Mention leather belts and chances are the picture that you conjure up is a utilitarian piece of kit that has the job of stopping your trousers, shorts or in a women’s case – skirts from falling around your ankles, which when running for a bus can be a bit annoying to say the least! But now the “Good ol’ belt” has come out of the shadows and it taking main stage as one of the fasted growing must have accessories.
With a choice of materials from webbing, through the spectrum to the much-coveted handmade leather belt, consumers are spoilt for choice. They can also have them in an array of colours, widths and finishes. Not to mention the buckles which can be a straightforward West End or London Wire buckles or the fancier Western style buckles. Often people like the choice of being able to interchange their buckles on their favourite belt to suit a mood or outfit.
No longer destined to be hidden under clothes, belts are being proudly displayed for all to see. Leather belts especially, have a tactile side to them and a well-made belt if looked after with a little TLC, can last years.
Many leather belts on the market today are made to look good simply by binding two very thin layers of leather together either by gluing or running a line of stitches around the edge. Although on the face of it these belts look good and can be a bargain to purchase, buyers beware! These types of belts often begin to fall apart and look shabby after only a few outings. Better perhaps to invest in a leather belt that is solid and cut from full grain butt hides. This is the rear of the animal and therefore a lot more durable and less prone to stretching.
Some men are unsure which direction their belt should wind – should it wind round the waist clockwise so that the buckle ends up on the right hand side? Or should the belt end up with the buckle on the left hand side? As a note the British & American Armies buckle their belts so that the buckle ends up on the left and belts fitted with a ‘Western Style’ buckle are made so that the buckle also ends up on the left. So as a rule, the men’s way or unisex way to wear a belt is with the buckle on the left hand side. But all I can say is that you should wear your belt the way you are most comfortable with.