Keep Your Pants on With These Stylish Men’s Belts

Read this before you shop.

Belts have two functions—practicality (keeping your pants up) and fashion (looking good). Whether you’re wearing a suit or jeans, you need a belt to complete your outfit. But there’s more to buckling these straps than you might think.

Shiny brown leather with a silver latch works in the boardroom and at the bar. Nautica

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The first thing to consider when picking a belt to wear is where you’ll wear it. In a more formal setting, opt for a dress belt; dress belts are usually on the narrower side, and made of a shiny black or brown leather with a traditional metal buckle. Try to match both the color and shininess of your belt and buckle to your dress shoe.

Muted or matte tones usually work better with casual outfits. Timberland

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Casual belts are often wider than dress belts, and the buckle may have more than one prong or have a worn-in look. Leather (or manmade leather) is still the go-to for casual belts, but you can also find nice-looking options in canvas or a mix of canvas and leather.

A plastic clasp is a good choice for anyone whose skin reacts negatively to alloys. ITAY Belts

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Many metal belt buckles contain nickel—but some people’s skin can be very sensitive to it. If you find a rash on the bottom of your stomach, or find the top of your belt has corroded, you may want to find a belt with a nickel-free or plastic buckle.

Match any pair of black or brown shoes simply by flipping the buckle. Kenneth Cole REACTION

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When determining the size of your belt, add one to two inches to your pant size. This will ensure the belt wraps all the way around your waist.