Owning a belt is a standard in our modern world, with the accessory having been elevated beyond its primarily practical uses in the 1950s. Now, a belt is a fashion statement, adorned and styled in any way you please, with no limitations. Having such a variety offers freedom, but many still stick to the traditional ways to wear a belt, which means choosing the right one is important. The right belt can add a sense of grace to your ensemble, and such traditions are not likely to be forgotten quickly. One example of these traditions is a dress belt.


What is a Dress belt?

A dress belt refers to the belts required for official occasions, perhaps a black-tie event or a business meeting. Traditionally, they are only used for the most formal events, as they are a time-honoured accessory that exude elegance and class.


How to choose the right dress belt?

Match your leathers and metals

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a dress belt is if it matches the rest of your look. The best way to judge this is to match your metals and leathers. This refers to matching your belt colour and leather type to the dress shoes you intend to wear, and to match the colour and finish of the buckle of the belt to any other metals in your outfit, for example, cuff-links, zips, or eyelets and buttons. Many opt for black shoes and belts, as they are often the easiest to match. The Stitched Edge belt maintains a simple, classic style constructed of black leather finished with a solid silver buckle. But for those who desire to add a touch of colour to their outfit, a rich burgundy leather could be the perfect refined addition to your work-wear wardrobe. 

The Dress belt in black leather from the ROMA by RL Collection, styled on a male model with an all black suit and matching shirt



Check your measurements

The width of your belt is also important to consider; a belt too large looks overpowering and out of place, a belt too thin looks lost and underwhelming. The ideal width of your belt is between 1 and 1.5 inches, which allows for it to sit comfortably between the belt loops. To help achieve that sleek professional look, you should find the right belt size which is the ideal fit for you. Should you measure in between sizes then it is good practice to size up in measurements, for example, if you have a 33-inch waist, buy a 34-inch belt. This allows for just enough excess belt after the buckle and will sit better when worn. 


The finish of a dress belt should always be subtle, but polished. Whilst casual belts can act as an eye-catching accessory, in formal situations, your belt is meant to be unobtrusive and low-key, to avoid taking attention away from your carefully tailored outfit. A hand polished finish ensures your look is professional and stylish. For extremely formal events, an undecorated belt is best, but for more casual affairs some slight detail, such as hand burnishing, is acceptable.
Our Drummed Dress belt offers a unique texture that remains subtle when paired with tailored separates. A small amount of detail will add intrigue to your outfit without overpowering it. 

The Drummed Dress belt from the ROMA by RL Collection, styled on a male model with a black shirt and trousers

Type of leathers

Finally, your formal belt should ideally be made from full-grain leather, which is the uppermost layer of material from the hide. Full-grain leather is the most durable leather, and also the most unique and characteristic. A high-quality dress belt can make all the difference to your outfit, and the type of leather goes a long way. Crafted from vegetable tanned full grain leather, and finished with a soft nubuck lining, the Dress belt from our collection is a simple and classic addition for anyone’s tailored ensembles.

The Drummed Dress leather belt from the ROMA by RL Collection, coiled on a wooden bench

A dress belt is a stylish tradition in your formal wardrobe that can still make a subtle but impactful impression on the whole outfit. Shop our full collection of dress belts here, or get in touch with the ROMA by RL team through our online enquiry form.

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