Belts, simply put, are a necessity. They’re a part of almost every professional outfit, and most casual ones too. That being said, belts shouldn’t only be regarded as a functional piece. In addition to, you know, holding up your pants, belts also serve the potential to be a great statement or finishing piece to any look. When you need to add a splash of color or distinguish a break from your midsection to lower body, there’s nothing more important–and easy–than a belt. Let’s take you to step by step to picking out the belt that you need.
What to Avoid This seems like the logical place to start. There are tons of belts out there, and many of them are downright awful. Cheap materials like synthetic leather will look obvious on a belt and should be avoided. It’s worth it to shell out a little extra cash to invest in a belt that will last you for years.
Length The first thing to do before you pick out a belt is understanding what length you need. Belts are usually measured in inches or centimeters. You’ll know if a belt is the right size when you put it on. Unless you’re buying a belt online, never purchase a belt without making sure it fits first. If a belt is marked with waist numbers (30, 32, 34, etc.) the general advice is to buy a belt that two sizes larger than your pant size. This’ll allow for better adjustment so you won’t end up using the last hole on your belt and having too much extra belt sticking out.
Material Leather belts are classic and irreplaceable. A leather belt is something every man should own and is the hallmark of formal wear. That being said, belts have made the transition into more casual materials. Cotton and polyester belts are great and perhaps even preferred equivalents to leather belts when it comes to casual looks. They come in a lot of different colors and can stand out against a monochromatic outfit. If you still want to keep it somewhat formal, distressed leather is another good option that’s more on the casual side. Distressed leather adds some style and personality to an otherwise classic office belt.
Buckles Every belt technically has a buckle. It’s often the flashy buckles that are labeled as “belt buckles,” though. Flashy belt buckles are something that is often debated on. In our humble opinion, avoid them. Some belt buckles can work and add a focal point for an outfit. However, most of the time, they look excessive, especially for the price. The showy and blinged-out look comes off as too intense, and great style should always appear effortless. However, to each their own, so check them out and decide for yourself.