Men’s Belt Guide – 12 Belt Rules Every Man Should Know

Gentlemen, this is what you need to step up your belt game

men's belt guide
Most men don’t seem to know the basic rules for wearing belts:

On a number of occasions, I’ve met well-dressed gentlemen in nice suit, nice dress shirt, dress shoes but a casual belt around the waist. I’ve also seen casually dressed men wearing shorts, t-shirt, sneakers but a slim dressy leather belt.

Hold on for a minute:

In case you didn’t notice, the looks I just described above are actually inappropriate ways of pairing this powerful classic accessory called “belt”… take a step backward and read the paragraph again…

…and in case you still don’t understand what’s wrong with the looks… please read on to learn the 12 unbreakable rules for wearing belts.

This men’s belt guide article is meant to help you pick and match the right belt and ultimately help you step up your belt game.


Let’s talk about Men’s Belt Guide & Rules Every Man Should Know:


1. Every gentleman should invest in at least two (2) good quality dressy leather belts, one casual belt and one fabric belt (canvas belt or braided belt).

men's belt guide




2. Ensure the color of your belt matches the color of your dress shoes. Black shoe should match with Black Belt, same goes for Brown and Red shoes.

men's belt guide


3. Ensure that the finish of your belt matches with that of your shoe, for instance, if your shoe has a wet-look (patent leather) then ensure you match it with a belt that has a wet look. Same goes for plain leather with plain leather, suede leather with suede leather and fabric with fabric.

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4. You should match the metal bit on your loafers, belt buckle, blazer buttons, tie bars, watch and cuff links.

This is preferable. If you are wearing a gold horse bit black loafers, ensure you use a matching belt with a gold belt buckle as well. If it’s silver in color, ensure your belt buckle and the metal bit of all other accessories is silver as well.


5. When wearing casual foot wears, your belt can either match or complement your shoes. For instance, you can wear a white sneakers or canvas with a light brown casual belt or a dark brown boat shoe with a mid-brown belt.

men's belt guide


6. The skinnier the belt the more formal it is. The thicker and wider the belt the more casual it is.

men's belt guide


7. The bigger the belt buckle, the most casual the belt is. Avoid wearing a belt with big buckle with your suit. It will look ridiculous.

men's belt guide


8. When wearing dress shoes (Oxfords, Monkstrap, Derby, Formal Pumps, Formal Loafers etc) you should stick to tiny/narrow leather belts as they are the most formal. These types can also be worn on dress pants, chinos, and dark denim.

men's belt guide


9. When wearing casual shoes such as canvas or sneakers, you can wear thicker casual belts such canvas belts or fabric belts. These are generally considered more casual.


10. A brown belt can be worn with any color of suit except the black suit.



11. For a corporate look and other formal looks, you should stick to the classic buckle style – the simple silver square framed buckle with single prong. Note that for well-tailored suit, you can choose not to wear belts by tailoring your trousers with side-adjusters instead of belt loops. In this case, you can wear suspenders in place of belt or just go belt less.

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12. Avoid wearing a belt that is shorter than your waist or more than 2 sizes bigger than your waist. The appropriate belt length is such that it goes under the first belt loop after the buckle and should go under the second belt loop. To sum it up, if your waist measurement is 36, you should buy a size 38 belt.

men's belt guide





Which other belt style rules do you see a lot of men break which I’ve not included in the list? Got a style question on men’s belt or other related topics? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading. Till you hear from me again, Stay Classy!

Yours in Style,

Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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Mr. Kobi

I am Mr. Kobi, a professional style consultant, menswear blogger & entrepreneur who uses fashion to change people’s lives. My personal goal is to help gentlemen dress better, live well, do well and develop a unique personal style that matches with their lifestyle and goals. I believe that success can be built through style. I believe that fashion is a tool that can be used to change people’s lives positively. I strongly believe that if you dress well, you look good, and if you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you worry less, and the less you worry the more you are able to stay motivated and focused in your goals pursuit and by so doing you are able to live a more fulfilling and successful life.