What Are The Rules For Co-ordinating Your Purse And Shoes?

Hi Deb,

It seems to be the style to not have your shoes and purse match. What and how do you determine what to match them with? The old way was to have black, brown, navy, or red if you were feeling wild and they always matched your purse. Can you give some pointers on what is in now? –~Barbara P.

Susan Tabac

Deciding what purse to go with your shoes can be tricky. Some women buy only one purse and wear it with everything. Others collect purses and change them around all the time.

It all depends on your needs and lifestyle, but, in general, your purse needs to be of high quality and the size should fit your style and personality.

This is a photo of fellow blogger Susan Tabak who always has great fashion sense!

See how the colors all blend and her purse does not stand out but pulls her simple outfit together!

Here are a few basic rules to remember:


Play with mixing colors, but keep one color neutral – If you have gray shoes, you can have fun with a colorful bag. This look is more for work because of the stiffer, dressier bag. The slouchy bag at the front of this photo paired with the sandals is a good combo if you want a casual look because both are informal. blue dress
An outfit made up of  solid colors will get a lift from a purse with some color or texture – This simple outfit is perked up with these purple flats and a python clutch.

textured purse

A textured snakeskin clutch adds some interest.

Don’t do a stiff purse with a casual outfit – If you like to wear casual or soft flowing clothes, your handbag should match the look. This purse is too boxy and stiff for this sporty outfit.

wrong purse with casual outfit

This purse is too structured for this casual outfit.

This softer, relaxed hobo style purse is much better with this outfit~  cream Michael Kors bucket bag
Even a formal purse can work with casual shoes – This quilted Chanel style bag works with these flats since the flats are shiny and have a dressy look to them.

black chanel bag and sandals

The gold makes these casual sandals dressy and o.k. to go with this dressy bag.

Coordinate your hardware- You will feel more pulled together if you keep your shoes, jewelry and handbag hardware all the same finish. (e.g. silver jewelry, silver, buckles on shoes, silver zipper on purse)

casual handbags

These bags coordinate with these shoes.





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  1. Marilyn Jenkins says:

    Hi I’m going to a wedding and I bought a really pretty dress, it’s black with lace in the front but underneath it’s a cream color. I am wearing cream colored shoes, but what color should my purse be?

  2. How do you make a 72 year old women not look old. Her hair and clothing. I have always had good taste in my hair and dress. I am starting to feel old and out dated. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Welcome to the community! The common mistake women make as they age is that they get stuck in a rut! You should go through my site and read a few of the articles. There are photos of women 40, 50 and beyond looking “Age-Amazing”…Amazing at their age! You need to take a good hard look at your complete self – hair, makeup, clothes and shoes. Looking hip and chic means getting rid of your tired, old clothes and bringing clothes that are fresh and updated. This does not have to mean “trendy”, but updated!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hi again Deborah, Case in point. I was at the local store the other day and this darling little girl about 4 was waiting – wearing a pair of pewter coloured boots and matching belt on her little pink top and jeans. I then spied her grandma who she was shopping with – in her plain grey trousers and black t – AND a tiny bit of hardware on both her black flats and black handbag… They were just doing errands but just looked so much more pulled together than everyone else around!!! Good style is generational! J

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Yes! Grandma probably bought her grand daughter those boots and belt or taught her daughter well! It is such an “a Ha” moment for many women when they learn this tip! It is so simple yet, most women are never taught that keeping your hardware on sunglasses, shoes, purses, consistent ,can really pull a look together! That being said, we do know there are those fashionista’s that do mix and match and can pull it off! However, I encourage most women to keep it simple and to just match it all.