How to match your watch to your suit or shirt

By on November 20th, 2016

Do you give much thought to how to match your watch to your suit? Or what about something more casual like your go-to dress shirt? It can be easy to write off matching your accessories as frivolous when compared to the rest of your outfit. But with this article, I want to argue my case that something small like your watch band can help to improve your overall look. And yes, people do notice these subtle style enhancements.

Brett and I own a handful of Barton Watch Bands and we’ve been playing around with them for some time now. And until I can afford to buy the perfect watch for every one of my suits, sportcoats, and dress shirts swapping out the watch band will work just fine.

So, let’s take a look at two outfits. One dressy and one more casual.


This is one of Brett’s favorite sportcoats. Aside from nailing the blue color scheme and showing off the working button holes, Brett neatly ties everything together with his watch. The watch face itself is elegant enough to stand up to the clean sophistication of his jacket and the brown leather Barton band isn’t too distracting.

With this particular outfit, I think that wearing a conservative band is important because the sportcoat is very bold and has a lot going on with the blue patterning. Also, Brett’s bold use of red on the contrast collar fabric of his dress shirt is a somewhat unexpected pop of color. To add even more color with the watch band would be a mistake, I think.

how to match your watch to your suit for a dressy occasion

Another thing that we really like about this look is that the metallic watch face pairs nicely with the cufflinks that now and again come into view. Imagine if Brett was wearing a dark watch or a boring smartwatch, neither would relate to the cufflinks as coherently as we see here.

Matching the leather to your suit cloth

Matching your watch for casual outfits

Let’s point our attention to a more casual scenario. This shirt was designed with functionality in mind. The flannel is impressively warm and the two chest pockets ensure that you never run out of places to store your things. Both are flap pockets, but one is pleated for bulky items.

One of the really cool features on this shirt are the buttons, they are rubber. You can’t quite tell by looking at them, but they certainly feel different. I wanted these buttons when I designed the shirt because they were the perfect nod to the mountain motif. Consequently, a rubber watch band makes perfect sense. Sure, leather would work, but the rubber band just gives a sense of youthfulness and resilience that works really well with this look.

A casual watch band example

It’s worth noting that the watch band is of a lighter shade of green than the green in the shirt, which is more of a forest green. Although there is a part of me that wishes I had a watch band that matches perfectly, how often does that really happen? So, in this case, I reached for what made the most sense. In the case we have here, I think the green watch band is a little bit playful and catches the eye nicely.

A rubber watch band works best with casual shirts.

Something else I want to point out is the texture. The very textural rubber band is complemented nicely by the flannel fabric. In contrast, if I was wearing a very sleek leather band with this same dress shirt. The two textures would be at odds with one another, wouldn’t they?

How to match your watch to a wedding suit

Whether you’re the groom or attending a wedding, I think it’s important to wear a nice dressy watch. That means no rubber or canvas wristbands, but something in leather or metal. A metal wristband can be more of a statement piece whereas a leather band can be a little understated.

As a rule of thumb, match the band to your shoes and you’ll be looking sharp.

Wrap up

I hope these examples give you a little insight into how to match your watch to your suit or casual outfit. It’s easy to write your watch band off as a trivial style note. But it’s these subtle additions to your overall look that really help to paint a picture of your overall style.

If you’d like to read more about Barton Watch Bands, check out this earlier blog post I wrote.