How to Buy a Men’s Belt in 2023

Looking to buy a men‘s belt? It may seem like an easy task, but there are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right purchase.

In this guide, we’ll explore the steps you should take to buy a men’s belt that fits perfectly, including the ideal size and material to look for.

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Check out this Youtube video: “How To Buy The PERFECT Belt” for expert tips on selecting the right belt size and style to complement any outfit.

What Material Is Best for a Men’s Belt?

The best material for a men’s belt is “full grain leather”. This type of leather is the highest quality and most durable type of leather available.

Other types of leather, such as “top grain leather”, “genuine leather”, or just plain “leather” may not be as high quality and can be less durable. Full grain leather is also known for developing a unique patina over time, which can add character to your belt.

Full grain leather belt - how to buy a men's belt

What Are the Different Styles of Men’s Belts?

There are several different styles of men‘s belts, each with their own unique features:

  • Dress Belts: Made from more formal materials, such as leather or suede, and typically have a sleek and simple design.
  • Casual Belts: Usually made from more casual materials such as canvas or woven fabric. They can have more intricate designs and may be wider than dress belts.
  • Reversible Belts: These can be flipped to reveal a different color or material on the other side. They are versatile and can be worn with a variety of outfits.
  • Braided Belts: These belts are made by weaving together strips of leather or fabric. They are often considered to be more casual and can add a more textured look to an outfit.

Different styles of men's belts - how to buy a men's belt

What Are Some Brands That Offer High-Quality Men’s Belts?

When looking for high-quality men’s belts, there are a few brands that are known for their craftsmanship and durability:

  • Allen Edmonds: Known for their dress belts, Allen Edmonds offers a range of classic and timeless designs.
  • Saddleback Leather: Saddleback Leather makes belts from full grain leather and are often considered to be some of the most durable belts available.
  • Orion Leather: Orion Leather offers a range of styles and materials, including full grain leather and vegetable-tanned leather.
  • Fossil: Fossil offers a wide range of belts, from casual to dressy, and are known for their high-quality leather and unique designs.
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High-quality men's belt brands - how to buy a men's belt

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Men’s Belt?

When choosing a men‘s belt, there are a few things to consider:

  • Size: Make sure to buy a belt size that is at least two inches larger than your waist size for a comfortable fit.
  • Material: Choose a belt made from high-quality materials like full grain leather for durability and longevity.
  • Style: Consider the occasion and outfit you will be wearing the belt with when choosing a style.
  • Buckle: Make sure the buckle matches the style of the belt and the occasion. A simple, subdued buckle is best for dressier occasions, while a more intricate buckle can add interest to a casual outfit.

Choosing a men's belt - how to buy a men's belt

How Do I Care for a Men’s Belt?

Caring for a men‘s belt is important to prolong its lifespan and keep it looking its best:

  • Clean the belt regularly with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid getting the belt wet or exposing it to direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
  • Store the belt in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use a leather conditioner to keep the leather moisturized and prevent cracking.

Caring for a men's belt - how to buy a men's belt

Selecting the Right Style and Material

Belt Materials

When looking for a men’s belt, you should first consider the material that best suits your needs. Full-grain leather is the best option for quality and durability, but it can be pricey.

If you’re on a budget, synthetic leather or canvas may be a good alternative. Suede or woven materials are also an option, but they may not be as versatile as leather.

Types of Belt Materials - how to buy a men's belt

Belt Styles

The next consideration when selecting a belt is the style. Dress belts are generally made of leather and feature a simple, classic design, while casual belts can have a wider range of materials and designs.

Decorated buckles, reversible belts, and woven materials are all options to consider for a casual belt. Choose a style that matches your personal taste and suits your needs for the occasion.

Dress Belt vs. Casual Belt - how to buy a men's belt

Belt Size

Lastly, it’s important to select a belt size that fits properly. Generally, your belt size should be 1-2 inches longer than your pants waist size.

For example, if you wear size 32 pants, you would want to purchase a size 34 belt. When in doubt, it is better to go with a slightly shorter belt than a longer one.

Ideally, the buckle pin should go through the middle hole with about 6 inches of excess belt to the left of the buckle.

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How to Choose the Right Size Belt

To buy the right size belt, you should measure your waist right where your pants sit and add about 2 inches to the measurement to calculate your belt size. If you usually wear size 32 pants, you should go for a size 34 belt.

Make sure that the belt fits you well, and the buckle pin goes through the middle hole. An ideal fit should leave around 6 inches of leather to the left of the buckle once it’s fastened.

It’s better to err on the shorter side when in doubt, but ensure that you have enough to tuck the belt under the first belt loop.

Choosing the Right Material

The best material for a belt is full-grain leather since it is sturdy and doesn’t wear out quickly. Stay clear of belts made of top-grain leather, genuine leather, or just plain leather as they don’t provide the same durability as full-grain leather.

When buying a men’s belt, make sure to look for a full-grain leather option to invest in a high-quality belt that will last you for years to come.

Matching Your Belt to Your Shoes or Outfit

Coordinating your belt with your shoes is crucial, especially in formal events. If you’re wearing a black belt, pair it with black shoes, and if you’re wearing a brown belt, wear brown shoes.

However, if you’re going for a more casual look, a belt can add a pop of texture or color that matches your shirt, tie, or other accessories. Remember that the goal is to create a seamless and polished look that complements your outfit rather than detracting from it.

Style of Belt

When choosing a belt, it’s essential to consider your personal style and the occasions you will be wearing it for the most. For instance, a sleek and simple leather belt is ideal for formal settings, whereas a fabric or multi-colored belt may be more suitable for casual events.

Also, pay attention to the type of buckle you prefer and match it to your personal style. Lastly, make sure that the belt and the buckle complement each other, and don’t clash with your outfit.

Where to Buy Men’s Belts

When it comes to buying men’s belts, you have both online and in-store options. You can find a wide variety of men’s belts in stores like J. Crew, Berle, and H&M.

However, if you’re short on time, online shopping can offer a more convenient experience. Some of the best online retailers for men’s belts include Amazon, Nordstrom, and Zappos.

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When shopping for belts online, make sure to check the seller’s reputation and review their return policy. You can also get a better idea of the belt’s quality by reading customer reviews and viewing detailed product descriptions.

Remember to keep in mind the material and size of the belt, and look for “full grain leather” as the material.

Men's Belts From Various Brands - how to buy a men's belt

Pro Tip: When buying online, be sure to measure your waist and compare it to the seller’s size chart to ensure the best fit.


Buying a men’s belt can be overwhelming, but by taking into account factors such as size, material, and style, you can make an informed decision. Remember to choose a belt size that is at least two inches greater than your pants waist size, and opt for a full-grain leather material.

When it comes to style, choose a belt that matches your personal taste and coordinates with your outfit. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to buy a men’s belt that fits your needs and elevates your look.

Men's leather belt - how to buy a men's belt


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know what size belt to buy for a man?

To determine belt size, typically, you should add 2 inches to the off-the-rack trouser size. For instance, if you wear a 36” waist trouser, a 38 belt size would be appropriate. This simple formula works best for traditional pants worn close to the natural waistline.

What size of the belt should I buy if I have 32 waist pants?

If you wear size 32 pants, then it’s best to buy a size 34 belt. If your pants are made with a different style, you should consult your retailer if not sure.

How should men choose the right belt for them?

A casual belt should be between 1.5-1.75 inches in width, with wider belts being ideal for casual events. To suit your denim and chinos, a belt of 1.5” in width goes well with heavier fabrics. Belts wider than that are unusual and suit casual trousers and jeans, making them ideal for pairing with statement buckles.

Should you size up when buying a belt?

When shopping for a belt, the general rule of thumb is you should buy one that’s two inches larger than your waist size. Therefore, if you wear size 32 pants, purchase a size 34 belt. However, you should consult your retailer for more conclusive fit recommendations.

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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