When putting together an outfit, or heading out shopping to invest in pieces for some new go-to looks, one of the essential accessories that can often go overlooked is the belt. More than just a device to hold up your pants or shorts, belts are a foundational accessory for any man worth his stylish salt. Think of them as being just as, if not more, important than ties, watches, and jewellery.
But it’s not uncommon for guys to get their belt wrong, although admittedly, it’s not completely to their detriment, as many cheap belt brands are just as much to blame for putting out belts that are just bad.
That’s not to say you need to spend an absolute fortune on a belt, although as with most other pieces of clothing or accessories, the more you spend the greater the quality you receive (if you want genuine leather, for example, expect to part with more cash than if you were to invest in a woven belt, although they too, can command a high price). There are however a number of brands who are putting out great quality pieces that comfortably fall under the ‘affordable’ category, and it’s these you’ll want to be keeping your eyes on.
So where do you start? Allow us to provide some help. We’ve rounded up some of the very best belt brands on the market today, from the affordable to the decidedly more expensive. Materials and colour will likely influence where you’ll use them, but all provide simple style upgrades to casual and formal outfits.
We’ll get this elephant in the room out the way first. How the hell do you buy a belt online? After all, you need to know where the holes sit to determine how tight you can make it. You wouldn’t want to buy a belt and find that one hole is too loose but the next constricts you so much you feel like you can’t breathe.
A general rule of thumb is to buy a belt that is two-inches longer than your waist size. So, if you’re a 32-inch waist, then you’ll want to buy yourself a 34-inch belt. Some manufacturers label their belts as S, M, L, or even in between sizes such as S/M and M/L. For those, you’ll want to pay close attention to each brand’s size guide for reference.
Alternatively, you can invest in a webbed or woven belt. Woven belts have the advantage of being able to do away with holes completely since the prong of the buckle can be passed through anywhere on the belt’s surface.
Finally, you’ll need to take into account the height of the belt. Manufacturers should usually publish this information online and it’s an important figure to take note of because you don’t want to unpackage your new belt and find it’s too large to fit through the hoops on your jeans, shorts or whatever other bottoms you want to pass it through.
You'll be hard pushed to find belts more affordable than the range at Uniqlo. If you somehow do manage to, then you'll probably want to avoid them because they won't be able to compare in quality. Uniqlo's belts use real leather and are available in various colours and thicknesses, making quick and easy upgrades to a variety of outfits entirely possible.
If you find yourself up at the crack of dawn to dress in neoprene and ride waves, your probably already aware of Saturdays NYC. Their surf inspired collections blend casual-refinement and are popular with those who live the ‘beach’ lifestyle. This navy example wouldn’t go-a-miss on the high streets of Byron Bay or at after dinner drinks.
Anderson’s have been making high quality belts since 1966. They are made by some of the world’s finest leather artisans in Parma, Italy, ensuring both quality and durability. They have a wide range of formal and casual belts in an array of colours and materials.
All Saints’ belts brew a mixture of bikie gang and cowboy cool. This studded number is perfect for those of your headed to Coachella.
If you're looking for a clinical belt to match your equally clinical BMW then Kreis is the belt brand for you. Kreis has been crafting high quality belts from calf-suede and other exotic materials since 1963. This black number will sharpen up any outfit.
Bally is a swiss brand synonymous with simple and paired back yet extremely high quality leather goods. Their famous stripe pattern in either black and white or red and white along with their black and brown leathers makes all of their pieces are timeless and elegant. This reversible belt is perfect for someone looking for a big brand casual belt that doesn’t shout.
Skilled craftsmen produce beautifully handmade R.M. Williams leather belts in their Adelaide workshop. Their belts offer a range of belts from intricate hand-plaited kangaroo leather belts to heritage inspired canvas and leather belts, made to look good age with character and perform even better paired with R.M.Williams jeans and trousers.
Dutch made and designed G-Star is our go-to brand when you want cool and affordable belts for more casual menswear occasions.
If you're on a pursuit to look like a Parisian, then APC belt will not let you down. Their plain styling and focus on quality, cements their belts as a piece that will last a lifetime. This timeless piece is a design classic and integral to any man’s wardrobe.
1017 ALYX 9SM
Whilst 1017 ALYX 9SM doesn’t have the heritage of some of the other brands, their cutting edge ‘technical’ designs from LA are setting them apart in the belt market. If you’re looking for something rugged with a function over form ethos then these belts are for you.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Having pioneered the ‘Preppy’ style, Polo Ralph Lauren sure knows how to make a belt. With various different ‘Athletic’ patterns, it’s perfect for summer and looks sharp with jeans or chinos. The tan leather ends make it a no-brainer with chino shorts, knitted polo and boat shoes or suede loafers. Prepare yourself (and others) to look perfectly preppy.
Not for the style shy, Gucci’s gargantuan ‘GG’ monogram belt is your go-to for lovers of luxury, and for those who want onlookers to know it. But, there’s nothing trashy about this Made In Italy masterpiece: the burnished-gold buckle and buttery leather crafted perfect in size to be worn with easy-go jeans. Gucci wants to give off a laid-back louche look, not ridin’ cowboy.
Tom Ford doesn’t do things by the book. If your looking for something bold and powerful like Tom Ford’s Lapels – Voila – the New York designer’s T Icon Belt – in reference to the brand’s iconic typography, comes in calfskin leather and is reversible. The dark-brown side is finished with a polished gold ‘T’ buckle, while the black face has a simple and understated bar but boasts a grained finish.
Dunhill, a name distinctly British is an icon when it comes to paired back, refined design. Their elegant, somewhat motoring inspired pieces hark back to an era where simple design was appreciated over all else. This reversible black and navy number is likely to get double the mileage of other belts and is worthy of its hefty price tag.
Whilst famous for their ultra luxurious fabrics, Loro Piana know a thing or two about belts as well. This navy suede belt is the definition of ‘Smart casual’ and wouldn’t look astray on under full sail or at the office. Pair with some quality chinos and you are well on your way to becoming the office fashionista.
Sprezzatura! To inject a little classic Italian style into your wardrobe, try the Intrecciato belt by Bottega Veneta. The Milan label’s signature Intrecciato weave is the feature in this piece, crafted for texture in a rich army green leather and black metal buckle. This one is best kept for casual occasions and is quite a statement piece (In a good way).
Mulberry, famous for their superb leather bags inject a sense of modern, powerful masculinity into everything they make. This timeless woven leather belt in brown with a gold buckle doesn’t look too dissimilar to something JFK would have rocked during his era. Pair with some great trousers and an elegant brown loafer.
The Salvatore Ferragmo double ‘Gancino’ belt has become a fashion icon in recent decades and will suit a multitude of different styles. This piece will not be going out of fashion anytime soon.
Calling all Hypebeasts. This is the belt for you. Whilst were not entirely sold on this number, it has Virgil Abloh’s signature industrial design cues that give it a real utilitarian feel. Having been made in Italy it is of a high quality that will stand the test of time, even if it goes out of fashion. If you’re looking for something a little more paired back try the black or blue versions of the belt. Wear Carefully! This belt is not for the faint of hearted.
Whilst you may not be able to pronounce their name, you’re sure to recognise the refinement of Ermenegildo Zegna’s products. Their belts range from under-the-radar black and brown to this extravagant Blue example in the brands signature Pelle Tessta weave.
If you’re the sort of fellow who cannot get enough of Tod’s Gommino driving shoes, why not get the belt to match? These traditionally woven suede belts are guaranteed to pair perfectly with your driving shoes for that Sunday Afternoon spin in the Jaggggg…
A long established authority in formalwear, Canali should be your go to for any ‘polished’ look. This beige nubuck example is casual yet sophisticated.
If you’d like to rock Fendi’s iconic logo but don’t want to look like a flog, their belts might be the solution. This example displays the Fendi logo on a brown webbing material with a gold buckle.
While they may have succeeded in their quest to develop the most comfortable pants on the planet, Bonobos understands guys also need belts to accessorise and ensure their comfortable pants stay up. The clothing brand has a solid range of leather, suede and woven belts, available in a good range of colours and, in some cases, extended sizes for the larger gentleman.