Originally Posted by smittycl
I've always felts belts should be a clear dividing line sight wise. The harmonization comes from matching belt to shoes.
I agree that they should harmonize with the shoes in traditional men's dress rules, and I do the same. However, in Ivy/Trad, this isn't as closely adhered to. Ribbon belts, Surcingle belts, etc., frequently don't and even can't match the shoes. Therefore, one can't be dogmatic in this arena of style due to the high variance of colors.
Interestingly, there was an article on Real Men Real Style recently that challenged the tradition of matching the shoes, and instead says that it should match the trousers. This is certainly based on the assumption that your shoes are a proper pairing with the trousers as well, which in turn means that the shoes and belt will harmonize. I can't say I always agree with this article, as I do match my belts to my shoes in general, but I do try to prevent too much contrast for the bisecting phenomenon they discuss here (see Rule #7)http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/style-rules-that-matter/
Again, this goes out the window with much of the Ivy/Trad style, but it doesn't have to. There is simply more flexibility and room for louder color, etc.