A Popular Dilemma: Shoes and Handbags – To Match Them or Not?


A popular opinion today is that handbags and shoes aren’t supposed to match. Although that’s true, the topic is not as black and white as it seems. There are some instances when the rule should be partially or even completely avoided.

When to Perfectly Matchy-Match

Events like a wedding or a party that require dressing more formally is when opting for a match is a good idea. In these instances being elegant should be your priority, and wearing a handbag with matching shoes is one step closer to achieving that look. Take a real-life princesses for example. Kate Middleton is regarded as a synonym of elegance and details that matter to her and perfectly complement her looks are matching handbag and shoes. When it comes to the size of the handbag, formal events and elegant attires usually go well with clutches or mini bags.

kate-middleton-4 outfits

But matchy-match can look great for less-formal occasions too. For those of you that prefer to wear bolder colours or more fun and elaborate patterns, matching your shoes and handbag can tone it all down a little and make you look neater. So, next time you buy handbags in different patterns, sizes and designs, don’t forget to have your favourite shoes in mind and include them in the decision-making process.

women with flower skirt

When to Partially Matchy-Match

If you own floral shoes, a good rule of thumb is to buy handbags that come in one of the shades present in the shoe design. So, if the shoes come with a white base and pink, yellow or blue flowers, you can go for a plain bag in pink or blue colour. It is still a match, but not an identical one. Similarly, if your handbag has patterns and different colours, opt for plain shoes that come in one of the colours visible on the bag.

girl with white pants and blue shirt


When to Mix-and-Match

Here is when you show off your creativity and make a statement through your accessories. If you are keen on simpler outfits, you can use this “excuse” to buy handbags and shoes that stand out. Use colours and designs that contrast with the rest of your outfit. Denim lovers, for example, can match their favourite pair of jeans with a plain white shirt and a handbag that comes in a bold red colour. The shoes can be either casual white sneakers or flats in a brownish shade. The end result will be an outfit that is down to earth but also fresh, stylish and brave.


Grey and white tones are also loved by many for everyday casual outings. This look also allows for some mix-and-match options. You can include bags that match the colour, but aren’t the exact tone. For instance, maroon and burgundy are shades that can make a seemingly plain outfit look more chic and dressy. The types of shoes and colours you can combine in this case are many. From sneakers, flats or sandals, to boots or even platforms. Choose shoes that come in white, brown or tan tones and you are good to go.

girl with bag