It’s not until you don’t have one that you realise just how important a fabric belt is. Easy to forget, but fundamental to completing an outfit (and retaining your dignity!), that little strip of fabric that sits in your belt loops can make or break an entire look, so pick carefully!
The history of fabric beltsBefore the 1920s, belts were mainly used for aesthetic reasons, and to display power in men as part of their military uniform (it emphasised their broad chests). As waistlines dropped, fabric belts became more of a utility, and belt loops were added to jeans for the first time in 1922.
Are fabric belts a utility or decoration?Ostensibly a belt is merely there to hold your skinny jeans up, but they may also be used to exaggerate the female figure by nipping you in at the waist, or adding a pop of colour to an otherwise plain outfit; next time you wear suit with black trousers and a white shirt, try adding a bright red fabric belt and your whole look with be lifted.
What to wear with your fabric beltFabric belts are much more casual than their leather counterparts, so they look best with chinos and Camel trainers, but they also add a nice contrast in texture to a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Don’t let your fabric belts become the boring part of your wardrobe, have a browse of Stylight for something a little different, whether it’s a stripy Gant number or a colourful pick.
The Wrap Around: Why You’ll Love Fabric Belts
Belts are often hidden under shirts, secretly hoisting up your pants and preventing embarrassing underwear sightings. For those that are seen, they’re typically a neutral shade that sits quietly to complement a tucked in business shirt. Take your belt off the back burner and make it the center of attention by slipping on a fabric belt.
Fabric belts deserve to be front and center. Here’s why:
Unlike leather belts that typically stick to neutral tones, fabric belts come in a multitude of colors that bring life to any easygoing look. From neon shades to bold primaries, fabric belts hit every shade on the color spectrum. If you’re a lover of more than just one hue, go for a striped or geometric fabric belt that mixes your favorites. Try white and navy for a nautical look or go for something tricolored to pop against an all black ensemble.
Heel roller buckles with a metal ring and pin do the simple job of holding a belt in place. Though this is the most common buckle type, fabric belts have a heel roller alternative that acts as both a fastener and a statement piece. The clamp buckle is a rectangular plate with teeth that latch on to the belt’s fabric. Stand out with a metallic buckle or a multicolored clamp.
Fabric can range in bandwidth and size. For a sleeker, more refined look, try a thinner fabric belt. If the rectangular shape still doesn’t get you excited, try it in a botanical shaped style with leafy and floral motifs. Wrap it around the waist of a dress or simply slip it into the loops of your pants for decoration.
While some belts are meant to be hidden, others are meant to be seen. Show off what’s keeping your pants in place with a fabric belt.