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Difference Between Casual And Formal
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Difference Between Casual And Formal

Belts are a whole lot of fun to play around with — especially the kind you can deconstruct and reconstruct to suit different outfits and occasions.

What's more, pants with belt loops look naked without them.

Buckle up for a fast ride through everything you need to know about these classic masculine accessories.

What Is A Belt?

Let's start by defining what we're talking about .

#1) A belt is a cinching system that goes around the waist using tension to hold up a person's pants. A piece of string can be a belt!

 

#2) A belt can be for carrying things. Look at Batman and his utility belt, or a gentleman who decides to concealed carry.

 

#3) Most belts are purely decorative.

 

 Anatomy Of A Belt

The vast majority of belts have two parts: the buckle and the strap.

Many belts also have a keeper loop and/or an end tip (the end tip is usually metal, or leather on cloth belts). The end tip protects the end of the belt and can make it easier to buckle. After it's buckled, the keeper loop stops the free end flapping around.

 

In some belts, the strap and buckle are permanently joined together; in others they can be taken apart and switched out. The part of the buckle that joins it to the strap is called the chape.

Buckle Types

#1. FRAME-STYLE

Seen on nearly all formal belts, and also on casual belts

Strap goes through frame

Prong goes through holes in the strap to fasten the belt

#2. PLATE-STYLE

Usually detachable paired with snap belts (straps without buckles)

Plate is usually decorated – e.g. in cowboy and biker belts

Hook goes through the front of the strap

Throw (distance from chape to hook) adds to the length of your belt

#3. BOX-FRAME

Box is hollow, metal and open-ended

Post presses the strap against the inside of the box

No need for holes in the strap

#4. BOX-OUT

Mostly found in women's fashion

A simple leather or synthetic frame the belt threads through

Not very durable – more for decoration

#5. MICRO-ADJUST

Uses a ratchet-style track system that requires a special type of strap

A folding piece of metal presses the teeth' of the track system into the strap

No need for belt holes – allows minute adjustments

#6. O-RING/D-RING

One or two rings form the buckle

Belt is fastened by threading through them

Casual, used with braided, webbing and canvas belts

#7. SNAP

Male' and female' ends snap together like a seat belt

Very casual and functional, often found in outdoor pursuits gear

Not to be confused with snap belts

Strap Widths

#1. 1.25 inches

Formal belts

Belts for smaller guys (waist under 34)

Belts for skinny jeans and tapered trousers

#2. 1.5 inches

Formal to casual

Goes well with denim, chinos and heavier fabrics

#3. 1.75 inches

Rarer and definitely casual

Perfect with jeans and casual trousers

Suits statement buckles as well as classic buckles

How To Buy Quality

Don't succumb to the lure of cheap leather it cracks easily and makes you look shabby.

 

Indicators of good quality in belts include:

– Soft supple leather that doesn't crack — the best (and most expensive) belts are made from calfskin.

–  Leather can be marked slightly with a fingernail, meaning it's still soft and fresh.

– Good stitching — small, tight stitches with no loose ends.

–  Interchangeable snap buckles.

 

Brand names, in my opinion, are NOT worth paying more for when it comes to belts, because nobody's likely to notice where your belt came from! If you've got a little extra to spend, invest in quality instead.

 

 Belt Sizing Guide For Men

Your belt size should be 1-2 inches longer than the size of your pants waist. So if you take a 40 in pants, you want a 41-42 inch belt.

 

Alternatively, you can work out the size of your new belt from your old belt. Measure from where you always buckle it to the opposite end of the strap, and get the closest size to that.

 

When buying a plate buckle, remember the throw (distance from chape to hook) adds to the length of your belt.

 

If you love a belt that's the wrong size (or your size has changed since you bought the belt) DO NOT be tempted to gouge a hole in it with your pocket knife or kitchen scissors. It will be obvious, and the belt will end up breaking. Take it to your local cobbler to get a hole made properly.

 

Dress belts should only have a short tail end. You just want a few inches of leather to the left of the buckle when it's fastened, long enough to tuck through the first belt loop or the loop on the belt itself if it has one.

 

Casual belts can have a little bit more of a tail, although TOO long will still look awkward. Military-style canvas belts with brass buckles traditionally get their tails docked right down to the buckle.


If all this sizing math seems too complicated, Contact us freely and I will tell you which belt can match any waist.

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