How to Buy Men's Belts

by Lindsay Law

They hold up your pants and let you express your style: Men's belts are an important part of every wardrobe. Whether you choose one with a bold buckle or a more subdued design, a belt can add an the right finishing touch to any outfit. These tips will help you find a belt that looks good and fits perfectly.

Buying Men's Belts:

  1. Get styled for work: If you want a men's belt to wear primarily with dress pants and suits for work and special occasions, a leather belt is your best choice. Look for a black leather belt with a silver buckle to make a statement while still looking professional, and wear it with your black dress shoes and a black or grey suit. Match a brown leather belt with brown dress shoes or boots and wear it with brown dress pants; the shade of brown doesn't have to be exactly the same on each piece. To save money and be able to coordinate with all of your dress shoes, purchase a reversible men's belt that reverses between black and brown.

  2. Go casual for weekends: The same brown leather belt you wear to the office will also look great with jeans or khakis on the weekend, especially if the bucle doesn't have much shine to it. A men's leather belt in grey or tan also works well with casual pants and shirts, and a reversible men's belt gives you the options you need for a put-together look. A canvas belt is also a great choice for casual looks; these are available in a wide variety of colors, and you don't have to worry about matching your shoes to your belt with them.

  3. Pick a stylish buckle: A men's belt buckle, especially a distinctive one on a designer belt, can give your look personality. Look for an oversized belt buckle to wear with jeans and sneakers for a casual weekend, but remember to keep the size of the buckle in proportion to your stature. To show off your impeccable taste, buy a designer belt with a logo buckle.

  4. Get the right size: Men's belt sizes correspond to your pant's size, which is just a measurement of your waist in inches; if you wear size 34 pants, you'll choose a size 34 belt, too. If the belt is "one size fits all" or "one size fits most," it will be adjustable. A belt fits correctly if you can wear it in the second, third, or fourth hole. Some belts are sold as small, medium, and large, and this chart shows how those sizes compare:

    Pant Size Belt Size
    25 to 29 inches Small
    30 to 32 inches Medium
    33 to 36 inches Large
    37 to 40 inches Extra-Large
    41 to 44 inches XX-Large
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