Dressing casual doesn’t mean that you need to compromise in terms of style. A casual outfit can make a major impression when done right. One of the keys to successfully pulling off a casual outfit stylishly is knowing how to properly accessorize.
Choosing The Best Timepiece To Complement Your Daily Look
Accessories can level up an outfit instantly, putting you leaps and bounds ahead in terms of presentation. One of the most indispensable accessories to incorporate into your casual outfits is your trusty wristwatch. While some watches are best paired with a more formal look, others can specifically complement a casual outfit and are perfect for everyday wear.
From this article, you’ll learn the key differences between wristwatches worn with formal and casual outfits, as well as how to spot a high-quality casual watch. Choosing a great watch to add to your daily look boosts your confidence and ties the other elements of your outfit together.
How Accessories Like Watches Make An Outfit Better
Even if you can navigate the process of putting together a formal outfit with comfort and confidence, you may still struggle to pull off a more casual look. The rules for dressing casually are relatively flexible, leaving plenty of room for personal expression. Each element of your casual outfit has the potential to make a statement, and when you choose a great combination of pieces, you’ll end up with a great look.
When you are putting together a casual outfit, you always want to make sure every item you wear pairs well with the others. Pairing a watch with other accessories and clothing can seem difficult at first glance. However, accessorizing well becomes natural and intuitive, the more you understand how the different elements in an outfit complement each other.
A watch is an indispensable accessory to add to your casual outfit and can take a bare-bones, simple look and make it look deliberate and well-thought-out. When you start adding accessories to your outfits, it can often be tempting to go overboard, adding an abundance of unnecessary items to your outfit. Instead, it’s often better to keep things simple, favoring one or two carefully chosen accessories over many.
Rule #1: Favor Analog Over Digital
There are a number of factors that can be used to determine what setting a certain watch fits best in. One of the first things to consider when choosing how to pair a watch with an outfit is whether the watch is digital or analog.
Digital watches display the time to the wearer via an LCD screen rather than a standard clock layout. While some digital watches may be more well designed and aesthetically pleasing, they are typically unfit for pairing with a formal outfit. The look of a digital watch often clashes with formalwear, making an analog watch a more fitting accessory to pair with a formal outfit.
Digital watches are favored by some for the convenience of their easy-to-read displays. In addition, the advent of smartwatches has prompted many to opt for a watch that pairs seamlessly with their phones for added functionality and convenience.
However, no smartwatch or digital watch has been able to compete with its analog counterparts in the style department. Whether you are dressing formal or casual, an analog watch helps to give your outfit a classic, timeless feel that can be disrupted by a digital timepiece.
Rule #2: Know What Type Of Watch You Are Wearing
In addition to determining whether your watch is digital or analog, another important step in pairing your watch with an outfit is to know its type. There are several key types of watches that you should know about, and knowing how to spot each one is essential when you are aiming to accessorize well.
The Dress Watch:
A dress watch typically has a leather strap and is ideally worn with, as the name suggests, a more formal outfit. Dress watches do not tend to have many complications, if any. A complication is a function in a watch’s display that does something other than telling the time. The sleek and simple design of a dress watch lends itself well to even the most formal of outfits.
The Dive Watch:
The majority of analog watches can be paired with a casual outfit. However, the opposite is not always true. A dive watch or a dress watch is typically your best option for a formal outfit. Both of these types of watches tend to have more minimal displays and fewer complications. Even Sean Connery’s James Bond wore a dive watch with his tuxedo, a perfect example of this type of watch’s ability to pair well with a formal outfit.
However, the dive watch is one of the most versatile watch styles you can wear, pairing well with nearly every outfit. One consideration to make when wearing a dive watch, though, is the material the strap is made from. A leather strap is a great option for formal or casual outfits, while a metal strap tends to pair better with a more casual look.
Pilot and Racing Watches:
Pilot and racing watches are best worn as accessories to more casual looks. These types of watches were designed to be worn in a specific context, as their respective names suggest. A pilot or racing watch usually has more complications than the more minimal dive watch or dress watch.
Like the dive watch, which was originally designed to be worn by scuba divers, these styles of watches have been adapted by many into everyday wear. You don’t have to be a diver to wear a dive watch, and so on.
The Field Watch:
Finally, the field watch is another great option to pair with a casual outfit. Field watches are built to be as durable and functional as possible. They typically have a more minimal design than racing watches or pilot watches and often feature few complications (occasionally just a date indicator) or none at all. The field watch is best left for casual wear and swapped for a dive watch or dress watch in a more formal setting.
Rule #3: Pair Your Watch With Matching Accessories
Your watch should harmonize with the rest of your look, blending well with the other colors and materials you are wearing. Since both leather and metal watch straps are fitting options for a casual outfit, it’s essential to know how to pair both with other accessories.
If you are wearing a watch with a leather strap, you can easily take your outfit up a notch by coordinating the color of your strap with other leather accessories. For example, the color of your leather watch strap should match with the color of your belt, bag, shoes, or any other leather goods you might be wearing. Syncing up the color of the leather in your outfit prevents accessories from clashing and contributes to the quality of your overall look.
Choosing a metal strap for your watch means that any other metal accessories you are wearing, such as a belt buckle, ring, or cuff links, should match the color of the metal on your watch. Remember that metal watch straps are considered less formal than their leather counterparts, meaning it is typically best to save your metal-strapped watch for more casual outfits.
Rule #4: Coordinate Colors
Whether you are dressing formally or casually, the colors of the components of your outfit should always be carefully chosen. Some colors blend better with others, and a well-chosen watch can serve to accent and complement the colors of the other elements in your look.
Coordinating the color of your watch strap with the other accessories in your outfit is a step in the right direction. However, it is also a great idea to make sure that the color of your watch pairs well with the clothes you are wearing.
One of the most important articles of clothing to match with your watch is your shoes. If you are wearing leather shoes, it is always a good move to coordinate the color of your shoes with your watch strap. Brown and black leather will clash and end up making your outfit look imbalanced and mismatched.
A Watch Will Take Any Outfit Up A Notch
No matter what, a watch is a great contribution to any casual outfit. Knowing the different types of watches and when it is best to wear each one helps dispel the air of mystery surrounding how to dress well casually.
Dressing well and accessorizing well for an informal event can make just as strong of an impression as looking your best at a black-tie gala. Knowing how to pull off casual style and using accessories like your watch to your advantage ensures that you’ll look and feel great in a more laid-back, informal setting.