Belt Guide for Men

Wearing a belt fashionably is one of those limitless tests of fashion. Being able to coordinate correctly confirms you're a man who knows his fashion. A mismatch or other error shows that you still need to learn a few things about dressing well.

Fortunately, the basics of good belts aren’t hard to learn, and most are common sense. The rest is up to you.

Men’s Belt Basics: Belt Length

Dress belts should have a few inches of leather to the left of the buckle once it’s fastened. Enough to tuck under your first belt loop, or the loop on the belt if it has one, is a good rule of thumb.Store-bought dress belts are usually measured with a range of pant sizes. Pick your belts two or three sizes larger than your pants to get a good fit. If you wear a 34″ trouser waist, a belt labeled 36″-38″ will probably be in the right neighborhood. The easiest way to check is just to try the belt on in the store. Just remember that it’ll sit a bit tighter when it’s worn properly.

Men’s Belt Basics: Belt Buckles

The bigger your belt buckle the less formal it is. Dress belts typically have very small, flat belt buckles (and tend to be narrower belts themselves). Larger buckles with rounded shapes are common on more casual styles. Almost all dress belts will have either a gold-colored or silver-colored finish. When choosing the color make sure that they match your jewelry or it will look off, the only exception is if you have a wedding ring. The ring is understood to be a gesture independent of your personal style.

Men’s Belt Basics: Belt Colors

Leather should always match leather. That rule stays with you in dress and casual wear: brown leather shoes go with a brown leather belt, and black with black. Glossy belts should be paired with highly-polished shoes; matte shoes go with matte belts. If you’re wearing casual shoes that aren’t made of leather, you have more freedom to work with. Cloth shoes can be paired with cloth belts of a different color.

Men’s Belt Basics: Styles of Buckle

There are a few common ways of holding your pants up. Most belts fall into one of these styles:
  • Buckles with a tongue: the belt slides through a loop of metal, and a metal tongue is slipped through a hole in the belt to pin it down.
  • Buckles with a hook: a flat metal (or plastic) plate is attached by slipping a hook on the back of the buckle through the front of the belt.
  • Buckles with a sliding latch: the belt slides through a metal latch, inside which a vertical peg presses the belt into place.
  • Braided belts: use a basic tongue buckle, but the belt is made of a woven leather braid rather than a flat piece of leather with punched holes. The tongue can slip between any two strands.

Men’s Belt Basics: Belts and Jean Labels

Speaking of designer goods, some high-end jeans have a famous label right between two of the belt loops. You may be tempted to leave the belt off, so that the label can be displayed more prominently.

Please do not do this, unless you like dad jeans. Unbelted jeans, even expensive ones, make you look tacky. Choose a slim belt that lets part of the label show and leave it to other people to notice your fantastic style — or not. If they weren’t in the know you weren’t going to impress them anyway, right?

So know that you know the basics, get out there and find your perfect belts to match your style.

Source: realmenrealstyle

Damion S.

Director of Upscale Geek &The Collective Loop.

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