Knowing how to choose the right belt isn’t just about looks. The right size, material and buckle are just a few of the basics you should use as a guideline when choosing belts for men. Men’s belts can make a statement whether it’s subtle with simplicity or worn as a focal point.
Belts For Men: Tips For Choosing The Right One
Women have it easy with manufacturers often making belts within a range (extra small, small, medium, large, etc.). On the other hand, men have to be a bit more realistic and admit what their waist measurement actually is. From there, add 2” to get the correct belt size. For example, if you have a 36” waist you’ll need a 38” belt whose extra holes provide a little breathing room after that big meal. You don’t want the “tail” to be too long—just long enough to thread through the first belt loop and stay neatly in place.
Are your pants considered “dress” pants or are they jeans or cargo pants? Dress pants demand a good quality leather belt that’s soft, flexible and a narrow 1.25” or less in width. Look for small stitching to add strength to its construction.
Belts for casual pants come in a range of various materials—braided leather, printed or embroidered fabrics and sad to say, exotic animal skins such as crocodile. Try a combination of materials like a studded leather belt if you’re going for a super macho look.
Whichever fashion statement you want to make, be sure the belt fits through the belt loops on your pants! Casual belts tend to be considerably wider than dress belts. Remember, they’ll cover up the label on the back of those designer jeans so if that’s a big deal for you, go without a belt. We’re not crazy about the idea—especially if your shirt is tucked in—but at least have the pant waist fit snug.
A good rule of thumb is to wear the same color belt as shoes, particularly for dress pants. Black and brown are essential to your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to add some texture to a solid colored belt.
When wearing casual pants, be daring with design patterns and colors if you’re tall. You can handle it! If you’re on the short side and want to appear taller, match the belt with the pant color instead.
Buckles come in all sizes and shapes. Those that are found most often on dress belts are traditional in nature. Generally they are rectangular in shape, consist of a frame and single prong and are made of silver, nickel or brass.
Casual buckles are more decorative, often larger and can even show off your personality! Here in Arizona, it’s not unusual to see a western theme depicted on a buckle. Manufacturers have realized the popularity of themes and now produce buckles for just about any interest you have.
No matter what buckle you choose, use some common sense and wear one that’s proportional to your size! If you’re tall or have a large frame, go with a larger buckle. If you’re not, go with one that’s smaller and more decorative. Match the finish up with any jewelry you wear to present a coordinated look.