Do you need a new belt? Even though you might not give much thought to this men's accessory, take a look at everything you need to know about belts, function, and fashion.
What Are Belts Made From?
Men's belts are made from a variety of different materials — sometimes in combination. These include (but aren't limited to):
- Leather. A leather belt provides superior durability coupled with a classic, clean look. This material is available in multiple colors, tones, and styles. You can wear a leather belt with your causal or outdoorsy activewear or pair it with work and dress clothes.
- Fabric. Cotton, ribbon, and other types of fabric create a casual look perfect for weekend getaways or dressed-down events. Some fabrics are used as-is or alone, while other belts pair this material with a stronger leather or leather-like material.
- Cork. Cork isn't only used to seal wine bottles. A layered cork belt (cork combined with leather or another material) creates a rugged, but classic, look. Not only is this material fashion-forward, but it's also durable.
- Brass. Along with the main structure of the belt, these accessories may also have brass buckles and accents.
- Silver. Some buckles or closure frames are also made from silver.
Whether you choose a leather belt or another option, ask if the material has a waterproofing treatment. While you may not need water resistance in normal everyday life, this can come in handy during a weekend camping trip, while fishing, or if you plan to wear the belt during water sports.
What Should You Look for In a Quality Belt?
Even though your belt may hide under the fold of a shirt or behind a jacket, quality is always important. If you're not sure what to look for in a belt or why some of these accessories cost more than others, consider:
- The materials. Again, leather makes a strong, durable, and stylish belt. Avoid cheap, synthetic (man-made) look-alikes. These may have a similar appearance but can crack, fade, or break easily.
- The buckle closure. Whether the belt has a large buckle or a frame-style closure, choose an option that's made from real metal — and not from plastic or coated materials. Like the rest of the belt, a cheap, flimsy buckle can fall apart easily or ruin the accessory's style.
- The design. Do you need a dress belt? Look for a high-style accessory that is elegant and masculine at the same time.
Along with these aspects of a quality accessory, you may have your own material makeup or style demands or wants. Make a list of what you look for in a belt before you browse or buy.
How Should Care for Your Belt?
Now that you know what you want in and belt, take the next step and select the ideal accessory. After you buy a belt, extend its life and keep it in top shape with the proper maintenance. To care for your new purchase:
- Follow the manufacturer's directions. The manufacturer or designer should provide you with care instructions. Follow these to meet the needs of the specific material makeup.
- Spot test first. If you plan to use a mild soap or other similar cleanser, spot test on an inconspicuous place — especially if the belt is leather.
- Let the belt dry. Always give your belt time to dry completely before you wear it. Never put the accessory in a clothes dryer. This can damage the belt or the appliance.
- Clean the buckle or closure. Use a silver or brass polish to remove tarnish and keep your belt's buckle shiny.
Don't toss your belt in the washing machine — even if the belt’s made from fabric. This delicate accessory requires special care and may not withstand the high-pressure ride of a washing machine.
Do you need a new belt? Contact Over Under Clothing for more information.