Coordinating Shoes and Handbag – Yay or Nay?

You’ve seen it. You may have even done it. The matching handbag and shoe ensemble. A polarising entity that most of us everyday girls are totally unsure of. Do we do it? Do we ditch it? Where on earth do we stand on the matching shoe and handbag debate?

Like the changing of the tides, fashionistas and designers ebb and flow on their stance on the matched outfit. When does it work? Does it work at all? And when do you cross the line from an outfit that comes together nicely, over into the dreaded and heavily critiqued ‘matchy-matchy’ domain.

There are three general rules when it comes to matching your shoes to your handbag –

Colour is key

If you are attempting to match a burgundy bag with a fire-engine red pair of heels, it probably isn’t going to work. The key to matching, is to be sure that your colours match! The easiest and most seen colour matches generally are black, nude and browns, although greys and pinks is definitely making a comeback this season. If you are doubting your decision, take it back to the drawing board. Your shoes and handbag do not necessarily HAVE to match – it is perfectly acceptable to don a black pair of heels with a gorgeous hot pink Marnie cool tote to jazz up your jeans and t-shirt look.

Similarly, if you have chosen a formal or corporate look, it is a great idea to either match a bright coloured handbag/shoe combo with black or nude tailored dress or pant suit. Consult the colour wheel to configure complimenting colour palettes into your wardrobe and future purchases – a girl can always justify the purchase of a new handbag if she knows it will go with multiple outfits!

Don’t overdo the colour scheme

Gone are the days where our bag matched our lipstick, blush and accessories. There can definitely be too much of a good thing when it comes to colour matching. Less is absolutely more here! Pair down your tendencies to over-match by sticking to a natural face and simple accessories to draw attention to your fabulously colourful bag and shoes, or dress up your neutral wardrobe with a classic handbag like Audrey or Anne with a stunning red lip or plunging necklace.

Think about your end goal

Do you want to look professionally put together at your next important meeting? Consider Lisa, Alita, or Rochelle to compliment your no-doubt mostly black and navy wardrobe.

Wanting to look fresh and fun on your next brunch date? Flirt with colour and texture, putting together your outfit for a trial run and check it out from all angles. You’ll know if it works – the colours will pull together without drawing focus to any one singular feature. You’ll know it doesn’t work, if you are left standing at the mirror, unsure of whether you are ready to take on the world.

Embracing patterns? If you rock that gorgeous patterned Summer frock, pull a colour from its design and focus on that for your shoe and handbag. Pattern on pattern is considered a cardinal sin, and although there may be a very occasional exception to the rule, your true style should never shout. Leave the leopard print dress to speak for itself by pairing it with a black heel/bag combo, ditch the tri-coloured bag if your dress has more than one colour itself and stick to a neutral colour bag if you can’t find a good match for any colour in your frocks pattern.

Our mum may have taught us that handbags and shoes should ALWAYS match, but it isn’t necessarily a statement that rings true in today’s fleeting fashion rules. If you love your look, own it and strut your stuff with confidence, your colour choices and outfit ensembles will always be a true reflection of your amazing personality! And, if all else fails, you could simply use your fashion faux pas of the past as the ideal catalyst for a future shopping spree – a new colour for each day of the week! 😉

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