A belt is one of those accessories that you don’t think much about until you are getting dressed for a black-tie event but can only find the cargo belt you use to hold up your worn-out weekend jeans.
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You can easily avoid this scenario by investing in a few high-quality belts to have on hand for different occasions.
Even men who don’t spend much time on fashion want to look sharp on important occasions like their best friend’s wedding, a work presentation, or more importantly, a date. A belt allows you to:
- show a little personal style
- look more polished
- keep your pants up, and your shirt tucked
Men’s belts come in many different colors, textures, and styles, which can make picking out a few foundational belts for your wardrobe a time-consuming process. To take out the guesswork of finding a good belt, we have reviewed the best belts for men for any occasion below.
Who Makes a Good Leather Belt?
You may have gotten away with cargo belts in college, but if you want to be taken a little more seriously now, it’s time to step it up and invest in some leather belts. But not all leather belts are the same.
To make sure that you are buying a good leather belt, pay attention to the product description. The part of the calfskin or cowhide the belt is made from plays a huge role in the belt’s quality.
A good leather belt is made from full-grain leather. Corrected grain and split leather belts are not as nice, and bonded leather belts are combined with other synthetic materials and can have very little leather in them.
If you want genuine full-grain leather, your best option is to buy a handmade leather belt. Many Italian fashion houses, like Gucci, and French fashion houses, like Hermes, sell handmade leather belts for men. US-based companies specializing in leather goods, such as Shinola, do as well.
Best Belts for Casual Wear
Keep these tips in mind when looking for the best belt for casual wear:
- Wider and textured belts work well with casual outfits.
- If you are wearing blue jeans, stay away from shiny leather belts. Dulled leather or suede are better options.
- Go with a black leather belt if you are wearing black jeans.
- You can be more creative and express your personality with your buckles.
Here are our picks for the best belts for casual wear:
This stylish Gucci belt for men is made in Italy from the best leather. It will pair well with black jeans, and the matte black interlocking G buckle will leave a subtle and classy impression.
This men’s belt is handmade in Italy from soft suede and will grow suppler with wear. This belt is perfect with a pair of jeans or casual pants for a relaxed but polished look.
There is no doubt that you will get compliments on this belt. It is made in Italy from the finest leather and features a unique buckle design. This belt is best with dark jeans or pants for a casually elegant look.
Best Belts for Formal Wear
Keep these tips in mind when looking for the best belt for formal wear:
- Keep it narrow and slick
- Your belt should match the color of your dress shoes
- Keep the buckles to a minimum
Here are our picks for the best belts for formal wear:
This belt is made in Italy from fine calfskin. It is subtle enough for a formal event, but the buckle’s unique design makes a stylish statement. This is a great piece to pull together a fashionable yet classy look.
This belt is reserved for special occasions when only the best will do. It is made in France from crocodile skin, and the buckle is coated in palladium. This belt will add an elegant and refined touch to your best suit or black-tie look.
Louis Vuitton designed this belt specifically for business suits. This belt is made from embossed calf leather, and the buckle is finished in palladium. It is reversible with one side subtly embossed with Louis Vuitton’s iconic Damier pattern for the more fashion-forward.
Best Belt for the Money
Yes, there are some pricey belts on our best belts lists. Yes, you will pay more for handmade quality leather belts. And yes, they are definitely worth the investment.
However, if you are on a budget, you can still find a nice belt that does not break the bank. Below are several affordable but good quality options:
This is a versatile belt that will take you from the office to a nice evening out. This belt is made in the United States from natural leather. It will help you look put together and refine your outfit.
This belt is made in Italy from genuine leather. The perforated design is subtle but adds a fashionable touch. You can use this belt to polish your work look or dress up a casual outfit.
Best Everyday Belt
Now that we have provided you with plenty of belt options for more formal occasions, we can now circle back to your cargo belts and weekend jeans. While leather is always preferred, it’s okay to dress down your everyday casual look with a cargo belt every once in a while.
This is a great cargo belt option. It is made in the United States from nylon fiber. Grip6 promises a no-frills, low profile belt that will work great with your outdoor work pants or jeans. It is durable and comes with interchangeable buckles and straps.
Compared to the Grip6 belt, the Shinola Rambler belt gives you a slicker look. It is casual and rugged but still looks nice enough for a last-minute dinner out with friends.