Help Me Dress Myself: What’s The Deal With Belts?


Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. But don’t fret: With some advice from Jessica Chance, men’s stylist at Rag & Bone and menswear blogger, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’ll be looking at belts.

Step #1: Know Your Size

Generally speaking, your belt should be one or two sizes above your pant size. “You want to be able to tuck the excess length of your belt into that first belt loop on your trousers,” Chance explains. “You don’t want so much extra length that the belt is dangling in front of you.” (Sorry, early 2000s.) Chance also suggests visiting a professional leatherworker if you need to add an extra hole. “There are tons of janky ways to punch a hole in a belt, but if you want it to look clean (and it’s a nice belt), it’s worth getting it professionally done.” In fact, they may even do it for free if you ask nicely.

Step #2: Suit + Belt = Suave

“Generally speaking, you should wear a belt with a suit, or with any other outfit that you want to look a little more formal or professional—at work, for example,” Chance says. “And you definitely want to match your belt color with your shoe color. That will make the entire outfit look cleaner and more complete.”

Step #3: Keep Your Belt Buckles Simple

If you’re dressing to impress, ditch the bull horns, Superman symbols and anything that says, “I’m The Boss” on it. “When it comes to belt buckles, you want to avoid anything too bulky. And stick to silver hardware—silver is a classy go-to,” Chance explains. “Avoid gold at all costs—it isn’t really a thing anymore.” Hear that, Trinidad James?

Step #4: Stick to Leather

Besides the fact that leather lasts the test of time—which is important when you’re picking out a belt—Chance says it looks the best, too: “I would never wear a belt that isn’t leather—no other belt material is in style anymore.” And if you’re worried about leather being too fancy for your look, don’t be: “If you’re wearing chinos and a button down—something pretty casual—you can still wear a dressy, leather belt and have it look nice,” Chance explains.

Step #5: If You Don’t Want to Wear a Belt, Don’t Wear a Belt

If you don’t wear a belt all that often, Chance says that’s A-okay: “I’m not all that into belts myself. If you dress casually most of the time, the only reason you need to be wearing a belt is if your jeans are too big. In fact, I usually don’t use belts when I’m styling guys in the store.” You can hear Pootie Tang’s sigh of disappointment all around the world.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—email us at We’ll have Jessica answer it in an upcoming post.