Today's lesson is about belts and shoes. The focus will be on their relationship together and how they shape the overall look of any outfit. Note that the golden rule for belts and shoes - the colour must match.
Take a look at the classic 't shirt and jeans' outfit:
Besides my fat arse and horrible photo arrangement, you'll note that there's one that looks better than the other. This is because by matching the belt and shoes, consistency follows. The black belt and shoes help 'frame' the jeans and create harmony. It's less colour to take in and tells the viewer that the shoes and belt are working together.
On the right, you'll see a blue belt with black shoes and the same jeans which are too tight for me. It doesn't work on the basis that the colours don't match. You've got a solid black at the bottom, and then a light blue at the top. They don't have a relationship with each other, so it doesn't work.
This leads me to my next point, which is optional - the material of the belt and shoes should also match. For example, it wouldn't make sense for a pair of Chucks to be matched with a leather belt. Here's why: rougher materials tend to have a more casual look, while leather is generally smarter/more formal. By mixing casual shoes with a formal belt, you are creating a clash. Instead, opt for a fabric-based skateboarding style belt (you know, the one where you let it hang down from your belt line...like in high school. Yeah, I did it too).
Matching belts and shoes can be pretty challenging when you venture beyond black and white. It's very satisfying when you nail it. It took me years to find the blue belt pictured above to match a blue pair of Vans of mine.
So next time you leave the house, make sure your belt and shoes match - it's the foundation for every good outfit.