Belt-wearing Mistakes

A belt can be a good way to increase the style factor of an outfit, especially a simple look. Belts are not discussed much. Perhaps that is why most men seem to view them as purely functional and mostly ignore their aesthetics and personality signals, often to their detriment.

Note: dress belts are mentioned repeatedly in this article and therefore the term should be defined - solid black or brown smooth leather, narrow, with a frame-style, pronged buckle in a silver, brass, or gold finish.

Objects attached to a belt - distracting and often reminders of unpleasant duties

Belt (and pants) worn below the waist, looking curved instead of fully horizontal - emphasizing a stomach hanging over

A belt that is too tight - makes the stomach look bigger and is unhealthy (about two fingers should fit between the stretched belt and waistband)

The pants technically are too big - if the pants would quickly fall down to the knees without a belt, something needs to change.

The belt is out of scale

- thin belt on a tall or large man

- wide belt with head-to-toe slim-fit clothing

- belt with a large, prominent buckle on a small man

A bulky belt with mostly lightweight casual clothing

Matching unusual materials - suede with suede is about the maximum acceptable pairing

Colorful shoes plus colorful belt - brown or burgundy can be dull enough to not be considered colorful

A black belt with brown shoes or vice versa

Wearing the same belt daily - not great for the belt and lousy for the reputation, especially if regularly wearing an uninteresting belt, such as always a solid black or brown plain leather belt

A belt that is wearing out - throw it out

A dress belt with casual footwear (sneakers, work boots, boat shoes)

Wearing a non-conservative belt in a conservative workplace -the further away from the standard dress belt, the less okay it is

A light-colored belt with wholly dark clothing (medium blue jeans, dark green shirt) or the other way around (with an exception for all-white clothing)

Studded/jeweled belts - few are impressed

Wearing a belt that obviously is alligator or crocodile - that often looks flashy and tasteless, especially if low-quality, embossed, or not matched with good, dressy clothing and usually looks wrong on young men (putting on airs), and fake reptile skin basically misrepresents one's wealth

Tucked-in shirt, jeans and no belt

Standard dress belt with jeans and no dress shirt

The woven or (worse) braided style of leather belt - almost always looks bad

Any belt with a tuxedo

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