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A Well-Coordinated Effort to Match Men's Accessories


A Black Belt in Fashion Sense: Women learned when they were little girls dressing up in their mothers' clothing that their accessories shouldn't clash. This fact is lost on many men who walk around in public wearing black belts with brown shoes and vice versa.

"We went through a very short period of time when we were telling people that it was OK to wear a black belt with brown shoes, but not anymore," says Tom Fuller of Fuller's For Men and Women in Laguna Niguel.

The belt and shoe should be in the same "color family," but that doesn't mean you can't be creative. "It's fine to wear an exotic leather belt, such as alligator, with calfskin shoes," says Fuller.

Who'll Shop for J.R.?: It's the look of the successful, brash oilman/rancher/Westerner--a finely tailored suit and a pair of pricey cowboy boots. But it's also a look that's well out of place.

"Maybe you'll fit in at the Republican National Convention at Houston, but you're going to stick out going to a meeting at Newport Center," says image consultant Nils Simon from Brea. "I see these guys wearing boots and a business suit, and they may think they look cool, but they take attention away from themselves."

Mark Schell of Mark Schell Designs for Men in Corona del Mar suggests conservative dress shoes with a suit.

Court Shorts: Basketball has earned a reputation as the coolest sport around, which is why retailers are working overtime to fill the orders from people who want to wear the shoes Michael, Magic or Shaq use on the court.

But if you've just brought home a pair of high-top super jumpers with hopes of looking like you've just signed with the Lakers, you might want to look for your receipt and backpedal to the store. "The low-cut basketball shoe is coming back," says Todd Augustine of Foot Locker in Westminster.

Reebok and other manufacturers have introduced mid-high-tops.

"The high-top is great for basketball, but a lower-cut is more comfortable for casual wear" Augustine says.

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