If only I had a penny for every time a gentleman came into one of our stores with one of these classic statements…
‘You can wear any belt with your Jeans right? ‘
‘I’ve got a belt I wear for work can’t I use that with my Jeans?’
‘Surely, I can use my favourite Jeans belt with all of my different Jeans?’
Well…the answer sadly is no, not really! Back in the 1870’s when Levi Strauss started using Denim fabric to create hard wearing workwear trousers for miners and cowboys things were nice and simple, a sturdy leather belt was all that was needed.
Nowadays, Jeans (or Denim) can mean any number of things and be worn in any number of ways from simple workwear to high fashion.
But that’s not to say that choosing your Jeans belt has to be a complicated affair. There are a really only 2 simple decisions to be made to ensure that you end up with the belt that is right for you.
In a nutshell there is one ideal width for almost all Men’s Jeans and that is 40mm – it is a width that feels substantial, matches well with the weight of the fabric and properly fills the belt loops so that the belt stays nicely positioned on your waist.
Here are 7 different belt categories for you to choose from - see which one is right for you...
If you need a rugged everyday belt that can be worn with casual jeans and withstand the rigours of constant daily use with plenty of movement and pressure put upon it, whilst at the same time not showing overt signs of wear and tear, then a chunky belt made of vegetable tanned leather will be ideal. This type of leather is soft but really durable and due to the tanning process has natural characteristics that will actually make it mature and gain character over time. Belt like this are generally unstitched and approximately 3.8mm thick.
You want a belt that you can dress down for everyday Jeans and occasional more rugged use but would also like it to be used for slightly smarter occasions too when you are wearing a more tailored type of jeans. You can consider one of the ‘Workhorse’ belts mentioned above but my preference to achieve a smarter urban look would be for a belt with a stitched edge made with a smooth or gently tumbled leather and potentially finished with a little subtle detailing. This sort of style will be a little sleeker and look more constructed which will give a generally neater smarter appearance.
You like your Jeans smart and structured and generally wear them with a smarter shoe, a tailored shirt and maybe even a jacket. For this you need a belt that is sleek and not too fussy. I would always go for one with a stitched edge and would err towards a leather with a higher shine or one with subtle surface texture. A burnished leather with a little two-tone effect can also work well to add a little depth and richness of tone.
Suede belts seem to be a natural bedfellow for both casual and smarter Jeans and work especially well if you are a fan of suede shoes and boots. Darker tones such as black, brown and navy can cross from daywear to eveningwear whereas colours such as Grey, Tan or Beige can be ideal for a sportier look and work very well with more casual footwear. Choose a classic stitched edge style or look for one with a little contrast detail to add extra zest.
Picking up where the ‘Smart One’ left off this type of belt is a step forward for the man who likes something a little more contemporary in feel with more of a design element. This type of belt will sit well with smarter more tailored jeans but it is designed to make a little bit more of a statement without being flashy. This sort of belt will be one with a more evident surface texture, potentially with some two-tone effect or perhaps have more of a sleek handcrafted feel to it. In each case the leather needs a little shine to give it sharpness.
Sometimes your jeans just need bringing to life – whether you are wearing a more casual style of denim paired with sportier footwear (particularly in summer time) or a smarter style with an outfit that needs livening up, a contrasting, colourful belt can be all you need to make an outfit complete. Colourful can mean brights like yellow and orange, but in winter time darker tones like Burgundy and Olive will also do the job.
If you are a lover of high-end denim then I have no doubt that you will have one or more pairs of Jacob Cohen jeans tucked away in your closet. You will no doubt be aware that the little patch on the back is made of ‘Pony Hair’ (hair on cowhide) which is where a belt made of the same can be the perfect companion. Frankly, even if you haven’t taken a small mortgage to buy your Jeans you should definitely consider a Pony hair belt as an option for a fun and different type of Jeans Belt. It can give quite a slick look to denim and the textures work well together. Good for casual and smarter looks, wears well but not a good choice if you need a ‘Workhorse’ or plan to wear it every day!
I hope this guide sets you off in the right direction - of course if you need any help or assistance just call us on +44 207 730 4000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to guide you further - it's what we love doing!
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