Here at Berle, we’re all about the art of wearing pants. And yes, it’s more of an art than a science. But wearing pants isn’t only about the pants themselves—it’s also about what you surround the pants with. Shoes, shirts, accessories—they all influence how your pants look when you wear them. And perhaps the most visible sign of whether or not you have your trouser act together is whether or not you know how to pick the right belt for your trousers.
But picking the right belt for your trousers is also an art form, which is why we can’t give you distinct rules. We can, however, offer you a few helpful tips along the way.
Match the Belt Color to Your Shoes
Many people think that they have to pick a belt that matches their pants. Black pants means black belt, or khaki pants go with a brown belt. What you really want to do is match the color of your shoes to your belt, as this distance does far more to visually pull your outfit together. If picking a belt to match your trousers were as simple as wearing a belt the same color as your pants, you’d see it happen all the time. It doesn’t happen. You want your belt to pop and complement your pants, but you really want it to match your shoes. Brown shoes with white pants and a brown belt will look far more “put together” than most color combinations in your wardrobe.
Match the Belt Size to the Belt Loops
Here’s an under-used tip that many people don’t even think twice about: your belt should generally fit the size of the belt loops you’re wearing. If you have a belt that’s half an inch wide and belt loops designed for a full inch, then you’ll have a subtle “ill-fitting” look, even if it’s difficult to discern what’s causing your outfit to look so haggard.
The best way to do this? Know the size of the belt loops of your pants before you buy the belt, or vice versa. If you have to bring a tape measure to the fitting room with you, your wardrobe will thank you.
Think of the Belt as an Accessory
Like a watch or a bracelet, your belt is something “extra” that helps tie an outfit together. Truth be told, no pair of pants should be so ill fitting that you need a belt to carry them about your waist. Belts are accessories, so treat them that way. If you wear a brown leather belt, make sure that it’s an accessory that helps pull your outfit together. If your outfit is a little bland, maybe try a colorful canvas belt. A belt is something that can make or break an outfit, as simple as it seems, because it’s essentially one of the most visible accessories you can wear. Treat it like that, and you’ll be sure to find success.