Style Advice Q & A

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

Hi Deb,

It seems to be the style not to 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 felt wild, and they always checked your purse. Can you give some pointers on what is in now? –~Barbara P.


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

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

Here are a few basic rules to remember:

1. Play with mixing colors, but keep one color neutral

You can have fun with a colorful bag if you have gray shoes. 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.

2. An outfit made up of solid colors will get a lift from a purse with some color or texture

This simple outfit is paired with these purple flats and a python clutch.

cream Michael Kors bucket bag

3. Don’t do a stiff purse with a casual outfit

If you like every day or soft-flowing clothes, your handbag should match the look. This purse is too boxy and stiff for this sporty outfit. This more peaceful, relaxed hobo-style purse is much better with this outfit~

4. Even a formal purse can work with casual shoes

This quilted Chanel-style bag works with these flats since they are shiny and have a dressy look.

5. 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 the purse)


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4 thoughts on “What Are The Rules For Co-ordinating Your Purse And Shoes?

  1. 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. 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. 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-colored boots and a matching belt on her little pink top and jeans. I then spied her grandma who was shopping for winter 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

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Yes! Grandma probably bought her granddaughter 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, and purses, consistent, can pull a look together! That being said, we do know there are those fashionistas 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.

It's your life. Make it Fabulous!

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