How to Buy a Men’s Belt

Buying a men’s belt can be trickier than you think, despite the simplicity of this fashion accessory. If you’re not sure how to choose a good belt for your needs, don’t worry—here, we’ll walk you through how to buy a men’s belt that’s perfect for any occasion, whether you need one for a formal event or everyday use.

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How Should a Belt Fit?

To understand how to buy a men’s belt, you first need to know how it should fit. In brief, your belt should fit snugly around your hips without being too tight or feeling too loose. Typically, a well-fitted belt won’t allow you to slip a finger underneath, but it also won't hug your hips too tightly so that they look red when you remove the belt at the end of the day.

When trying on a new belt for the first time, make sure that it fits when standing and sitting. Remember that any belt should feel slightly tighter when sitting if it is sized properly.

Belt Features

There are a few primary features to consider when buying a belt:

Belt Size

Your belt size will determine whether it’s a good fit for your hips. Men’s belt sizes are typically arranged along these size categories:

  • Small – 27 inches to 31 inches
  • Medium – 30 inches to 34 inches
  • Large – 33 inches to 37 inches
  • Extra Large – 36 inches to 40 inches
  • Extra Extra Large – 39 inches to 43 inches

Belt Style

There are two main styles of belts to choose from:

  • Dress belts. These are meant to be worn with suits or tuxedos. Thus, they’re usually a little more expensive and made of better materials. Dress belts are also typically thinner than casual belts. A good dress belt will be between 1 ¼ inches and 1 3/8 inches in width and only 1/8 of an inch in thickness.
  • Casual belts. These have a wider range of acceptable styles and shapes. You can also choose from a much wider variety of materials and colors.

Belt Material

Your belt strap also matters a great deal for its aesthetic quality and durability. If you’re looking for a dress belt, it should always be made of leather because it’s a premium material that matches formal attire. When shopping for a casual belt, there are several other materials that are appropriate, such as the following:

  • Cowhide belts are quite common and look great. Calfskin is the softest and most supple, while full-grain leather is a little more durable and looks the best overall.
  • Alligator, lizard, crocodile, and other skin belts are better casual choices, though if you get them in a dark color, they can work as well as a cowhide belt.
  • Faux leather belts are durable and don’t require a lot of maintenance, but they can be easily distinguished from real leather by experienced folks.

Belt Color

When choosing a belt color, remember that the point of your belt is to be subtle and understated relative to the other pieces of your ensemble. Belt surfaces should be smooth, so avoid patterned or “loud” belts that draw attention to your waistline. Black and brown are the most classic colors for belts. However, tan, navy, and gray belts can also work well with the right suit or pair of slacks.

Belt Buckle

The last feature to consider is the buckle. Most belts feature buckles with tongues, which are small metal forks that slide through belt holes. However, you can also try to find buckles with hooks or sliding hatches, though most men will opt for the traditional style.

Don’t forget that the bigger your buckle, the less formal the belt is overall. Go with a smaller buckle if you want to dress for a more formal occasion and vice versa with a bigger buckle.

Shop Belts from Berle 

Now that you know how to buy a men’s belt, you can begin shopping for a selection that best suits your needs. If you’re ready to get started, complete your wardrobe with a belt from Berle! Browse through our vast belt collection to find plenty of options for any occasion. With more than 70 years in the manufacturing industry, our team has perfected the art of delivering high-quality menswear. Your upgraded wardrobe awaits!

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