Clothing trends come and go in men’s fashion, but there are a few classic pieces that stay in style, season after season; this is particularly true for leather accessories. One example of a timeless, elegant accessory in menswear is the braided belt. It’s more casual than the traditional flat leather belt, but still dressy enough to pull an outfit together.
If you don’t already own a braided leather belt, consider investing in a quality one that will last for years. Braided belts allow for a custom fit, which means that even if your size changes over the years, you will still be able to still wear the same belt, which will also never go out of style.
Shopping for a Braided Belt
When shopping for a braided belt, look for one made of high-quality leather, and only buy from a respected merchant or retailer. Superior leather is pliable and smooth, and should have the designation “full-grain.” It will be more expensive, but the belt will also last much longer. Small details, such as the evenness of the stitches, can say a great deal about the quality of the overall construction. In addition, when picking out a belt, be sure to avoid large and non-neutral or brightly colored buckles, as these can conform to passing trends.
Wearing and Caring for your Braided Belt: A Few Tips
As with any leather belt, be aware of how you are pairing your other accessories, especially leather shoes. You don’t need to match the colors exactly, but stay away from strong differences (try to avoid mixing, for example, black and brown). Other metal accessories, such as cuff links, should also match the color tone of the buckle. In general, also be aware of the shade of the pants you are matching the belt to – avoid wearing a brown belt with black pants and vice versa.
Caring for your braided belt is straightforward but requires keeping a few things in mind. The enemy of leather is water; but keep your belt away from all liquids. A dab of neutral (uncolored) shoe polish can also bring life back into the belt, if it has been in storage, or looks otherwise dull. If the leather is dry or appears cracked, consider using a specially formulated leather conditioner, which will moisturize the belt and also restore its pliability.