My picks for the best belts for men (2017) are those belts that do it unobtrusively - holding your pants up without overshadowing your outfit, and adding a little style to your look. Choosing the right belt is easy, but there are a few rules you need to know to wear it properly. First, it really needs to match your shoes. Every single time. No exceptions, so follow it. Second, it should be black, brown, cordovan, tan, grey or white. No exceptions. That means no red, yellow, green, or orange colored belts, unless of course your under 12, then you can do what you want. And most importantly, it’s gotta keep your pants off the ground
As Mitch Hedberg once said, "My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don't really know what's happening down there. Who is the real hero?"
It’s your belt. Your belt is the real hero. So give it the credit it deserves. Get a belt that compliments your outfit, not clashes. Get one that matches your shoes. Get one that holds your trousers up. But, for the love of all that's holy, please don’t get a belt that’s not made of leather. It’s not 1994, and a seatbelt-buckle belt is not gonna fly. If you need to be flashy, opt for a designer buckle. But keep it leather. Please. Unless its a nylon web belt for a casual weekend in shorts.
And definitely no suspenders please.
Kore Essentials makes what I consider to be the Best Overall Belt. I love mine and wear it most days in black or brown. It's a 'ratchet' or 'track belt' that uses an ingenious hidden track system (not belt holes) that's sewn into the belt, to give you a micro fit that is precise. So no matter what you waist size that day - it's a prefect fit. Amazing. There are other such hole-less style track belts on the market, but in my opinion this is the cream of the crop. They feature a host of classic buckle styles with great leather quality. Online $49 at Kore Essentials.com
Allen Edmonds has been a trusted belt for reasonable-price, as well as well-made men’s footwear for decades. This belt in “merlot” is the perfect compliment to your oxblood oxfords. Pair with a navy pinstriped suit and white shirt for a subdued, but classy look.
$98.00 at Nordstrom.com
Every man needs a simple black belt. It should be very minimal, about 1 ¼” in width, and decent enough quality to last you a long time. Bonus points for a slick tonal buckle. This Trafalgar belt is the perfect no-nonsense black belt — it's simple and fits all the criteria mentioned above, and it’s made in Italy from full-grain bridle leather. A no-brainer. $65.00 at Nordstrom.com
This Ted Baker London belt in navy features a low-profile pewter belt buckle, and an accented tan loop. Really great for a little pop of color, and navy goes with everything — except navy. Navy shoes are very in right now, and this is an ideal pairing. Just go ahead and ignore the red and teal versions, please.
$85.00 at Nordstrom.com
Maybe you prefer a slimmer black belt. This Hugo Boss belt is simple, elegant, and even reversible — get two for the price of one, with one black side and one grey. Clocking in at a low-profile 1” width, it’s a more delicate option than some other belts.
$95.00 at Nordstrom.com
Natural leather is one of the simplest, most beautiful materials ever devised by humans. Tan is the perfect color to offset a simplistic, dark-toned outfit. Wear this hand-stitched, Italian leather belt with a charcoal, black or navy suit and tan brogues. Get a watch strap to match and you’ve got the perfect look.
$65.00 at Nordstrom.com
Got a buckle you love, but need the perfect belt to match? This old school vintage-style, full-grain leather belt comes in a variety of colors and has snap closures for effortless buckle-swapping. The price is definitely right, but note that this doesn’t come with a buckle - make sure you’ve got your own.
$17.99 at Amazon.com
Tanner Goods always comes through with really gorgeous, classic, simplistic products. This classic belt is no exception to that. It’s hand-made in the USA, it’s thick and durable, the color is great, and the buckle is made from sturdy brass. This one will wear well - it’ll probably look even better in 10 years than it does now.
$98.00 at Huckberry.com
Of course Carhartt is known for workwear that gets the job done and lasts a lifetime. If you’re looking for a belt under $50 that you can bequeath to your great-grandson, look no further you found it. Wear it with blue jeans and Red Wings for the perfect workwear look, or to that neighborhood watering hole.
$32.00 at Amazon.com
This is your “Summer-in-the-Hamptons” look. I normally prefer a simple, minimal belt, but Tommy Hilfiger’s tri-color logos are indisputably iconic and a classic that you can’t go wrong. Wear with salmon shorts, white polo, and a pale yellow sweater tied around your shoulders for that “I'm too good for all of you” look.
$17.39 at Amazon.com
This full-grain, thick-cut leather is all well and good, but you need some dressier options too. Allen Edmonds is back at it again with a refined black belt for your formal needs. This is for job interviews, weddings and other formal affairs, not date night. Unless you’re going to the opera. And remember - black shoes are a must here.
A woven belt is the only acceptable exception to a standard leather, or nylon belt. It’s more casual, but still classy—not like immatation leather or vinyl. This is for your summer nights on the patio or your coffee by the lakeside. It’s relaxed but sharp. Don’t get lazy even when you’re relaxing; make sure you’re still on point with this woven leather belt from good old Beltology.
$54.98 at Huckberry.com
Yes, we all know Tommy Bahama from your rich uncle’s closet. This is a fairly straight-forward tan belt, but with a couple of nice details that will set it apart from the pack. The contrast stitching and subtle milling give it an interesting texture and splash of color. And the nickle buckle offers a great shine without being flashy or overdone.
$88.00 at Amazon.com
I know I told you to always go for a minimal option, but this belt is too good to pass up. The color and materials are perfect, and the intricate hand-tooled embossing will definitely give you the splash of detail you’re looking for. Keep your outfit super clean and simple with this one, and let the belt do the talking.
$124.98 at Huckberry.com
This belt is definitely for showing off. Made from 100% genuine watersnake skin, this Mezlan belt will put a dent in your wallet and a nice spring in your step. The colorway is actually surprisingly subdued, meaning it’s a lot more wearable than most snakeskin options. Pair with dark brown oxfords or brogues for the eccentric millionaire look.
$225.00 at Nordstrom.com
The two-tone detailing and overlapped stitching give a distinctive look, but won’t look like you’re trying too hard.Perfect for pairing with brogued shoes, this Mezlan belt has a subtle hand-tooled brogue pattern that offers a hint of detail without overdoing it.
$135.00 at Nordstrom.com
Tanner Goods is killing it with nice leather belts. I absolutely love natural, vegetable-tanned leather, and the color on this one is amazing. It will wear naturally, getting a deep cognac patina, unique to the way you wear it. The color transformation on this type of leather is truly incredible, and Tanner Goods has nailed the execution and quality.
$104.98 at Huckberry.com
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