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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 March 2019

Men, here's everything you need to know about finding the right belt

This humble band can bring your look together. Here are some looks and types to try

Poet Anthony Liccione put it best when he said: “Confidence is like a belt worn around the waist. Wear it too tight, you come off cocky and arrogant; wear it too loose, you come off timid and a walkover; but wear it fit and snug, and it will uphold you every step of the way.” Indeed, the belt is more about function than form: its primary purpose is to fasten your trousers, assuring that they fit perfectly – but with so many styles, colours and buckles to choose from, there’s no reason why the humble belt can’t contribute to your style game. Here are some tips.

What to own

Simplicity is key. Every man needs at least two good belts in his wardrobe: a leather type to wear with formal shoes, and a suede or braided belt to pair with trainers or loafers. Anything else is an added bonus, such as a webbed military-style belt or a striped style. If you’re going for a lived-in look, avoid faux, distressed leather. Instead, opt for a high-quality leather belt and allow it to go through the natural wear-and-tear process.

Game, set, match

When wearing leather shoes to a formal affair or your workplace, match the colour of your belt to that of your shoes. But when you’re off to brunch, the beach or the mall wearing a pair of trainers or loafers, feel free to play around with hues and shades. We are partial to nautical stripes, which give off a relaxed but dapper vibe.

Suede dreams

For most men, suede belts are not the first choice, but they’re worth a try. The material brings an air of luxury to any outfit, and they’re great with leather and, of course, suede loafers. Start with a shade of blue or brown.

Suit yourself

In an ideal situation, a suit should already fit your body nicely, so there is no need to reach for a belt. But since many of us buy our suits off the rack, the fit is not always on point. If you must wear a belt with a suit, stick to leather in black or navy blue hues. Keep it subtle and opt for a band with a small buckle. The less shine on the buckle, the better, as it’ll keep the focus on your suit.

Width and length

Thinner bands will make you look leaner, and they’re easier to loop through the holes around your trousers. When it comes to length, keep your belt one to two inches longer than the waistband of your trousers. Avoid extra-long bands that end up hanging down your thigh.

Buckle down

Giant designer logos look fine emblazoned on streetwear and athletic attire, but not on belt buckles. The belt should be the finishing touch to an outfit, not the centre of attention. It does not matter if your belt is from a luxury brand and worth thousands of dirhams – the loud logo buckle has become a tired trend.

When not to wear it

When wearing monochromatic outfits, such as a navy blue shirt paired with navy chinos, ditch the belt. It will only break the visual focus of your outfit into two separate parts, which will make you look shorter and wider.

Try it on

Finally, do take the time to try on a belt before purchasing. Belts vary in size and length, ­depending on the brand and manufacturer, so do not assume a size 34 at one store will offer the same fit at another.

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Four belts to try

Updated: March 10, 2019 04:37 PM

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