Friday, August 7, 2009

No Belt with a Suit

I mentioned in the last post that I prefer to wear no belt with a suit. This isn't because of any fad or trend, and the idea of not wearing a belt isn't new. While it may be gaining some popularity, guys have been wearing suits with no belt for decades. In fact, before it came to be seen as a necessary accessory to the suit, it was seen for what it really is: a way to keep your trousers up. For men who didn't need the extra help, the belt was superflous. Believe it or not, it's still possible to get pants that fit properly today, so belts should continue to be seen as optional. Made-to-measure and bespoke suits specifically provide the opportunity for going beltless, not only because your pants will fit your body perfectly so you won't need a belt, but also because you can request side tabs to be added to make little adjustments should your find the need to tighten or loosen. This is a great way to go. And to truly go beltless, you can get your pants made sans belt loops.

A great advantage of wearing no belt is that you get the full effect of the long, sophisticated lines created by a suit. A belt clutters and takes away from that because it adds a different color that cuts you in half visually. Belts look especially bad when your pants don't fit well (ironic because in that case you need the belt. The lesson is to make sure your pants fit, whether or not you do wear a belt). You can see extra fabric cinched around your waist, making you look sloppy. This problem is exacerbated by pleats. You don't have to be trim and fit to go beltless, you just need pants that fit.

While it may still be looked upon as odd or even outrageous by some here in the states, in England and elsewhere it's seen as quite normal by most, and preferable by many. Some would argue that your look is incomplete without a belt, others would say to be truly dressed well, you should be one color between your shoes and your tie. The point is that there are no hard and fast rules, you decide what you like and what you're comfortable with. Going beltless is definitely worth a shot. Fair warning: once you've tried it, you might not go back.

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