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Belting Up

Belts are an essential part of any outfit, whether it’s for a casual lunch out or a friend’s wedding. The rules for belts at different events varies, but they’re not hard to master.

Formal belts versus casual belts

Belt it up

The belt you wear with your best suit should be different to the one you wear in your day-to-day life. A formal belt tends to be thin, and should always be dark leather; whereas a casual belt has a lot more freedom in terms of thickness and color. Formal belts end at about two inches wide- and you wouldn’t want a thicker belt than that anyway considering it has to comfortably fit through the belt loops on your pants. Formal belts are usually shiny but can be matte, as long as it is matched to the texture of your shoes.

In formal scenarios, the color of your belt must match your shoes. Dark colors are not only the most sophisticated choice, but also the easiest to match – you can’t go wrong in matching a black belt with black shoes, but it will be tricky to find tan shoes and a tan belt in just the right shade.

Make sure it does a job

Unlike other accessories such as ties which just hang around your neck with no real purpose to serve, a belt actually has a practical function. They’re meant to hold your pants at the right height. First and foremost, a belt should do its job. Too tight or too loose are not good enough, but if your belt of choice is suffering from one of these issues, don’t despair- you can get another hole punched in the belt in just the right spot. Ideally, you should be doing up your belt using one of the middle holes.

Snazzy belt colors

A versatile black belt and a generic brown belt are very useful, but not particularly original. Other colors can add a point of interest to an outfit that is otherwise lacking in style. White is a good belt color- it’s classy without being boring, and definitely catches the eye when worn with dark colored clothing. For example, if you’re going out in an outfit of dark jeans and a black shirt, a white belt will look sophisticated and break up the blackness of the outfit.

Red and burgundy are also winning belt colors, sure to draw attention to your crotch. Be careful with belt colors though- you might think a bright green belt is really cool, but they give quite a juvenile look. You’ll either look young, or look like you’re trying to be younger than you are- neither of which are a good look.

The biggest belt no-no

It’s hard to get it wrong when it comes to belts, but sadly, it happens. To avoid channelling a punk look, steer clear of studded belts. Sure, lots of shiny metal bits stuck to your belt sounds like a good idea, but for anyone over fifteen years old, it’s not a good look.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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