Different types of belts exist, but they all have the same functions. Belts are accessories to help hold your pants, shorts, and many types of skirts. They also make your body figure stand out when you choose the correct type. Lastly, many belt styles also improve your fashion sense and transform an ordinary outfit into something special.
Types of Belts Tutorial
What is a Belt?
A belt is a strip of material such as leather, fabric, or chain that is worn around the waist or hips to hold your clothing in place. It can be fastened with a buckle, hook, or clasp and can be functional or decorative, or both. Belts come in various styles, widths, and colors, and this article will discuss some of the popular ones.
Parts of a Belt
There are 3 main parts to a belt - the strap, buckle, and keeper or loop.
- Strap: The strap is the long, main part of the belt, usually made of leather, vinyl, fabric, or chain.
- Buckle: The buckle is found at the end of the belt and is designed to secure the belt closed. It can be fixed or adjustable.
- Keeper or Loop: The keeper, also known as a loop, is a small band or loop attached near the buckle. Its purpose is to hold the loose end of the strap in place so it doesn't dangle down.
How to Measure Belt Sizes
Belt sizes are measured by the length of the belt, usually from the buckle to the center of the hole you would wear it in. They are not usually measured along the whole length of the belt.
To measure your belt size:
- Take a flexible measuring tape and measure your waist or where you'd like to wear the belt.
- Don't pull the tape too tight. You want to breathe when you are wearing your belt! You could also measure an old belt from the belt tongue to the hold you wear it in.
- Note the measurement and look for a belt in the size range of that. Belt sizes will be in inches or centimeters.
Understanding the Types of Belts
Understanding the different styles of belts and when to wear them will help you choose wisely when you’re out shopping. Since there are a lot of different types of belts, let’s divide them into six categories based on common characteristics.
- Types of Buckle Belts
- Types of Belts by Straps
- Oversized Belts
- Tie Belts
- Statement Belts
- Other Types of Belts
26 Different Types of Belt Styles
These types of belts are the ones you’re familiar with or those that have been around for years. They’re simple, versatile, and practical. Classic belts come with a strap made of various materials. They also have a buckle or buckles with various shapes and sizes and are made of brass or an alloy of aluminum or zinc and have gunmetal, silver, or antique gold color.
Types of Belt Buckle Variations
The belt’s buckle has different types, and the most common ones are:
1. Single Buckle Belts
As the name implies, this type of classic belt has one buckle and a strap made of leather and has black or brown colors. You can also find it in fashionable colors, such as neon, white, and gray, and in metal, plastic, or fabric materials. The strap has holes on one end to help you adjust the fit and lock the belt.
2. Double Buckle Belts
The two buckles can be placed either facing each other or on top of each other. This type of belt will give you a bohemian and trendy style. Perfect for casual, semi-casual, and formal occasions, you can wear it with your short dresses, oversize t-shirts, long skirts, and many types of t-shirts.
3. T-Lock Belts
For this classical type of belt, the steel or copper buckle is its standout feature. It has a buckle with an automatic lock with a T-shape, which means the strap has no holes. The strap is made of leather, fabric, canvas, or rubber. It’s a perfect belt for a casual look that looks great on your boyfriend jeans, shorts, skirts, and oversize t-shirts.
4. Horseshoe Buckle Belts
From the name itself, these types of belts have buckles with a horseshoe shape to add more style to them.
5. Horse-Bit Buckle Belts
For a cowboy look without being too fancy, the belt with a horse-bit copper or stainless steel buckle is perfect for your wrap-around dress, A-line dresses, and bootcut types of jeans. It’s excellent for horse riding, parties, and casual styles. The strap is usually made of pewter or leather material.
6. Embossed Buckle Belts
Belts with embossed alloy, brass, zinc, or stainless steel buckles are great fashion accessories for your everyday wear. Its fabric or leather strap can help enhance your long coats and loose spaghetti-strapped mini-dresses.
7. Jeweled Buckle Belts
Whether you plan to wear an elegant or plain dress or gown, jeweled buckles are great accessories! The buckles can be embellished with stones, diamonds, or metals.
Types of Belts Strap Variations
In terms of the classical belt’s strap, it comes in various forms, namely:
8. Metal Belt Types
Metal belts are merely accessories since they won’t hold your bottoms. They’re available in several designs that you can fasten either by the strap holes and a buckle or chains. These types of belts are perfect for accentuating your long and short skirts, cocktail and long dresses, and gowns.
9. Braided Types of Belts
The strap of these types of belts is made of strands or pieces of fabric or leather that have been braided to add texture. Having a casual look, you can best wear it with your maxi dress and rompers.
10. Skinny Belts
Skinny rubber or leather belts are another variation of classic belts with a thinner strap and a smaller buckle. Like metal belts, they also can hold your bottoms. They’re subtle accessories you can easily pair with fitted pants and skirts, as well as dresses and loose tops of various colors, whether plain or printed. With their thin straps, they can have a slimming effect but aren’t great for flowing styles of clothes.
A variation of the skinny belt is the skinny knot belt. It has no buckle, so it's fastened by tying a knot in front. Some of these types of belts also have metal hardware just to add style.
11. Embellished Types of Belts
Aptly named, these classic belts have embellishments on their straps to upgrade their styles and better fashion statement.
- Grommet: This belt has holes reinforced with grommets throughout the rubber or leather strap. It gives your casual wear a funky look.
- Studded: Perfect for your casual dresses, mini-skirts, and high-waist jeans, the dark-colored rubber or leather strap has metallic studs. It will give you a quirky and punky style.
- Handmade: This leather belt has an embroidered or painted strap for your casual, outwear, formal pants, and long dresses.
- Rhinestone: Studded with rhinestones, this flashy belt style will make your special occasion clothes stand out. The design can be enhanced further by having a crystal or diamond buckle.
12. Reversible Types of Belts
Reversibles are buckled classic types of belts with a strap that has different colors on each side. The buckle is also rotatable. As such, you have two belts in one that can enhance your formal or casual attire. The strap can be made of leather, cotton, or fabric, while the buckle can be brass, nickel, or stainless steel.
13. Twisted Types of Belts
Buckled or not, this belt has two intersecting loops that can enhance the look of your casual dresses, ripped jeans, and long shirts. The strap can be made of fabric or leather.
Oversized Types of Belts
Although these types of belts can be considered a strap variation, they belong to a different category since they’re worn around the waist instead of inside the belt loops or around the hips. They can help accentuate your waist or make it appear smaller, no matter your body size, giving you an hourglass shape.
14. Cinch Belts
This oversized belt is made of canvas, leather, elastic or stretchy fabric, or silicone that you can fasten with its fancy clasp or buckle. These types of belts are an ideal accessory for your party, cocktail, and casual attire.
15. Lace-Up Belt Types
For a retro style, add a lace-up belt to your jumpsuits, rompers, or loose dresses. You can choose between two types. One with a smaller width that’s perfect for those with wider waistlines, and the other with a larger width that’s great for women with small waists. Fastening lace-up belts is possible with drawstrings and eyelets.
16. Yoked Types of Belts
As the name suggests, these types of belts have a pattern similar to a skirt’s yoke that extends to your hips when worn. It not only enhances your attire and gives your body the perfect shape, but it also helps support loose bottoms and shirts.
Tie-Around Types of Belts
You fasten these types of belts by tying them around, either on the side, back, or front. They come in several lengths and widths, as well as made of different materials.
17. Sash Belts
These types of belts are simply a piece of fabric or leather that you can wrap around your dress, shirt, or gown and then tie. You can create a bow to add more style or just leave a tail.
18. Obi Belts
Obi is another type of tie-around belt that resembles those worn around traditional Japanese kimonos. You wrap it around your waist twice or more and then fasten it using a bow or a knot.
Stylish or Statement Types of Belts
These belts improve your style at the highest level, making them the perfect accessories for your clothes.
19. Bow Belts
Big bows have always been one of the boldest and cutest hair accessories and clothing designs. Belts are no exception. If you want to save time from tying a ribbon to fasten a sash belt, you can opt for a bow belt.
It’s simply a leather or fabric belt with a large bow in the front and center. The fastener or lock is usually at the back or in front, in the middle of the bow.
20. Peplum Belts
If you don’t have a peplum skirt in your wardrobe, you can convert your pencil skirts into one with the help of a peplum belt. It can flatter your figure and add waist volume. You can also wear it over your skinny jeans and leggings.
21. Chain Types of Belts
These belts usually have gold or silver metal chain straps or straps with attached gold or silver metal chains. You can wear them around your waist or just below your waist. They can have beads, bling, and more.
22. Belly or Hip Belts
These types of belts are primarily used for belly dancing, but you can also use them for layering your outfit. They’re usually a leather belt with heavy embellishments, dangling below your waist or a wrap-around, embellished fabric belt.
Other Types of Belts
Other types of belts that can’t be classified into one category are as follows:
23. Military Types of Belts
Although mostly made for men, some women can slay military belts. They have neutral-colored, hole-free straps made of nylon webbing. You can fasten them using a pin-free metal or plastic buckle. They can hold and accentuate your pants and shorts.
24. D-Ring Belts
Similar to military belts, women can also wear this belt. It has two rings on either end that will help you fasten it. All you have to do is insert the other strap in the first ring and reinsert it on the other loop.
25. Suspender Belts
Suspender types of belts have also become unisex, perfect for women who want to pull their pants, skirts, and shorts without wearing anything around their waists or hips.
26. Garter Suspender
Although not 100% a type of belt since they’re considered undergarments, these suspenders help pull up or hold your stockings. You fasten them around your waist and clip the stockings. With their help, you won’t need to pull up your stockings repeatedly while wearing your dress, gown, or skirt.
Types of Belts - In Conclusion
Belts are multi-purpose accessories that most people ignore because of unfamiliarity with their capability to complement your outfit and flatter or improve your figure. There are various types of belts for every occasion and outfit. Make sure you choose wisely, as belts can make or break your fashion statement.