Wearing a belt?

How to wear a belt, a gentlemans guide

You definitely should! No matter the occasion, you should always wear a belt. That said, some are unfortunately not aware of how to wear one, but you can be at ease. As you can imagine, we got you covered.

A guide on how to wear a belt

Dressing without a belt is like removing a piece from a jigsaw. It looks awkward and will give people the impression that something is missing. This is especially the case with suits where the belt is an essential part of the look.

The few exceptions to the the rule include outfits made for suspenders and other lower body attire not made for belts. But if it is made for a belt, you wear one.

Selecting the right belt for the occasion is fairly straight forward. Stick to the few guiding principles below, and your style will succeed.

#1 – Quality materials

Make sure that you choose a belt from quality materials. A low quality belt will quickly show signs of wear, especially around the edges and around the punch holes.

Style is about completeness, and a belt of poor quality will become detrimental to your style. It looks will portray sloppiness and poor taste. Many cheaper belts are made from cheap materials and with sloppy craftsmanship causing the belt to split apart with time. As with anything, quality matters.

100% high grade leather and quality materials won’t let you down!

Man crafting high quality leather belts
Proper craftsmanship and high quality materials never go out of fashion!

#2 – Matching your belt with your footwear

What type of footwear are you using?

A pair of Oxfords, Derby, double monk strap, or similar is common at work or formal events. Depending on the season, you might also find yourself in a pair of boots, boat shoes, or drivers for more casual settings.

Your footwear plays a significant role in determining which type of belt you should wear.

Matching the colour of the leathers you use

When you wear leather shoes, the leather of your belt should match the shoes you are wearing. In business and formal settings you should always use leather belts, and hence, this rule always applies. For casual occasions, you have more freedom to play, but more on that in the next section.

For the sake of your style, it is important that you do your utmost to follow this rule. Breaking it will give a goofy feel and look to your style. People will will get a sense that something if off even though one might not be able to put a finger on what it is.

If your watch has a leather strap, matching it with the rest of your leathers is a nice touch. However, it is not essential that you match the colour of the leathers exactly. You can get away with mixing the colours if they are not too stark contrasts. For instance, a dark brown watch strap could go with black shoes and a black belt.

For the connaisseurs, matching your leather attache or briefcase with the rest of your outfit will be the cherry on the top – bravo!

How to wear a belt - matching style and colour of your leather and look.
Colours, style, and the stars align.

Matching the leather styles

Now you know to match the colour of your leathers, time has come to align styles.

Business shoes and other shoes in the formal spectrum call for a classy leather belt, not too wide, not too narrow, and with a discrete and elegant buckle. A width around or slightly wider than 3 cm is generally appropriate for formal settings. Leather should be rather plain and detailing kept to a minimum.

In casual settings, there is a bit more room to play. In the autumn and winter you will likely use boots and other types of more crude footwear. Most often boots will match best with a leather belt, especially if the boots are leather. Be sure also to remember the rules of colour in these scenarios. Boots call for wider belts and bigger more distinct buckles that can be a little more rough around the edges.

When the weather is warmer, chances are that you find yourself in a nice pair of boat shoes or sleek drivers. These styles are more elegant and so too should your belt. Formal leather belts are an okay option here, especially if they are a bit slimmer than usual. A braided leather belt is also a nice option giving your style a bit more edge. However, this time of year is also the time where canvas belts thrive. Saluting the old sailor tradition by sporting a pair of boat shoes with a striped canvas belt is always cool.

The devil is in the detail and matching the style of your leather accessories will certainly help lifting your style to the next level.

#3 – A quick tip

A very common issue with belts is their tendency to start curving like a smiling mouth as soon as you start using them. After a while, the belt starts won’t sit properly in the trousers.

This can easily be prevented by switching the way put on your belt with each use. This will keep your belt straight and even out the wear to both sides of the belt.

In summary

  • Make sure that your belt is made from high quality materials
  • Match the colour of your belt with the colour of the other leathers you are wearing
  • Match the style of your belt to your footwear and overall look
  • Keep the belt straight by switching sides with every use

Stay sharp out there!


Leave a Reply