NO, IT’S NOT A ROLEX.
Take a moment to mentally describe the feeling that washes over you when forgotten money resurfaces in the back pocket of that pair of jeans you hardly wear. It’s pure delight, right? I experience a vaguely similar feeling when a basket of salty french fries is placed in front of me or when “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls starts playing in a bar.
One other thing that puts a smile on my face like those golden nuggets mentioned above is when I put my belt on in the morning and leave my apartment to start my day. Yes, belts make me smile so can we take a minute to talk about them? I know belts are not the most exciting accessory but they are damn important when it comes to having a complete wardrobe. And why shouldn’t they be? A belt, after all, can serve two completely different purposes. Before the 1920s, belts were primarily a visual accent but we have since repurposed them as an effective way to help hold our pants up. Aesthetically pleasing and functional? I like more bang for my buck so if you ask me, I’d rather have one belt than can serve both purposes.
Now, not any old belt can give you that sense of euphoria like eliciting a smile from some random hottie in the gym while you make your way over to the…treadmills. Trust me! I have been let down by many belts in my lifetime (I’m look at you, reversible monstrosities, shamefully incorrect lengths and harness buckles) but am on the path to figuring out just which types will leave me satisfied to no end. Continue reading for four belt options that will you be one of the best dressed men in the room.
THE CLASSIC BELT
The classic belt, with its square or slightly-rounded buckle and singular prong, is called a classic for a pretty good reason. These belts are versatile and are appropriate for more occasions than they are not. Go to just about any store that sells accessories and you’ll find yourself one of these belts.
While the classic belt tends to look best when paired with a more conservative ensemble (i.e. trousers with a tucked-in woven), you should definitely be in possession of at least one black and brown classic belt no matter what.
SHOP: Zara belt with top-stitched edging ($35.90)
THE TEXTURED BELT
The textured belt is very similar to the classic in the sense that it is incredibly versatile. When a shipment of textured belts arrive from the factory and the stock people slice open those boxes, their eyes settle upon items that look a bit aged and broken in. Yes, textured belts are typically more casual in appearance which can be great but you never want it to look so worn in that even your boss comments how you need to replace it quicker than Leona Lewis needs to switch up her management team. That being said, exercise your right to choose the textured belt as frequently as you like. Just do it wisely.
SHOP: Gap’s textured leather belt ($34.95)
THE BRAIDED BELT
The braided belt is my “cheat” belt. Confused? Let me break it down. Some mornings I wake up feeling thin like top model Corey Baptiste. Other mornings, it’s more of a Professor Klump mentality. That’s where the braided belt enters the picture. It gives you discreet wiggle room because you never have to worry about placing the prong in an exact hole. Another reason why braided belts rank high on my list is because they work extremely with both casual outfits and suiting.
SHOP: H&M’s braided belt ($17.99)
What holy hell are suspenders doing on this list? Well, when done right, suspenders (or braces for my growing UK readership) are pretty banging. You don’t see many contemporary men wearing them unless it’s part of a full-on “look.” But you’re not the type of man to lack the confidence to try something slightly unfamiliar, are you? I didn’t think so.
SHOP: ASOS’s suspenders in navy marl ($17.50)
Stay tuned for the next installment in the Build Your Best Wardrobe series!
Build Your Best Wardrobe is a monthly series where we address one item that every man should add into his wardrobe. By the end of 2016, you will have the essentials you need to becoming the best dressed man I already know you can be. With each installment, I will do my best to highlight affordable options because being chic shouldn’t automatically equate to being broke.