Types Of Waist Belts How To Wear

Belts can be worn for many different fashion reasons, from styling a casual outfit to fixing too large formal pants using suspenders. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the different types of belts available before you go shopping for one.

What is a Belt?

The belt is a traditional fashion accessory used to tighten the waistband of a pair or bottoms. Belts can be used for tight pants or to tighten loose pants. Belts are not only used to keep your pants in place, but they can also be used to add a fashionable touch to an outfit. Style an outfit using a belt to add color, to bring an outfit together or to emphasize your natural shape. There are many styles of belts that can be worn in formal and casual settings.

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3 parts of a belt

Traditional belts often have three components and are simple in design.

1. Buckle A belt buckle is usually made up of three parts, namely the frame, prong and bar. The buckle’s “base” is the frame, and the prong (attached to bar) is the moving piece that slides into the belt strap notches in order to tighten or loosen. Most belt buckles are made of metal, zinc alloy or plastic.

2. The Strap is the material that makes up the belt. It can be leather or fabric. The strap is a series belt holes that are known as notches. This is where the belt buckle prong slides into to adjust the size of the belt.

3. Loop : The loop is the place where the “tongue”, or end of a belt, slides into after it has been tightened/loosened to keep the belt (mostly), flush against itself.

13 Types Of Belts

Numerous types of belts, both formal and informal, can add a different style to an outfit. Some of these belts have different functions. Here’s a quick overview of 13 different belt types.

1. Formal Belts These belts are reserved for formal occasions and worn with dress pants or suits. Cumberbunds, which are pleated fabric belts that go with a suit or tuxedo, are a popular type of formal belt. Suede belts can be considered semi-formal but depending on their quality, they may also go with formal clothing.

2. Leather Belts: The leather belts that are used to keep pants in place are typically black or brown. The majority of leather belts are made out of cowhide, either full-grain or calfskin. Faux leather is available for vegans. Leather belts are suitable for both casual and formal occasions.

3. Braided Belts A braided leather belt is made up of many braided pieces of leather that are woven together to form a solid, plaited piece of material. Although they can be worn in a formal manner, their style is more casual.

4. Garter Belts A garter belt can be worn to prevent thigh high socks or garters falling.

5. Obi Belts An obi belt is an oversized, thick belt made of leather or fabric that is wrapped around the midriff of a person and fastened in a bow. This style is popular for Japanese kimonos and martial arts.

6. Chain Belts A chain belt is a metal chain that sits on the hips or waist of a person.

7. Cinch Belts : Cinch belts, which are wide belts used to add shape to the silhouette of a person, are designed to tighten their waist. These belts can be made from leather, fabric or an elastic material which stretches and adjusts to your waist size.

8. D’ring belts : Instead of using a typical buckle and notch system to fasten the belt, d rings belts use two d-shaped rings where the tip of the belt can be threaded into. D-ring belts can be made from canvas, cotton or other fabrics instead of leather.

9. Reversible Belts: A reversible buckle allows you to wear a belt in the opposite direction. The other side may be a different color or style.

10. Thin belts : Leather belts that are thin and casual in style. These belts are used to emphasize a person’s waist, and they look more stylish than practical.

11. Canvas Belts: Canvas was originally worn by military personnel as part of their training uniform. The belts can be used to secure a pair bottoms around a person’s waist, while still allowing them more freedom of movement than a traditional leather belt. Canvas belts can be made of a mixture of linen and cotton, or synthetic webbing. These belts are buckled with plastic hardware that looks like a seatbelt, instead of metal.

12. Studded Belts: Studded Belts are belt straps that have metal or plastic embellishments such as grommets and studs. They add texture and substance to plain, flat belts.

13. Western Belts: Western buckles are traditionally worn by cowboys. They’re made of thick leather and can hold a person’s pants up while they ride on a horse. Western belts are now more popular for their style, with their large buckles and embossed leather straps.

How to measure belt size

When choosing a belt, it’s important to choose the right size. This is a quick guide on how to determine your belt size.

1. Measure the circumference of your waist. The best way to accurately measure your belt size is to use a measuring tape. You can use a soft tape measure to determine the size of your belt. Simply thread it through the loops on your pants (or around the waistband) and fix the ends where you would like your belt to fit. You will get the correct length of your belt in inches by measuring this way. A belt sizing guide can be used to determine the right size belt for your waist.

2. Measuring an existing belt. It is also an effective way to determine your belt size. Measure the length of your belt, from where you currently use the notch to where it meets the buckle. Round the measurement to the nearest inch.

3. Add an inch to the pants size. You can find the right belt size as a rule of thumb by adding two inches to your waist size.

How to wear a belt

Wearing a belt can be both a fashion accessory and a practical tool for holding up your pants. A good belt can be worn and put on easily for functional purposes.

1. Pull the bottoms up to your waist. The belt will be most comfortable in the position it was designed to be worn, which is typically just below your natural waistline.

2. Inserting the tongue through loops. The belt ends can either be inserted into the left or the right loops, depending on how the belt is styled. If you have belt loops on your pants, feed your belt through them until it has gone through all the loops.

3. Fasten the belt. How you fasten your strap will depend on the frame style of your belt buckle. In most traditional buckles you slide the tongue into the frame of the buckle and then pull the tongue to the desired notch. Once the belt is in the correct position, slide the prong into the desired hole and then push the belt end under the frame.

4. Use loop. After you have threaded your belt and notch it, the tongue will appear on the opposite side of the buckle, near the belt loop. Slide the tip through the opening and secure the belt.

Four Tips for Style with Belts

Belts are functional accessories because they keep your pants in place. Belts are also used to add style to outfits. They can be used to give them a little extra personality and shape. Style belts in formal or casual ways with these four tips.

1. Belts can enhance your silhouette. When adding a belt, be mindful of your body shape. Use them to emphasize your waist when wearing billowy items like a shift dress or tunic top. You can add structure to a cardigan, blazer or dress by cinching it.

2. Use belts as a way to bring (or add) color. When styling an outfit using a belt, experiment with different colors and styles. Use the belt as a tie to your outfit, drawing inspiration from your prints and patterns.

3. Make a statement with beslts. Statement belts, such as those with large buckles or an interesting design accent, can be the focal point of your outfit. You can use it to add color or personality to an otherwise plain look.

4. Be sure to see the belt. If you wear the belt to add style or functionality, it should be visible. If you are wearing something bulky, such as an oversize sweater, French tucking your shirt is a great option to showcase a statement belt.

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