A Simple Guide To Men’s Formal and Casual Belts

There are few accessories as diverse as the belt. A flexible piece of fabric, it can be worn out of necessity or for the sake of style alone.

They can bring an outfit together or create a bold contrast between the upper and lower half.

Although belts have been an important part of outfit ensembles since the Bronze Age, they have since surpassed mere necessity and gone on to display a vibrant range of color, fabric, and tone.

Whether formal or casual, there are plenty of ways that one can don a belt.

Casual Belts

Belts are similar to watches in the way that both serve a proper purpose (holding up pants or telling time) but they can also be seen as a striking accessory.

You can wear wide or thin, printed or studded, buckled or strapped, leather or fabric belts. There is a broad range and you should try to find what suits your style.

There are only a few things to be careful about when applying a belt to your outfit. Avoid belts that are too wide and thus do not fit through your belt loops.

Be careful not to be to coordinated with your color choices (such as matching the belt perfectly with your cap, shoes, or watch) as that can overdo the look for which you are aiming.

Unlike other articles of clothing, the belt doesn’t have to match anything else at all when you want a casual feel.

Casual Belt Tips:

  • Casual belts don’t need to match your shoes, a good rule of thumb is to have your shoes and belt vary by one shade.
  • With a casual belt, you can go a lot thicker compared to a formal belt

Formal Belts

On the flip side, you should play safe when you choose a belt for a formal occasion.

This belt is not meant to draw attention but rather flatter and bring together your outfit as a whole.

While casual belts are safe to go up to 4 cm (if it can still fit through the belt loops), formal belts should be within 2.5-3.5 cm of width.

The colors must be neutral tones such as black or brown. The material ought to be fine leather.

Unlike casual belts, formal belts veer away from patterns and bright designs. If anything, take a belt with a subtle design such as a barely visible leather grain or fine weave.

Additionally, if the belt features metal such as gold or silver, ensure that you don’t clash by wearing a contrasting metal. It’s crucial that one doesn’t wear both gold and silver within the same outfit.

Formal Belt Tips:

  • A formal belt should match your shoes in color and contrast. Having your shoes (or boots) the same leather as your belt is a major bonus.
  • The buckle on formal belts should always be very understated and minimalist

How To Wear a Belt

Belts are meant to cause a visual division between the torso and the bottom half of the body.

While those who are shorter ought to choose belts that either match their shirt or trousers so as to subdue the line’s visibility, taller men can feel free to create a bold statement and maximize on the division.

Choose a belt that either coordinates well with the outfit if you want to stay safe or select one that makes you wonder whether it really matches the other tones in your outfit.

When you are wearing trousers, it’s better to go with a nice monochrome belt for a nice formal feel. But if you want something slightly more modern, try going for a studded belt instead.

Pair a patent belt with your favorite pair of jeans for a stylish casual tone.

Allowing yourself to play around with styles, textures, patterns, and colors will help you discover your own distinctive style.