The 10 Best Men's Designer Belts
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in November of 2018. A belt can do much more than simply hold up a man's pants. It can say something about the gentleman's personality. Unfortunately, this accessory can suffer a lot of wear and tear, being whipped through loops and buckled and undone over and over again. That's why it can be smart to buy a designer piece that not only looks fashionable but can also stand up to that kind of constant abuse. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 18, 2020:
When putting together our list of men's designer belts, we wanted to offer a compilation of models from several of the top names in fashion. We also wanted shoppers with nearly every sort of style, from subtle to flashy, to find something attractive on our list. In pursuit of those goals, we made many replacements during this update.
We removed the Prada Nastro to make room for the Prada 2CM046. We believe the latter has superior materials and we like the bold choice of the oversized medallion buckle. These details capture the essence of this sophisticated designer, in our opinion, more than the Prada Nastro did. The Philipp Plein also lost its place during this update. We felt the Diesel B-Goujons was a better selection for a grunge-style accessory on this list. It has a more high-fashion aesthetic than the Philipp Plein, which looks rather ragged.
We also swapped out the Gucci Imprime for the Gucci 336827, appreciating the soft suede option of the latter, which still has that beautiful teal color. While nothing was wrong with the Salvatore Ferragamo Gancio, we wanted to replace it with the Salvatore Ferragamo Oversized Gancini, which is similar in its basic qualities but makes a bit more of a statement. Even though the Versace Fashion was authentic, its high-sheen leather gave it a trendy look that didn't read as designer, so we removed it.
Those who buy designer so they can show off their labels will like the addition of the MCM Claus, which has the brand's iconic logo printed on the canvas. Both the Fendi Zucca Havana and the Louis Vuitton Initiales 40mm showcase symbols to let onlookers know who you're wearing. Their classic designs also make them easy to match with both suits and jeans, dress shoes and loafers.
November 29, 2018:
We wanted to represent formal, casual, eccentric, and minimalist styles, so that men with various senses of fashion could find a high-quality accessory. Since part of the reason one wears designer brands is to show them off, we decided to include a few items that feature the logos loud and proud. We also selected subtler options for men who prefer to keep their wealth a secret.
Tom Ford Crocodile Buckle Belt The Tom Ford Crocodile Buckle Belt comes in a rich navy color and is made of the type of leather founds in its name for a chic but edgy aesthetic. It has the brand's signature T-buckle made of gold-colored brass for a touch of sophistication. tomford.com
Christian Louboutin Ricky Belt The Christian Louboutin Ricky Belt was inspired by 1950s film icons and has a striking bright red interior with a shiny laser-printed black exterior that has eye-catching graphics. It has the designer's name on the gunmetal buckle, and makes quite the statement. christianlouboutin.com
Benefits Of Buying Designer
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the label, too, since wearing one can make you feel stylish and confident.
Whether at the mall or your office, you can’t escape designer finery. Perhaps that’s because it’s become easier than ever to dress stylishly, thanks to social media, style magazines, fashion-centric TV shows, and more. But wanting to be on-trend isn’t the only reason to invest in designer pieces, as there are plenty of other benefits, too.
For instance, designer pieces tend to be higher quality, especially compared to fast fashion. Usually used in a derogatory manner, the term fast fashion refers to cheap, poorly produced clothing made to be extremely affordable and keep up with trends as they shift quickly. The problem is that these pieces tend to be bad for both your wallet and the environment, as you continuously replace them because of shoddy workmanship. But a quality designer belt should last you for years as a reliable wardrobe staple.
Similarly, the attention to detail is generally better in high-end designer pieces. A buckle with, say, intricate metal work will have better, crisper detailing than a poorly stamped cheap version. The stitching, too, will be even rather than ragged. You might think such small things don’t matter to people seeing you from across the room or your desk, but poor detailing creates a poor effect overall.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the label, too, since wearing one can make you feel stylish and confident. But this goes beyond how you feel and can affect how others perceive you. A designer backpack or belt can say to those around you that you have the cash to spend, you’re up on fashion, and you aren’t afraid of being noticed. Depending on the environment you work in, designer duds may even be necessary. You’re more likely to be treated well or get that promotion if you’re dressed more like Don Draper than Howard Wolowitz.
Of course, we aren’t saying designer clothing is the only route to confidence, or that you must have names plastered all over you to look and feel good. In fact, the name doesn’t necessarily have to be visible; just knowing that you’ve opted for quality can offer a confidence boost, whether you mix in one or two pieces or you rock labels from head to toe.
What Are The Rules?
There’s no such thing, really, as the fashion police, but most clothing items have general rules for wear, including the belt. Although style experts disagree over some of the finer points, there are a few big dos and don’ts that most recommend.
As for fit, most style gurus recommend buying a belt that’s two sizes larger than your waist.
First, when it comes to formal wear, you should match your belt and shoes — including the finish. So, if you’re wearing shiny patent leather shoes, you won’t choose a matte leather belt. You’ll also want to match the belt’s hardware to your watch and/or cufflinks. In other words, if you've selected gold accessories, look for a belt with gold-colored hardware. But when it comes to casual looks, matching isn’t as crucial. Instead, select complementary colors and textures. A casual look will suffer by looking too matchy-matchy.
And speaking of casual, you’ll want to save the big flashy buckles for such looks. A splashy buckle gets you noticed, but when you’re wearing a suit, it won’t be for the right reasons. For suits, style experts usually recommend a square buckle with a single prong. You’ll also want your formal belt to be on the narrower side.
As for fit, most style gurus recommend buying a belt that’s two sizes larger than your waist. If your waist size is 34, for example, then you’d buy a size 36 belt. This ensures you can buckle the belt comfortably and slide the end under the tabs. It’s also recommended that men start with the left loops when putting on a belt, so it goes around the waist counterclockwise, as the wearer is looking down.
Finally, don’t wear a belt and suspenders at the same time, largely because it’s redundant. Besides, wearing both breaks up the body visually, making the wearer appear boxy or highlighting a flabby waist.
Belt Or Suspenders: Which Is Better?
Depending on your age, you might envision Steve Urkel or Mork from Ork when you think of suspenders, but braces, as the British call them, do have a place in formal and casual settings. If you can’t quite decide whether you’re a suspenders or belt person, we have a few points you’ll want to consider.
Many style experts have relaxed, now saying it’s fine to wear suspenders with pants that have belt loops.
One important difference between the two is that over time, belts have become the standard, popular choice, whereas suspenders are more of a trend that comes and goes. Of course, you may not care about trends, but it’s safe to say that you can wear a belt without any notice at all, while a pair of suspenders is likely to attract attention.
They’re also dissimilar in that suspenders take longer to put on, but can be more comfortable for some wearers. On the other hand, they can slip off the shoulders, becoming annoying as you tug them back into place all day. Your overall comfort will probably come down to your body shape. Those with sloping shoulders might stick to belts, while anyone with a very narrow waist and hips might find suspenders to be a fine choice.
As for style, suspenders tend to be more formal; you generally won’t see men in cargo shorts, a t-shirt, and braces, unless they’re in the middle of building a house or a similar activity. But formal or casual, both belts and suspenders let you express your personal style.
And for those who like to switch, wearing a belt one day and suspenders the next, there is a piece of good news. Many style experts have relaxed, now saying it’s fine to wear suspenders with pants that have belt loops. This is great for your wallet, since you can rotate your belt and suspenders collection without needing extra pants.