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Which belt for which occasion...a little guidance on belt protocol

Posted on July 13, 2018 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

Now I know everyone likes clearly defined fashion rules, one that are easy to follow without any ambiguity or risk of misinterpretation…

When it comes to wearing belts there are some obvious right and wrongs but personally I would prefer to give you more latitude rather than tieing you up in knots with time honoured protocol.

Which belt for which occasion - Elliot Rhodes talks Belt Protocol

When it comes to choosing a belt (and I guess this could also apply to your overall dress style) to my mind you have 3 main factors to consider, and these apply equally to both men and women:

  • Occasion – Where am I going? What is appropriate?
  • Colour – What am I matching up with?
  • Style – What makes you feel good?

The world we live in nowadays is a lot more relaxed than it was in times past. Rigidity and formality are becoming things of the past, what would have been unthinkable 20 years ago is now perfectly acceptable. But this does not mean ignoring the type of occasion you are going to and completely flouting all etiquette, what it does mean is that your choices are wider than they were and the opportunity for self-expression much greater.

Occasion – Where am I going?

A little planning and foresight will set you on the right path here. Give some thought to the place you are going to, the people you will be there with and the way you want to feel when you are there. Your outfit is an extension of your persona and tells people a lot about you before you have even opened your mouth to speak.

If you know it is going to be a smarter occasion then I would always err towards being slightly overdressed. By the same token don’t overdo it for a trip to the pub! Plus or minus 20% in the style stakes is going to be fine – you just don’t want to be way off target, that could easily be perceived as either a propensity for attention seeking or potentially a lack of respect for the occasion.

Do take into account the physical environment you are going to be in as well – warm earthy tones and natural feeling buckles are lovely in autumn or when in the countryside, a more monochrome look will work for urban evenings whilst on the other hand summer days by the sea just ask for light airy tones of both leather and buckle.

Warm countryside tones

 

Toning in with your environment

Colour – What to Match up with?

If you are feeling like playing it safe, then I feel that tonal is the way to go. Matching your belt colour to tonally work with your outfit is always stylish, and in many ways a more contemporary way to go. For women you of course have a plethora of options if you want to bring in colour but be careful of overdoing the colour matching. If you want to make your belt the centrepiece of your outfit then by all means use it as a colour vehicle, but maybe then keep the bag or shoes more neutral. For men, colour matching your belt to your shoes can be great but make sure the tones really do work together (they don’t have to match but they do have to live together). If in doubt match your belt to your trousers/suit, for denim you will never go far wrong with a navy belt. If the occasion is more relaxed then go ahead and use your belt as a colour vehicle, match it up to your shirt or watch strap or if your outfit is more neutral (black/white/denim/khaki) then just let your belt be a solitary jolt of colour. In summer especially a coloured belt on white or pale trousers is perfect,

Skinny Belt not matching shoes Matching belt to shirt

 

Style – Design and Detail, but how much?

Let’s start with the leather – a belt made from a chunky unlined leather is never going to be suitable for a smarter occasion, the weight and feel of the leather will not work with the feel of your outfit. On the flipside this type of leather is ideal for a more casual occasion.

Casual Unlined BeltChunky Navy Belt

For smarter occasions a belt with a subtle grain is great, a light printed texture is also fine. A little tonality in the leather will work nicely but nothing with an overt contrast.

Mottled Brown Smart BeltTextured Burgundy belt

If the occasion demands something a little smarter – say an evening event or important work meeting, you still need to dress ‘up’ for the occasion and show you have made an effort. Now is probably not the moment to express an excess of flamboyance, so perhaps keep the look neutral and elegant with a belt that has subtle detail at most (a little stitch detail, or contrast texture are fine) and then choose a buckle that shows attention to detail through small design elements.

For men a belt that tones in with the colour of your clothing makes sense and is actually safer than trying to match your shoes unless the match is well managed. For women toning in is the safe bet but if you want to add a little colour go with a narrow or skinny belt so that the belt does not overwhelm from the rest of your outfit. Less as they say can be more.


Hancock with subtle detail

If the occasion is a little more light-hearted then now is a great time to have some fun – once we move into ‘smart-casual’ territory you can have fun with both belt and buckle. Even a fairly low-key outfit can be jazzed up with a cool belt, perhaps something with studs, stitch detail, distinctive texture or stronger contrast tones. In actual fact the more your outfit is low-key the more I think you can go for it with your belt. 

Belafonte textured mix beltPython effect belt

If it is truly party-time then all bets are off – now is the time to free yourself from any shackles of conformity with a belt you love that expresses whatever you want it to!

Two tone croc with funky buckle

Posted in 2018, belt colour matching, belt style guide, Belts, belts for work, dressing for the occasion, Elliot Rhodes, formal belt style, INDIVIDUALITY, july 2018, party belts, STYLE GUIDE, what belt, WORKPLACE STYLE

Wearing a Black belt with brown shoes…Should you ever?

Posted on May 04, 2018 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

This is one of those questions that I often get asked in store and one that seems to provide an ongoing conundrum for men especially.

Unfortunately, the answer is not as straight forward as you might think and that is principally because I do not subscribe to the same time worn responses that most style guides will trot out. Truth be told my view on belt style in general is more nuanced and really depends on the individual, the way they wear their clothes, the specific colour tones involved and the wearer’s own particular style. My explanation below should cover most eventualities…

As a starting point if your trousers are any sort of light earthy colour (beige/tan/khaki) or even Navy Blue then wearing a black belt with brown shoes is out of the question. The black belt just does not have reason to be tonally and will look completely wrong. You should be wearing a belt that matches either the shoe or trouser tone.

Brown shoes - Black or Brown belt?

If wearing denim, I would nearly always err towards matching with the shoe colour – if you are wearing a black shirt you can go with the black belt, but the choice of brown shoes would seem strange in the first place, black would make more sense.

If you are wearing black trousers and are opting to wear brown shoes with them then there needs to be a reason you are doing so in the first place. The choice to go ‘contrast’ needs to be intentional and so you need to commit to it. In essence, there must be a reason that you are pulling brown tones into your outfit, presumably you have a brown jacket or coat that is leading you in this direction or you want to add lightness to black trousers by pairing with a white shirt and a tan belt/shoe combo. If your whole outfit is black, then I am not sure there is a good reason to be adding anything brown in the first place.

The safe option if you are mixing brown and black would be to work with the shoe colour although there are caveats (see below). If you are wearing brown shoes with black trousers, then go for a brown belt in a similar tone to that of the shoes. The tone is important, if you go too far off tone then it will just look like a mismatch and really not look good. Don’t worry about the leathers being the same, in fact varying the leather textures will look nicer.

Now to the caveats…If the shoes are dark brown then this is all relatively easy as the darker tones are more harmonious with the black. The lighter the tone of the shoe then potentially the more dangerous this can be as a light tan belt on black risks being quite a vivid contrast and may look like a bit of a line across your waist. If your shirt colour is light (white, beige) then this will be fine and makes for a nice light look, but if you are going for a darker shirt it can be more problematic.

In this latter case, if you are going say with black trousers and a black shirt and pairing it with a brown toned jacket then I would be tempted to go with a black belt instead. The brown shoes and jacket link together and then the black belt will harmonize with the shirt and trousers.

     

Hopefully this will set you on the right track – any questions feel free to ask - email us at elliot@elliotrhodes.com, call us on +44 207 730 4000, chat with us online or coke and visit us in store!

Elliot Rhodes Stores

Posted in Accessorizing, Belt colour, Belt design, Belt style, Belts, Black or brown belt, Choosing the right belt, Dressing with style, Elliot Rhodes, Individual Style, Matching shoes and belt, Sartorial elegance

Great Denim deserves a Great Belt

Posted on November 26, 2016 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

What is it about Denim?

The comfort, the fit, the durability or just the fact that it’s the most wonderful blank canvas for so many occasions?

Somehow in a world where we have more choice than we know what to do with we remain forever united in our love for one single ubiquitous trouser product, denim.

Of course denim is not just denim, with all its washes, weaves and weights it has morphed away from its workwear origins to become a highly diversified and specialist art form. No other trouser material gets close to its dominance and as our love affair evolves so denim has become as collectible as art and as obsessively purchased as fine wine.

But…as distinctive as denim may be it is ultimately still denim, a little lighter, a little darker, a little finer but hard for all but the true connoisseur to really differentiate.

Are those Jacob Cohen or J Brand, Edwin or Evisu?

Somewhere along the way it seems to have been forgotten that the blank canvas of denim only really becomes art when paired with its loyal sidekick, the belt.

So next time you slip on your current favourites, or are about to invest a hefty chunk in a new pair, think about what will truly set them apart and bring them to life.

Remember….Bogie needed Bacall, Bonnie needed Clyde, Laurel needed Hardy, Clueso needed Cato…

Your Denim needs Elliot Rhodes!

#denim deserves better

#denimdeserveselliotrhodes 

   

   

Posted in belts, belts and jeans, belts for jeans, bogie and bacall, bonnie and clyde, clueso and cato, denim, denimdeservesbetter, denimdeserveselliotrhodes, jeans, laurel and hardy, mensbelts, premium denim, womensbelt, xmas 2016

Spring/Summer 16 - Women's Style Guide

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

With Spring finally in the air it's time to unveil our latest styles and give you some insight on the catwalk inspiration driving some of this latest collection. Read on to find out about the new season's trends and see if you can be inspired...

LATIN FEVER | WOMEN'S

Citrus tones, ruffles and Carnival fun were the highlights of the S/S shows and Elliot Rhodes has embraced vibrance with its on-trend selection of suede and leather belts with bold statement buckles.

NEW ROMANTIC | WOMEN'S

Inspiration comes from spring flowers, rolling hills and the arrival of brighter sunshiny days. Billowing fabrics and cinched at the waist with vintage-inspired straps and buckles in weathered metals.

DIP DYE | WOMEN'S

Every colour clashed or blurred to create a truly individual look. Elliot Rhodes painted textured leather straps are the ideal pairing.

SILVER LINING | WOMEN'S

Clothes, shoes, accessories, silver was everywhere in London, Paris and Milan. Elliot Rhodes offers silver belts in every width and shimmering buckles to match.

SUMPTUOUS SUEDE | WOMEN'S

Butter-soft textures and bold hues, Elliot Rhodes suede collection has been updated with a fresh injection of colour.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS | WOMEN'S

Go wild for the new printed and coloured snake any pony skin printed and textured belt straps. Funk it up with western plates or geometric buckle shapes exclusive to Elliot Rhodes.

Posted in 2016, Belts, Catwalk, dip dye, latin fever, romantic, Spring/Summer, Women's Style

SS16 Trends + New Collections

Posted on March 01, 2016 by Emma Pankhurst | 0 Comments

With Spring just around the corner, we feel it's time to show you some of our new styles we've been working on! Keep reading to find out the new season's trends and our new collections to help keep you up to date with the latest styles. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new styles we've been working very hard on...
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LATIN FEVER | MEN'S

Colour, energy and the fun of Latin culture was all over the SS16 catwalks and is in full force in Elliot Rhodes selection of carved metal buckles and straps in textured leather and suedes. 

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LATIN FEVER | WOMEN'S

Citrus tones, ruffles and Carnival fun were the highlights of the S/S shows and Elliot Rhodes has embraced vibrance with its on-trend selection of suede and leather belts with bold statement buckles.

 NEW ROMANTIC | MEN'S

Texture, print, layers…the change of seasons brings in a new colour palette and richer, bolder fabrics. Elliot Rhodes Offers the perfect addition with neutral printed and textured leather straps and bolder prong buckle styles.

NEW ROMANTIC | WOMEN'S

Inspiration comes from spring flowers, rolling hills and the arrival of brighter sunshiny days. Billowing fabrics and cinched at the waist with vintage-inspired straps and buckles in weathered metals.

DIP DYE | MEN'S

Colour clashing and artistic interpretation offer a fresh new approach to tailoring. Pair this with Elliot Rhodes fantastic dip-dye leather straps and wallets.

DIP DYE | WOMEN'S

Every colour clashed or blurred to create a truly individual look. Elliot Rhodes painted textured leather straps are the ideal pairing.

 SILVER LINING | MEN'S

Molten metals and fabrics with shine were a huge trend for SS16. Elliot Rhodes is the go-to specialist for metallic belts and buckles in every possible finish.

SILVER LINING | WOMEN'S

Clothes, shoes, accessories, silver was everywhere in London, Paris and Milan. Elliot Rhodes offers silver belts in every width and shimmering buckles to match.

SUMPTUOUS SUEDE | UNISEX

Butter-soft textures and bold hues, Elliot Rhodes suede collection has been updated with a fresh injection of colour.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS | UNISEX

Go wild for the new printed and coloured snake any pony skin printed and textured belt straps. Funk it up with western plates or geometric buckle shapes exclusive to Elliot Rhodes.

 All new styles are available in-store now. Coming soon to online!

Posted in animal, belts, catwalk, dip dye, fashion, inspiration, inspo, latin, latin fever, leather, metallic, paint splash, romantic, silver, silver lining, ss16, style, suede, trends

Autumn 2015 Style Guide

Posted on October 22, 2015 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

The new season brings us new trends, and a whole heap of exciting new belts and buckles to choose from. To make your search for the perfect AW15 combinations easier we’ve put together our very own style guide to inspire your wardrobe. From shiny metallics to colourful brights and of course our very own Elliot Rhodes trends – rock ‘n’ roll and pony skin. Take a look and be inspired by our interpretation of the trends...and remember that a new belt is always a great way to reinvigorate an old style and bring it back up to date!

 

Continue Reading →

Posted in 2015, Autumn Winter, Belts, Buckles, Elliot Rhodes, Men's Style, Women's Style

WOMEN'S STYLE GUIDE AUTUMN WINTER 2015

Posted on October 22, 2015 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

WOMEN'S HERITAGE AUTUMN 2015

The new season brings us new trends, and a whole heap of exciting new belts and buckles to choose from. To make your search for the perfect AW15 combinations easier we’ve put together our very own style guide to inspire your wardrobe. From shiny metallics to colourful brights and of course our very own Elliot Rhodes trends – rock ‘n’ roll and pony skin. Take a look and be inspired by our interpretation of the trends...and remember that a new belt is always a great way to reinvigorate an old style and bring it back up to date!

Continue Reading →

Posted in 2015, Autumn Winter, Belts, Buckles, Elliot Rhodes, Women's Style

JOIN TO RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE OFFERS BY EMAIL Why should you sign up? - You’ll be the first to know about our new product launches - You’ll receive first priority access to our seasonal sale events - We’ll send you exclusive discount codes to spend online and in-store - We’ll regularly update you on the latest trends and how to wear them