It may seem simple, but wearing a belt has a multitude of social and fashionable connotations attached. For some, a belt is purely just practical, meant to hold up those looser fitting trousers or shorts. For others, a belt is a statement. Wearing one can be a statement of style, wealth, or morals. Regardless of why you wear a belt, you might want to consider when to wear a belt. At ROMA by RL, we know that fashion is what you say it is with no limits, but for those more traditional belt wearers, we have put together a quick summary of when and where you should wear a belt.
Wear: with visible belt loops
When your bottom half has visible belt loops, the ideal option is to wear a belt. Belt loops with no belt can make an outfit look unfinished or untidy, whilst adding a clean and simple belt to complete the look creates a cohesive outfit. This is especially true for jeans and denim, which were originally manufactured with a belt in mind. A casual jean belt works well with all denim, as it offsets the rugged look with a more polished finish.
Don’t wear: when wearing suits
Fashion, and men’s fashion especially, has never had hard and strict rules, which is why the above rule can be bent on occasions. When wearing a full suit, even if the suit has visible belt loops, a belt is not necessary, and can even ruin the outfit. A full suit in a block colour adds height to your frame by creating a line of colour, and a belt in the middle can break this line and have the opposite effect.
Wear: when wearing separates
A belt should be worn in smart or business dress when wearing separates. A single blazer or jacket creates space to draw the eye-line to the belt, which is often necessary to finish the outfit. This is especially true if going for a sophisticated dress belt, which transforms those empty belt loops into an interesting addition.
Don’t wear: when wearing suspenders
Suspenders were designed for a time when men’s trousers were too high-waisted to wear a belt, think the 1920s and 30s. While less popular today’s everyday wear, suspenders still evoke a classic, traditional, and slightly avant-garde look in men’s fashion. Belts and suspenders do the same job, and so aside from making the outfit look too busy, wearing both is slightly pointless. One or the other should do the trick.
Wear: when your shirt is tucked in
This goes hand in hand with the visible belt loops. If your shirt is tucked in, either a full tuck or a half tuck, also known as a French tuck, you should add a belt to your wardrobe. The tuck draws attention to your waist, so it is a good idea to have an eye-catching piece to capture that attention. A classic detailed belt such as The Stitched Edge is a go-to for these situations.
Don’t wear: black tie
Whilst business attire almost demands a belt, anything more formal does not. Black tie and white tie affairs should not have a belt, as your trousers should be perfectly tailored to fit without one. Make sure your trousers have a flat front and side tabs to keep your outfit looking polished and stylish.
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