Men’s Guide to Choosing the Right Belt

Almost every other component of a man’s attire receives substantially more attention than the belt. It is considered more as a need than a fashion accessory, and as a result, it becomes an afterthought rather than a sought-after product.

In actuality, though, it should be the exact opposite. If you want to distinguish yourself or make a statement, your belt should be one of your first considerations.

A brown or black belt of superior quality will complete an outfit, while a colorful exotic or statement belt might become the focal point of the ensemble.

Man in a white shirt with sleeves rolled up, with a watch on his wrist and blue trousers with a brown belt

Aspects to Consider When Selecting Belts

  1. Every gentleman should purchase at least 2 high-quality formal leather belts, one belt for everyday wear, and one belt made of fabric (canvas belt or braided belt).
  2. Ensure that the color of your belt complements that of your dress shoes. Black shoe should complement a black belt, and the same is true for brown and red shoes.
  3. Ensure that the finish of your belt matches that of your shoe; for example, if your shoe has a wet-look (patent leather), ensure that your belt has the same finish. The same holds true for smooth leather and smooth leather, suede leather and suede leather, and fabric and fabric.
  4. You must coordinate the metal accents on your loafers, belt buckle, blazer buttons, tie bars, watch, and cufflinks. This is superior. If you are wearing black loafers with a gold horse bit, be sure to wear a belt with a gold belt buckle. If it is silver, ensure that your belt buckle and the metal portion of all other accessories are also silver.
  5. When wearing casual footwear, the belt can match or compliment the footwear. You can wear white sneakers or canvas with a light brown casual belt or dark brown boat shoes with a medium brown belt, for instance. 
  6. The more formal a belt is, the thinner it is. The greater the thickness and width of the belt, the more informal the attire.
  7. The larger the belt buckle the more informal the belt. Avoid pairing your suit with a belt that has a large buckle. It will appear absurd.
  8. For a corporate look and other formal styles, adhere to the classic buckle style – the plain silver square-framed buckle with a single prong. Note that for a well-tailored suit, you can choose not to wear belts by tailoring your pants with side-adjusters rather than belt loops. In this situation, suspenders may be substituted for the belt, or the belt may be omitted entirely.
  9. When wearing canvas or sneaker-style casual shoes, you can wear canvas or fabric belts of a broader width. These are typically thought to be more informal.
  10. Avoid wearing a belt that is shorter or larger than your waist by more than two sizes. The correct length of a belt is so that it passes beneath the first belt loop following the buckle and should pass beneath the second belt loop. In conclusion, if your waist measurement is 36, you should get a belt in size 38.

A set of colorful men’s genuine suede leather belts

Belt Strap Materials

Leather Straps

High-quality leather should be durable. The majority of men’s leather belts are crafted from cowhide or calfskin. However, even within this category, there are numerous varieties of leather.

  • Full-grain leather is the finest leather available. It is the most durable and elegant material. Men’s leather belts made from full-grain leather will have natural roughness and wrinkles on the surface.
  • Another choice for high-quality leather is top-grain leather. Again, it is a high-end fashion option, comparable to full-grain, but the majority of the grain has been refined.
  • Suede leather is often a casual, supple leather. You’ll frequently see suede in smart-casual combinations. It is not as durable as full-grain leather, which is its worst flaw.
  • Braider leather seems just as the name implies. It is fashioned from braided pieces of leather of the highest quality. It is a straightforward method to add texture to a casual clothing. Sometimes it’s also manufactured from suede.
  • The final leather type is from cowhide. Fashion frequently employs exotic leathers. Included in exotic leather are alligator, ostrich, and lizard skins. Typically, exotic leathers are casual. You may wear them with more formal attire if they are black, plain, and do not stand out.

Viscose Belts

Viscose is a plant-based textile that is both more attractive and more durable than canvas. Typically, viscose will be braided. It has an elastic-like texture and is usually informal. There is a vast assortment of viscose belts available in practically every hue; what an uncomplicated way to add color to your ensemble!

Webbing Belts

Webbing belts are often constructed from canvas. They typically feature a D-ring buckle.If you need an outdoor belt that is heavy-duty and incredibly durable, a webbing belt is ideal.

Belt Color Alternatives

Most belts will be available in one of several colors. Knowing how to use these hues is crucial. If you wear an inappropriate belt, it will become the center point of your ensemble in an unintended way. Adhere to a few fundamental criteria when combining belts with suits. The easiest is to match the color of your belt to the color of your shoes.

Businessman holding the belt on his trousers

Black Belts

Black is a versatile color that complements a variety of suit colors. It is the most formal color option, therefore wearing it will improve your suit. Black pairs well with most suit colors, but notably any shade of grey and black. It is also effective for separates. If you are wearing a black belt, your shoes should likewise be black. If you wear a watch with a leather band, the band must also be black.

Dark Brown Belts

Dark brown is another highly flexible belt color. It can also be worn with most suits if brown shoes are also used. (Don’t overlook the watch strap.) Brown pairs well with navy or royal blue suits. It is not as formal as black would make it, but the brown softens the appearance somewhat. It would also look fantastic with a brown or light grey suit. Additionally, a belt in a dark brown hue pairs well with earth-toned separates and chinos.

Light Brown Belts 

Brown is a fairly warm color, thus it can soften the appearance of other hues. It can also complement other light hues beautifully. Even less formal than dark brown is light brown. If you’re wearing pastel colors, such as a seersucker suit, it can be the ideal complement. If you want to dress down a blue suit, accent it with a light brown belt.

Tan Belts

Tan is another informal color. Even lighter than light brown, it pairs well with navy as well as brown. Even jeans can be worn with a tan belt for a relaxed look. Obviously, if you are wearing a suit, you must pair tan shoes with a tan belt.

Oxblood/Burgundy Belt

A belt in oxblood or burgundy makes a bold impression. An oxblood belt complements a navy suit similarly to oxblood shoes. You may also accessorize a light or dark brown suit with an oxblood or burgundy belt for a flash of color. A belt with an oxblood accent can enhance any neutral-colored attire. Match your oxblood belt with burgundy leather shoes, if possible.

Statement Belts

Belts in iridescent hues that are brighter will help to easily enliven casual clothes. What is the most crucial tip for statement belts? Keep the rest of your outfit somewhat subdued and simple, allowing your belt to be the focal point and make a statement. Brighter tones of traditional hues will work really well, but you should also consider belts with more modern tones, which will provide an unexpected touch.

To summarize

The proper belt aesthetically unifies your ensemble. It is a traditional men’s accessory — the final touch; a symbol of a well-dressed man. The incorrect belt draws unwelcome attention to your stomach and makes you feel awkward and self-conscious.

Choosing a belt may seem intimidating at first, but if you understand a few basic rules, it becomes much simpler.


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