Wearing a belt not only holds your pants up – it’s a way to pull your outfit together and look grown up. When you’re choosing your belt, you need to make sure it’s the right length and that it’s appropriate for the occasion you’re wearing it for. You should match your belt to the pants and shoes you’re wearing. When you wear your belt, it should fit easily in the belt loops of your pants and sit at your waist.
1) Choose a belt with a little extra length. Whether you’re wearing a dress or casual belt, there should only be a bit of material left over after it’s fastened, around 2 in (5.1 cm) to 4 in (10 cm). You should be able to tuck the end of your belt into the first belt loop on your pants, or the loop on the belt itself.
2) Choose leather belts for formal occasions. You don’t have to get real leather, of course. But your dress belt should look like leather. It looks more formal and will also match your shoes.
3) Choose cloth belts for everyday wear. A casual, everyday belt can be made of pretty much any material you like. Cloth belts are usually your best bet, just because they’ll match a lot of things.
4) Pay attention to the buckle. Belt buckles come in lots of sizes and finishes. In general, the larger a belt buckle is, the more casual the look. Dress belts tend to have smaller buckles. If you’re picking an everyday belt, you can choose a slightly larger buckle. If you’re looking for a belt to wear with dress pants, choose a small buckle.
5) If you’re wearing casual pants – light jeans or cargo pants – a wide belt is best. If you’re wearing dressier pants – dress pants, chinos, or dark denim – you should choose a narrower belt.
6) Match your belt and shoe color. If you’re wearing black shoes, you should choose a black belt, regardless of width. The same goes for brown shoes – wear a brown belt.
7) Match your belt and shoe material. Width and color are the most important things to consider when matching your belt and your outfit. But matching the material of your belt and shoes will make you look even more put together! Wear a leather belt if you’re wearing leather shoes, a canvas belt if you’re wearing canvas shoes, and a suede belt if you’re wearing suede shoes.