How to Choose the Perfect Belt
Unless you’re Batman, you can’t handle every situation with your old standby belt. Your belt is a central element every look, be it formal or casual. The rules for belts are simple; keep things classic and keep things simple. If you’re wearing the wrong belt, you’ll really cheapen your entire look. Fortunately, the basics of good belts aren’t hard to learn, and most are common sense.
The 3 most important rules are:
1. Your belt should match your shoes. Black shoes means a black belt, brown shoes means a brown belt, simple.
2. Stay away from large and/or loud buckles. Keep it simple and classic.
3. The buckle is some variation of the standard belt buckle with a single square frame and prong.
With this in mind you can choose a belt based on the following tips.
The Suit Belt
Choose a low-key, compact buckle that doesn’t yell, “Hey, look at me, not the dude in the suit!”. Formal attire is all about advertising yourself. For this reason, a silly distraction (such as a ‘quirky’ belt) may quickly turn you into an undesirable ‘product’. Your formal belt should be 2.5 – 3.5cm wide, made of fine leather and discreetly finish off your outfit and play a supporting role to whatever you’re wearing.
The Hugo Boss black leather belt below is one I particularly like. The strap is strong and soft, of very good quality, that’s what’s going to turn this aging belt into a thing of beauty instead of a thing to replace. It comes with two buckles, a pin buckle and a clamping buckle which are exchangeable. The pin buckle is the classic style I talked about above. The clamping buckle is more Startrek like and I only rarely use it with jeans to show off the Boss Logo. 😉
The Casual Belt
You can express your personality and be more experimental with your casual belt. Generally, casual belts are fairly wide and are crafted from a supple calfskin, which tends get more comfortable over time since it shapes to your body. Thin belts (width ranging between 1.5 and 2.2cm) are suitable for skinny jeans only, whereas wider styles can be worn with casual trousers like chinos and jeans.
The Armani belt below is a perfect casual belt. It has metal buckle with a used look. The strap is of grain strong leather. This belt goes especially well with blue jeans but can be paired with almost any other causal pants, as long the colors fit together.
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