When it comes to buying belts, there are a variety of widths on offer and each of them has their own purpose. The belt does have a fairly simple task of holding up trousers but if you are spending decent money on a pair of quality jeans, a cheap and ill-fitting belt is not going to do them justice. In a recent survey, women said that miss-matched socks and ugly belts were two of the biggest turn-offs in the style stakes!
Elliot Rhodes is the belt authority with three stand-alone London stores, a franchise in Japan and online at www.elliotrhodes.com. The brand has a 13 year reign as the only dedicated belt brand and each store houses over 1000 combinations of custom-fitted interchangeable belt straps and buckles. Justin Rhodes, the brand’s Creative Director offers a few pointers on how to properly buy a belt and discusses the pro’s and con’s of the different widths as gents are often surprised at how important it actually is to change belts for different occasions and outfits.
For me the 30mm width belt has two purposes - first and foremost it falls into the category of formal. This is the right choice when you want something smart but understated and it is mainly suited to those with a slighter build as on a 34 inch waist of above, it can unnecessarily accentuate a broader waist. Most of the men's belts 30mm width are fairly simple in style with a focus on elegant leather and occasionally some subtle details like a brogue design, burnished or polished leather finishes.
Over the last couple of seasons, the 30mm belt has become the right choice for skinny cut jeans and tapered trousers. This is when you can afford to be a bit braver with colour and texture, particularly if your denim is distressed or faded.
The 35mm width is the default width to turn to for men's classic or casual wear. It is stylish without being overbearing and, by default, the buckle will be just slightly larger than the belt loops so will attract just enough attention. It is a width that can easily cross the boundary between formal and casual. The width is substantial enough to not look out of place on denim, heavier fabrics or chino style trousers, so your belt can cross nicely from work to play.
The 40mm width is one that is harder to find in the average store but it is the perfect width for jeans, whether casual or smart. It is also the width of belt that your girlfriend is most likely to borrow/steal from you… The main reason why it is the better option for jeans is that it properly fills deep belt loops but also, most importantly, the width both looks and feels in keeping with the style and weight of the fabric. Depending on its construction, this can become your statement lived-in belt if you opt for unlined styles or you can go for the smarter choice and invest in a Nappa or printed leather style with a stand-out buckle and let your belt do the talking…