No outfit is complete without some major accessories. Handbags and shoes add the final touches to any attire. Like many other accessories, they have the power to transform one look into something entirely new. From switching daytime apparel into a sophisticated dinner dress, athletic wear into casual wear, and vice versa, all it takes to switch up your style is a handbag and a pair of shoes.
No matter the type of outfit you create, the look’s success depends on how you tie everything together. Use these five style tips for matching handbags and shoes to bring together a look that you love!
Use Coordinating Colors
Colors play an essential role in fashion, whether in your wardrobe or on the runway. They set the palette for certain aesthetics, symbolize different ideas and moods, and create cohesion. Matching bags and shoes with color coordination is a simple and easy way to bring the two accessories together.
There are varying ways to color coordinate, from creating exact color replicas and mirroring similar shades of the same tone to using complementary colors. Each type of color coordination uses color pairing to appeal to the other and work alongside other features of an outfit.
Exact Color Replicas
You can successfully color coordinate with exact color replicas when both the shoes and bag you choose each sport the same color. Purple bags pair with purple shoes, red bags pair with red shoes, and so on. Matching your bag and shoes by using the same color in both accessories works best if you’re trying to add a pop of color to a plain outfit or need to anchor bright and lively attire with neutrals.
Opting for similar shades but not exact color matches makes monochromatic outfits less dull. It also adds subtle differences to the look that make the monochrome style more appealing to the eye. For example, if you’re rocking a monochromatic blue look with a baby blue dress and navy heels, you can match your shoes with your bag with a cyan or any other shade of blue purse.
Typically, you want your shoes and bags to contrast the shade of your clothes since they should enhance a look rather than blend in. If your clothes are lighter shades of blue, opt for darker-toned blues for the shoes and bags, and vice versa.
Often depicted through the color wheel used in art, complementary colors are popular color pairings that make satisfactory and appealing color contrasts. More specifically, complementary colors refer to colors that cancel each other out and create a grayscale tone when mixed together.
The complementary color wheel features some of the main shades in a rainbow: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple. Each of the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, complement a secondary color, orange, green, and purple. The primary and secondary colors pair together as follows: red pairs with green, blue with orange, and yellow with purple.
These pairings make for perfect color contrasts and are an ideal way to match your handbag with shoes through color coordination.
Add Depth Using Textures
Bags and shoes aren’t just a good way to add color to a look—they also help implement textures. As technology continues to evolve, companies can now offer shoes and bags in numerous materials and in a range of eye-catching textures and patterns. Both shoes and bags come in leather (including faux alternatives), fabric, plastic, suede, and straw, among many other materials.
Matching your accessories with similar textures adds extra definition to your outfit and creates a cohesive look. In some scenarios, you can even mix and match complementary textures without overwhelming the final attire. Leather works with almost all types of materials. Plus, as long as you color coordinate, you don’t need to find exact texture matches between your shoes and handbag.
Style for the Occasion
The type of bag and shoes to accessorize your outfit with depends on the occasion. Certain bags and shoes work best for specific scenarios and events. For example, flip-flops aren’t the best footwear for formal events or trekking across hiking trails. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to bring your boutique-style purses for a backpacking excursion or most outdoor adventures.
Using that same general rule set of certain attire for specific occasions, you can find ways to match your bag and shoes when styling an outfit. Formal footwear and accessories like heels and clutches complement the scenario and dress code for more upscale occasions. Flats and totes suit work attire. Meanwhile, sandals and beach bags work best for spending time by the pool or beach days.
Accessorize With an Aesthetic in Mind
As mentioned previously, handbags and shoes are essential accessories to a look. They complete an outfit and enhance the overall style.
Many of the popular fashion aesthetics, from cottagecore to e-girl, include specific types of shoes and bags in their stylebook. Boho bags and shoes feature straps, tussle décor, straw or natural materials, prints, and warm tones. Even athletic aesthetics include sneakers, backpacks, and large tote bags that can carry gym accessories like water bottles, spare change of clothes, and hats. Similarly, the other aesthetic styles use specific types of shoes and bags to achieve their unique stylized looks.
Make a Statement
Handbags and shoes also act as statement pieces for any outfit. They add pops of color, striking patterns, prints, textures, and other adornments to a look. There are several ways to make a statement with shoes and bags. Some include:
- Finding pieces with prints and patterns
- Wearing shoes and bags adorned with tassels, bows, or sparkles
- Opting for bright colors
- Playing around with extreme shapes and sizes
- And using themed bags and shoes
Matching your handbag and shoes with one another to create statement pieces for your outfit enhances, adorns, and completes various looks.
Styling outfits with matching handbags and shoes is a fun opportunity to unleash your inner creative fashionista and play around with different design features, from colors to textures. Whether you’re creating an outfit inspired by the latest aesthetic trend or for a specific occasion, handbags and shoes add the final touches to a look.
Part of designing appealing outfits is finding and creating the right balance between the different aspects of the attire. Pairing your shoes and handbags helps achieve that balance and allows you to create stylish, daring, and elegant looks for various occasions.