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Wearing a Belt with a Suit

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Saturday, March 12th, 2011 in Q&As

Should I wear a belt with my suit? A lot of people keep telling me to, but I’ve seen on here before that I should not.

The answer, to be more specific, is “it depends”. However, as a general matter, a well made suit needs no belt.

Traditionally, belts have been worn with suits not because of some attempt at style (though it later became such), but because of a sense of necessity. Especially because many men buy off-the-rack suits that barely fit their bodies, belts today have become fairly common accessories with suits. With that being said, you will never lose sartorial points for wearing a belt, especially in the eyes of the everyday person.

Nonetheless, there is a growing trend of going beltless, and it’s wonderful. The trend of going beltless is best reserved for those with well fitted suits on athletic bodies, where a belt appears superfluous and breaks up what is otherwise a good silhouette down the body. Because going beltless has been firmly approved by numerous fashion writers (this website included), it’s a style that can easily be gotten away with.

Thus, the ultimate question remains: should you wear a belt? The answer is simple.

In my opinion, wear a belt with a suit only when you:

  1. Have a pair of suit pants that do not fit well. If your pants risk falling down, they should be belted firmly to your waist.
  2. Want to make a fashion statement. Belts can compliment a suit — for example, tan or brown belts look phenomenal with navy suits. Because belts can add a lot of color or texture to a suit, they are best worn with more casual suits in this respect — for example, a preppy woven leather belt with a khaki-colored suit looks great.
  3. Wear your suit jacket open a lot when standing. Doing so adds something to your exposed waist that helps break up the waistline area.

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