Casting a discerning eye over your wardrobe, it’s far too easy to ignore accessories. Selecting a good quality belt can be difficult if you allow yourself to become distracted by the range of options that are available in stores.

At the request of a singular Tumblr fan, I present a quick summary of the important elements when selecting the perfect belt.

Match your belt to your shoes

In my first post on the subject I noted it’s important that whatever belt you select, you don’t mix your colour palette. The rule is easy; just remember that your belt should be the same colour, tone and texture as your shoes. If it helps, buy both garments together to ensure success.

Formal belt rules

My first Quick Men’s Fashion Tips post was all to do with formal leather belts. Specifically, it pointed out that you should ditch the leopard print plastic and stick with simple leather straps with metallic buckles; again, match tones with your other accessories – for example, if you’re sporting a silver belt buckle, match your tie clip and cufflinks in a similar tone.

Novelty buckles appear shabby and brash, drawing attention to your crotch and little else; shun these without exception.

When it comes to sizing, always buy a belt that’s one size bigger than your waist; if you’re a 32½-inch waist, buy a 34-inch belt. Take your belt off and hang it loose after wearing; failing to do so will end in cracks and creases in your leather, aging the garment prematurely.

Finally, it’s either belt OR braces, but never both.

Casual belt rules


My second Quick Men’s Fashion Tips post was (surprise, surprise) all about casual belts. Here the rules are a little different, but common sense still prevails.

Avoid elastised belts that create an awkward cinching effect – ‘sack of spuds’ look begone…! Don’t be afraid to have an off-centred buckle to give a more relaxed asymmetrical look; gentle pattern and colour will help retain a laid-back presence too, though keep away from the glossy plastic camo unless you’re fifteen!

Again, match tones and colours where possible, though do exercise caution. If you’re wearing bright white shoes, for example, a bright white belt may be overwhelming rather than complementary – a cream or bright mushroom tone may provide a better outcome.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

One Response

  1. Muhammad

    Hey nice article. I have black loafers and a striped blazer grey/black and a grey blazer and a black pea coat and black trench coat and beige trench coat. Should I get louis vuitton striped reversible belt with rectangular buckle.? Btw great site.