Far more than a simple way to make sure you're not caught with your pants down, a men's waist belt has the ability to whisper softly about your assured sense of style or scream loudly about your unforgivable lack of judgment.
Choosing the right men's waist belt is not a simple matter of practicality or even well-established fashion rules, but also of good taste. Well-chosen, a men's waist belt can tie your entire outfit together. If you're trying a t-shirt or shirt tuck this summer (which you should definitely do), then your men's waist belt can be the literal centrepiece of your look. Likewise, the addition of a woven men's waist belt can rescue almost any smart-casual outfit from the tendrils of averageness.
Waist Belts for men: Everything You Should Know About
The wrong men's waist belt is going to draw the eye for all the wrong reasons. If it's the wrong size, it's going to throw out your proportions. And if it has a 'fun' buckle, then technically it's not a men's waist belt at all, but a shocking crime against menswear.
How do I pick a belt?
In terms of men's waist belt quality, both the material used and the manufacturing process are important. Leather should age well, be resistant and not stretchy: that's why full-grain leather is the best material for classic men's waist belts. Also look for nubuck leather on the inside, which is soft to the touch and durable: attention to detail doesn't always have to be noticeable.
This is menswear 101, your accessories have to sync up. When choosing a men's waist belt, match the colour of the shoes you know you wearing a lot, then make sure your men's waist belt finish (matte, patent, suede) is also on the same page as your favourite sneakers.
When should I wear each type of belt?
Casual men's waist belts have an inherently suspicious ring to them, but we're not talking about clasps that belong to a line-dancing class, but rather slick leather styles that are less reserved than formal men's waist belts. Casual leather men's waist belts are one of the best ways to break up a separate look. In the summer, wear one with a t-shirt. Look for a matt or titanium buckle, or pick a soft suede instead of polished leather.
Men's waist belts should never be overdressed knowingly. Personally, I don't believe in dress belts for dress occasions. Your formal pants should fit properly, use a dress men's waist belt to brighten up more casual looks. Like if you're wearing separates to a business-casual event.
How do I colour match my belt?
As with almost every piece of menswear that has ever been created, bold colour increases the likelihood of going off catastrophically. With a few exceptions, you should stick to the core men's waist belt colours that are versatile and less likely to send the rest of your wardrobe to complete meltdown.
The dark brown men's waist belt is the most versatile belt colour and looks best when worn with Bordeaux shoes. This universal men's waist belt and shoe combo can be worn with almost any colour of suit, but it's best worn with mid to dark pants.
Men's waist belts are one of those rare menswear items that you don't have to spend a fortune on getting high quality. You don't need a dozen of them rolled up in your wardrobe, just a few choices of staples to get you through every possible scenario. Most times your belt will be covered, so it's not the end of the world if you haven't put much thought to what's going on around your hips.
For those times when your men's waist belt is in front and centre though, make sure your waste doesn't attract astonished eyes.
Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash