What Should and Shouldn’t You Match


Should you match nail polish on your toe and fingernails?

This is a choice, there are no hard and fast rules, but it’s not necessary, as long as they  tone.

It’s often easier to wear a more outrageous colour on your toes than on your fingernails, if you like to move away from the traditional reds and pinks.


Should you match shoes and belt or shoes and handbag?


shoes, belts, handbags


If you’re working in a traditional environment and your personality is classic then you may like to match shoes and belt, but it’s not necessary to match shoes as well.  Nobody will tell you you’re badly dressed if you do match them, but it’s not a style rule that needs to be followed anymore.

Two out of three is enough.  But instead of matching, think about toning together for example brown boots, with a camel bag and tan belt.


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  • Interesting to see these illustrations! The ones on the left and right look obviously great to me, the middle one I wouldn’t wear. Of course normally these would be with other clothes, but that aside, I think this ties into your explanations of color/value contrast.

    I have low color contract and high value contrast, so:

    In the leftmost example, the dark brown would near-match my hair and adding a different shade looks nice and not too colorful for me. The value contrast is also fairly high.

    In the rightmost example, the black shoes would near-match my hair, and adding two more colors (silver, burgundy) is still a reasonable quantity of colors with fairly high value contrast.

    The middle example has three different colors none of which would match my hair or skin, and have little value contrast between themselves, that is why I think it looks like too much to me.

    – tall & slim anon

  • If you only match two out of three, shouldn’t the colour of the third item be appear elsewhere in your outfit? Eg. If you wore a black belt and shoes with a red handbag, shouldn’t there be some red in your clothing, jewellery or other accessories as well to “balance” the red bag?

    • Yes I like to have a colour relate where possible, but you could just wear a red lipstick with your red handbag too if you didn’t want to add any other red elements.

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