The Brown Workhorse
Your belt collection needs an anchor—a waistline warrior that can bear the brunt of daily wear and jive with any outfit. A 1 ¼” bridle leather belt from Filson will last a lifetime. Pair it with everything from khakis and a cardigan to jeans and an untucked t-shirt. ($52; Filson.com)
The Colorful Flair Piece
As the Wall Street Journal notes, the colorful ribbon belt has been a staple of Nantucket and New York dwellers alike since the mid-1960s, when preppy East Coasters began threading narrow colorful fabrics through their belt loops. Don’t worry about matching this model from Brooks Brothers to your shoes. The point is for it to stick out. ($48; Brooksbrothers.com)
The Woven Summer Staple
A one-size-fits-all woven belt is both waistline-friendly and warm-weather appropriate. This two-tone model from Men In Cities encapsulates summer. You can wear it with shorts, jeans, corduroys—you name it. Perfect for weekend travel when you want to look sharp—but not fit in with the crowd. ($50; Birchbox.com)
The Formal Black Belt
No ifs ands or buts—every guy, martial arts master or not, needs a black belt. It pairs well with anything, except brown shoes. ($50; Jcrew.com)
The Equatorial Wildcard
Every guy should have at least one unexpected sleeper belt in his closet. It could be something he scored at a thrift shop, on ebay, or from a family member. Think oversized buckle in the shape of one’s home state, a slim gold-buckled alligator skin band, or something vintage with the patterned initials of a venerable house of fashion. Just make it your own.
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Photo Credit: Filson, Brook Brothers, Men in Cities, J. Crew, Thinkstock