The term has many applications but generally when it is used it is referring to a fashion accessory that can make or break any outfit you own. Using the right belt and you can be seen as fashion-forward. But use the wrong one and you could be labeled out of touch with modern fashion trends
Are belts in style? For men, this may be a difficult question to answer. The reason for that is that men have fewer fashion options when it comes to belts. But as long as there are diets, there will always be a need for belts, and yes they are still in style.
To learn more about this fashion trend just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you know which belt you should wear when. Unless you like wearing suspenders, belts will always remain a fixture on the fashion scene.
There are several definitions of the term belts. One is a hit to the body and boxers get hit with a lot of belts while trying to win their class’s championship belt. Then there is the alcoholic belt which simply means a stiff drink to toughen up the nerves.
Another definition of the term is reinforcement as in belted tires. Those tires have had the rubber exterior reinforced with steel belts to make them last longer. The steel belts are added security for the driver and passengers of the car they are on.
That is what fashion belts are. They are reinforcement and a little security when the outfits you are wearing may not be form-fitting enough to stay up on their own. You can be more confident when you know your clothes are not going to readjust when you make certain movements.
But belts are more than just reinforcement and extra security. They add a nice characteristic to your fashion outfit that helps you look great. Different belts can alter your look and keep your fashion current without detracting from your natural beauty.
Belts then are two items in one. Reinforcement and an accessory that adds to your fashion statement.
Women have so many fashion options available that men have no chance to compete against. When it comes to belts, men's options are vastly limited to the options women have to choose from.
There are small thin belts that are hardly noticeable or there are fat belts that even a blind man cannot miss. They are that large. These are just solid leather options. There are also woven belts to help make an old outfit look more up to date and there are crochet belts that display the softer side of a woman’s nature.
On top of those choices, there are studded belts, cloth ones, waterproof options, and more. Oh, and did we mention there are metal chain belts that give a woman a look of strength? The type of woman’s belts is innumerable and far too many to list here.
We haven’t even touched the topic of belt buckles yet as there seems to be a myriad of styles for that part of the belt. Each one can provide a sophisticated, intelligent, casual, or even daring look to the woman who is wearing a specific belt buckle.
This is a possibility as many fashion designers like to think outside the box and create something unique that will make their reputation and help them be an authority on fashion. It is not hard to conceive of a belt skirt as with the right materials it can look very chic and daring.
Although a skirt made of stiff leather belts may not be too practical, modest, or even comfortable when one needs to sit or bend over. Soft, cloth belts would be the ideal material to make this skirt as they are flexible, have a nice feel next to the skin. Plus, that option would be easier to clean.
Then if you want to appear exotic, daring, and very sexy, you could try to make a skirt out of a myriad of belly dancer belts. The design options are as limitless as the number of belts you could use to create the skirt.
The biggest problem you would have is finding the right occasion to wear this type of skirt. Dress codes being what they are may not be innovative or forward-thinking enough to accommodate the wearer of a belt skirt. But it is a good sewing project for those who want to put some excitement into their sewing lives.
In this category, men may be a bit more competitive as if they are rodeo participants, they can win a nice silver buckle that tells everyone which competition they won. While there are buckles for men and women some can be worn by both genders without diminishing their gender identification.
For men, these are just some of the types of belt closures you can buy with your belt:
You can probably add in a monogram closure, custom closures, and other styles. For example, there is the double tongue, the double-sided, double rings, military, clip, and other styles.
Women’s belts may have some similar closures but theirs will also range in size. That difference is due to the current fashion trends not because someone made the belt loops too big.
The selection for women is greater because they have a greater number of belts to secure. They can go with a hippy chain belt, attached to the shorts belt and tie the strings together, or they can follow Elly Mae Clampett and just use a rope and a knot.
Then there are jeweled, leather, designed closures as well as hooks, clips, and heart-shaped buckles. The list of closure styles for women is more than a mile long. All that means is that the female gender can meet any fashion trend that comes along.
One of the better aspects of this style of belt is that the chain looks good on almost any occasion. Some thick chains work well for casual events or a woman can put a hippy style belt on when she is feeling carefree and the occasion calls for a very relaxed dress style.
Then for formal occasions, some really nice and dainty chain belts let a woman display her full feminine nature and wow everyone around her. Plus, those chain belts can have smaller chains as dangles which will upgrade her appearance as well.
Chains also work well as closures for women styles. Not so much for men as the latter’s rougher activities may damage the chain buckle or injure them. Then for women, chain belts can be hooked together in a wide variety of ways.
There are S hooks, regular hooks, nice clip-together styles, and even a broach type closure that adds a touch of sophistication to any fashion outfit. We shouldn’t forget the native American type belt style as it works for chains as well as those belts made out of needlework and beads.
When you talk classic belt styles the one fabric that seems to come to everyone’s mind is leather. This is the material used for almost any classic belt style whether they are made for men or women.
Then, leather has history on its side as it was one of the first fabrics to be used in ancient times to hold up different garments worn by the people of different ancient civilizations.
Some of the more modern classic styles include the solid leather belt, the stitched look, and the woven look although that weave is done differently depending on the fashion trend and who is going to wear it.
There is also a braided style that looks good on both men and women but women look better with the very narrow classic leather belt. Then there are the different types of leather materials that can be used in making a belt.
Patent leather provides a nice sheen to an outfit while the regular leather may be tough enough for cowboys and cowgirls. Suede is better for many women’s outfits and can be soft as well as decorative when worn with the right skirt or dress.
A distressed leather belt may be perfect for a ball game or a night at the movies when casual dress codes are in effect.
This is a style more for women than for most men and they can be quite comfortable as the material is more flexible. Unlike leather belts which may only come in one or two colors, fabric belts come in a wide array of colors and designs.
The other piece of good news when it comes to fabric belts is that a woman may have over 1000 different styles to choose from. The closures can range from a simple knot to an elaborate broach style with many different closures in between those two.
Some fabric belts for men will come with a clip design closure. To open you just press the buttons to release the clips and then to close you just snap the two pieces together.
Also, cloth belts can be made from the same fabric your dress or skirt is made form enhancing your fashion statement and making sure the belt does not clash with what you are wearing.
Then there are ribbon belts, sash belts, and even a corset-style belt that can all be made from different fabrics. or you can put a touch of the orient onto your dress by creating a nice Japanese kimono belt out of the right cloth.
While plastic belts are easy to maintain and clean and also be waterproof, spillproof as well as durable, etc. they may not always be the best choice. Plastic belts can be made from the same harsh chemicals and petroleum products as synthetic fibers are made from.
There are a lot of advantages to these belts, which were just named, and an important one is that they can come in unlimited color options. That means matching those hard-to-match dresses, blouse, or skirt colors. That is one great advantage to plastic belts.
Also, they come in a wide array of sizes and thicknesses so you can get the look you want without sacrificing any security or reinforcement. There are plastic belts for men and they will have a more masculine look to them but the options may not be as great as they are with women’s plastic belts.
The different types of belts for men are more practical than they are for fashion. While some men do wear suspenders as they do not like the belt around their waist, more men use belts than don’t.
Then for men, there are two basic categories for belts. There is the formal category and the casual one. Since most men are not into fashion like women are, their options are extremely limited when it comes to belts.
The formal belt material can be cowhide, alligator skin, ostrich, crocodile, and even lizard. There is also synthetic material and which is usually made from faux leather. The buckles will be as described earlier in the article and there are more choices of buckles than there are for men’s belt styles.
The casual category can have leather, cloth, or other materials for its construction and the belt buckle options are about the same. There is no real casual belt buckle except for the 2 ring style on some casual belts.
This would be the formal category for men’s belts. Leather would be the norm and cloth would not go over well or even look half decent. Suits for men are very formal unless wearing an open-neck shirt then maybe a casual belt will fit in with the look.
For women, their options remain large as their belts will be dictated by the color of the suit, the preference of the woman as well as the look of the belt and the suit. Women do have many more choices at their disposal and they can get away with wearing different types of belts that men cannot.
Of course, it is the buckle that will also have an influential contribution to make here as not all buckles are good for either men and ladies’ suits. The formal or traditional style of men’s buckles would be appropriate with a suit and again ladies have more options in this area as well.
As they say, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ And fashion styles tend to be circular as one generation may have worn the same style 40 years before the next generation wore it.
Depending on where you fall into the age category will depend on the type of belt you would wear. For men, they could have worn the same formal and casual type belts in the 80s as they do now and many did. Belt styles for men are very limited although there was a punk style for those males into that type of music.
Also, for both men and women, narrow belts were all the rage. Like narrow ties having a narrow belt helps people focus on more important aspects of your fashion outfit and personal looks.
The other aspect about 80s belts is where you wore them. One set of the population usually wore them low on the hips instead of at the traditional place, at the waist.
There may be differing opinions on this but belts never seem to go out of style. That is because they are an important fashion accessory as well as a tool to remain modest in difficult situations.
Belts are always needed. Whether it is for security and reinforcement of the pants or to upgrade one’s look making it more respectable and formal. Then the fashion demands will always have room for belts no matter the decade.
Belts are a necessity and have been for thousands of years. No one wants to be caught in an embarrassing position especially in front of strangers. Having a belt on provides more confidence as one will always look better with a belt and they can move more freely with that added security.
The key is wearing the right belt, with the right color and design, with your fashion outfit.