You may be a man who has been bought or been given a watch as a present and never varied from the default leather watch strap. In the box there are some alternative straps, maybe a casual striped nylon version. But you don’t want the fuss of having to keep swapping straps every time you change your outfit.
There is a reason brands offer a variety of straps for watches, and in this article we will show you the three main categories, informing you when you should opt for the casual style.
These are your extreme, outdoorsy watches targeted at an active user. Typically these come in rubber or plastic and are meant to irritate the skin less than a leather alternative would during activities.
This style transcends price points and is the metal offering that can adorn a Rolex or an old school Casio. The metal used will determine the cost and anything from stainless steel to platinum can be used.
Straps are typically more my style of men’s watch. Coming in leather or nylon they are versatile and interchangeable in a modern man’s wardrobe. Some brands when buying a leather watch strap will offer nylon alternatives so that the customer gets more wear out of the watch.
Choosing Your Strap
Like with every other part of your wardrobe you wouldn’t wear the same garment or accessory day in and day out, so why do the same with your watch. A rule of thumb is that the more expensive the watch then the more particular you should be about wearing it. You don’t want to be wearing a Rolex with your gym shorts. In the same light a cheap Casio is not going to elevate any suited look. Assess your outfit then choose the watch to suit.
Here is a rough guide for men to follow:
- Sports or Casual Look – Band or Nylon strap
- Smart Casual – Leather strap
- Business Smart – Bracelet (luxury not a cheap option)
In essence a casual watch strap should not be worn with formal attire. But after that the rules are pretty lenient. Personally I prefer a striped nylon strap as a good alternative to my leather option when worn with an oxford shirt and chinos during the summer. As the weather gets warmer a leather strap can become irritable to the skin. Where possible in a non-formal environment, opt for a nylon watch strap that will allow the skin to breathe.
If you are a lucky man that owns a couple of watches or even better a collection, then divide your watches in to different categories based on outfit formalities. That way it will make it easier for you to choose the right watch/strap for the occasion. The modern gentleman needs to always look his best, and paying attention to small details like your wristwatch choices will be beneficial for your overall outfit.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.