Did you know that there are a whole set of rules for belt wearing? Yep – honest! We aren’t too tied up with the rules over here – we love seeing how people style and wear their belts – however they do it. It’s kind of interesting that there are a whole set of rules connected to belt wearing though, don’t you think? We wanted to share them with you, just in case they’re useful.
It’s also worth noting, before we get into belt etiquette that all of these have been carried over from a different time… so don’t take them too seriously!
Belt etiquette for men
Men have had better guidelines on how to wear belts – and the first quite surprising point is that traditionally belts shouldn’t be worn with suits. Yep, you read that correctly. It’s said that braces make a better alternative. Personally, we think you’d need to go a long way to beat an Oxford, but we might be biased!
The occasion has a big influence on the kind of belt you ‘should’ wear. For more formal occasions the colour of the buckle should match watches and jewellery, and the colour of the leather of the belt should match shoes. The width of a belt for business occasions should be between 2.5-3.5cm. Keep in mind its function is to be functional, so picking a belt design that’s subtle and doesn’t make too much of a statement is generally better received in these situations too.
For more casual occasions you can be a lot more creative and experiment with colour, stitching and fittings. The main thing to bear in mind is that if you’re wearing the belt with trousers or skirt with belt loops, you need to be aware of how wide these are… or else your belt just won’t fit! You can still play around with the thickness of the belt. You could opt for a thinner belt if that would work with what you were looking to wear, for example.
Belt etiquette for ladies
For ladies, if the belt is to be worn with a skirt, inside the belt loops (and we’ve seen lots of our customers nail this look), then the belt should sit one inch below the top of the skirt’s waistband. This applies to skinny belts, like our Badminton and Belton, but if you want to go for a much wider belt, like the Burghley, then make it work for you. You’re not restricted by belt loops. And when you wear a Burghley, you’re making a statement; it’s more of a functional accessory than straight up functional.
If you want to wear a belt over a dress, then there aren’t any real guidelines. We’ve seen our Clifton Cinch styled on the waist of a number of dresses, or something like the Burghley sits slightly differently but still creates a great overall appearance. The great thing about adding a belt is that it can break up an outfit but also add shape, to help the wearer accentuate the bits they like, such as the waist.
And as a final point on belt etiquette, did you know that men should wear their belt anticlockwise, and ladies should opt for clockwise? Yep – you learn something new every day, don’t you!