Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Belts Are a Choice, Not a Necessity. But You Should Choose to Wear One.

Let me lead this post off by saying that if you are wearing a belt so your pants don't fall down, you need new pants.  Belts should be an accessory you choose to complement the rest of your ensemble, not something you wear to avoid mooning the whole office.  That said, once you have some pants that fit correctly you can use your belt to add some splash to your wardrobe or to just keep your look together.

The Leather Belt

I really should not have to tell you that the leather belt is one thing that you have to have at least one of. If not two. Probably two.  Yah, you need two. Black and brown should be represented, as it's important to match your belt to your shoes when they are both leather. Some people like a white leather belt as well, I'm not one of them. I prefer to have two different widths of each as well. A belt that is appropriate with trousers and suits should be about 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide, no more. Something closer to 2 inches is more appropriate for jeans.  With your business attire, keep the buckle simple like the belts featured below from Boss and Express.
BOSS Black '9005' Leather Belt
Express 2-in-1 Reversible Leather Belt

The Webbed Belt

A killer look with jeans and shorts, the webbed belt is a stylish choice not only because it looks great but also because you can find them dirt cheap. I prefer the double ring closure to the full buckle but either can be a good look. There are so many variations of the nylon webbed belt out there that I recommend having 3 or 4 in your wardrobe, just to match and contrast with a variety of outfits. Below are two different but very classy webbed belts from Urban Outfitters and Tommy Hilfiger.

Urban Outfitters Reversible D-Ring Belt

Tommy Hilfiger Webbed Belt

The Braided Belt

Out of popularity for many years, mostly due to the fact that people wore them at functions where a more formal belt was necessary, the braided belt is something you most likely think of your grandpa wearing. However they can be a fashionable casual accessory when worn correctly. First of all, keep it thin (this is still a leather belt) and make sure that it is the right waist size. It's easy to not think about waist size with a braided belt because there are no holes for the buckle, but you should not have more than 2 inches of belt sticking out from your first belt loop once the belt is on and fitting right. I love these two belts from Land's End and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Land's End Men's Braided Belt

Polo Ralph Lauren Braided Leather O-Ring Belt

Getting the right belt for the occasion and making sure the style is appropriate is key to getting your look right. Feel free to experiment with more casual styles but when you are trying to keep a look classic and professional, keep your belt matching your shoes.

Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.

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