Watches for Different Occasions: 7 Style Tips

Updated May 11, 2021
Wrist Watch with White Dial and leather strap

You want to match your watch style with certain dress codes. This is especially true when dressing for specific occasions that require either business or casual attire.

Digital Is for Casual Wear

A digital watch always goes well with casual dress. An oversized watch with a metal band will reinforce your lack of formality. You may decide a smaller watch with a leather band better fits your outfit. If you're going to the beach or spending the day by the pool, then a waterproof watch is a must wear!

Analog Is for Business and Formal Wear

Many stylists advise to go analog for your business or formal wear watch choice. This is a good rule to help you make what could be a difficult choice, especially if you're torn between digital and analog styles.

There are two types of business watches that can help you decide which watch style is best to wear to work. One is business dress for those cultures that are conservative, and suits are the order of the day. The other is business casual that has a more relaxed culture that is a grade above off-work casual.

Watch Styles for Women

You have some elegant to sporty choices for your watch fashion choice. Match your watch style with your outfit for the best look.


A formal analog watch in gold or silver with a chain or mesh band is your best choice. Rose gold is a different look you may consider. You want the metal color to go well with your complexion. The watch case size is usually small to medium. The shape can be oval, round, square, or rectangle. An oval slim watch will give you an elegant choice.

You may prefer a black leather band with a gold or silver casing. For a more glamorous look, you can choose a watch with gemstone or diamond embellishments. A truly glamourous look is a diamond encrusted watch with a diamond band. If this is too pricey for your budget, then opt for Swarovski crystals, white sapphires, or zirconia.

Gold wristwatch

Summer Garden Party

If you're going to a summer garden party and are wearing a colorful dress or pants outfit, you may decide to insert a bit of fashion with your watch choice. Try one of Olivia Burton's Enchanted Garden, Wishing Watch, Groovy Blooms, or other nature inspired watch face (dial) designs. You can find these is in mesh and leather bands. Another watch option might be a floral band with a favorite gold or silver watch case. Don't forget to don a garden hat to complete the look.

Fashion Watches

Whether you're looking to style for a causal outing or you're attending a party, a fashion watch is a fun way to dress up your outfit. Fashion watches are often artistic styles that offer unique dial designs or complex detailing to give you that extra styling finesse.

Leisure Time Casual

If you're just hanging out on the weekend with friends, you may want a digital watch with a cool contemporary look. You may prefer to slip on a smart watch or break away from technology with an analog watch with an oversize case and leather band. If you have your choice of matching straps, then choose a colored one that goes with your outfit.

Two watches black and pink


A sports watch is a great choice for any sports activity, whether you're a participant or spectator. A smart watch will allow you to connect to heart monitoring, endurance training, or just logging your steps. You can choose the perfect watch that has a countdown timer to help you stay on target.

Business Dress

The first type of business attire is business dress. This is a professional yet classic dress style and depends on the company culture. If your office is a highly charged, professional one, such as real estate, law, or banking, then business dress is your normal. A gold case with a gold mesh band and black dial is a confident choice. If silver is your metal color, then opt for a white dial with gold dots for numbers or no markings at all. A black leather band for a gold or silver case is always a good option.

Business Casual

Business casual can be a pair of dress pants and sweater set, or an A-line skirt and blouse. You can still wear your business dress watch and be in style, or you can take it down a notch and wear that white gold case with the powder blue leather band. A couple of other choices might include a gold case watch with an oversized twisted link chain band or an elegant gold case with a small heart charm and a gray leather band.

Confident businesswoman smiling

Watch Styles for Men

You need to consider the occasion before selecting your watch. A stylist rule of thumb for picking the best watch to go with your outfit is to match up your watch and shoes. This tiny dress code rule can help you stay on that fashion track and make your choices easy.


Whether it's a wedding or an official business party, when the dress code is black tie, you want your watch to be in sync. Choose an analog dial that features a second hand or second hand dial. A gold case with a black leather band has a classic look. A gold case with a gold band makes a suave accessory to your suit and leather shoes. You want the metal color of your watch to match your cufflinks, tie clip, rings, and other jewelry.

Man wearing suit with nice watch

Summer Garden Party

Your invitation to a summer garden demands a summer party casual dress code. A sports jacket, no-tie, and a pair of khaki or navy blue slacks with a pair of leather slip ons or loafers is a good look. A dive or pilot watch is a popular casual choice for the modern guy.

Fashion Watch

You may want to make your own fashion statement with style and color. A multi-functional Chronograph watch is always a stylish choice. You have many choices of dial and band colors.

Mens wristwatch being held in a watch shop

Leisure Time Casual

Your idea of leisure may be going hunting, diving, or parasailing. A military style watch may be your perfect fashion choice for your casual downtime. You may prefer a simple silver or gold case that will go with any band choice you prefer.


Your choice of sports watches may be a smart watch to keep track of your cardio and stay in contact while you're out running or playing racket ball. You may prefer a waterproof tactical watch to survive that diving trip or deep sea fishing. Whatever style of watch you need, there are many choices available.

Business Dress

Business dress is a step down from black tie, but you can successfully wear the same watch you would for a black-tie event. Other choices would be a low profile gold or silver case with a mesh or leather band.

Businessman getting ready to work

Business Casual

When you dress business casual, you typically don't wear a necktie. Some office cultures don't require a suit coat, just the dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. Style your watch choice by opting for a classic dark dial with white numbers common in field watches and then add your choice of watch band. A chronograph watch can be worn for a business casual fashion choice. A simple gold or silver case with a gray or black band is always an ideal standby.

Watches for Women and Men

You can find any style of watch to match your outfits. A few fashion guidelines can make your decisions much easier.

Watches for Different Occasions: 7 Style Tips