The 3 Secrets to Picking the Right Belt

The 3 Secrets to Picking the Right Belt

Jul 30,2020

Belts for Men – The 3 Secrets to Picking the Right Belt

Wearing a belt is something most men are accustomed to.

Given that you’re here, reading this, you’ve probably asked yourself this question in one form or another:

‘Is there more to belts for men than fit and quality?’

Well, yes, there is, actually …

… and after reading this short tutorial, you will have learned what many men never grasp about belts:

That it’s incredibly easy, but also very important, to pick and match the right belt.

Secret 1: Match Belt and Trouser Formality

I think you’ll agree with me on this one:

A dressy leather belt wouldn’t look at home on a pair of rough cargo pants …

belts for men narrow belt used wrong comp

… and conversely, neither would a rough leather belt look appropriate on a pair of dress pants.

belts for men wide belt used wrong comp

So what makes belts for men dressy, and what makes them casual?

It’s actually all about the width of the belt. A wide belt (1-1/2″ or 3.9 cm) looks more casual than a narrow belt (1-1/4″ or 3.4 cm).

wide belt vs narrow belt

You can get belts for men that are even wider or narrower than these two. However, these are standard and, conveniently, also the easiest to find.

Wide casual belts are best worn with casual pants, such as lighter denim pants and cargo pants.

belts for men casual pants comp

Narrow belts, on the other hand, are best worn with dressier pants, such as dress pants, chinos, and dark denim.

belts for men dressy pants comp

So now you know how wide your belt should be, depending on what trousers you’re wearing. But belts also come in different colours …

… so how do you pick the right one for your outfit?

Use Secret 2 to find Your Belt Colour:

Secret 2: Match Belt and Shoe Colour

Colour-coordinating your belt with your shoes is—after picking the right belt width—often more than enough to get you through the day with style.

belts for men secret 1 colour matching compressed

The reason:

The correct width and colour will tie together your outfit, and those around you would have to be very close in order to spot that the belt material doesn’t match that of your shoes.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, most men own and wear black shoes on a regular basis. Because of this, a black belt is pretty much mandatory for all men to own, and to get the most mileage out of it, make sure it’s a narrow leather belt.

Since black is neutral and doesn’t stand out, this belt can also be worn with other shoe colours. Perfect if you don’t have a matching belt for those yet.


With that said, the best thing you can do is to own several belts in colours that match all your different footwear.

Secret 3: Match Belt and Shoe Material

Even though many men don’t seem to know this super-simple rule—just have a look at other men’s belts next time you’re out—matching the material of your belt and shoes couldn’t be any easier.

Shoes typically come in one of these three materials:

  • Canvas
  • Plain leather
  • Suede leather

All you have to make sure of is that your belt is the same material as your shoes.

So if you’re wearing canvas sneakers, choose a canvas belt …

belts for men sneakers shoes comp

… or if you’re in a pair of leather shoes, stick with your trusted leather belt.

belts for men brouge shoe comp

If your shoes are suede … well, your belt should be suede too.

belts for men suede material shoes comp

To sum it up, here are the belts you would wear with these shoes:

belts for men belt material overview comp

That’s the 3 secrets to picking the best belts for men for your outfit. You should know that they are listed in the order of their importance; therefore:

Match belt width before colour, and colour before belt material.

In other words:

It’s more important to choose a belt of the correct width than it is to wear a belt in a matching colour or material (if you don’t have a matching coloured belt on hand, always choose black).

Likewise, it’s more important to adhere to Secret 2 than Secret 3:

Match belt and shoe colour before concerning yourself with materials.

belts for men order of importance comp

As I promised, now you know how to pick the right belt in order to tie together your outfit like a pro and look your best. Now it’s all a matter of acquiring the right belt for your shoes. And when it comes to belts for men, I use this super-simple strategy:

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