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.
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
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
Box is hollow, metal and open-ended
Post presses the strap against the inside of the box
No need for holes in the strap
Mostly found in women's fashion
A simple leather or synthetic frame –the belt threads through
Not very durable – more for decoration
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
One or two rings form the buckle
Belt is fastened by threading through them
Casual, used with braided, webbing and canvas belts
‘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
#1. 1.25 inches
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.