Do I Have to Wear a Belt With a Suit?

Do I Have to Wear a Belt With a Suit?

This is a question many men ask. Belts are typically worn for the purpose of keeping up your trousers. But what if your trousers fit and you don't need additional support? In this case, you may have the option of omitting a belt from your outfit. Before doing so, however, there are a few things you should know.

Benefits of Wearing a Belt

It's no secret that belts are worn for the purpose of holding up a man's trousers. Ideally, you should choose suit trousers that fit your body, meaning they aren't too big, nor are they too small. Of course, there are times when you'll end up with the wrong size. Maybe you've gained or lost weight since you purchased the trousers, or perhaps they've shrunk after being washed. If your trousers are now too small, you won't be able to comfortably wear them (not without busting a button or two, at least). On the other hand, you can continue wearing them if they are too big. Wearing a belt through the waist loops of your trousers will secure the trousers to your waist, preventing them falling down. Whether you are going to work, out to dinner or simply running errands around town, you probably don't want your trousers falling down. Thankfully a belt is a simple solution that will prevent this from happening. Additionally, wearing a belt will enhance your waistline while adding new color and style to your outfit. If you're wearing a navy blue suit, for example, you can pair it with a black belt. Because black and navy compliment each other, this combination is guaranteed to enhance your appearance.

Alternatives to a Belt

Although it's the most popular solution, there are other ways to secure your suit trousers in place. Wearing suspenders, for example, perform a similar function. Also known as bracers, suspenders consist of several straps that are connected to your trousers and worn over your shoulders. Once secured, suspenders will essentially hold up your trousers at your shoulders. If your trousers are just half a size too big, you may be able to secure them by wearing an extra undershirt and tucking the bottom into the waistline of your trousers. The additional fabric from your undershirt will press against the trousers, holding them in place and preventing them falling down. The only downside is that some man find that wearing multiple undershirts is uncomfortable, especially during the summer months. If you're going to wear multiple undershirts, choose a lightweight, breathable material that's not going to weigh you down.

Check for Belt Loops

Now, back to the question at hand: Can you wear a suit without a belt? The short answer is yes, but only if the trousers don't feature belt loops. Take a minute to inspect the midsection of your trousers for belt loops. If you see belt loops present, you should wear belt with them. If you don't see belt loops present, you don't have to wear a belt with them. This is unwritten fashion rule that all men should follow when wearing a suit. Wearing suit trousers that have belt loops without wearing a belt creates an awkward, unfinished appearance. Therefore, you should always wear a belt with your suit if the trousers have belt loops. Following this otherwise simple fashion rule will set you apart from other, less fashionable men. menswear-952836_960_720344

Don't Wear Suspenders AND a Belt

You can wear either a belt or suspenders with a suit, but you shouldn't wear them both. After all, suspenders and belts perform the same basic task of securing your trousers and preventing them from falling down. As a result, there's no reason to wear both of these accessories with a suit. Doing so will only hurt the aesthetic value of your suit. Most people will agree that belts look better with a suit than suspenders. However, it's completely up to you regarding which one of these accessories you wear. Some men prefer the simplicity and stylish appearance of a belt, whereas others prefer the older, more classic look of suspenders. You can wear a belt or suspenders; just remember to only wear one and not both with your suit.

The Buckle Matters

Don't just choose any belt to wear with a suit. Rather, choose a formal belt that flows cohesively with the rest of your outfit. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a belt is the buckle. For formal occasions, it's best to avoid bold, unique belt buckles and, instead, choose a more traditional buckle. A good buckle should feature a metallic construction that's not too wide or too thin. Furthermore, it should feature a clean latching mechanism that's easy to secure.

Choose the Right Color

It's also important that you choose a belt in the right color. Far too many men wear the same belt day after day, paying little or no attention to the color and whether it matches their suit. A good rule of thumb is to wear a belt in the same color as your shoes. If you're wearing black shoes, wear a black belt. If you're wearing brown shoes, wear a brown belt. Of course, you can choose a different color, but following this rule is a good way to ensure that your belt matches your suit.

Keep It Clean

Finally, remember to clean your belt on a regular basis. You can't easily wash a belt -- and that's okay. When it gets dirty, wipe it down with a damp washcloth. Assuming it's made of leather, you can also use a leather cleaning product to clean your belt. The bottom line is that you can and should wear a belt if your suit trousers have belt loops. If they don't have belt loops, a belt is optional and you can omit it from your outfit.