Short article today and of all things, it’s going to be on belts.

Why belts? Because I feel like, of all things, belts aren’t really talked about by styled influencers and there’s quite a bit to know about them that I had to find out from personal experience.

Belts typically come in 3 different widths (from least wide to most wide):

  1. 1.25″
  2. 35mm (typically European brands)
  3. 1.5″

The wider a belt is the more casual it is. So for example, you’re not going to want to wear a 1.5″ belt with suit pants or dress shoes.

I would recommend getting a belt that is either 1.25″ wide or 35mm for your first nicer belt because it will work with more casual outfits AND with more formal outfits.

In terms of matching you DO NOT have to be 100% spot on with the shade or your belt and shoes unless the occasion is genuinely formal (an occasion where you’d have to have to wear a suit or tuxedo for example.) For formal occasions, I recommend buying belts from the same retailer you bought your shoes from so they are as closely matched as possible.

In any other circumstance if your belt is a shade lighter or darker than your shoes IT DOESN’T MATTER as long as they are 90% similar.

Another thing is, you don’t have to, and probably don’t want to, match your belt with sneakers. The only exception is if you’re wearing leather sneakers that are the usual dress shoe colors (brown, black, walnut etc.) If you have red Air Force 1s for example you don’t want to wear a red belt. It just looks tacky.

Woven belts and cloth belts are fun but I’d just recommend going for a basic no-frills belt. Belts like those aren’t very versatile and only really shine in summer (and shorts.)

When you start buying belts from nicer retailers you will notice sizing goes in inches or cm as opposed to the usual small, medium and large, etc.

To figure out your belt size take your best-fitting belt and measure from the end of the buckle to the hole you use. That’s your belt size. Typically belts are sold in even numbers so if you’re between sizes go to the next size. Some people say you can take your pants size and add 2 but because of things like vanity sizing with pants I find this to be very hit or miss.

You NEVER want to cheap out on leather. It’s one of the few things that (to an extent) scales in aesthetic quality AND durability with prices. I recommend the following brands for belts: Thirteen50, Orion, and Meermin. Costco’s Kirkland brand is also made of real leather and not “genuine leather” if you’re hurting financially. I am personally a fan of Thirteen50.

I try to make articles on things I wish I had articles about when I started my style journey and hopefully this article brought you value.