Have you thought much about your belt lately? We get it, your belt might be something you haven’t thought about in quite a while. Maybe you’re a no-fuss, no-frills, I just need a belt to wear, and I don’t care much about trends, sort of guy. Or, maybe you care a lot about your belt. Perhaps you have one to match with every pair of pants, shoes and event type. One thing is for sure, though, men’s fashion usually includes belts, regardless of the year. No matter which type of belt-wearer you are, we have suggestions, styling tips and ideas for what types of belts you might need if you’re revamping your wardrobe a bit. First, let’s talk a little bit about popular belt types
Popular Belt Types for Men
Something key to remember is that belts are a must when it comes to men’s fashion. They’re functional and also can make a statement. No matter your main reason for wearing a belt, they become a must in your younger years when you’re just trying to keep your pants from falling down. At that time, you may have owned one or two belts for casual and more formal occasions. At present, you might have a need for more options, though, and there are so many on the market. Here are a few of the most popular men’s belt types:
- Faux Leather
- Rope Belts
- Novelty and Specialty Belts
Each material type has a different purpose and can be worn in different settings to make your outfit look more put together. If you’d like to read more in-depth information about each material type, check out our Ultimate Guide to Belts. Once you’ve gone through the pros and cons of each material type, you’ll probably want to consider a few other things when buying belts for your wardrobe.
Things to Consider as You Shop for Men’s Outfits with Belts
Belts might seem like a cut-and-dry purchase. Simply go to the store, find something that looks okay, find your size and move on. However, there are actually many factors to consider when purchasing a belt. Without thinking carefully, you might end up with something that either doesn’t fit, isn’t comfortable or doesn’t really fit your needs. All of these are a waste of money, and they don’t need to happen. Let’s talk about things you need to take into consideration when buying a belt.
Consider the Color
Many men prefer to wear black and brown belts, and there’s nothing wrong with this. After all, neutral colors can elevate your outfit. Neutral colors can also work with a variety of shirts and pants, and they also look great in formal as well as casual settings. However, if you dress in a casual way, you can mix it up with a belt of a different color. Try something in your favorite color–maybe a red, blue or green just for a fun touch to your outfit.
Consider the Width
The belt width is something to consider, but it varies by belt style. For example, when it comes to men’s formal belts, the Art of Manliness blog says, “A dress belt should be 1-1.5 inches wide, with thinner belts being more formal. A belt on the 1-inch end of things is suited for a smaller man, with a waist under 34 inches.” When it comes to other material types and informal belts like rope belts, the width can be whatever you’d like it to be. So, it really depends on the belt.
Consider Where You’ll Be Wearing Your Belt
Will you be wearing your belt to the office? Maybe on a date? Maybe to go camping with friends. Considering where you’re going to wear the belt is almost as important as the outfit you’ll be styling with it. This is because belts can make outfits look more casual or formal. So, carefully consider the setting before purchasing anything.
Consider the Fit
We’ve all been there–we bought a belt and it seemed to fit in the store, but after a big lunch, it just feels too snug. You might wish you could put more holes in between the holes on your belt. That’s why if you enjoy a good comfortable fit, you might want to consider a belt that doesn’t go by the holes drilled into it. So, what are belts without holes called? There are a wide variety of options, but to name a few there are slider belts, no-hole belts and zip belts.
Consider the Belt Buckle
You might not think a lot about the buckle, but it will have a huge impact on the look and even the feel of your belt. There are many different buckle types including:
- D-Ring Buckles
- O-Ring Buckles
- Frame Buckles (the traditional ones with prongs and holes in the belt)
- Knotless Buckles
- Slide Belt Buckles
- Plate (like the cowboys wear)
- Novelty Buckles
Big belt buckles can make quite a statement, and even the metal on smaller formal belt buckles can totally change a look. However, if you aren’t a fan of conventional buckles, there are other alternatives. You might be wondering, how do you use an adjustable belt buckle? How do you fasten a belt without holes? Where can I even find a belt like this? There are so many belts on the market that use slider buckles, knots, knotless technology and so much more.
Most of these belts just slide open and closed when you pull on a latch or other mechanism that allows the belt to release. Since these types of belts don’t have holes, they utilize locking mechanisms that are more customizable to each unique body type and fit. So, if belts with holes have been uncomfortable in the past, one of these belts without a conventional buckle might be just what you need.
Tricks for Styling Your Belts
Oftentimes, it can get confusing and hard to know what type of belts to wear for different occasions and outfits. So, once you’ve considered the color, width, venue, fit and buckle you’d like, take a look at the ideas below for types of belts for different situations and how best to style them.
If You’re Wanting a Statement Belt
Go big or go home in this instance. Grab a bold-colored belt or something with a unique pattern. In this instance, the material type may not matter as much, but the color and pattern will. You can also get a belt with a unique belt buckle that will really get a lot of attention.
If You Just Want an Everyday, No-Fuss Belt
If you’re looking for a no-fuss everyday belt, and you won’t be in a super formal setting, a few of our favorites are nylon belts, rope belts or webbed belts. These all pair well with jeans and shorts with t-shirts. You can also sport more casual shoes and not match your belt to them. This is great for casual and comfortable all-day wear.
If You Dress Up a Lot
If you’re dressing in formal or business casual attire a lot, you need leather or faux leather belts. Preferably at least one in black and one in brown. Some men keep it simple and just match their belts to their shoes, which look amazing. For a really polished look, you can go out on a limb a bit and match your belt and shoes while wearing a suit of a different color. So, you can get some contrast. If you’re not comfortable with that, monochromatic will look just fine, too.
So, don’t fret too much about your belt. Just keep in mind that quite a few belts out there can be comfortable while also looking great, if you do a little bit of research before buying.