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Matching Watches with Your Outfit: Our Advice by Extropian

Match your watch
Dress watches
Dive watches
Pilot’s watches
Racing watches
Field watches
Matching Watches with Your Outfit: Our Advice by Extropian


We’re not really ones for rules and regulations here at Extropian, but we’ve put together a few suggestions on how you might like to match your watch with your outfit!

Matching the formality of your watch with the formality of your outfit

It’s generally a good idea to consider the formality of whatever occasion you’re attending and pick a watch which complements the outfit you’ll be wearing. Black tie events usually call for a dress watch, but in a casual situation you can wear pretty much anything. And if you’re the sporting or adventurous type, make sure you have something that can take whatever you throw at it!

Dress Watches

As you might have already guessed, Dress watches are the go-to choice for formal occasions, and for good reason. They’re sleek, elegant, minimal, and sophisticated so there’s nothing to distract you from your gala event! They also tend to be on the smaller side, so they won’t get in the way of your sleeve. 

Dive Watches

Generally featuring bold, easy-to-read markers, prominent bezels, and metal bracelets, dive watches were clearly designed to be used in adventurous surroundings! But if you’re not using them for diving (and realistically, many of us won’t be!), they look great paired with casual or smart-casual dress. And for those of you who refuse to bow to convention (we bet there are plenty of you out there!) we also think they can also look pretty cool paired with more formal outfits.

Pilot’s Watches

Generally medium to large in size, with a prominent dial, instantly legible markers, and complications such as a chronograph or date window, pilot’s watches are an ideal fit with smart-casual dress – the kind of thing you might wear in an informal office environment or maybe when you’re out for a night on the town. We think they’d also be the perfect thing to pep up a more formal business outfit!

Racing/Driving Watches

Generally medium/large in size, with a large dial, clear arabic numerals, a chronograph, and leather or metal strap, Racing/ driving watches will give your casual or smart-casual outfits a touch of instant cool.

Field Watches

Field watches are simple and functional, with minimal dials and easily legible markers, and are generally worn with leather or canvas straps. This makes them a great choice for casual wear, especially if you’re the outdoor type – or want to look as if you are!


The strap you chose to pair with your watch can play a big part in how it looks. Here are some suggestions about how to match them with whatever outfit you’re wearing.

Matching leather watch straps with your shoes and belt

Leather watch straps are traditionally considered more formal than metal bracelets, so perfect for dress or business outfits. But some leather straps have a more rough and rugged look, and these are ideal for watches worn with casualwear, such as field watches.

It’s generally thought to be a good idea to match the color of your watch strap to that of your shoes and belt (not necessarily exactly the same, but at least a similar tone). But if you’re into color contrast why not mix it up! 

Matching metal watch bracelets with other accessories

Metal bracelets may be traditionally thought of as less formal, but they’re very versatile and can be worn with pretty much anything. These days you could even try one with a dress watch, especially if it’s a more subtle design like a Milanese bracelet.

If you want to go the extra mile, maybe think about matching the metal of your watch bracelet with the metal accents of your other accessories (such as rings, belt buckle, shoe buckle, etc.). Again, they don’t have to match exactly, but they’d probably work best if they’re broadly similar!

Other types of strap

Canvas or nylon straps are perfect for casual dress and make a great match with chronographs, field, and other military style watches. Rubber straps are great for the poolside or beach as they’re totally informal and, of course, waterproof! And if you want to make an impression, try a rally strap with a racing chronograph or a bund strap with a field or pilot’s watch.


Well, those are our suggestions. Feel free to follow them or ignore them as you will! And we’d love to know how you wear yours. Why not send us a pic?!

Created the 2023-08-09

Modified the 2024-04-09

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