In 2017, the US footwear market brought in $79.86 billion in revenue. The US has the largest footwear market in the world.
That same year, women’s handbags in the US amounted to $8.3 billion in revenue. It’s obvious Americans love shoes and handbags.
And for many years, not having matching shoes and bags was a fashion faux pas. But times have changed, now it’s even acceptable to wear white after Labor Day.
If you’re wondering whether you need your shoes and bag to match, keep reading. We’re sharing with you the ultimate guide to matching bags and shoes.
The History of Matching Shoes and Bags
Handbags have been used throughout most of history by both men and women. Handbags were originally used for practical rather than fashionable purposes.
They were used to carry weapons, food, tools, and money. A 5,300-year-old mummy named Otzi the Iceman was found in 1991 in the Italian Alps with a pouch.
The Beginning of a Trend
It was during the late 16th and early 17th centuries when small bags began to become status symbols for women. Women used tiny, embroidered bags which held spices, herbs, and other scented items to cover up the smell of body odor.
But it wasn’t until the 1950s when our obsession with shoes and bags and began to escalate. Until then, women weren’t that into accessories.
Sales were declining for both bags and shoes and so manufacturers and department stores decided to start a new fashion trend. Thus began the trend of mixing and matching clothing.
When to Wear Shoes and Matching Bags
In recent years, it’s not been as trendy for shoes and bag to match. However, things may change by 2020.
Right now, it’s usually a matter of preference and, in certain cases, what occasion you’re heading to. Here’s when you should match your bag with your shoes:
Formal events are the perfect occasion for putting together matching shoes and clutch. Especially since you want to look stylish in photos that may last online for many years to come.
Matching your shoes with your handbag always looks elegant. If you look at photos of Kate Middleton, you’ll notice she always matches her bag and shoes, especially at formal events.
You may even notice she tries to match her shoes and bag with a small detail on her outfit. And often, she chooses a clutch rather than a handbag.
Fun and Elaborate Outfits
Some people love wearing lots of bright colors. They choose to wear elaborate outfits and usually, there’s a lot to take in.
One way to make yourself look a little neater and keep the attention where you want it is to match your handbag and shoes. Choosing a neutral color also helps.
When to Do a Partial Match
There are times when either your handbag or your shoes have more than one color in them. At those times, it’s a great idea to do a partial match.
You should opt for a partial match when wearing floral shoes in green, yellow, red, and blue. Choose a handbag that’s plain and also green, yellow, red or blue.
Bags that are color blocked and have white, blue, and red should be matched with shoes that are either fully white, blue or red.
When to Go Bold
If you’re wearing an outfit that’s neutral, basic, and/or simple, this is the perfect opportunity to select a bag or shoes that will stand out. For these occasions where you’re wearing items such as a white shirts, denim jeans or womens sweatshirts, go bold and choose a color that contrasts with the rest of your outfit.
Choosing a bold colored bag and/or shoes will help make your outfit look stylish and fresh.
How to Handle Wearing Earth Tones
Wearing earth tones is a great look, but you need to add a little color. These unique handbags can help get you started to find the perfect look.
Some Rules to Follow if You Don’t Match Your Shoes and Handbag
Have fun and play with mixing colors. Just remember to keep one color neutral.
With grey shoes, go ahead and match them with a colorful bag. For outfits that have solid colors, choose a purse with texture or color to perk up your outfit.
Make Sure Your Handbag and Shoes Go Together
While you don’t have to match your shoes and handbag perfectly, they should at least compliment each other. Stay away from shoes and bags that have different patterns.
And make sure their colors look good together. You don’t want to clash.
Don’t Mix and Match Seasons
While you may live in an area where the seasons seem to mesh together, that doesn’t mean you can do the same with your shoes and handbags. Never pair your winter shoes with a summer bag.
And wearing strappy sandals with a heavy winter bag looks just as strange.
When to Mix and Match Casual with Formal
Whether you prefer to dress more professionally or casually, your shoes and handbag should always match your look. It doesn’t look good to pair a boxy, stiff purse with a sporty outfit.
Make sure you always choose shoes and a handbag that matches the occasion you’re dressing for. There are times when a formal purse looks great with casual shoes but you need to make sure the shoes are in good condition and have a dressy look about them, even if they are flats.
Match Your Shoes and Handbag with Your Accessories
One way to ensure you always look well put together is to take a look at the finish on everything you’re wearing. Make sure your shoes, handbag, and even your jewelry have the same finish.
In other words, if you’re wearing silver jewelry, make sure the buckle on your belt, shoes, and even the zipper on your purse are also silver.
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If you love shopping and fashion as much as we do, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re looking for matching shoes and bag or you’re ready to mix and match, we can help.