How To Buy A Belt [REPACK]
Pretty much every part a man's outfit gets significantly more attention than the lowly belt. It's treated more like a utility than a fashion piece, and as such, ends up being a product that's picked up as an after thought, rather than one that's sought out.
how to buy a belt
Dress belts are more formal and are typically worn with suits and dressier types of attire. Casual belts are wider and less formal, and can be worn with jeans, shorts, and a multitude of other types of clothes.
The biggest rule of thumb that you need to keep in mind when choosing a dress belt is that it should as closely match the shoes that you plan to wear as possible. In a perfect world, the belt would be made of the same material that the shoes are, but that's pretty rare, so instead focus on getting the colors close or the same.
In addition, a dress belt should be between 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" in width and about an 1/8" in thickness. If the belt is any wider than that, then it's a casual belt and not dressy enough for your purposes.
The material of the belt should be "full grain leather". If it says "top grain leather", "genuine leather" or just plain old "leather", then it's time to move on to the next belt. Those terms may sound like the belt is made of the best material, but they're unfortunately code for sub-standard grades of leather. Go with "full grain" and you can't go wrong.
Suede is another material that every once in a while crosses over from a casual belt to a dress belt. It's not going to be the most formal of dress belts, but if the situation is on the more casual side of the dressy spectrum, then it could be worth looking at. The same suede belt could also be used for casual dress too, so fairly versatile.
Many dress belts are feathered, or raised up in the middle with stitching, but some may be flat without stitching. There also shouldn't be any excessive decoration or patterning on the belt. The simpler, the better.
A note on reversible belts: While it may seem like you're killing two birds with one stone by buying a reversible belt, they tend to fall apart very fast (you don't see many high quality reversible belts made by reputable belt makers), and often times the other side of the belt is visible during normal wear, so you'll end up with flashes of brown against your black pants.
Casual belts have a lot less rules and more flexibility depending on the situation, so you can get away with the same belt for a lot of different scenarios, or have many different belts that you use with the same outfit.
Casual belts are typically wider than formal dress belts, and range in widths from 1 1/4" to 1 3/4", with the most common size for jeans being 1 1/2". They can also be thicker than a dress belt, ranging in thickness from 1/8" to 3/4" thick.
Leather is, of course, the most common type of material for casual belts, and as we learned in the dress belts section, you should ALWAYS choose a "full grain leather" belt. This is actually even more important for a casual belt, if you can believe that, as many people wear their belt on a daily basis, and it will tend to break down quickly, unless it's made from full grain leather.
Suede is another type of material that is commonly used for casual belts. It's not quite as durable as full grain leather, but it typically has a full grain leather backing for extra strength and durability, and the nap on the front makes for a nice change from your standard leather.
Cotton belts are unique in that they can use a standard D ring as a buckle, so the belt just folds over itself (which is also the most casual of all of the belts), or you can add a leather trim to the ends, and have the belt use a normal buckle with punched holes.
As you might guessed, there are more buckle options for casual belts. While some belts have a polished buckle, especially statement belts that are meant to stand out, most casual belts have more of a burnished or matte finish to them.
Whereas if you're shopping online, some sites recommend that you purchase a size or two larger than your pants waist size, or take a tape measure to one of your existing belts, which does tend to get a little complicated.
If you happen to get your leather or suede belt dirty, the first thing you want to do is to use a soft rag with some warm water and see if you can wipe away the mark. If it's stubborn and won't come out with just water, then you may need to use some leather cleaner with the rag to give it a next level clean.
Sometimes you search and you search, and just can't find the perfect belt to match a specific pair of shoes or an outfit that you have planned. A lot of belt designs might be close, but just not exactly right.
At BeltCraft, we've created a special online tool to allow you to design your own belt, including material, stitching colors, buckle types, and more. Once you have your belt designed, then we'll handcraft it specially for you, and ship it directly to your home or office.
When a belt is buckled, there must be an allowance for an overlap. This allows the end of the belt to pass through the buckle and be tucked into a belt loop if desired. Some men prefer a longer tail, and others prefer something on the shorter side. If you're buying for someone else, ask the person before you pick out a size. Better to measure twice and buy once.
However, the same width belt worn with a suit can look chunky and may awkwardly disturb the clean line of a suit. Instead, consider a belt in what's called a "dress width." Generally speaking, that's a width of 1-3/16" inches or less. This may seem like an inconsequential difference on paper, but it presents a strong contrast visually. Because of that thinner width, a dress belt blends into the waistline of pants, therefore offering a more formal look.
If you ever asked yourself - what belt size am I? - you are not alone. Belts are an important accessory for any outfit, but finding a well-fitting belt can be a challenge. The wrong size leather belt can make your outfit look sloppy or create an uncomfortable experience all day long. The best way to get the perfect fit is to measure yourself before making your purchase. In this blog post, we'll take you through how to measure for a new leather belt - from start to finish - so that you don't have any surprises when your new tailor-made belt arrives in the mail.
The most common mistake people make when shopping for a new belt is assuming their belt size is the same as the number or letter size of their existing belt or pant size. This usually isn't the case because the materials modern clothes are made with tend to stretch and deform with use, and clothing manufacturers often use vanity sizing.
If your pants size is 32, buy a belt size 34. If your pants size is a 34, buy a belt size 36; if your pants size is a 36, buy a belt size 38, etc. The reason you buy a belt size up from your pants size is to give yourself a few inches of room in case your body size ever changes.
Because of the vast difference in sizing between clothing brands, we no longer recommend only using that simple formula to get the correct size belt. A better method is to always measure yourself before purchasing a new belt. And remember: new leather belts tend to fit snug initially, then warm and mold to your body with use. The optimal belt size fits comfortably on the center hole, with additional holes in case your waist size changes.
Step 2: Weave the cloth tape measure through the belt loops of your pants as shown in the example. If you want a hip or waist belt, measure at your natural waistline or at the height you would typically wear the belt.
Our belts can be worn with any kind of outfit - jeans, dresses, kilts, etc. Measure where you want to wear your belt. For example, if you wear it at your natural waist, measure there. If you wear it on your hips, measure through the belt loops of a pair of pants.
Step 4: Consult the belt size chart. The belt sizes listed give a range of tightest to loosest that it can be worn. Choose the one that your measurement is in the middle of. Our goal is to make you a belt that fits snug initially and that you fit in one of the two middle belt holes. For example, if you measured your waist as 37.25 inches, buy a size 36 belt.
Step 2: Select CUSTOM SIZE from the size options for one of our handmade leather belts. Write your waist measurement to the nearest quarter inch in the section provided. Write something like: "I measured myself and my measurement is 37.25 inches." We will make a belt size based on your exact measurements, with a few holes bigger and smaller so you can continue to wear your belt if your body changes.
It is possible to find your belt size based on your current belt, but it is less accurate than other methods. Belts can be made of many different types of leather, and not all belts are made with the high quality full grain leather that we use. Braided belts and belts made with cheaper materials are especially prone to stretching and distortion over time. Don't measure a belt like these to find your belt size.
Here's how to find your belt size if you already own one of our cool belt buckles and thick leather belts. This method will also work to measure a belt with a traditional belt buckle or when giving a belt as a gift.
Step 2: Use the tape measure to get the belt length from the belt hole you typically use to the center of the hole in your Obscure Belt buckle. For leather belts with a traditional buckle, measure from your usual belt hole to where the prong touches the frame of the buckle.
The example below shows you exactly where to measure from on an Obscure Belts buckle or a traditional belt with your measuring tape. Always measure to the nearest quarter inch, measuring to the nearest inch is not precise enough.
Step 3: Consult our belt sizing charts. Choose the size from the belt sizes shown that your measurement is in the middle of. Our goal is to make you a belt that fits snug initially and that gives you flexibility if your body changes. 041b061a72