A leather belt is a wardrobe staple. Like socks or a tie clip, they make an outfit functional, but also add an element of style. This isn’t to say that mens leather belts need to make a fashion statement; in fact, a well-chosen belt is subtle.
A good belt ties a man’s look together, without calling attention to itself. However, an ill-fitting belt can do just the opposite, and not all men have an eye for these style subtleties. Follow these tricks to choose mens leather belts for every occasion on your calendar.
- Selecting the Size: A belt that is too long looks clownish, and a belt that is too short makes even the most fit gentleman look like he’s squeezed. Belt sizing is easy enough that all men should be able to select an appropriate length and avoid both extremes.
Use your pant size and choose a belt that is two or three sizes larger. For example, if you wear a 32, look for belts in the 34 to 36 range. This should allow the belt to comfortably buckle and reach as far as your first belt loop. Since very few men will find belts that exactly reach that first loop, it’s better to go shorter. Longer quickly looks unprofessional.
Choosing the Best Color and Shine: It’s always a good idea to have both a quality brown belt and a go-to black belt in your closet. They are staples, and chosen well, each will see you through many occasions. Still mens leather belts can come in a large variety of shades and shines. A foolproof way to select the correct color and finish for your wardrobe is to use your shoes as a guide.
In a well-suited outfit, all leather accessories match. If you tend to wear the same, matte, black shoes to work everyday, then you should find a good black belt of a similar shade and finish. A good set of shoes and a matching belt make for an outfit that is professional and polished.Add a leather satchel or tote to really complete the look.
The Right Belt for the Right Event: Some occasions are fancier than others. The trick of matching your belt to your shoes can help keep your belt on point. For a black tie dinner with your shiny black dress shoes, go for the shiny black belt. Still, color and finish aren’t all that’s involved. There’s also the belt hardware and width to worry about.
Similar to matching your belt and shoes, you can decide between gold and silver belt buckles by thinking about your metal accessories. Do you wear a gold watch? Go for a gold buckle. If you’re selecting a belt for work, you’ll want something more downplayed, not too thick or flashy. A casual belt can be bolder, if that’s more your style. Mens leather belts should reflect their personalities, and understate is always a classic and confident look.
Choosing the Material: Not all leather for sale is equal, and the higher the quality in leather and workmanship, the longer any belt will last. Bonded leather uses leather scraps and remnants to manufacture a single leather swatch. Similarly, genuine leather relies on many layers of leather sewn together. The top layer is often higher quality, which makes the belt look and feel like a sturdy product. Both are made of true leather, but they will show wear quickly.
Full-grain leather products are the top of the line in fine leather goods, made from a single pelt. A full-grain belt will certainly cost more, but the price is apparent in the durability and longevity of each product. If you want a belt to wear once or twice a year, you can get away with bonded or genuine leather. A great full-grain belt will be a go to for years and years to come.
Fashions may come and go, but a good belt will always be the keystone to a man’s wardrobe. Men will spend money on a nice suit, and a quality belt deserves just as much attention. Mens leather belts come in so many shapes and sizes, but using these guide lines, anyone should be able to select a great belt that will look good and last a lifetime.