How to choose the perfect belt for every occasion

25 March 2017

"When it comes time to choose the right belt for your occasion, the rules are simpler and clearer than most other aspects of men’s fashion"

Of all the aspects of a complete suiting look, the belt is the most functional piece. On the surface, it serves a basic purpose: to keep your trousers on your waist. Granted, with the perfectly tailored suit, you won’t have to worry about your trousers falling off. However, your belt provides a little extra protection and adds to your look. It might seem like a fairly easy choice to make, but there’s a time and place for each style.

Dress Belt
If you spend most of your week in suiting or business-casual looks, dress belts are your only option. They’re constructed of high-quality leather; they often feel sturdy and a bit stiff when you first purchase them. They’re no wider than 3.5 centimetres, and they’re almost always available in black or brown. The buckle will be metal, and there shouldn’t be any patterns or prints visible. This belt is minimal, functional and elegant. It’s less of a fashion statement and more of a necessity.

Casual Belt
The definition of casual belts is less rigid. You may still find them in leather but they’ll feature bolder colours, adventurous patterns and varying widths. Casual belts might also come in different fabrics like cotton. Additionally, the buckles might come in a variety of styles ranging from the D-ring to a snap closure. They’re more focused on style and more appropriate for off-duty periods.

Occasion & Style
A black or brown dress belt is the only option for the workplace. It’ll match your dress shoes, complement your suit and serve its functional purpose without distracting from the rest of your look.

Braided leather belts look great with denim. Be sure to choose one that’s thinner in width (roughly 2 centimetres) to avoid looking dated.

D-ring cloth belts are perfect for shorts or chinos during the warm weather months. They communicate an air of fun and being carefree. They allow for more personality than dress belts.

Brightly coloured or patterned leather belts are best left for evening events without strict dress codes. They’ll help you stand out in a crowd, and they’ll clearly communicate your sartorial personality, though there are fewer places where they’re acceptable.

When it comes time to choose the right belt for your occasion, the rules are simpler and clearer than most other aspects of men’s fashion. It’s easy to make the right choice.

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