With the right belt, an outfit can come together, a dress code is built, and it can even be a statement piece in and of itself.
If you're looking to keep your pants in place, a belt is the fashion accessory for you. Belts serve a variety of practical purposes, but they can also be used to enhance your appearance, dress up an outfit, or inject some color into it. As a result, they come in a variety of styles and can be tightened to your preference. Belts have holes in the tongue of the belt so that the buckle's cinch can be adjusted to the desired tightness. For both formal and casual attire, belts are a must-have accessory.
How to Wear a Belt
A good belt will last for a long time. Get a few belts you like, and then try to emulate these step-by-step guide for how to wear them:
1. Get the right size belt.
The size of a belt is measured in inches, and it should be the same size as your waist. Put on a pair of pants that you think will look good with this belt, and go to the store.
Try on a few different kinds in the dressing room to make sure the style and size of the belt are right for the event and fit you want.
2. Bring your pants up to your waist.
After putting on your belt, pull your pants or bottoms up to your waist and tuck in your T-shirt or button-down. If you want to look more casual, don't tuck in your shirt.
3. Put the belt through the loops on your pants.
There are loops on the waistband of many pants. Put the belt's tongue through each of these loops until you've gone all the way around.
4. Slide the tongue through the buckle.
Once the belt is all the way around, put the end of the belt through the buckle and tighten it to your liking.
How to Style a Belt
Try out styling tips that might help you improve your own sense of style and give your clothes a trendy look.
1. Try wearing a belt with your blazer.
Your outfit can have a strong focal point if you wear a wide belt to cinch a long blazer. You can make a unique shape with a longer blazer by wrapping a wider belt around it and fastening it in the middle.
2. Add a belt that goes with it.
Belts can be their own fashion statement, since they sit about halfway up your body, but they can also tie an outfit's look together. Your shoes, pocket square, or even your jewelry might match the color, material, or pattern of your belt.
3. Wear a belt with a dress or pant that doesn't have belt loops.
Belts usually go through the loops on your pants, but they can also just sit on your waist to define your shape or add a pop of color that contrasts with the color of your dress.
4. Go for earthy colors.
Chinos usually come in muted colors like beige, olive, and khaki, which go well with brown belts.
5. Match the belt's width to the size of the belt loops on your pants.
Your belt should go through your belt loops tightly. You don't want your belt to be too big or too small for your loop. If you put a thin belt through a wide loop, it will hang loosely, but if you put a wide belt through a narrow loop, it will feel tight. Find a belt that fits your waist size so that this accessory fits in with the rest of your outfit.
6. Consider your belts as seasonal accessories.
Like the rest of your clothes, your belts may change from season to season. In the winter and fall, leather belts look good, but in the spring and summer, cloth belts are more comfortable.
Types of Belts
Belts are worn for all kinds of events. The following are some examples of popular styles of belts:
1. Formal belts:
Most of the time, these dress belts are worn with suits or dress pants for formal events. A cumberbund is a type of formal belt that is usually worn with a tuxedo or suit. It is a belt made of pleated fabric. Some people think of suede belts as more semi-formal, but depending on the quality, they can also go with more formal clothes. Since these are fancier belts, make sure to hang or roll them up properly so they don't fray.
2. Leather belts:
Belts made of leather are often black or brown and are used to keep pants up. Most leather belts are made of cowhide (either full-grain leather or calfskin), but vegans can also buy belts made of fake leather. Belts made of leather can be worn in both casual and dressy situations. Genuine leather belts can be cleaned with a leather cleaner. If you wear your belt a lot, you can wipe it down with the cleaner and let it dry overnight twice a year so that each time you wear it, it feels like putting on a new belt.
3. Braided belts:
Many pieces of leather are braided together to make a solid piece of material called a "braided belt." They can be worn to a formal event, but most people think of them as casual belts.
4. Garter belts:
A garter belt is a functional belt that is worn as lingerie to keep garters or thigh-high socks from falling down.
5. Chain belts:
A chain belt is an accessory made of a piece of metal chain that most people wear around their hips or waist.
6. Reversible belts:
Casual or dressy, reversible belts have a buckle that can be turned, so you can wear the belt "inside out." One side of a belt that can be worn either way may have a different style or color than the other. For example, one side of the belt might be black and the other might be brown, but the buckle usually stays the same.
7. Skinny belts:
Most thin belts are made of leather and can be worn casually or formally. People often wear them as waist belts to show off their shape, which makes them more stylish than useful.
8. Canvas belts:
People in the military used to wear canvas belts as part of their training uniform. These military belts can keep a pair of pants on a person's waist while letting them move more than a leather belt would. Belts made of canvas are usually made of a mix of linen and cotton or synthetic webbing. These belts don't have a metal buckle. Instead, they have plastic hardware that looks like a seat belt.
9. Studded belts:
Studded belts have straps that are decorated with grommets, studs, or rhinestones made of metal or plastic. This gives texture and weight to belts that would otherwise be flat and smooth.
10. Western belts:
Cowboys used to wear Western belts, which are made of thick leather and can hold a person's pants up while they ride a horse. With their big, silver, engraved buckles and intricately embossed leather straps, western belts are now more often used as fashion accessories.