Almost all dress belts will have either a gold-colored or silver-colored finish. Brand name will also play a factor, but means quite a bit less than the other factors. Military surplus stores often have these, and other manufacturers have imitated the style as well.
One way for men to determine which belt size to choose is to buy a belt that is one to two inches larger than your current pants size, since men's pants sizes are labeled according to waist measurement, like men's belts. For example, if you wear a size 34 pants, you could order a size 36 belt. If you wear odd-size pants, such as 35, you would still choose a size 36 belt as that is one inch larger. Moving up to a 38 would mean a belt that was three inches larger than your pants size and most likely too big.
Measuring an existing belt or going by women's pants size will not work the same as it does for men, because women's belts and pants are not sized according to waist measurement. For example, a woman with a inch waist will wear approximately size 10 pants - not size Similarly, women's belts are generally labeled with small, medium, large, etc. Further complicating the matter is the fact that different manufacturers - of both pants and belts - have different guidelines for what constitutes which size.
However, there are some general guidelines you can go by to choose the best fit. Choosing the right size is only part of the equation - you must also choose the right belt style for you.
Men's belts come in two basic types: The way to tell the difference is by checking the width of the belt. A good rule of thumb is to literally use your thumb. If the belt is about the same width as your thumb, it's a dress belt.
If it's wider, the belt is casual. Formal or dress belts will also usually be glossy or reflective, while casual belts will have flatter or more muted finishes. A complete men's wardrobe should include at least one of each. Although men's belts come in a wide array of colors, if you aren't sure what you need, just focus on three main colors: Ideally, your wardrobe would include a formal and a casual belt in each of these three colors, but if you want to focus on just one or two, go with a black dress belt and a brown or tan casual belt.
You can also find attractive reversible belts that are two colors in one - for example, black on one side and tan on the other side. Typically, women's belts come in a much broader range of colors, styles, and materials than men's belts. Rather than choosing between formal and casual, women's choices run the gamut from dressy to casual, contemporary urban to feminine, vintage to western, and more. Basically, the type of women's belt you choose depends on the overall look you are going for.
When you need to look sharp or professional, a refined leather belt is probably a good choice. For a classic casual look, a brown or black leather, a simple but striking red belt, or even a worn-leather variety can help you achieve the look you want. A braided or beaded belt slung low around your hips can impart a pretty, feminine look, as can a wide belt cinched around the waist of a favorite dress. And no western outfit is complete without a great western belt. Pair one with jeans and boots for great western style.
Casual belts have a little more room for flexibility, but an overly long tail end is always an awkward look. Store-bought dress belts are usually measured with a range of pant sizes. Pick your belts two or three sizes larger than your pants to get a good fit. Of course, the easiest check is just to try the belt on in the store, at least wrapping it around your waist over your pants. Certain types of casual cloth bands have square brass buckles and a brass cap on the other end to feed through the mechanism.
Military surplus stores often have these, and other manufacturers have imitated the style as well. The bigger your belt buckle the less formal it is. Dress belts typically have very small, flat belt buckles and tend to be narrower belts themselves. Larger buckles with rounded shapes are common on more casual styles. Almost all dress belts will have either a gold-colored or silver-colored finish. If you wear male jewelry of any kind — cufflinks, tie tacs, and so forth — the belt should be in the same color family.
Silver accents should go with a silver belt buckle and gold with gold. The ring is understood to be a gesture independent of your personal style. Your casual belts can have almost any kind of buckle you like. Consistency of theme is more important than the shape or size in casual settings. If you like large metal buckles with Western motifs, wear them with a Western-styled outfit rather than a tight urban look.
Leather should always match leather. That rule stays with you in dress and casual wear: Glossy belts should be paired with highly-polished shoes; matte shoes go with matte belts. Cloth shoes can be paired with cloth belts of a different color.
Rare animal patterns can be very expensive, but should still be considered casual wear. A very high-quality ostrich-skin belt is too ostentatious for a business setting but can be very sharp-looking out on the town.
Snakeskin and other reptilian patterns are eye-catching options as well — just keep in mind how much attention you want being drawn to your midsection. The same holds true for brightly-colored belts of more conventional materials.
Example, if you wear a size 36 pants, you would order a size 38 belt. We do not make odd sizes (33, 35, 37, etc.) so you would have to go with a belt that is 2" larger. If you wear an odd size pants, say a size 37, and sticking with the " rule, you too should order a size Cole Haan measures from prong base to center hole, not end of buckle to center hole. Men’s Belt Basics: Buying A Belt Very similar-looking belts sometimes vary widely in cost. The quality of the leather is one common factor: calfskin is the most common material used for belts, and a good belt will have a soft, supple leather.