When putting together an outfit, or investing in new wardrobe pieces, one of the essential accessories that is often overlooked and forgotten, is the belt. More than just a device to hold up your pants or shorts, belts are an imperative accessory for any and every man. Belts are, in terms of both functionality and style, 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 their fault, as many cheap belt brands are just as much to blame for putting out belts that are just plain bad; poor quality, and tasteless in style.
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). There are however a number of brands that are putting out great quality belts that comfortably fall under the ‘affordable’ category, and it’s these brands you need to know about.
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, that all produce belts that are affordable, yet well-made from high-quality materials and are sophisticated and stylish.
Let’s address the elephant in the room; 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 don’t want to buy a belt and then once it’s delivered 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 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.
So, if you’re ready to elevate your outfits effortlessly with a new quality belt, take a look at the brands below that are currently creating the best belts for men.
Founded in 1969, GAP has quickly become one of the most iconic yet affordable brands in the world. If you’re on the hunt for an affordable belt that is still high-quality, GAP is the brand for you. They have genuine leather belts in black, dark browns, and tan colours with stylish harness buckles that’ll work for casual, smart-casual, and office settings.
Huckberry, a brand specifically created for men who live in the city but love adventure, believes that a belt can instantly and effortlessly elevate any outfit. Their range of belts features stylish leather, suede, and webbing belts that not only look good but are extremely functional. These belts will obviously hold your pants up, but they can also be used as a tourniquet in a life-threatening situation, or to zip-line across great heights; that’s how durable and reliable Huckberry’s belts are!
J. Crew believes in 'looking a million bucks, not spending it' which is why they source the best high-quality fabrics at the most accessible prices. They have a large range of men’s belts crafted from genuine leather in black, brown, and tan colours. J. Crew’s belts come with a selection of different belt buckle styles and colours, and are also available in a more casual woven style as well as classic belt styles.
Founded in 1978, in California, Banana Republic is now a premier global brand for modern clothing with no boundaries. Another affordable option, Banana Republic’s range of belts for men are all extremely well-made and are available in both leather and woven varieties. If you’re after a sleek, modern belt that’s durable but won’t break the bank, Banana Republic is the brand for you.
L.L. Bean designs products perfect for outdoor adventures; durable and functional. However, that doesn’t mean that L.L. Bean compromises on style. They have a rather versatile range of belts for men. L.L. Bean has unique styles of belts on offer, such as a four-in-one belt, a braided leather belt, a rope belt, etc. but they also have timeless classic belts crafted from leather. Another remarkably affordable brand, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect belt for every occasion, especially adventurous occasions, with L.L. Bean’s range.
Club Monaco was founded in 1985 to create 'better basics'; classic, effortless pieces that are well-made and elevate wardrobes. Club Monaco believes the mark of true style is experimenting thoughtfully, something they're experts at; constantly growing and evolving their style, Club Monaco encourages their consumers to do the same. Their range of belts is small, and features very modern dress belts. All crafted from leather and finished with silver-toned accents, Club Monaco’s belts are on the skinnier side for a trendy look.
German luxury fashion house, Hugo Boss is renowned for their opulent range of clothing, accessories, footwear, and fragrances. Hugo Boss believes that a great belt will tie your look together, and is a key piece for completing any outfit. Crafted from high quality leather and hardware, their belts are designed to keep up with your ever-changing wardrobe, and will suit any outfit from weekend looks to workwear ensembles.
Renowned for his creative aesthetic, which combines tradition and modernity, Paul Smith is one of Britain’s foremost designers. Each Paul Smith design is underpinned by a dry British sense of humour: quirky but not frivolous, eccentric but not silly. Their vast selection of men’s belts range from classic leather suit belts in dark, traditional tones to colourful striped belts and cut-to-fit, reversible options.
Since its creation by David Reiss in 1971, Reiss has established a design philosophy centred on creating design-led menswear, womenswear and accessories. With an uncompromising commitment to delivering innovative and original products, Reiss fuses exceptional design, quality and value. Reiss has leather, suede, and woven belts for men in classic, reptile-embossed, and reversible designs that are ever so stylish and durable, you can wear them day in, day out.
Spanish clothing company, Mango, was founded in 1984 with one goal in mind: to create clothes with “a Mediterranean essence”. Mango’s garments achieve this with their natural and contemporary styles paired with comfortable fabrics. Mango has a large range of belts for men, and are available in leather, woven, elastic, and reversible varieties, that are extremely versatile and comfortable; perfect for everyday use.
You'll be hard pushed to find belts more affordable than the range at Uniqlo. However, if you manage to, you’ll definitely want to avoid cheaper brands 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 them extremely versatile, as well as long-lasting.
Launched in 2009, on a quiet cobblestoned street in SoHo, Saturdays NYC has since expanded into an international lifestyle brand that's synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship, a minimalist ethos, and classic style. Their range of belts is small, but extremely high-quality and modern. If you’re after a contemporary looking belt, Saturdays NYC is the brand for you.
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.
Premium British fashion retailer, AllSaints began its journey in 1994, as a wholesale menswear brand selling to high-end retailers like Harrods and Harvey Nichols, but eventually opened its own store in London in '97. Now, AllSaints is a globally renowned brand best known for its iconic biker jackets. However, their range of men’s belts is also impressive. A mixture of biker and cowboy aesthetics have obviously inspired AllSaint’s belts; you’ll find genuine thick leather, studs, and just downright cool belts with AllSaints.
If you're looking for a traditional style of belt then Kreis is the belt brand for you. Kreis has been crafting high quality belts from calf-suede and other exotic materials since 1963, and all of their belts are guaranteed to age beautifully in time.
Skilled craftsmen produce R.M. Williams’ beautifully handmade leather belts in their Australian workshop. Their range of belts include everything from intricate hand-plaited kangaroo leather belts to heritage inspired canvas belts, all of which are made to look good with age. Extremely high-quality and stylish, it’s no wonder why RM Williams are one of the best belt brands on the market.
If you wish to emulate timeless Parisian style, then an APC belt is the way to go. Their plain styling and focus on quality, cements their belts as accessories that will last a lifetime. Their belt designs are classic and elegant and will elevate any man’s wardrobe.
1017 ALYX 9SM
Whilst 1017 ALYX 9SM is a relatively new brand in comparison to other belt brands featured, their cutting edge and ‘technical’ designs from LA are setting them apart in the belt market. If you’re looking for something rugged and contemporary that’ll turn heads, 1017 ALYX 9SM’s cool belts are for you.
Polo Ralph Lauren
A pioneer for preppy style, Polo Ralph Lauren sure knows how to make a belt. With a huge range of men’s belts that include Italian-inspired leather belts, and preppy colourful ribbon belts, any Polo Ralph Lauren belt will add a sleek finishing touch to your outfits.
Mulberry, famous for their superb leather bags, inject a sense of modern, powerful masculinity into everything they make. Their range of timeless leather belts are simple, yet elegant; and are so well-made and versatile they could be comfortably worn daily to any occasion.