When it comes to putting together the perfect outfit, it is often the little touches that make all the difference, and a belt can be a great addition to finishing off an outfit when worn correctly. Although often seen as a functional piece rather than an accessory, some people just throw on a belt without a second thought, which is fine if they are wearing it purely to keep their trousers up. But here at Rydale we believe that fashion can be both practical and stylish, which can be seen with our large range of men’s and women’s belts we have available.
Belts have been documented as male clothing going as far back as the Bronze Age. Back then purely a utilitarian item as storage for tools or weapons, leather belts became very popular with the Greek and Roman militaries due to the slight protection, storage for weapons and freedom of movement they offered. Although no longer used to carry our essentials into battle, the belt is still a very important item when it comes to putting together an outfit.
Women began wearing belts much later than men, but for the same utilitarian reasons to begin with. Initially used for a lady to carry her purse or fan in the middle ages. However, in the 1930s when women began to experiment more with fashion and wear trousers, the belt became popular for its ability to hold up the trousers and add decoration to an outfit.
A belt is a great everyday addition to your wardrobe, not only does it keep your trousers in place, but it also adds a little something extra to your look. There is no reason you should be reaching for your belt every time you are putting an outfit together, after all if you have some tailored trousers that fit perfectly, there is no need to add bulk to the outfit with a belt.
However, there are times an outfit just does not look complete without a belt. When tucked in, especially for men, a missing belt can really make it look like an incomplete outfit. As a rule, if your trousers have belt loops, they were made to be worn with a belt. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to. When wearing a suit, a belt can ruin the vertical lines of your outfit and draw attention away from your outfit.
Choosing the right belt for men
When it comes to picking the correct belt there are different aspects to consider.
Length When deciding on the length of a belt, it is best to get something that will comfortably fit around your waist, with enough left over to tuck into the first belt loop. A general rule is to go for something around 2 inches bigger than your waist for a comfortable fit with enough left over to look neat.
Width When it comes to the width of the belt, it often depends on the outfit it is being worn with. A good dress belt would usually be 1-1.5 inches, the thinner the belt, the more formal it is. For a more casual outfit such as with jeans or chinos, we would recommend a slightly thinker belt to fill the belt loops and stop it moving around when worn. We recommend around 1.75-2 inches for a more casual belt.
- Material A formal or dress belt should always be leather, some rules were made to be broken, but not this one. The colour of the leather should be matched to the shoes you are wearing. If you have black shoes, you should be matching your belt. Although we do recommend a leather belt for all occasions, a casual outfit can lend itself to other materials or a softer leather than a dress belt. Also try match the buckle to any other metal items you may be wearing. If you have on a silver watch, always try go for a silver belt buckle.
Choosing the right belt for women
There are several more ways a belt can be worn for women, which means there are a few more styles and type of belts available.
When wearing jeans, there are less rules with belts for ladies as there are for men. A belt of any width would be acceptable, it really comes down to your preference. A plain classic leather belt can be a good choice with jeans, a thinner belt would usually be more formal, but it can still be pulled off with a casual outfit.
Matching your colours with belt and shoes is also much less important for women, although a more professional and put together look would require them to match, an everyday casual outfit does not rely on them matching to look good.
When it comes to picking a belt, think of it as a piece of jewellery. If you would not wear a big statement piece of jewellery, you probably shouldn’t consider buying a belt with a large showy buckle.
With the upcoming summer months, you may be considering a long flowing dress for your trips to the beach or just everyday life. A belt is a simple addition to your outfit that can make all the difference. It will break up the fabric, instantly improving your outfit. As some summer dresses can appear a bit shapeless, it is also an easy way to give yourself some shape. A nice thin leather belt, such as our Croc effect leather belt would be a great option.
For men, you really can’t beat a good pair of jeans paired with a classic country checked shirt. When wearing the shirt tucked, a belt will really set you apart from the other country gentleman on a casual day. Our men’s Kiplin Leather Jeans Belt is the perfect choice for both style and practicality. If you are looking for a classic equestrian look, why not try one of our leather polo belts to really stand out from the crowd?
Pair with a trusty pair of leather boots to match the belt and you’re ready for a day at the yard or a day down the pub. Looking for something more suitable for the summer months? Replace the jeans with a pair of our chino shorts and the boots with deck shoes for a cooler outfit that still earns you plenty of style points.
Whether you are a formal dresser or prefer to dress down, there is no reason not to have a couple of belts in your wardrobe. At Rydale we have a range of both men’s and women’s belts in a variety of colours and styles. All our belts are made from high quality leather, built to last and they will only get better with age. No matter your style, a belt will always come in handy and add some extra style to your outfit, so why not treat yourself today?
If you have any queries on How to Wear Belt then please contact our friendly customer care team who are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.