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Great Movies...Great Art...Great Belt Style!

Posted on April 01, 2020 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

As many of you will know I have a long standing passion for movie posters that started off 20 years ago when I was living in preferred era being from the 1950's-1970's. I find the scale and scope of poster art fascinating - as many of you will know from coming in to the stores the posters that adorn the walls are vivid, striking and inspiring.

For this week I am connecting my choice of movies with both posters and still images, showing off the belt styles that prevailed in each one and giving you suggestions as to how we might help you recreate each look!

Hope you enjoy watching some of these movies - would love to hear your thoughts on them...

All the best,

Key Largo - 1948

For good reason our 2 most classic belt designs go by the name Bogart & Bacall..what could be more apt. The movie art is typical of the time using 3 core colours and bold typeface, it conveys the drama and tension of the movie really well. The clean crisp styling of the costumes typifies the 1940's - Bogart's pleated high waist trouser and Bacall's cinched skirt are timeless...

key larho posterbogart and bacall

ER Suggestions...

Clean and simple is the way to go...neutral tones to go with the earthy colours both were wearing. For him a mottled texture is perfect for the heavier weight of trouser material and much the same for her. The mock ostrich is a bit more contemporary but with the frame style buckle you will get the same look!

Bogart Mottled Brown BeltFrame style mock ostrich belt

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - 1969

The apocryphal story of Butch and Sundance and their abiding friendship is one of the classic western tales. The poster shown is actually a Polish version and one I own. Polish art from the time was extremely distinctive (being behind the iron curtain) and a whole clan of talented artists created the artwork for movie posters that looked totally different than the US or UK versions...making them very collectable. As for Newman & Redford a rugged earthy look for both that typifies western style - but interestingly a less ornate western style than often seen.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidPaul Newman & Robert Redford

ER Suggestions...

Both characters wear classic western style belts but neither are particularly embellished or ornate. Their clothing styles are not that flamboyant and the belts are in keeping - more about function than anything else. Hence our choice of 2 of our most classic rugged belts

Grant Dark brown screw buckle beltGrant Black Chunky Belt

Roman Holiday - 1953

A classic romance set in Rome with Audrey Hepburn as the princess who escapes the strict control of her guardians and falls in love with newspaper reported Gregory Peck. A timeless classic of a movie with the wonderful scenery of Rome in the 50's to add extra romance. The poster is not the original release version but I find it more charming with the image of the 2 protagonists on the Vespa with the backdrop of the Coliseum...a little like Bogart and Bacall above the style is refined and restrained - crisp and clean.

Roman HolidayGregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn

ER Suggestions...

The costumes were very much of the time and although the film was set in Italy the look is not particularly Italian inspired. Above all the feel is elegant and restrained, typical of a time before greater flamboyance came to the fore again. Hepburn wore soft pastels in this movie and Peck more traditional tones...for her we are going to suggest something in a lighter more summery tone in Nubuck with a softly curved buckle, for him something more streamlined in Black but in a 30mm width the same as he wears in the movie.

Narrow Black Saffiano BeltHavana Nubuck belt with curved buckle

Rebel without a cause - 1955

This is the British quad poster for a movie that still resonates as much today as it did back in 1955. The struggle for the James Dean character to escape the shackles of his parents and a conformist society is unbelievably powerful and in no way feels dated - his performance is really visceral. The boldness of the poster, the contrast of yellow and red to show the different moods and even the wording, shows that this was a film destined to shock. It also shows James Dean in what is now an iconic pose. In terms of style everyone recalls James Dean in jeans with his red bomber jacket but pay attention too to his more preppy look - see how he wears a really skinny belt in the photo below, probably only 15mm wide.

Rebel without a causeJames Dean

ER Suggestions...

We would find it a stretch in this day and age for most men to wear a belt as skinny as the one James Dean wears above, but certainly with a higher waisted tailored trouser, pleated as above then a skinnier belt definitely works. We are seeing this styling more and more so it is a trend that will continue over the next few years and one to bring into your wardrobe. For the more casual look I guess James would have been wearing black but in a nod to his red jacket we are going to style him in this chunky dark burgundy belt...

Skinny Mens Navy Blue BeltBurgundy Casual Mens Belt

West Side Story - 1961

One of my absolute favourite movies that 60 years later still brims with tension, addresses the racist undertones of society whilst being wrapped up in a doomed to fail love story...seems unbelievably current still and the dance and music is truly memorable with so many tunes from the incredible Leonard Bernstein that stand the test of time. The poster is simplistic with its focus on the structure of the wording and overlapping letters giving the sense of the New York tenement buildings around which the movie is set. Stylistically we have moved on from the clean cut 50's to a more subversive 60's - there is still a uniformity of style with great juxtaposition between the colours and tones of the 'Jets' and the 'Sharks'. Everyone wears a belt...along with the de rigeur chinos and all stars.

West Side StoryWest Side Story Cast

ER Suggestions...

Most interesting is not just that everyone wears a belt but also how they wear them - a lot of the belts are worn with buckle to the side, almost as if they were modern day holsters. I really like this look, especially in summer where the belt and buckle are more visible worn with a T Shirt...many also wear belts with studs and metal hardware on are a couple of suggestions for styling...

Grey studded men's beltClassic Black Handwoven Belt

American Gigolo - 1980

This film is a little more modern than most in my repertoire but for its importance as a style reference it makes it into this selection. Not only did the Armani styling of Richard Gere launch Giorgio Armani globally but the role reversal of the man as escort challenged stereotypes. Of course all of this backed by the incredible soundtrack by Blondie with rock classic 'Call Me'. From a belt style perspective there are multiple reference points throughout the film...from tone on tone belt/trousers to casual weave styles.

American GigoloRichard gere

ER Suggestions...

Greige...this was the film that launched a new men's colour palette that pervaded the 1980's..tone on tone styling to the fore. Gere was styled with all number of belts to match his never ending 'working' wardrobe...he wore a few narrower belts (25-30mm) but we will focus on the tone on tone aspect as seen in the photo above and go for this all grey affair. For Gere's more casual sport look a coloured handweave would work perfectly with his tight fitting chinos.

Mens Grey tonal beltMens Navy and Red suede handweave belt

Annie Hall - 1977

You may or may not be a fan of Woody Allen's movies but I have always found his neuroticism both endearing and fascinating. But Annie Hall as a movie is most famous for the ditzy Diane Keaton character and above all her take on masculine dressing which really broke down gender barriers. The poster I have shown below is not the original - that one featured both Keaton and Allen - I prefer this quite recent artistic iteration in its lithograph style for its focus on the Keaton attire and its mellow colouring.

Annie HallDiane Keaton

ER Suggestions...

Diane Keaton's outfit gave the confidence to many other women to free themselves from shackles of stereotypical female dress. Sticking with that theme we have chosen a couple of belts that are at best androgynous...perfect for recreating the look. Black of course and then a more tonal Antelope suede colour for pairing with those beige trousers!

Novak Black Womens bamboo Buckle BeltNarrow Beige Suede Belt

Posted in Belts, fashion in film, film, film posters, movies

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, call us on +44 207 730 4000, chat with us online or coke and visit us in store!

Elliot Rhodes Men's Belt Collection

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




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...


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.


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.


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


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


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


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...


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. 



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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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

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