Tips on Choosing the Right Belts for Men

Wearing belts is something men are accustomed to; however, it is sometimes still a challenge to choose the right one which will match your outfit. One of the things to keep in mind when choosing a belt is to keep it classic and simple. This way, it will work either for an informal or casual look. There are varieties of belts to choose from and here are some tips on how to choose the best ones that will match your outfit and give you a nice look.

Match Belt and Trouser Formality

It is important to match your belt and trousers according to formality to make your outfit look good. Dressy leather belts will not look good on cargo pants, and neither would rough leather belts look appropriate on dress pants. How can you tell if a belt is dressy or if it is casual? The secret is on the width of the belt. Wide belts look more casual than narrow ones. Wide casual belts are best worn with lighter denim pants and cargo pants while narrow belts, on the other hand, are best with dressier pants like dress pants, chinos, and dark denim.

Match Belt and Shoe Color

After knowing how to distinguish formal belts from casual belts, next is to choose the appropriate colors. Wearing a belt with the correct width and color will make your outfit look good. Matching the color of your belt to your shoes, and the color of your shoes to your pants is another rule to look more fashionable. Here are some tips:

  • Light blue pants go with brown shoes and brown belt
  • Dark blue pants go with black or brown shoes and belt
  • Black pants go with black shoes and black belt

Since men usually wear black shoes, owning a black belt is important. Black is a neutral color, therefore, you can also pair black belts with any color of shoes if you don’t have certain belt colors to match them.

Match Belt and Shoe Material

Some men stick with using leather belts with any outfit they wear. That is fine, however, you can also match your belt’s material to the material of your shoes for a better look. For example, glossy belts should be paired with highly-polished shoes, and matte belts go with matte shoes. Men typically wear shoes which materials are canvas, plain leather, and suede, and you can buy belts with the same materials that will match them.

These tips are listed in order of importance; therefore, you should pay attention first on the width of your belt before its color, and on its color first before on its material.

Aside from these three tips, another thing that can add style to your outfit is the belt buckles. According to some stylists, the bigger the belt buckle, the less formal it is. Formal belts or dress belts usually have silver or gold-colored buckles. Casual belts, on the other hand, can have any kind of buckle on them. There are also different belt buckles to choose from.

Buckles with a tongue: In this type of buckle, the belt slides through a metal loop, and a metal tongue is slipped through a hole in the belt to pin it down. These belts are the classic belts that are suite for people who like to dress more elegantly and have a classic vibe to their personality. Such belts are readily available everywhere but if elegance is the motto, go for 100% genuine leather. There are several high end brands that offer leather accessories. For reasonable prices you can check amazon.

Buckles with a hook: This type of buckle has a flat metal or plastic plate attached. A hook is slipped on the back of the buckle through the front of the belt.

Buckles with a sliding latch: In this type of buckle, the belt slides through a metal latch where it is pressed by a vertical peg into place. These belt buckles are usually made of stainless steel or plastic and are quick release. Such belts are mostly used in military uniforms because of their lightweight and breathable material.  Most of them are nickel-free and made up of plastic for men who are allergic to metal. Also, the plastic buckles make the security checks easier. The buckles are removable and strap can be cut to adjust to the size easily. The material of the belt is very flexible and quick dry hence it can be used for sports and daily wear. Since the buckle can easily come out so you can change the buckle according to the outfit.

Braided belts: This type of belt has a basic tongue buckle, however; the belt is made of woven leather braid rather than flat leather with holes. In braided belts, the tongue of the buckle can slip between any two strands which is why the size of belt doesn’t matter. The braided belts are often used over casual outfits. These belts have an elastic stretch therefore the belts stretches with you as you move, sit, bend etc. The braided belts always come with a buckle and a tongue hence infinite sizing options. Because of the stretch belt never feels too tight. The belt can be added to an office appropriate outfit for a more business casual look.

Some of the belts you can buy have their buckles attached with a snap on the back. This means that the buckle can be changed out. On the other hand, if the buckle is stitched in place, it means that it’s the only buckle you can wear with the belt. It is somehow better to choose snapped belts because they are more flexible in terms of styling it with different belt buckles.

These are just a few tips on how to choose different belts for your outfits. Once you get the hang of these rules, you’ll be able to dress up well without paying much attention to these details. But more than these guidelines, you should always go for which is more comfortable for you.

For more tips and recommendations about belts, you may also read our Guide to Selecting Work Belts.


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