Learning about Men’s Belts

Belts, an accessory that is one of the major accessories for men, has been on its own fashion journey. For decades men have worn different kinds of belts not only to make their outfit look stylish and chic but belts have also been a necessity to keep things in place.

Although with an always evolving fashion it can become hard to keep up. From just leather belts with either black or brown colour and a simple buckle, belts can now be found in a variety of designs, material, colour and style. 

It is said that apart from fashion being an always evolving concept, at times previous era’s fashion gets revived, a good example can be seen when we talk about pants, be it long-bottoms or high waist pants. However, while talking about belts, one should notice that it is one part of accessories that never gets out of fashion and has just been evolving from time unknown.

Too many options can make anyone unsure and be doubtful of what to wear, when and how. Belts are not a part of fashion which comes in with a lot of choices and options. So, what kind of belt should one wear, when and with what kind of outfit? These questions can make anyone wonder and doubt their choices. If you are also a confused soul and would like to know what kind of belt you should wear, during which occasion and how to style it, then we are obviously here to help you out.

Buckles

Before we dive into the pool of belts and give you some easy fixes on how to style them, let’s talk a little about the buckles, an essential part of all different types of belts. With our belts becoming more and more stylish by the day, buckles have also evolved. Now, diamond studded buckles to something as chic as woollen buckles are available in the market.

However, if one decides to choose only traditional buckles then they can be divided into: frame style, ring style, plate style and snap buckles. Frame buckles are majorly used when we use a belt for formal styling. Frame buckles come in two styles, box frames and D frame buckles. In a box styled buckle, a hole or prongs are not required. The box styled buckles hold the belt in place with a metal post or clasp. Whereas a D frame style buckle uses boxed spaces to keep the belt in place.

Ring style buckles can again be in O form or D form and are generally styled with a casual outfit. Webbing, braided and canvas belts generally use ring style buckles. Like the D frame buckles, the belt is looped through these buckles, while some can also use a clip that goes through the holes. 

A plate shaped buckle is generally the fancy and chic ones, where a plate is used majorly for decoration and showing the personality of the owner. The plate is usually detachable and is paired with snap belts. It can perfectly be used during an occasion where you might want to make an entrance and be noticed.

Snap buckles on the other hand are not so widely used, majorly because of their appearance. These are majorly used around outdoor activities like hiking. These ones are very casual and functional and hence are not used during the day to day lives or formal occasions.

Types of Belts

Now that we have understood the different kinds of buckles and their functioning, it is but obvious to move on to the belts and how men can style them for different occasions in their lives. Here we go:

Leather Belts:

Coming to the more traditional and majorly used belts, leather belts can also be divided into different types. Wondering how? 

Braided leather- Looking for a belt that is casual yet chic enough to be adorned in semi casual occasions? Braided leather belts are perfect for this. They add a texture to your semi formal outfit without making themselves the center of attention. Although if you are looking to make it more casual then we would say opt for multi colored braided leather belts. 

Braided leather belts are generally used with frame style buckles, where the prong can be put in any hole of the belt, making it as adjustable as you want. 

Suede belts- Suede is actually a type of leather made from the underside of the animal skin. This gives the leather a soft surface. However, these are not as durable as other forms of belts. These kinds are generally used for casual outings and are majorly in brownish and grayish colors.

Tooled leather- ‘Tooling’ is actually a stamping process, where decorative designs are stamped on the leather. These patterns are then stained to make them look different and stylish. The best way to style these belts is to use them when your outfit is pretty simple and can use a lift from these stylish and voguish belts. 

Full-grain leather- The leather used is tougher, broader and stiffer than all the variety of leather belts. The leather is not buffed or sanded to remove any marks but uses the original marks that are present. This kind is one of the highest kinds of leather. You can style them with any formal wear or customize it with a loop or ring buckle and make it look vogue.

Faux leather:

This material is made up of polyurethane on a fabric backing. This is a type of artificial or synthetic leather. The material looks realistic and can last a long time if taken care of. They are also low maintenance and can definitely be styled with your casual jeans or even, the formal wear, depending on the colour pattern and the type of colour your clothes have.

Webbing:

A strong fabric is used and woven as a flat strip or tube of varying length and breadth. This is one of the casual belts that can be used with your jeans or even shorts for outdoor activities. You can make it more casual and fun by adding colours and patterns. Webbed belts generally have ring buckles to exaggerate the casual styling.

Canvas Belts:

Canvas belts generally go with box buckles and have military origins. Rather than styling, these belts are known for their functional properties and are highly durable. They are made of cotton or acrylic blend and have a nice texture to them. When burned, the textile melts and hence the quality used is of high cotton and nylon material. 

Rope Belts:

The most trendy, chic, fashionable and preppy belts in town. It is a misconception that these belts are used only by women. Any man who knows how to be stylish and how to glow in a web of ordinary can definitely carry these belts. Any kind of buckle is not required with these kinds of belts, as the rope loop itself is enough to safeguard it. They are durable, easy to clean and a better choice if you are going for an adventurous activity.

Vinyl Belts:

The least favourite of many, as the quality used in these belts is cheap and many times does not last for long. Although, if you are young and do not feel the need to invest a lot in belts then these are a perfect fit. They come in a variety of colours and patterns and are definitely made for young men who do not shy away from colours or styles. 

Dress Belts:

No, don’t go with the name, remember not to judge a book by its cover. These belts are not just for dresses. These are slim leather belts that even men wear at times their pants loops are less wider and a wide, thick belt will definitely not be appropriate. They are generally shiny and come either in black or brown colour. 

When not to wear a belt

Yes, we know and understand that we are here to offer you a guide on belts. But one important understanding in the same aspect is to also understand when you should not style a belt with your outfit and may be can use suspenders in the place. So, when? 

The big give away is when your pants do not have belt loops. Suspenders are stylish and fun. If you feel uncertain about them, try them out at your home first. They are a fun alternative to belts and come in button and clip variety. They also reduce the bulk at the waist and can also make you look taller. 

Conclusion

If the confusion about how to style your belt is still rising, one great tip is to: match your metals with your leathers. Meaning match your shoes and other accessories with your belt and you will make an impression. 

Belts are a major part of accessories for men and understanding them can give you the edge above all others.

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