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Does your designer handbag have to match your shoes? Does your bag have to match your outfit and accessories? How do you put all three together in a stylish, not overdone way? These questions have been a long-held debate in the fashion world, and the truth is, there are no easy answers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss the basic “rules” of how to style your bag in a way that complements your wardrobe.
We have all heard at one point or another that your bag must be matched to your shoes—brown shoes with a brown bag, black shoes with a black bag, and so forth. It used to be that doing anything else was as a fashion faux-pas—but not anymore. Mixing and matching neutral combos like black, brown, and tan, can actually be a great way to update your look and take yourself out of a fashion rut. Don’t get too hung up on matching the perfect shade of brown to that specific shade of tan (after all, there are dozens of shades of tan as it is). In fact, sometimes contrasting your shoes with your bag adds a little more interest and appeal to the ensemble altogether. Still stuck? A good rule of thumb is to wear a handbag of a lighter shade of tan, as that is the most versatile and flexible color bag that goes with just about any outfit.
Mixing and matching your designer bags with your shoes and outfit is key to creating a well put together outfit. It may seem a bit challenging at first, but you will soon learn that there are a ton of ways you can achieve a styled look just like the experts do. One way you can style your bag is by matching its color to an accent color in a print or pattern found in your outfit. For example, pairing a navy blue handbag with a dress that has a floral pattern over a dark blue background. The color of the handbag will help to bring out the accent color in the dress, tying the whole look together effortlessly. Don’t worry about choosing the exact shade of blue—as long as it’s in the same color family, it should do the trick!
The next way you can style your designer handbag to your outfit is by creating a monochromatic look. Monochromatic means that all colors are in the same color family, such as various shades of a muted pink or champagne color that is carried across your shoes, bag, outfit, and accessories. This is perhaps the most obvious way to match a bag to an outfit because colors that are in the same family are an instant and sure match. These outfits tend to work best when you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself, such as for a work event or when out running errands.
Another way you can achieve the expert look of pairing your bag with your outfit is to make the bag be an unexpected pop of color. This is the fun “mix” part of “mix and match,” and is one of the best ways to show off a bag, when done right! Making a bag a pop of color can be done by pairing a brighter or bolder bag with a muted or soft-toned look, such as wearing an eye-catching yellow bag with a blue blouse. As long as the style of the bag and the rest of the outfit match, then the colors truly do not matter. Play around with different combinations of bag colors and outfits to create the perfect, personalized look bound to turn heads!
Lastly, try carrying a bag in a color that is opposite on the color wheel to the rest of the outfit. If you’re not familiar with the color wheel and its tried and tested theories in the fashion world, then we recommend you learn a little about it. Colors like blue and orange, purple and yellow, and red and green, are found directly across from each other on the color wheel, and are bound to contrast each other. Pairing these unlikely combinations together might be just what your outfit needs to take it to the next level.
However you choose to wear your handbags, just know that there are no set rules. Having fun and being unafraid to take risks in the fashion world is how great ideas are formed. Don’t be afraid to try new things and switch up your combinations once in a while! After all, that’s what fashion is all about. Which of these is your favorite way to style a designer handbag? Let us know in the comments below!