How To Choose The Right Belt

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How To Choose The Right Belt

Words by The Daily Team

15 September 2016

Leather or cotton, black or brown – there are many things to consider when choosing something to hold your trousers up with. Here’s how to get it right.

In an ideal world, all of our trousers and jeans would fit so perfectly that we would never find ourselves reaching for a long strip of leather (or cotton) to fasten them with. But, sadly, this is not an ideal world. Terrible, terrible things happen. Things like bad tailors. Non-standardised sizing. And temptation. Indeed, there is nothing like a good belt to cater for that ever-fluctuating waistline of yours.

A good belt is an essential accessory for any man. In fact, we’d suggest that everyone needs at least two good belts to cater for all the different options in your wardrobe. Here’s why (and how to choose them).

Make sure you pick one that actually fits you. Obviously. The length of the belt is measured from the buckle to the mid hole (if it is that kind of belt). If you were ordering off MR PORTER (and where else would you be buying your belt from?) simply select your waist size. Whatever the style of belt, this will give you room for manoeuvre either way.

Always wear a smart belt with a suit. What’s a smart belt, you ask? It should be leather (preferably calfskin, and without a pattern or a heavy grain), narrow (around 3cm in width) and subtle (with a small buckle). See above.

If you’re wearing blue jeans or chinos with sneakers, you can experiment a little. Your belt can be a little wider in these instances, and you can try a canvas belt or a woven belt. Whatever you do, never wear a smart belt with blue jeans. Unless you’re Mr Simon Cowell.

If you’re wearing smarter shoes such as Oxfords or Derbies, it’s usually a good idea to match your belt colour to your shoes. And also ensure the material of the belt is fairly similar to that of your shoes. In other words, a patent belt may look odd with matte Derbies. And a belt with a pattern or deep grain has no place anywhere near polished Oxfords, please. In white Stan Smiths or when dressing down loafers and chinos? You can experiment a little with different coloured canvas belts.

If your belt has a buckle, it’s always handy if the colour of the metal matches the rest of your metal accessories (rings or tie clip, etc) – especially when wearing a suit for a formal occasion.

Assuming you’re up to the challenge, you can always invest in the more… elaborate examples available on MR PORTER. Ensure you handle them with care, however.