Long gone are the times when men wore belts to uphold their pants and trousers. Today, these are the ultimate part of their wardrobe and a crucial accessory to achieve a polished look. The right kind of texture, design, and color creates the best impressions, and the improperly matched ones can ruin your entire dress.
So, just like there are outfits for every occasion, you have belts for each kind of attire. You cannot randomly pick any. If you want to create a significant impact everywhere you go wearing it, you have to select a perfect ‘centerpiece’. But, how do you choose the one that works for your needs? Well, there is no set of rules but a few things to keep in mind when buying and styling it. Keep reading to know.
- Dress Belts vs. Casual Belts
Men’s belts come under two categories – dress belts and casual belts. As the name suggests, dress belts are more formal and appropriate to wear with trousers and suits. These are generally black or brown in color and lesser in width. On the other hand, casual belts are for routine usage and are tougher and thicker. These are worn with jeans, shorts, and different daily outfits.
- Materials and Textures
Leather, suede, and cotton are common types of materials used for belts. However, it is only the leather material that is the most versatile and used for both formal and casual belts. So, keep an eye for full-grain leather, as anything other than that wears out quickly. Use suede and cotton belts for casual dressing options only.
- Buckle and Strap Styles
There are more types of belt buckles than you can think of – frame-style, plate-style and box-frame style for formal belts, and O-ring/D-ring style and snap style for casual choices. Then there are different strap widths ranging from 1.25 inches to 1.75 inches and materials from leather to fabric. Thinner and leather belts are great for office use; thicker and fabric belts can work fine for casual occasions.
- Reversible or Non-Reversible Belts
If you don’t want to collect separate belts for different occasions, invest in one reversible belt that brings the much-needed versatility to your wardrobe. These belts come with a twisting buckle that you just have to pull a little and twist to the other color side, so you have a new belt to team up with your clothes. Black and brown are the popular shades in these kinds of belts.
- Staple Colors
When choosing belt colors, there are practically three to four options that work with men’s outfits without leading to a meltdown. Dark brown, black, and tan are the safest go-to choices. You can also get your hands on a burgundy leather belt. It may be a little trickier to assemble with clothes, but it is a great way to make your formal sets stand out.
- Your Shoes
This is a crucial aspect to keep in mind when dressing up formally. Your leathers should be of the same color, and the type of finishing of your shoes should match the belt. Use glossy belts to pair with highly-polished shoes and matte belts to team up with matte shoes. If you want to style a belt with non-standard shoe colors such as green or blue, brown color is your best bet.
- Your Metals
Though this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, it is still recommended for framing attractive and well-thought formal attire. When you keep all the hardware elements such as cufflinks, tie clips, belt buckles, and watches in the same color family, it looks that you have put effort into planning your clothes and have a good fashion sense.