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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

London Collections Mens - Style Blogger Salman Dean gives us his thoughts on the coming season...

Posted on February 08, 2016 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments


Our guest blogger, Salman Dean identifies the key trends from LCM AW16

 

Photography by Emmanuel Prodano

 

London Collections: Men was such a whirlwind and not always as glamorous as you may think. There is much frantic rushing across town from one show to the next and snatching a few tiny canapés here and there to keep you fuelled! Nonetheless the shows were fantastic and here is a summary of some of the key trends that really stood out.

1. Shearling

Although shearling has been massive this season it is here to stay for AW16 too. Gieves & Hawkes gave us the kind of timeless, classic shearling jackets we already know and love. However brands such as Belstaff and Cottweiler have a new take on it by reversing shearling which takes this trend into a new territory.

 ER Style suggestions: go for unlined styles that just keep getting better with age

              

2. Patchwork

Patchwork is going to be massive for AW16 and was prominently displayed across a variety of shows including Agi & Sam, Christopher Ræburn and Oliver Spencer. The trend almost feels like borrowing from the senior generations wardrobes but putting your spin on it! If you are fashion forward then this is a trend you can totally jump on now and be ahead of the game.

                            

ER Style suggestions: No rules apply, use colour, texture or both

  

 3. Earth Tones

A common choice of colour pallet this year at LCM was earth tones. Some of these colours have already been big this season such as camel and khaki. However for AW16 shades like rust, ochre and sienna are going to be bursting onto the scene. Particular brands that have featured these colours are Baartmans and Siegel, CMMN SWDN and Barbour.

                              

ER Style suggestions: keep it muted but let the buckle make a statement

              

 

Salman can be followed on the following social media channels:

Blog: www.salmandean.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/salmandean

Instagram: www.instagram.com/salmandean

 

 

Posted in Earth Tones, Elliot Rhodes, London Collections Mens, Men's Style, Patchwork, Salman Dean, Shearling

Best Dressed 2015

Posted on February 08, 2016 by Emma Pankhurst | 0 Comments

It's the start of a New Year - that time of year to reflect on the year just gone, make resolutions and analyse last year's best dressed! Here at Elliot Rhodes, not only do we admire an individual for their own personal style, but we are equally passionate about the quality of clothing that comes with it, which evidently comes across in our belts and accessories. Let's take a look back on the year and discuss the most inspiring, best dressed men and women of 2015.

BEST DRESSED MEN

Ralph Fiennes

After Ralph wore Elliot Rhodes in the latest James Bond Spectre movie, how could we not include him in our Best Dressed?! Ralph's stylist reveals his love for Japanese fabrics and iconic work wear garments, which we admire about Ralph. He feels it's important to look good, and we couldn't agree more! So for that, Ralph makes one of our best dressed men of 2015! Let's hope we spot him wearing more Elliot Rhodes in the next Bond movie, eh!

 

David Gandy

David Gandy is the UK's most successful male model, having worked with the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Marks & Spencer. He is effortlessly stylish with his gentlemanly persona. Conde Nast Asia's Fashion Director says, "I admire Gandy's classic style as he knows what suits him and he doesn't bow to obvious fashion trends. He gives a new meaning to modern elegance." We are always finding inspiration from David's looks, making him one of our best dressed of 2015.

 

Eddie Redmayne

The award-winning actor, Eddie Redmayne has been all over our screens this year. After impressing the country with his role in Theory of Everything, Eddie has since been working hard on other roles and meanwhile dressing very well. The actor's fashion potential was spotted early on when he appeared in Burberry campaigns. Eddie is a very inspiring man of today, in more ways than one, making him one of our best dressed men of 2015.

BEST DRESSED WOMEN

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge always looks immaculate, whether she's wearing an elegant tea dress or sporting a classic pencil skirt and blouse. Kate is the perfect example of a classic, British woman with style and women will forever aspire to look like her. The fact that Kate mixes high end with high street is something that women admire her for, and she often recycles old outfits too! Her favourite British designers include Alice Temperley, Sarah Burton and Alexander McQueen.

 

FKA Twigs

The multi-talented FKA Twigs certainly makes a statement when it comes to fashion. The award-winning singer, dancer and fashionista is known for her "out-there" stage costumes but always maintains her unique style on the street too. Whilst her style wouldn't appeal to every lady, we admire her confidence and ability to be herself without a care in the world!

 

Emma Watson

Having been in the spotlight since the age of 11, the beautiful actress and feminist, Emma Watson has been inspiring us for years! Her outfits are always flawless and feminine with a classic touch. Whether she's wearing a suit, gown or LBD - she's inspiring women all around the country! Emma was an easy choice for our best dressed of 2015 and we look forward to seeing her in 2016!

Posted in 2015, best dressed, celebrities, celebrity, Elliot Rhodes, fashion, inspiration, Men's Style, style, stylish, Women's Style

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

Belts as Art...

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Justin Rhodes | 0 Comments

Elliot Rhodes Duelling Pony and Cordovan Belts

Continue Reading →

Posted in 2015, Art, Belts, Beltsasart, Buckles, Elliot Rhodes, Josh Caudwell, Photography

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