How to Wear a Watch With Style

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how to wear a watch man wearing leather watch closeup

As you know, watches come in a variety of different sizes and styles, and they can be the perfect accessory in the right scenario.

While it is perfectly okay to wear a watch whenever you want, there are specific fashion rules you should follow depending on the kind of event you will be attending.

Although it may seem quite obvious, certain factors need to be considered to ensure you wear your watch correctly. Are you going to a wedding or a casual barbeque? What color is the rest of your accessories? How big is your wrist? These are just a few of the questions you need to take into account when picking a watch to wear. In this article, we’ll cover these questions and more as we go through all the things you need to know about how to wear a watch.

Rules on How to Wear a Watch Correctly

Below we look at some of the general rules of watching wearing.

Rule 1: Wear the Watch on the Wrist That Suits You

Those who are right-handed should wear their watch on their left wrist (their non-dominant wrist). Along the same line, those who are left-handed should wear it on their right hand.

The problem is that most people are right-handed, and because of this, the hardware in watches tends to be placed with the idea that the user is wearing the watch on their left hand. When left-handed people wear certain watches such as Apple Watches, they find that the crown or pushers begin to get in the way.

It is best if you wear your watch on the wrist that feels the most comfortable and functional to you. But this will also depend on the design of the watch you are wearing.

When it comes to where on your wrist you should wear your watch, it should sit in the middle of your wrist. As for the lugs that hold the strap in place, ensure that the watch is positioned so that these do not extend past your wrist bone.

You don’t have to let tradition dictate which wrist you should wear your watch on! Instead, wear it on the wrist that you think is the most comfortable.

Rule 2: Avoid Bling Watches

Athlete with modern watch

Wearing something understated is far better than opting for something that is way too showy and extravagant for the situation. For everyday use, stick with sports watches or ones with a plain face and a black leather strap.

However, for special occasions, you can choose to wear statement pieces, like dress watches or oversized watches. Not only are these kinds of watches functional, but they are fashionable and chic.

Rule 3: Never Wear a Watch That Is Too Tight or Too Loose

There is only one reason you should never wear a watch with a loose strap, and that is that the chances of you causing damage to the strap or the face of the watch are significantly increased.

On the flip side, if you make the watch band too tight, it can be pretty uncomfortable.

The tightness of the watch band is important if you are wearing an Apple watch because it needs to be in close contact with the skin on your wrist. You also still need to ensure that you don’t wear it too tight or too loose.

There should be a sufficient amount of space between the back of the Apple Watch SE and your wrist in order to give the skin on your arm space to breathe. It will also feel more comfortable and help ensure that the watch’s sensors can do their job correctly.

However, you may find that you need to tighten the band on these watches a little when working out and then loosen it after you’re finished. It is also crucial to note that you must wear these types of watches on top of the wrist, not below it.

The quickest way to determine if your watch is too loose or tight on your wrist is to see if you can comfortably place your pinky finger underneath the band.

Rule 4: Never Wear Dive Watches With a Suit

Just because people like James Bond wear these types of watches with a suit doesn’t mean you have to. The problem with dive watches is that they are bulky and do not fit well under the sleeve of a suit jacket and dress shirt.

It is best to wear a simple dress watch when wearing formal attire and pair your dive watch with casual wear.

Rule 5: Wear Dark With Dark and Light With Light

During the day, you should consider wearing a watch with a cream or white colored face and a stainless steel or brown band. In the evenings, opt for a watch with a dark-colored dial and a black, gray, or brown face. Such watches will look great when worn with a suit on formal occasions.

Rule 6: Pair the Watch With the Right Outfit and Activity

You’d never wear a suit to the beach, so why would you wear a dress watch to a casual dinner? You have to try to match the watch to the activity.

If you are unsure about which watch to wear with what outfit, then the following guidelines should help you:

  • Wear sports watches with athletic gear
  • Wear dress watches with business wear, such as suits
  • Apple Watches are generally appropriate for more casual events
  • For formal events where you will be asked to dress accordingly, luxury dress watches are ideal

Rule 7: Match Metals and Colors

Young Man Wearing Analog Watch

You should try and match the metals and colors of your watch to the rest of your outfit. Look closely at the color of your belt, belt buckle, shoes, rings, and other accessories like cufflinks. Then choose a watch that is made from the same color metal.

If you are going to be wearing a pair of yellow gold earrings or cufflinks, then wear a watch with a dial that is made from yellow gold. Also, make sure that the wristband on your watch matches your outfit.

If you are going to be wearing a black or blue suit, avoid wearing watches with a brown strap. Another subtle color match that can make you look even more put together is matching the band of your watch to the color of your shoes.

Additionally, make sure that the colors of your watch strap and watch face complement each other. Matching these colors may seem a little unnecessary, but if done correctly, it will enhance your overall look.

If you aren’t really bothered about what color face your watch has, we recommend choosing white because it goes with everything.

Rule 8: Never Wear an Oversized Watch

Just like with any garment or piece of jewelry, your watch shouldn’t be too big. You should select a watch that has a dial size that is proportional to your wrist size.

For example, if you have quite a tiny wrist, you should look for a watch that has a dial size of no more than 38mm in diameter. Of course, if you have a much larger wrist, you need to go for something a little bigger, like a dial that measures up to 44mm in diameter.

It has become somewhat of a fashion statement for guys to wear oversized watches. While of course you are free to do this if you want to, it is generally thought that wearing an appropriately-sized watch is more classy.

Having said that, it is okay to break this rule on the odd occasion. In fact, some of the more well-known watch brands have produced watches that have a much more prominent face and look just as good on people with small wrists as those with large ones.

Rule 9: Don’t Wear the Same Watch Every Day

Even if you only own one nice watch, you shouldn’t wear it daily. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, if the watch you own is a piece you love, wearing it every day will cause it to deteriorate faster.

Additionally, you will probably find that this one watch will not go with every outfit. You should only wear a watch with an outfit that is appropriate for it.

Rule 10: Never Wear a Watch Outside of Your Sleeve Cuff

Generally, when standing with our arms placed by our sides, the cuff or sleeve of a shirt or jacket will cover most of the watch. However, a tiny part of the watch’s face will show as soon as you bend your arm. This is perfectly fine.

You should never wear your watch on top of your cuff.

Rule 11: Choosing the Right Accessories for Your Watch Is Important

 A Silver Watch

These days, you’ll find that there is a good selection of watch straps for you to choose from to pair with your watch. Simply replacing the black leather strap on your watch with a brown one can take it from looking formal to more casual.

As you will see below, each strap material has its place and purpose. You need to know the right time for wearing each type of strap.

Stainless Steel and Black Leather Band Material

These should be paired with your watch when you are attending formal events such as weddings or galas.

Brown Leather Straps

These are suitable for wearing to formal events, like the examples mentioned above, but also work well in more casual situations.

NATO Straps

These types of straps for watches are often made from fabric or woven nylon and come in various colors and patterns. These are ideal for wearing at casual events or when going to the gym or beach.

Rubber Straps

These are the straps you wear on watches when you are participating in activities such as sailing, hiking, or working out.

Rule 12: Watch Etiquette

When you are out, avoid constantly checking your watch. The same principle applies for checking your phones. Doing this sends a message to those around you that you either need to be somewhere else or that you’re bored.

When it comes to how to wear a watch, you must remember that each occasion demands a different style of watch. If you are going to a formal event that requires you to wear a tuxedo or evening gown, keep it simple and team your outfit with a dress watch.

However, if the event you will be at is a little less formal, such as a friend’s birthday party, you can get away with wearing something a little more casual.

Resist the urge to always wear your most expensive watch just to show off. Even though it may attract compliments, it is always better to match the watch to the situation in order to appear pleasant and put-together.

Final Thoughts

Even though they are small, a watch can make or break your whole ensemble. Hopefully, the rules we’ve listed above will help ensure that your watch adds another level of class to your outfit.

Wearing the right kind of watch will help bring your outfit together and keep you looking classy and chic.

Although we offer these rules as a guide, they aren’t written in stone. These are the general rules that most people follow to stay within societal fashion guidelines. But there’s no reason you can’t make your own rules as you go!

If you have any more questions, leave a comment below.

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I am the founder and chief editor of I aim to inform and help individuals to make informed choices when buying their watches. I want HappyWatchesNow to become a beacon of trust and authenticity in a world clouded by biases and commercial agendas.

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