How to Choose the Right Belt for Your Outfit
A quality leather belt can make or break an outfit. If you ask any stylist, they will likely tell you that belts shouldn’t be overlooked regardless of your stylistic preferences. Certainly, the right belt can take a decent outfit and turn it into a great one. Even the absence of a belt can have an adverse effect on your look.
In order to find the right belt for you, you must first learn the basics of choosing a belt. In this blog, we’re going to discuss a variety of things that you should look for in a belt. From sizing to the material of the buckle, we’ll go through everything you need to know.
Find the right size
As a general rule, your belt size should be the size of your waist plus one or two inches.
Sizing is important for a couple of reasons. First, a belt that’s too big or too small for you will simply not be functional. Large belts won’t be able to hold up your pants and small belts will just be too uncomfortable.
The second reason belt size is important is because it can affect the look of your outfit. If the tail end (the part of the belt that goes beyond the buckle) is too long, your belt will likely look bulky and awkward. Even worse, if you’re not able to tuck in the tail end through a belt loop, it’ll stay loose and flop around when you walk.
If you find that your belt is not the right size, you might be tempted to modify it yourself. However, it’s important to be careful with this. For example, you might be tempted to punch an extra hole in a belt that’s too long. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might damage the material and cause fraying. In the long run, this will likely shorten the lifespan of your belt. If you want an extra hole, it’s a good idea to visit a professional leather worker.
Decide on a type of belt
In order to find the right belt for you, you need to think about what you’re using it for. Is it for work? Are you going to an outdoor barbeque? Perhaps you’re heading out to dinner and looking for something a little more formal. Each of these scenarios call for a different type of belt. And if you do your research, you’ll find that there is an endless amount of them.
To keep things simple, however, we’re going to boil it down to three major belt types.
- Dress belt
Dress belts are great for formal occasions and professional settings like weddings, office work, graduations and so on. They are typically thinner than casual belts and are limited to black or dark brown leather. Dress belts often have a simple frame-style buckle and can be worn with slacks.
- Casual belt
Casual belts are perfect for more relaxed atmospheres like restaurants, clubs and house parties. Unlike dress belts, casual belts are much thicker and often have decorative elements like textures, double stitching and so on. They often come in black and various shades of brown. Casual belts can be paired with jeans or chinos.
- Webbed fabric belt
Fabric belts are your go-to when summer comes around. They’re light, breathable and come in a wide variety of colours. Some fabric belts even have patterns that make them stand out more than casual and dress belts. They can be paired with light chinos or shorts.
Choose the colour
When it comes to colour, it’s best to keep it simple. A general rule that you’ve likely heard is that all your leather pieces should match. For example, if you have a leather belt, a leather watch strap and leather shoes, all of those accessories should match in colour.
Of course, there are instances when this rule can and should be broken. For example, if you’re wearing white leather shoes, it’s not always a good idea to wear a white belt.
The rest of the outfit can also dictate the colour of your belt. If you’re wearing light summer colours, going for a light brown or tan belt might be a good idea. If you’re wearing dark colours, then you should go for a darker belt.
Once again, just like with anything in fashion, this rule can be broken. For example, if you’re wearing greys and blacks, it might serve you well to have brown accents that will contrast with the rest of your outfit.
Match your metals
The final detail to pay attention to are your metal accessories. This means the metal on your watch, your belt and even your shoes if you have monk straps.
This rule is simple. If you have silver on your watch, your belt buckle should also have a similar colour.
That being said, you don’t want to overdo this. If you have a gold buckle, for example, you might end up with too many gold accents that just end up taking away from your outfit as a whole.
There you have it, a short guide on how to choose a belt. Nowadays, there are plenty of online retailers that sell quality belts for a low price. There’s no excuse for wearing an old, frayed and loose belt anymore.