Style Guides

Buying a Proper Belt

Let’s talk about your waistline for a minute. No, we’re not here to put you on a diet. We’re simply here to make you look and feel your best, every day. That’s why, in this style guide, we’re talking about an area that can make or break your outfit: the midsection. Here are some tips on how to choose a belt and achieve a sleek, put-together look from your shirt buttons to your trousers.

Choosing the Right Leather

Bill Whitney started his career in the leather business. Bill’s father, who owned a belt manufacturing company in Connecticut, hired him when he was still a teenager. As Bill learned more about leather goods, he was exposed to the high end creative process that went into luxury clothing design and manufacturing. Consequently, he learned quite a bit about what makes a quality leather belt.

As far as choosing a belt that will keep you looking good for years, Bill insists that full-grain leather is a must. A finely made belt ages well, burnishes up over time, and gains a nice patina. There are several types of leather available, but Italian or French calfskin leather is your best choice. The color is up to you, but it’s recommended that you select both a brown and a black belt that you can swap out to go with any suit.

Choosing the Right Size  

Having a belt that fits you properly is fundamental. Nothing ruins an outfit quicker than a belt that strains at its last hole or flops around on a guy’s waist. It’s important to note, as well, that belt sizes aren’t always consistent. Belt manufacturers vary. So if you wear a 36” pant, for example, you can’t assume that a 36” belt off the rack will fit you as well as you expect.

At BillyGrey, we use a sizing belt trimmed down to the half inch to ensure that you get a belt that’s sized appropriately, and cut to the length that’s right for you. That way, you can wear the belt on the middle hole the way you should. If you gain or lose a little weight, you can adjust without having to buy a new one.

After all, a leather belt is like a fine leather wallet. It’s an investment you’ll want to keep and use for a long time. When you ensure perfection in your fit, you just look better, and you make a better first impression.

The Gig Line: What is it and Why is it Important 

If you’ve never served in the military, then you’ve likely never heard the term “gig line.” But it’s a term Bill thinks is important when it comes to completing your look. The gig line refers to the alignment of the seam on your shirt, the belt buckle, and the fly of your trousers. All three should be adjusted to form a straight vertical line. To keep things squared away – and to keep yourself looking polished and put together – it’s important to pay attention to this area. It’s something you can easily control, and it goes a long way toward making you the best-dressed guy in the boardroom.

Don’t Forget the Details that Complete the Look

You’ll look your best when your shirt, trouser, blazer, and belt are tailored to fit, ironed to smooth perfection, and curated so that the colors and fabrics bring out the best in you. Would you like to consult with a style guy who gets it? Give us a call at BillyGrey.