Any contemporary man must have belts in his wardrobe. It happens quite often that a belt is not just used for holding up the trousers. It is also a fashionable attribute. It is the belt, that helps a man to express himself in the men’s fashion world, which is often full of standards and traditions. The belt choice indicates a man’s status, his tastes and even a lifestyle.
Width and length
For formal or solemn clothes, a belt should be 3,2 cm broad. The acceptable width can vary from 3 to 3,5 cm. While choosing a belt width, it is important to consider the strap size of a piece of clothes, you are going to match the belt with. Belt can not be too thin and loose freely under the straps or buckle under the pressure. A thin belt should correspond to the width of a tie and coat lapels together with a pair of classic shoes with a thin sole and a round nose.
Outstanding genuine men’s belts producers
- Lee Cooper
- Andrea Zori
- Dsquared, etc.
All the above-mentioned producers have their unique distinguishing features. For instance, legendary Levi’s products remain a leader in the field for dozens of years due to the vibe of courage, reflected in its goods.
The famous English brand Lee Cooper stands out for its high quality, natural materials and immense customer care. Timberland is known for its high-quality materials and elaborated details. Balmain is a luxury. The company produces brand belts from chamois, intertwisted natural leather strips.
Besides, Balmain likes to use saturated color hues for belts manufacturing. Dolce&Gabbana tends to use classic colors. Its brand logo is an obligatory attribute. Dsquared is famous for its unpredictable collections. If you want to be noticeable, undoubtedly choose Dsquared.
We can find a wide diversity of men’s belts in autumn-winter 2018-2019 collections of men’s clothes. Braided leather belts (made of both natural and artificial materials) are in fashion.
Choose from the variety of colors: brown, white, beige, blue and especially colorful. There are units with intense and widely-spaced braided patterns. Stylish fabric belts for jeans edged with leather pieces are also trendy.
Simple brown or black leather belts (both of natural and artificial leather) with irregular buckle are in vogue as well. An interesting latest thing of 2018-2019 is textured black belts with a plastic buckle. “Wild West” belts with a shabby golden buckle, made from shabby brown natural leather, remain undoubtedly fashionable.
Choosing men’s belt
Classic trousers, jeans, chino, khaki or any other pants should not fall down without a belt. Either business suit or any trousers should fit your body constitution. The belt is mostly a way to advance your image and look. Keep your pants from falling down is a subordinate function.
Match the colors of leather clothing. Black shoes match a black belt. Brown shoes – a brown belt. It is an unbreakable rule to follow, though some people have another opinion. Moreover, it is better to match the leather watch strap with both shoes and belt color. The rule with a watch strap is not so strict as the one about shoes-belt match. However, do not take the rule too literally. If you wear unordinary shoes, for example stripped, it is not obligatory to have a stripped belt. Just follow the range of colors.
Take a buckle into account. If you are mature enough, choose a classic buckle with no full-width Dolce& Gabbana sign. The metal color and the simple form are the best choice. We’ll discuss it on its own.
The belt, perhaps, is not a thing to spend much money on, unlike a suit, a pair of shoes or a hand watch. Even though, the rule, claiming that the higher the price, the better quality, works here as well. Belts produced from bad cheap leather or even artificial leather tend to stretch and crack after a short period of use. Especially in case you like to tighten the belt.
Spend some money on a high-quality belt and never regret.
Men’s belt size
A belt is a common men’s gift. This causes the problem of considering the length. In order to overcome this obstacle, follow the rules below.
Take your jeans size as a starting point and add a couple of points. For example, if you wear 34”, the belts size is defined as 36-38. The inch dimensions are useful if you shop on e-bay. For Russian shops you need to transfer inches into cm, just multiple by 2,54. So, 38” equals approximately 95 cm. Anyway, there is no more reliable method than to try it on at the shop.
Then, make sure the loose end length is placed on the left when fastened. The classic standard requires the length, which equals the size of the thumb (including the joint). The casual style allows longer loose end. However, in both cases it should not reach the next belt loop.
The proper size corresponds to both above-mentioned conditions with the belt fastened on the 2d or 3d notches.
Types of men’s belts
The belt is not just an accessory that indicates status and exquisite taste of its owner, but an integral part of a man’s look. All the exist contemporary belts can be classified in three groups as sport, casual and classic. Designers, who create the clothes for the stronger half of the mankind, think that a modern man should have all the types in the wardrobe. One can hardly doubt it.
Classic men’s belt
The width is thinner than casual. Traditional colors - black or brown. Material – leather. Buckle – silver, sometimes golden, small. Generally, there is a relation between the buckle size and the style. The bigger the buckle – the less formal style it indicates.
Some people think that a business suit does not require a belt. It is a fact. However, in my humble opinion, the belt helps to fill an empty space (make a bond, if you like) between a shirt and a pair of trousers. So, it is up to you to decide whether to wear the belt with formal clothes or not.
Classic belts can be produced either from leather or from its substitute. The classic belt width is 4-5 cm. It is one-colored with a small metal or sometimes plastic buckle. The leather belt is black or brown, depending on the shoes color, with silver or golden buckle. Silver is more appropriate for office or formal occasions or business meetings. A buckle should not be massive, irregular or crooked. Leave your original tastes for informal dress-code.
Casual men’s belt
There are a lot of variations, limited only by your imagination and good taste. Casual belts are far more diversified than classic belts. You should not meet the form requirements or follow traditions. You are free to choose color, style, material, from which the belt is made of. It also concerns the belt buckle. However, avoid wearing something like a sign “I love Rock’n’Roll”.
As a rule, casual belts are a bit thinner than the classic ones. They can reach up to 5 cm. The young men are recommended to wear thin belts, when gentlemen of considerable age should wear accessories of the maximum width. As far as the buckle is concerned, it is bigger than the usual classic one for it to match jeans or chino pants. The buckle mechanism is variable. There are a simple opened buckle, a pin buckle or a flip closure buckle. As a rule, the latter is used with the fabric belt for the leather not to deteriorate.
Braided belts are very popular. They are multipurpose and a great match to the casual style, with a hint of individuality. Be sure, the chamois belt together with chamois shoes will make you stand out in any company!
A little bit about sport. The sport belt can be produced from rubber, gum elastic or fabric. It is applicable only while wearing sport or jeans clothes. Consider that in the second case the belt is to hide under a T-shirt or a sweater. Such a belt speaks little about formal or casual styles. We won’t be concentrated on this type, we let sport blogs and portals write on the topic.
How to wear men’s belt
- Firstly, choose either a belt or braces. It was mentioned in the article about men’s clothing.
- Secondly, don’t loop the belt under jeans label. It is a bad taste.
Leather men’s belt are applicable with any clothing. If you wear chino or cargo pants, the fabric belt will be appropriate. Carefully wear exotic leather kinds, such as ostrich, snake and other reptiles. They are capable of attracting much attention to your waist. If you don’t want this, avoid such materials. The same refers to bright colors. Use them if you are confident enough.
The braided belt is appropriate in various cases. Be careful with formal style, as its bulky texture will overwhelm modest suit fabric.
Chamois is a wide-spread material. As you know, the best choice is to wear it with chamois shoes. Combine the buckle color (silver or golden) with other accessories’ colors: watch, cuff-links, tie pin. Wedding ring is an exception. In formal dress-code, the belt color should match the shoes.
Obviously, as long as your wardrobe is renewed with black shoes, the black belt is the next purchase to make. Smart-casual style does not put such an interrelation in the first place. In order to reach harmony, match the belt color with another leather accessory, such as a watch strap, a bracelet or a bag.
In order to make the edge of trousers and T-shirt or suit more invisible, it’s better to match the colors of belt and trousers. It is suitable for short people. In general, one should avoid horizontal stripes in order to look slimmer.
Can I wear a thin men’s belt with wide jeans belt’s loops? Yes, if you correspond to other details: coat lapels, thin tie and shoes with a narrow nose.
Belts are often underestimated. Many people, especially those with outdated views will make sure that the belt is a functional piece of clothes only. They think, there is no need to match it with other clothes. Nevertheless, when you play with colors or belt’s texture, or you try to match esthetics with keeping your pants from falling down function, and you will kill two birds with one stone!