How to choose and when to wear a belt

Here is a simple guide that will help you understand when to wear a belt and how to choose it to always match it with your men's outfit without making mistakes.

You too may have asked yourself some questions about how to choose the right belt for a particular occasion, or even whether it is necessary to wear it.

You had doubts about how to match it well based on your clothing.

Don't make the mistake of choosing just any belt and thinking you can wear it on everything.

I want to give you some advice to help you avoid making mistakes and making bad impressions .

By knowing the few necessary rules you will always be able to present yourself at your best by taking advantage of a central element of your clothing.

Start by forgetting that cheap, slightly beat-up belt in your closet.

I will give you all the tools you need to learn how to choose the right belt for the right time.

Precisely because it is an element that is found in the middle of our body it unconsciously has a great impact on those in front of us. It divides the upper part from the lower part, creating an effect capable of making us appear thinner or more robust, taller or shorter.

Try to imagine a cowboy without his classic belt. Would he have the same charm or would he look like a simple animal herder?

This is why you should always choose the right belt for the clothing you are wearing.

The first essential rule is: favor quality over design.

Choose a belt for casual wear

When wearing casual clothing you should consider always wearing a belt.

Your jeans probably won't be custom made by a seamstress and there's nothing less classy than seeing a man pull up his pants every 5 minutes.

Create a visual stop

Furthermore, a belt creates a stop in the gaze of those in front of you, dividing the upper part of your body from the lower part, so that you can freely wear trousers and t-shirts, even extravagant ones, without the need to create particular combinations.

The person looking at you will then focus on every detail of your outfit at separate times.

mustard yellow belt

The height of the belt

A men's casual belt will be between 35 and 40mm high. The higher a belt is, the more casual it is.

You should choose a belt that is not too small compared to the belt loops on your trousers.

The materials of the belt

When you dress casually you have almost no limits.

You can choose the belt you like best.

The most used styles are:

  • Leather belts
  • Full grain leather belts
  • Suede belts (suede and nubuck)
  • Woven belts
  • Printed leather belts
  • Crocodile belts
  • Race belts
  • Ostrich belts
  • Fabric belts

Which colors to match?

Remember that rule that said you have to match the color of your belt to the color of your shoes?

Forget her .

If I'm wearing white sneakers should I wear a white leather belt? Not even, thanks.

For casual clothing, a classic brown belt can always be fine, but try choosing something more colourful.

Rust red belt

The highlight or a complement?

This is the main decision you need to make when choosing which belt to choose.

If you want your belt to be just an accessory , you will have to choose an inconspicuous, simple and neutral-colored one that matches well with the rest of the clothing.

In practice it will go unnoticed while highlighting other elements of the outfit .

Let's be clear, that doesn't mean it won't matter, it just won't be the first thing to get attention.

You can try to recall other shades and features used from the rest of the clothing. When in doubt, go with brown.

When the belt is the highlight , however, it attracts attention and contrasts with the rest of the clothing. A touch of color that stands out from the rest.

This can be useful when you wear clothing that doesn't have much character with simple cuts and neutral colors, without too many patterns.

But remember not to overdo it with colorful elements. Too many could be annoying and could over-fill.

You also have to be confident and confident with your waistline to want to draw attention there.

Whether the belt is the centerpiece or the complement depends only on the effect you want to create. There is no right or wrong.

Leather and linen braided belt

Belt for formal and elegant clothing

Of course, all formal attire cannot be subsumed under a single type. Depending on the occasion there will be varying degrees of formality. You should never go too far in one direction or the other, such as going too elegant at an aperitif or too informal at a ceremony.

The basic rules

There are some characteristics that we must remember when choosing our belt for formal and elegant clothing.:

  • Maximum height of 35mm.
  • Not too large buckle, in polished or brushed metal.
  • Always in leather and rounded
  • Color black, brown and sometimes blue. In their gradations.

Here more than ever remember that the belt must be the right size; it must therefore close at the 3rd hole.

The finish of the leather

A shiny black leather belt is considered very elegant. For this reason we should use it mainly on more formal occasions. It can be great for business professionals and ceremonies.

For events where elegance is required, but without too much formality, suede can also be fine.

Blue nubuck belt

The seams

Many belts in recent years do not have the classic stitching along the edge.

In the production of quality belts it is no longer necessary to sew the belts to keep the exterior together with the lining, but rather it remains a decorative element that gives an extra touch of elegance.

Not all seams are created equal; the thread must match the color of the skin and not too thick, otherwise it would look too casual.

Avoid seamless belts on more formal occasions.

Matching belt and other accessories

Although it is no longer such a strict rule, it is still highly recommended to match the color of the shoes with that of the belt. Especially if the required dress code is business formal .

The colors and finishes of the metals used in accessories such as watches, cufflinks and briefcases should also be at least similar.

The buckle

An elegant buckle will never be too big .

Buckles with a mirror-polished finish remain a classic for elegant outfits , even if they are not an obligation. However, they are outdated for slightly less formal situations in which those in brushed metal are preferable.

Buckles with shapes that recall famous brands should absolutely be avoided . They are inelegant and tacky. In addition to not being nice to look at on elegant clothing, it is not good to flaunt one's economic possibilities (real or presumed).

Is the seat belt always necessary?

Lately it's not uncommon to see a man in a suit without a belt.

There are some occasions in which the seat belt can be avoided and others in which it is prohibited or not recommended.

Rather than wearing a belt that doesn't match your outfit, it's better not to wear it at all.

Of course, if the trousers don't have belt loops, it goes without saying, don't wear a belt.

If you wear a tailored suit, the trousers probably don't need an additional accessory to keep them up.

There may be some straps or side buttons on the trousers that help adjust the size perfectly. If your trousers don't have them and they are too wide, ask your tailor if it is possible to create them; as long as there is enough material.

You have to give it up even on an evening when a tuxedo or even a tailcoat is necessary.

Alternative to the belt: suspenders

In some situations you may consider using braces. They are a valid alternative.

Suspenders became an alternative to the belt in the early 1800s when the fashion of the time was to wear very high-waisted trousers and this made it impossible to wear a belt to hold them up.

They can help men with a big belly slim their figure and help trousers stay tidy even in those situations where we don't want or can't wear a belt.

Very important: never, never, never wear a belt and braces at the same time. Aren't you afraid that your trousers will fall off?

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