patterned belt with black shoes instead of a black belt. The third pairs a black and red piped belt with black moto booties. And the fourth pairs a cognac belt with two-toned, cognac booties.

Tory Burch Robinson Metallic Waist Pack BeltETOILE ISABEL MARANT Uma Embroidered Leather Belt

L.A.M.B. Edith Belt BagLinea Pelle Vintage Center Bar Hip Belt

The more subtle pairings can be more visually interesting. They also make less of a visual statement, which is a useful styling strategy when you want another part of the outfit to take centre stage.

I like to wear patterned belts, and pick up one of the colours of the pattern in the colour of my footwear. I will also match the metal of my belt buckle with the same shade of metallic footwear. Today I paired a silver buckled white perforated belt with mirrored silver flat oxfords. 

Over to you. Do you like to match your belt and footwear? If so, do you prefer to wear a matching statement, or go the more subtle route? Or do you prefer to mismatch your belts and footwear?