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To Belt or Not to Belt

8 years ago by

Are there rules when it comes to belts?

I ask because I once told a friend: “Oh you have to wear a belt everytime you can see belt loops.” Of course I said this in a snobby Master of the Fashion Universe sort of way and then never followed my own rule.

I wear pants everyday (and 90% of those pants have belt loops), I wear my pants with shirts that I half-tuck in (which means visible loops) and I never wear a belt (Of course I wear a belt with my pants that need a little extra help staying where I want them. Come on guys!).

So, should I be wearing a belt all the time? Or are empty belt loops okay? Are there rules?

And if I do need to be wearing a belt, who makes a great classic, chic, everyday belt? Both Garance and I want to know!

PS: A bit of my belt aversion might be related to that one time I belted my parka


Add yours
  • No belts- sorry :-)

    Somewhat cool people can pull it off but I’m not one of them so I’ll be forever beltfree.

    Love from Germany,


  • Pas besoin de porter des ceintures tout le temps :)
    Surtout que dès fois elles peuvent être désagréables, serrées, et quand on s’asseoit elles remontent…Baaaah….

    Cela dit je ne porte pas de pantalon, je n’ai que des robes, c’est peut être de là que vient ma phobie de la ceinture inconfortable !

  • I rarely wear a belt, but feel like I should start!

    The belt loops things is a good rule to keep in mind!



  • The right belt can ‘make’ an outfit! I have a lot of belts, but they’re always the last thing I think about. They’re all hanging right behind my bedroom door, yet I never remember to use one. I think it’s the hassle of having to stick it into every belt loop that makes me forget about it.

  • When I was a teenager I was wearing belts all the time but somehow they became unfashionable. I don’t know when it happened but it just did…xx


  • J’ai envie de dire No rules! Mais c’est vrai une belle ceinture peut rendre chic une tenue ou l’éclairer ou apporter une toute petite touche qui change le tout !
    J’aime quand elles sont subtiles et pas la grosse ceinture de cowboy grosse boucle et brut de cuir. Ca fait 1 an que j’ai découvert les ceintures de DVF et franchement ca change toute une tenue ! Elles sont belles et chics, je les prends super colorées (une jaune fluo, une orange fluo, une rose vif, etc, la super blanche, bref du contraste), fines avec une boucle simple, design et originale, bref j’adore !

  • A la base une ceinture c’est fait pour tenir un pantalon qui tombe donc si le pantalon tient sans problème donc pourquoi porter une ceinture à pars si elle est fantaisie ^^

  • Belt makers everywhere should be weeping that we don’t buy belts…but — I can’t even find a reasonable one to wear with my jeans! Who wants to wear a belt with low-cut pants? That makes a bad line worse!
    I do like all the belted coats you show…but my coats are way stiff for such shenanigans.

  • I love belts! I wear them as often as I can. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry though, so the belt is a nice thing that (as I like to think) adds some character to my everyday look. :)

  • Oh I don’t think you really need to wear a belt with everything that has belt loops – on the contrary, I usually do not wear belts with trousers or jeans at all. I like skinny belts with skater dresses or even A-line dresses. But not trousers. I don’t know why, I just don’t feel the need ;)
    My boyfriend on the other hand wears belts all the time and feels his outfits are incomplete without one. And I once did the styling for an advertising video and the client wanted me to add belts to all the outfits with jeans. Ugh.

    xo Sabrina


  • Wow, so much con-belt-people in the comments, didn’t really expect that.
    I think it depends on the outfit – wether you want a more clean look or there’s something missing.
    I quite often wear a thin woven leather belt, which goes with a lot of things, because it’s not too distracting. I think the wide belts don’t look that great, a bit dated even sometimes too, especially worn over dresses and coats.

  • This is such a timely post…

    My hot husband is a beltmaker! Leather craftsman. We just got home from a craft fair, where people were really stoked on his goods: deerskin wallets, custom Northern Lights belts (we live up in the Yukon)…. So I would firmly say: always wear a belt if you can see loops. I wear the one he made me, cognac leather, all. the. time.

    Belts for the win!!!!!

    (He’s new to the internet side of selling, so for now:


    I’m going to help him spruce things up this week.)

  • Ce blog est dingue ! Je me suis posée cette question ce matin en enfilant mon pantalon. Je trouvais que ça aurait fait plus joli avec une ceinture mais alors ça aurait fait une “bosse” sur le top moulant que je portais au dessus… c’est pourquoi j’opte finalement pour “no belt” (sauf quand j’ai besoin que ça ne tombe pas) mais je voudrais aussi savoir si c’était un fashion crime !

  • A belt can make a look very chic and put together if you can see it, maybe with a tucked in shirt? I say yes, with the right outfit!


  • I never wear belts with pants. I will wear one with a dress, if I’m layering. I think JCrew has some terrific belts, but again I only have a couple since I don’t belt to often.

  • I am pretty much the same as you Alex, I have belts but rarely wear them, I don´t think there are rules for belts, it all depends on how the outfit looks on the mirror! :) xx

  • Aaaah non, j’ai été éduquée à la parisienne moi, un pantalon sans ceinture c’est bizarre, et si la ceinture ne va pas avec sac et chaussures la aussi… je ne respecte pas toujours cette règle en été, mais en hiver, ceinture, chaussures et sac sont noirs… j’aime bien les ceintures noires aux accents dorés, comme dans le défilé YSL automne/hiver…

  • Oh, girls — so glad you asked. This is how I really feel: Belts, belts, belts and more belts! They are the best — total ‘icing on the cake.’ A belt pulls the eye in more than shoes, bags, jewerly combined, in my humble opinion, of course.

    PS: number one rule for belts? There are no rules. Give it a spin. Remember to ‘show and tell’

    PSS: is there a picture of your belted park, Alex?

  • I wear belts almost on a daily basis. Well, let me rephrase that: one belt. Because I am having such a hard time finding a good one that has just the right balance of understated/statement. And I got this one from H&M (so it’s almost falling apart now anyway).

    As for the coolness factor? Let me just say: Emmanuelle Alt. She hits the spot when it comes to rocking belts with her outfits. Though granted, I am a huge fan of her style regardless and wear a pair of jeans + slouchy top/blouse/sweater anyway. So for me it’s perfect.

    But I’d LOVE to know some good spots to get a belt… hopefully you can share your reader’s findings :-)


  • Maybe it’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you find the right one. If the pants fit I don’t typically wear belts. I have a few concha belts and other ‘decorative’ belts that I’d wear more like jewelry. Recently though, I found a perfect simple belt at Acquaverde in Paris that passes for both black or brown depending on what you’re wearing. I wear it with almost everything now!

  • BELTS!!! Use the belt. Don’t be lazy. Have a bunch of them and use color. It spices and loves up your look. I am a 100% for wearing belts.

  • I spent years (twenty) finding the perfect belt – I was so fixated with what I perceived to be a minuscule, but important (to me) detail. I always wanted to be like the guys – having just one or two belts that they wore and then forgot about, year after year (or until the belt broke or the guys put on weight and had to buy a new one)… not a small basket-full overflowing with all kinds of belts – skinny, fat, medium, light, coloured, plain, tooled, woven, lizard skin…

    Pants and jeans look great with or without belts. For me, it mostly depends on whether I need to hold them up (they always seem to stretch at the waist to falling off by afternoon).

    I never wear belts with any dresses, as it makes me feel like an over-dressed sack of potatoes. Sometimes, I will swap the matching belt of my olive green trench jacket for one of the below belts – in which case, I won’t wear a belt in my jeans or pants.

    Now, twenty years later, I’ve cut down to eight belts I always turn to – all of them 1.25″ – 1.5″ wide. At that width, they feel super-comfortable – so I have got rid of all my other belts, keeping just these below:
    (1) an old (20 year old) supple, kangaroo leather, finely woven, fully adjustable (pull-thtourgh style) deep tan belt with a leather covered D-ring – the ultimate design, because it fits me, no matter what I eat!
    (2) a shiny black python skin belt with (instead of a buckle) a large, rectangular matt gold military-slide catch for dressing anything up from navy baggy silk pants to skinny dark jeans
    (3) a leopard print calf hair belt with a large, rectangular matt silver military-slide catch for adding some warm zing to jeans of all kinds
    (4) a zebra print calf hair belt with a large, rectangular plain, matt silver military-slide catch for everything that needs some freshness, including pale, washed out blue denim
    (5) a second-hand, pale tan, tooled leather belt from the 70’s that I wear almost every day
    (6) my most versatile – and most worn – belt, that’s a deep mocha (almost black in some lights, but softer because it’s not black) calf hair belt with a beaten up, simple brass buckle that – like the light tan, tooled leather belt, goes with absolute everything from jeans to dressier pants and a t-shirt down, to baggy, man-style denim cut-off shorts
    (7) an orange and olive coloured webbing belt that I pulled out of my son’s jeans when he outgrew it, and which I wear with anything at all, when I want something soft and light around my hips
    (8) an ornate, sterling silver, ornate and finely carved (there a tiny flowers and birds throughout the design) traditional Peranakan filigree belt (it was worn by my great grandmother with her traditional “kebaya’ and “sarong”) that I wear once in a while with baggy bluejeans and a singlet in the day, or with baggy black jeans at night with a loose, silk singlet.

    And I don’t know if this counts as a belt per se, but I often pull a happy coloured silk scarf through my baggy khaki or blue/grey/black jeans’ loops, if my top is black or navy, and it’s too hot for a scarf around neck.

    When I go away, I take only two belts – the mocha calf hair (for night) and the 70’s light tan tooled belt, and just two silk scarves for my neck and my belt-loops. Isn’t that the same principle for everything we have in our wardrobes? Travelling with only carry-on (no check-in) luggage encourages us to take only what we love best and will wear best and most, leaving all the rest behind.

    I wish I could apply the same principle of restraint to my shoes in my daily, non-travel life.

  • Celle de la photo est parfaite ! Non pas besoin de porter une ceinture chaque jour, parfois cela peut même donner un petit côté bourge (ceinture trop classique !) ou un côté bling (si la ceinture est trop travaillée), bref less is more. Mais comme toujours….il y a des exceptions.

  • All the good “Altfits” are without belt. But in true life , for normal people, I find that belted otfits are better when the belt is in view!


  • There are no rules! That’s my rule. :)


  • Those of you who don’t wear belts– don’t your pants slide down?

    I’m very petite and all of mine do…. I have one pair that’s very tight and sometimes I don’t wear a belt with them, but then I’m hauling at them all day which I think is less attractive. I wish I didn’t have to, but I suppose pants just don’t exist in my size (or maybe they do but you have to buy JBrand or something which I cannot afford)(I wish I could…)

  • Pour le coup, je mets effectivement une ceinture dès que j’ai un pantalon a passants ! Bon, c’est aussi surement dû au fait que 90% de mes pantalons ont besoin d’être maintenus à la taille, MAIS vraiment, je ne supporte plus de mettre un pantalon sans ceinture, même quand il tient très bien tout seul !

    xx CarolineJ


  • Oh c’est exactement ma question existentielle du moment!
    A mon avis la ceinture donne un côté plus sophistiqué et plus fini à la tenue, mais pas de ceinture non plus ça ne doit pas être un drame non plus (si?)
    Pour trouver de bonnes ceintures il y a And Other Stories (encore!), sinon je pense qu’il faut aller shopper chez les hommes pour trouver de belles ceintures sobres.
    Et le foulard en ceinture ? On a le droit ou ça fait trop tradi ?

    xo Alix

  • Not for every body shape, and not for every day, but yeah, belt it, ladies!!!
    If you’re shaped like a woman, you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of the fact, right?

  • Lawrence Carter has brought back leather tooling, you can custom design or order your belt from this incredible artist online exclusively at


    My favorite are his skinny scalloped belts in colors!! Call to order 415-435-2484

    Janet Deleuse
    Deleuse Design Collective

  • And where does this beautiful one comes from?

  • Yes! A belt if you will be able to see it. It completes a look. I will never wear a belt that came with an outfit though, I usually throw it out. I like them really high or really low on the waist. Anything in between , usually means a longer shirt. I have tons, some simple, some ornate almost like jewellery. They are mostly hanging on the door to my closet so I can see and grab as I go.

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