Just 1 in 5 people wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker today. Far fewer are sporting traditional watches.

To us people that care deeply about fashion, that’s a shame.

Watches are traditional purveyors of class. They add auras of sophistication to just about any outfit and are functional in that they tell time.

If you’re trying to bring the watch back into your wardrobe, we commend you for doing so. That begs the question, however, of how to wear a watch so it compliments your look, confidence, and doesn’t come off as awkward.

In this post, our team shares some low-hanging tips on watch styles and more to help you get the most out of your watch wearing adventure!

Know Watch Types

The first step to understanding how to wear a watch is knowing the various watch types and what attire goes with them. While there are several types of watches on the market, we’ll run through four of the most common classic styles.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Dress Watch

The dress watch is a classic piece that’s usually simple in its presentation. Expect to see a black or brown leather strap, a gold or silver rim, and a basic white or black watch face on these.

Dress watches are among the most versatile as they go with any outfit that is non-sporty.

The Chrono Watch

Chrono watches are a lot like dress watches when it comes to their bands and rims. Where they look a little bit different is in their faces.

Chrono watches tend to have more accented face details and arms than dress watches would. That makes it so they’re not a great fit for very formal outfits but fly well with business casual and pure casual wear.

The Diver Watch

If your watch is sporting a metal band and has serious detailing around its rim and face, you’re probably the owner of a diver watch. Diver watches’ more industrial look makes them stand out versus your dress or chrono watch. That industrial motif will clash with black/white formal attire though so steer clear of that.

Any other style, including sportswear, can pull off the diver watch.

The Pilot Watch

Finally, we have the pilot watch. The pilot watch looks like a hybrid between the dress watch and the chrono watch. Its stature is similar to dress watches while its face detailing calls back to chrono pieces.

We like pilot watches with the same outfits we like chrono watches with; Business casual all the way down to sportswear.

Invest in Something Nice

Now that you know which watches go with which outfits, let’s talk about cost. Yes, watch costs vary greatly from piece to piece and no, you don’t need an expensive watch to exude outstanding style.

We’ll be honest with you though and say that if you’re sporting a Louis Vuitton Apple Watch band rather than Apple’s stock rubber one, your style is going to get extra points.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your watch. By investing tastefully in nicer pieces, you’ll find your watch holds up better and will look and feel more positive on your body.

Think About Matching

You could have the nicest watch in the world that doesn’t match your outfit and it’ll drag your style down. Don’t fall into that trap.

Learning the basics of matching is key to learning how to wear a watch and frankly, how to dress at all.

Here’s a quick guide on color and material matching that can help you get started down the right path.

Accent Carefully

This may feel counterintuitive to the point we just made but some people can use watches to accent their wardrobes rather than match them. This can get tricky as some watch accents come off as too strong and can ruin an outfit.

If you are going to accent your look with a watch, do so with a black, white, or brown. Using flashy colors like red or blue will likely require an additional accessory or garment of the same color to be worn to hit your point home.

Throw Your Watch on Your Non-Primary Hand

Watches are meant to be worn on non-primary hands. It tends to be easier to tell time that way.

If you’re ambidextrous, conventional wisdom would dictate wearing your watch on your left hand since that’s the way the majority of watch wearers will be sporting their pieces.

Use Your Watch to Tell Time

You’ve followed our steps. You’re looking great in your watch. You’re wondering what time it is and… You pull out your phone to find out.

That’s a huge faux pas that can undermine the sophistication you’re trying to exude by watch wearing. If you’re going to wear a watch, tell time with your watch.

Sure, analog time telling is a dying skill but by knowing how to do it, you and your look will feel a lot more classic.

You Now Know How to Wear a Watch

By leveraging our tips, we’re confident you’ll be able to buy the right watch for your outfit and wear it well. If you’re anything like us, that will do wonders for your confidence and may even unlock new dimensions of your personality.

We encourage you to stop reading about watches and go out and buy one. Then and only then will you be able to understand first-hand how much value they bring!

If you’re curious to take in more information on how to wear a watch, watch style, or related topics on styling a watch, we welcome you to browse more content on our blog.