Leather Belts

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Leather belts are a fine way to dress up more casual outfits or to complement your suit jacket and pants. With jeans, a leather belt can set you apart from men wearing cloth or metal belts and add a fantastic flourish to highlight other fashion pieces. You might, for instance, match your belt to a pair of shiny leather shoes or a jacket.

When choosing leather belts, you're faced with a few options, as not all leather products are the same. There are milled grain calf belts, suede belts, and nubuck belts, just for starters. Each has differences in terms of its grain, its softness, and its shine, so attention should be paid to the other fabrics and materials in your ensemble. A calfskin jacket will tend to be much more muted than, say, a bomber jacket, and so a soft suede belt might prove a better accessory.

More on the World of Leather Belts

You must also choose how much detail and ornamentation you care for in your leather belts. A lot of fashion-conscious dressers feel that belts should not detract from the centrality of shirts, pants, and jackets, as it is these that form the cornerstones of any ensemble. Others swear by the belt and therefore feel free to dress it up with elaborate buckles, studs, and braided patterns.

Ultimately, your choice in leather belts should always serve your overall style. An oversized "cowboy" buckle is generally ill-advised--unless, of course, you've got a 10-gallon hat to sport with it. By the same token, if you're heading out to a meeting of your local PETA chapter, a snakeskin or lizardskin leather belt is probably not the best choice for ingratiating yourself to your hosts. As always, context is king.

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