Brunette from Wall Street should bag and shoes have to match

Why Matching Shoes and Bags Are Out for Spring/Summer 2024?

Matching bag and shoes is still in fashion, right? My mother’s girlfriends keep asking me this one question. But it’s not just them guessing if their shoes have to match a purse. Fashion Reddit, tiktok, Facebook fashion groups and Quora are full of this one question. Well, two, actually. Is matching bag with shoes in style? – and – Should a purse match my shoes? The answer to both of these questions in spring summer 2024 is YOU MIGHT have to match the bag with your shoes. Matching bag with shoes is old money and old money is still trending. Not as the key trend for spring summer 2024, but we will see more heavyweight feminine fashion in fall winter 2024/25. Wait, does this mean that matching bags and shoes is a fashion trend bouncing back in 2025? Will wearing a matching bag and shoes going to be in style in 2025? Scroll down to find out now.

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Believe it or not, but the practice of matching shoes and bags has a rich history. While handbags have been used throughout most of history by both men and women for practical rather than fashionable purposes, such as carrying weapons, food, tools, and money, the trend of small bags becoming status symbols for women began in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. 

Women used tiny, embroidered bags which held spices, herbs, and other scented items to cover up the smell of body odor.

Post-war America saw a booming economy, and people had more disposable income. However, handbag sales were on the decline. In fact, sales were declining for both bags and shoes. Retailers needed a way to boost sales, so they reached for help.

Manufacturers and department stores decided to turn to pr agencies, who came up with the idea with the idea of matching accessories.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact first store that started selling matching shoes and bags, as this trend was promoted by many manufacturers and department stores in the mid-20th century.

But examples of matching shoes and bags flooded magazines, newspapers, and even TV ads.

Advertisers played a big role in publishing images of women wearing perfectly matched purses and shoes. They managed to convince ladies that wearing matching shoes and bags was fashionable and desirable.

Women embraced the trend, and suddenly, a complete outfit meant having shoes and a bag in the exact same color or material.

To keep the demand for matching handbags and shoes growing, the department stores started to place shoes next to the handbags, usually on the ground floor. Making sure women saw matching bags and shoes the moment they stepped in.

The focus on matching accessories continued for a while, but fashion trends eventually shifted. Even so, the shoes and handbags stayed on the ground level of many department stores for decades.

Until 2013 (give or take one year) to be exact; when the global economy recovered after the biggest economic crisis in modern history, the department stores realised people have different expectations nowadays.

In recent years, it’s not been as trendy for shoes and bag to match.

And yet, ladies who don’t care about fashion still wonder if a purse and shoes have to match.

Point of view, matching a bag with shoes is truly a topic that opens many questions and starts women to talk about fashion trends. But why?

Firstly, many brick-and-mortar stores haven’t changed yet. Well, at least not in fashionable undeveloped cities. In Ljubljana, for example, where the biggest luxury department stores still place shoes right next to the bags.

Surely you won’t see shoes and bags on the same level in Paris. At least not at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche or Galeries Lafayette, two Parisian leading fashion stores. Bags have their spot on the ground level, whereas shoes are usually sold in upper levels.

At Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche shoes are sold in the shoe heaven on the 2nd floor. To make sure you hardly remember the colour of the bag you just bought on the ground floor by the time you enter the shoe heaven on the 2nd floor in the winter garden.

But there is another reason why women know a purse and shoes have to match in 2024 2025. And this reason makes even the Parisians wonder whether they should climb up to the shoe heaven after purchasing a new bag.

As stated at the beginning, the matching shoes and bags topic is quite complex. Some draw the line between the current macroeconomic situation and matching bags with shoes. But can we really talk about the matching shoes and bags index? 

Let us go back in time again.

Do you still remember when matching bags and shoes were fashionable for the last time? Wait, let me ask you this way. Do you still remember your tiny vinyl purse and matching red patent-leather shoes you wore to kindergarten?

Yes, it was in the late 90s early 00s. That is when wearing matching shoes and a bag was fashionable for the last time. A little after (or around) the time of economic downturn in most of the Western countries. After the loss in consumer confidence.

But to be exact, there isn’t enough definitive evidence to directly connect a recession’s end to a surge in the matching shoe-bag trend. While the 1950s example suggests a correlation with a booming post-war economy, we can’t confirm a recurring pattern. The handbag industry, specifically, might have seen a decline in sales prior to the big PR campaign despite the economic prosperity. This could be due to a surplus of handbags from wartime production or changing consumer preferences.

Also, there isn’t readily available data on how often people actually wore matching shoes and bags in the 90s. While we have data on how many matching bags and shoes were sold at the same time, I didn’t do the homework and actually wrote a paper about the correlation between the matching shoe-bag trend and the economy following a recession.

But you can. I can actually help you get started on your research by providing some resources and potential keywords to explore for industry reports on the matching shoe-bag trend and the economy. But make sure you give me credits. I will track you down the next time I update this article. All in all, my job is to answer the question of the current status of this shoe-bag styling trend.

Anyway, I suggest you focus on the years following the 2008 recession (2010-2013). And the period following the 2026 recession (if there will be any recession at all – unlikely and hopefully not, but the prominent war makes me worried about the future). The after covid period did not prove a significant correlation between the economy and matching shoe-bag trend. The trend of matching shoes and a bag was a micro trend for merely one season.

Start with Fashion Industry Associations. American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA):– Look for reports on footwear and handbag trends during this period. National Retail Federation (NRF): – Explore their retail industry reports and consumer spending data.

Continue at Market Research Firms. Euromonitor International: (paid subscription) – They might offer reports on the women’s footwear and handbag market in the US. NPD Group: (paid subscription) – They could have reports on consumer spending habits related to fashion accessories during this timeframe.

Finally, check Trade Publications. Women’s Wear Daily (WWD): – Search their online archives (might require subscription) for articles on women’s fashion trends in the early 2010s. Footwear News: – Explore their archives for insights on footwear trends during the chosen period.

When browsing through the repots check for the following keywords: Coordinated accessories, matching sets, complementary handbags and shoes, women’s footwear trends (2010-2013 and the periods you will compare your base period), handbag industry analysis” (2010-2013 and the periods you will compare your base period), consumer spending on accessories (post-recession).

Look for reports mentioning a rise or decline in the popularity of coordinated accessories after the 2008 recession. Consider if the reports discuss any economic factors impacting consumer spending on handbags or shoes. Including the lack of materials and the rise of certain aesthetics. Make sure you acknowledge the 2022-2023 Hermès game.

Lastly, check if any pr agencies got rewards for shoe-bag campaigns. Remember, fashion brands try to push sales using the same method as they did in the 50s – selling matching bags and shoes. But we need date to prove the trend.

It is easy to say that wearing a matching bag and shoes becomes fashionable after the economic slowdown. But it is more difficult to prove the statement as a largely recognisable trend with a long lifespan. Until you write the paper, I can only give you an answer about the current season.


Now, to clear all your doubts about matching bag and shoes – answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about matching bag and shoes.

Do shoes and bag have to match in 2024?

No. Shoes and a bag don’t need to match in 2024.

What are some occasions where matching shoes and bags are appropriate?

Matching shoes and bags are appropriate for various occasions, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outfit. All together there are five occasions where matching shoes and bags are suitable. 1) Matching shoes and bags work best for formal events like weddings, gala dinners, or black-tie events. The coordinated look can tie your outfit together and elevate your overall appearance. 2) In professional environments, matching shoes and bags can create a polished and put-together look. Opt for classic color combinations or neutrals to maintain a professional appearance. You can’t go wrong with a black tote and black pumps. 3) For festive events or special celebrations, matching shoes and bags can help you achieve a stylish and cohesive look. Consider partially matching, color-blocking, or playing it safe with patterns to suit the occasion. 3) While matching shoes and bags are commonly associated with formal events, you can also coordinate them for everyday wear to add a touch of style to your casual outfits. 4) Ultimately, matching shoes and bags depends on personal style preferences, the season, and the specific occasion. Following some basic guidelines like color coordination, material matching, and considering the event’s formality can help you create a harmonious look.

What colour should shoes and bag be when I wear a black dress?

Obviously, it depends on the occasion. For a dinner date wear a black bag and black shoes with metallic embellishments. For work, match your little black dress with black shoes and tote bag in any other colour that is in fashion this season.

What colour should shoes and bag be when I wear a red dress?

There is no rule on what colour should your bag and shoes be when you wear a red dress. Just many options. You can either wear red shoes and a red bag with a red dress. Furthermore, shoes in a light blush pink hue and a small pink bag. Or burgundy shoes and a bright bag. Nevertheless, it looks better when you wear lighter shoes and a darker bag with a red dress. Especially if the dress is short.

Can I wear brown shoes with a black bag?

Matching brown shoes with a black bag is not always the best idea. Brown shoes and a black bag look great for chestnut over the knee boots and a black tote, but not as good for dark brown pumps and black hobo bag. On the other side, black shoes and a brown bag look better if the bag comes in dark brown hue than in bright brown.

Do shoes and a bag have to match for a formal wedding?

No, there is no rule that would say that shoes and a purse have to match for a wedding. Nor any other formal event. However, people believe that wearing matching shoes and the bag makes women look more sophisticated.

What shoes and bag are the best for the mother of the bride?

It depends on the clothes the mother of the bride is wearing. While wearing matching shoes and bag for mother of the bride looks more put together, it’s not a must. Another fashionable option for the mother of the bride and for the mother of the groom would be to wear sequined or metallic shoes and a pastel bag that matches the clothes she is wearing.

Do shoes and a bag in the same colour make you look taller?

Yes! A top handle handbag (or even better a tote bag, or shoulder bag that you hold in your hand) and shoes in the same colour will elongate your silhouette and make you look taller.

Will I look rich if I wear matching shoes and a bag?

You might not look like a millionaire, but many people believe that women who wear matching shoes and a bag are rich. Still, this is very subjective and depends on the culture and country you live in.

Is wearing a matching bag and shoes in fashion?

Wearing matching shoes and bag is not a fashion trend that will come back in fashion for 2024. But it’s not a fashion faux pas either.


While wearing matching shoes and a purse is not the key summer 2024 fashion trend you still might want your hands down on bags to buy in 2024 and shoes that are in style now.