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How To Buy A Men’s Belt

How To Buy A Men’s Belt

Jul 9,2020

How To Buy A Mens Belt

Most guys don't really pay attention to their belts. To them, it's simply a tool to keep their pants from falling down.

What they don't realize is that belts have a significant impact on your overall outfit. It can either be the centerpiece that brings it all together or the one thing that destroys it.

So, how do you make the right choice? How do you know what measurements to look out for? What color and material should you get?

1. Brass Tacks: How A Belt Should Fit

Now, let's get right to the main point: Fit.

At the end of the day, a belt is a practical addition. Before it looks good, it needs to do its job. So, how do you find this out?

A belt's size is determined with your waist measurement. So, the first step is to know what trousers fit you in the first place.

If you wear a 34 trouser waist, a belt labeled 36-38 will probably be in the right neighborhood. Of course, the easiest way to check is just to try the belt on in the store, at least wrapping it around your waist over your pants.

Just remember that it'll sit a bit tighter when it's worn properly.

2.Belt And Buckle Styles

The bigger your belt buckle the less formal it is. Dress belts typically have very small, flat belt buckles (and tend to be narrower belts themselves).

Larger buckles with rounded shapes are common on more casual styles. Almost all dress belts will have either a gold-colored or silver-colored finish.

Buckles with a tongue: In these cases, the belt slides through a loop of metal.

Belt Buckles with a hook: A plate made of metal or plastic is attached by slipping a hook on the back of the buckle through the front of the belt.

Buckles with a sliding hatch: The belt goes through a metal latch, where a peg presses the belt in place.

Braided belts: Since the belt is woven, there are no holes. Instead, the tongue can slip between any of the bands.

Buckle Styles

Frame styles: The essential style of formal men's belts - a simple rectangular shape.

Plates: They are usually decorative and informal, common on cowboy and biker belts. These belts feature a hook towards the back which goes through the strap.

Box frame: The box is hollow and the belt passes inside it, with a peg that keeps the belt in place inside. This means that these belts require no holes.

D-Ring: One-or-two rings make the buckle and the belt is fastened by threading through them, usually a casual style.

Snap buckles: This is made up of two ends that snap together like a seat belt. They're not often used unless trekking the outdoors.

Strap Styles

Leather is the tried and tested option - it's much more formal than other styles, but keep in mind the color and shading, as that will change the formality of the belt.

Leather-backed ribbon allows you to stand out from the crowd with bright colors. They usually go well with activities such as sailing, and pair well with boat shoes.

Canvas is commonly used with uniforms with plain buckles to emphasize functionality.

Webbing is a material often used for the outdoors. Don't pair this with a suit.

Vinyl is cheap and colorful. They are certainly part of a young man's game, worn often to instill a rocker aesthetic.

3. The Different Categories Of Belt

Dress belts will typically be made with fine-grain leather, both on the top and underside. They should not exceed 1.5 inches in width, or it becomes a casual belt (which I'll cover below).

The end should be long enough to finish through the first loop of your trousers only.

The quality of the leather is the one common factor: Calfskin is the most common material used for such belts, and a good one will have soft, supple leather.

4. Buying Men's Belts

Very similar-looking belts sometimes vary widely in cost.

Flex the belt to make sure it hasn't turned brittle or started to crack. Another good test of leather is to score the back very lightly with your fingernail - if a faint line appears, the leather is still soft and fresh. Old, hard leather will resist your nail.

Construction is the other major factor affecting the price of a belt. Look for small, tight stitching with no loose ends wherever the leather has been sewn.

Buckles attached with a snap on the back of the belt can be changed out, while a buckle stitched in place is the only one you can wear with the belt - some men may find the flexibility of a snapped belt worth paying more for, especially in good leather.


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