Many cloth belts also have the added benefit of being machine washable, making them a good choice for use during an activity that leads to sweat such as golfing, boating, or yard work.
It turns out; there are belts for every man and every conceivable option. So, long as you have a desire to wear a belt, I know you will be able to find one that complements your physique and outfit. The right belt will complete your outfit, acting as a subtle yet attractive accessory. Yes, it will hold your pants in place, but it will also make your waist appear more slender, and provide you will a comfortable and supported middle section.
This is extremely important for portly fellows, of which, I will be talking to you fellas in a few moments — no man is too big to rock a belt, I promise! The first step in choosing your belt is first to figure out how long should the belt be. Just as shoes have sizes, so do belts. When trying on a belt, always place the belt over your pants, and allow a few inches of the belt to loop through the first hole. You should aim for two or three inches run of the belt, but watch out for belts that are too long these shoot off from the hip and do not sit right.
Remember, no one has any idea what belt size you wear, so leave your ego at the door, and choose a belt that has the right fit. If you are still unsure or prefer the careful eye of a tailor, you can be measured professionally and have a belt sized exactly to your needs. I cannot stress the importance of trying on belts. You want to get a feel for the belt, and to make sure both the fit and style complement your needs.
Belt buckles are another important consideration, and until you try the belt on, you may not know if the belt buckle sits comfortably, or digs into you. Watch out for buckles that pinch at the lip of your pants; this is a sign the belt is too large.
When you go to a tailor he will take your measurements and add an extra two or three inches to create the prefect length for you; in most cases, the sizing adjustment I offered in store, along with trying on a belt, is more than a good head start in finding your next belt. I find the second hole is comfortable, but the only hard and fast rule here, gents, is not to cut your own hole. The first hole is also acceptable, but I find the third hole is starting to verge into messy territory. After checking out tons of fashion magazines, I can confidently say it varies, but one common trend is to thread counter-clockwise so that the non-buckled end of the belt is facing left.
You want to ensure that you have two or three inches of the belt to loop. A word of caution to our left-handed belt wearers; make the distinction. It turns out that belts that are fashioned in the opposing direction, so the belt faces right, is how women are expected to dress. For larger fellows, you may be wondering what size is a large belt?
You can now find brand name belts anywhere into the 50 and inch region and beyond at specialty stores. Talking about ratchet belts made me realize there are many different types of belts men can wear, and you might be surprised at just how many styles and materials are out there.
This is an exciting time to pick out a style you enjoy, in fabric that compliments your taste and function. Leather belts are by far the most common material offered and are available in synthetic, bonded, full grain, and genuine leathers. But also popular are non-leather options, such as woven, canvas, polyester, and braided fabric belts although these tend to have less longevity than a genuine leather belt. But first, for active men, or men between dress sizes, I highly recommend adjustable belts, which offer lots of wiggle room.
I used to think that ratchet belts were something only older men wore until I tried one on out of sheer curiosity and was pleasantly surprised; ratchet belts are super comfortable and can be adjusted without the need for holes.
Generally speaking, the best size for each type of wear depends largely on what feels right; you could be one size in one brand, and a different size in another. You could also wear a different size with your suit or jeans. Different belts can make you look slender around the middle, and shave inches off your waistline.
Unlike other fabrics that wear away with daily use, leather stands up to a beating and can last decades with nothing more than a touch of polish here and there. The main question you ought to be asking is simple: In a pop quiz, most guys get this one wrong. Gold buckles may be allowed if you really, really must have gold, but it may clash with some of your outfits or accessories, so I like to keep it simple and avoid gold all together.
Also, in regards to the texture or finish of the belt, you want to avoid super shiny belts. Most casual leather belts will be pebbled or have a texture or be matte-finished. That and the width of the belt is how you determine whether a belt is dressy or casual. Anything more than that is too wide and will look out of place.
Slimmer than that looks more like a dress belt. You can go with leather, cloth, or webbed belts. They should be more matte-finished.
I see guys making this mistake a lot. Many cloth belts also have the added benefit of being machine washable, making them a good choice for use during an activity that leads to sweat such as golfing, boating, or yard work.
Most belts are worn primarily to keep a pair of pants in place, serving as single-function items. Others, however, are cleverly designed to be used during specific activities, such as a runner's belt , which can serve as a pocket, a place to secure water bottles, a safety reflector, and more, or the policeman's duty belt, to name two obvious examples. Other options look and perform much like regular belts, but have secret pockets for stashing a bit of cash or a key.
Still others can surreptitiously conceal tactical self-defense gear or survival tools, including cutting implements, bottle openers, and so forth. But a belt need not be a multi-function tactical tool to go beyond the role of mere pants support system; the right belt can help a man achieve his own sense of style, too. Men simply don't have as many options for sartorial expression as women; at least within the generally-accepted confines of polite society, there is no option for a man to wear much beyond long pants or shorts, while women can wear pants of essentially any length, skirts, and dresses.
Most men also wear minimal jewelry, if any at all, and tend to accessorize their outfits only with a wristwatch and, at times, a tie, scarf, or some other individual item. Therefore a man's belt can serve as one of his only outlets for personal expression. When you choose a bright and colorful belt, it helps to make your overall outfit standout more. A large and assertive belt buckle can lend a rugged air to an otherwise debonair gentleman, while a distinctly refined belt can speak volumes about an otherwise casually dressed fellow.
And when it comes to gift giving , a man's belt is always a surefire success, if not necessarily the most inspired option. As belts are indeed such essential accessories, and as they can do so much to enhance an outfit, few men will dislike owning several fine belts.
Choose a good belt as a man's present and you are guaranteed not to give a bad gift, even if it won't be the item he prizes above all else received at a birthday or holiday. For as long as human beings have been wearing clothing, we have been wearing some manner of belt. The earliest known belts still identifiable today date back to the Bronze Age , with recovered artifacts estimated to be well over 5, years old. Early belts tended to be simple and utilitarian in nature, designed to cinch clothing and help keep the wearer warm and protected against the elements.
As groups of people around the world progressed from mere subsistence living into true civilizations, often their garb reflected the developments and advancements of their culture. For many groups, the belt took on a ceremonial role, became a status symbol, or did both. Many Roman Legionnaires wore ornate belts with lavishly-carved metal buckles and often draped with strips of tough leather that was both decorative and protective.
The Japanese kaku obi is a man's belt designed to be worn wrapped around a traditional kimono. The obi is both functional and decorative in nature; some simple variations were worn daily, while others were more ornate and used only during ceremonies. This artistic accessory is still popular among appreciators of southwestern-style culture today.
In the modern era, the belt is often used to symbolize victory in a sporting event, with professional boxers, Mixed Martial Arts fighters, and wrestlers in particular vying for the championship belt. Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA.
He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity. The 10 Best Men's Belts. We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. No matter how much thought you put into your combination of pants, shirt, and shoes, you'll still need a good belt to tie it all together. Our selection of men's options includes something for every occasion, from a casual day on the links or the water through to a boardroom presentation on which your next promotion may depend.
When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.
The Best Dress Belts for Men A quick note: Allen Edmonds are my absolute favorites because they’re high quality and they match their colors to their dress shoes. A lot of companies don’t do this, but it’s very important to match your belts with your shoes and AE takes the guesswork out of matching them. This reversible dress belt is a double win! The classic style flips from brown to black, making it the best accessory for any formal occasion. This piece — from the high-quality and beloved Italian label Salvatore Ferragamo — will keep your pants stylishly in place for years to come. Each issue of the Gear Patrol Magazine comes packed with adventures, guides and stories exclusive to the magazine. Stunningly designed, printed on high quality stock .