Fashion

BEST DRESS AND CASUAL BELTS

Every guy only needs 4 belts in his closet, ever. Even though I always say your pants should fit without a belt – they’re still a must-have item because pants will shift as you wear them and belts help break up an outfit. You’d think belts would be simple and this article and video should be one sentence long. Unfortunately, I constantly see guys crapping the bed in the belt department. So let’s fix this. Here are the best dress and casual belts for men and other tips and tricks you should know about.

WHY DO YOU NEED A BELT?

 
Most guys only wear belts as utility items to keep their loose pants from falling off. Certainly, a belt is for this, but there are other reasons to wear a belt.
  • You want your pants to hit a certain part of your waist, depending on whether they’re jeans or dress pants. During your day, you’ll be standing, sitting, and moving around – this will tug and pull at your shirt and pants, causing them to move around. A belt ensures they stay in their proper place.
 
  • A belt is necessary to break up some of your outfits, especially with non-suit outfits. Let’s say you’re wearing a sport coat/blazer with a dress shirt, dark wash jeans, and some oxford dress shoes, you’ll need a belt to help break up the outfit in your midsection. People who go belt-less in these outfits… ugh.
 
  • To hold up your pants as they loosen, not because they are already loose. Please wear properly fitting pants!

THE BE-ALL, END-ALL BUCKLE TYPE:

I have family from Texas (these are my relatives) and they take belt buckles very seriously – which is what every guy should do! All you’ll ever need is some variation of the standard belt buckle with a single square frame and prong – no matter if they’re casual or dress belts. There’s absolutely no reason for having anything else – EVER. If you have any other type of belt buckle, and you’re not a cowboy, sheriff, rodeo rider, or douchebag, replace them immediately. I throw up a little in my mouth when I see guys wearing those horrible box-frame-style belt buckles like the guy below. Whatever you do, please, don’t be that guy!
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THE 2 TYPES OF BELTS EVERY MAN NEEDS:

1. DRES’S BELT:

You need a dark brown and black leather belt with a simple, thin, and silver belt buckle. Also, it should be shiny. A matte belt as a dress belt is a no-no. Look how terrible a matte-finished belt looks like a dress belt in my image below!

WIDTH:

You want the width to stay as near to 1.5″ as possible. Anything wider will be bulkier and is considered more casual. Anything slimmer than that is a woman’s or a fashion belt and that’s not what we’re going for here. Even though the width is only slightly smaller than a casual belt, it makes a huge difference in appearance. Compare this picture of a guy wearing a wider belt as a dress belt compared to the image of my model. Night and day, in my eyes even though it’s only about half an inch difference.

MATERIAL:

You only want leather, but if you’re averse to leather, then get a leather substitute belt. You want the luxurious look of leather to match your dressy outfits.

2. CASUAL BELT:

Just like the dress belt, you’ll want a black and brown casual leather belt, each with a silver buckle. This is where the buckles can be slightly thicker, but not by much. 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 altogether. Also, in regards to the texture or finish of the belt, you want to avoid super shiny belts. Shiny/Polished-looking belts = dress 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.

WIDTH:

Have your casual belt somewhere between 1 3/4 – 2″ wide. Anything more than that is too wide and will look out of place. Slimmer than that looks more like a dress belt.

MATERIAL:

You can go with leather, cloth, or webbed belts. I think you should stick to leather until you’re ready to step out and get more adventurous with your belts. That way, your casual belts will work no matter the time of year or outfit. Be careful not to get a belt that’s too shiny – like a dress belt. They should be more matte-finished. I see guys making this mistake a lot. Look at the differences between my dress and casual belt recommendations below to see the difference between shiny and matte.

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