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Many custom tailors focus on the meat and potatoes of the industry – suits, sport jackets, pants, and shirts. This is all well and good, but there’s more to life than the standards. At Henry A. Davidsen, we’ve been broadening our product offering for years. We’d like to spotlight an often-ignored article of men’s clothing: custom belts.
How To Wear Belts
Since we like to go a foot long and a mile deep, let’s cover the basics of belt wearing.
The age-old rule is simple: your belt matches your shoes. This mostly refers to color, but to a lesser extent, material. If you’re wearing black calfskin shoes, a black calfskin belt should be your first option. With that said, a black snakeskin belt would work perfectly well in this context.
The second aesthetic consideration to make is the color of your belt’s hardware, which should be in sync with your watch, cufflinks, or other jewelry. There are more or less three options here: gold, silver/nickel, and “other,” which refers to colors like pewter or gunmetal, which don’t fit neatly into the gold/silver box.
Custom Belt Design Process & Details
Our custom belt design process is similar to that for custom suits and custom shirts – we go through a consultation before we start to design. After we’ve talked and gotten a clear understanding of what your goals are, we decide the following:
Color & Material
From a color perspective, we cover the basics and then some. Black, brown, varying shades of tan, burgundy, navy blue, and even white are options you can choose from.
Material is an important consideration with belts as well. Everyone thinks of leather when they think of belts, but our options go much deeper than just basic leather. Calfskin, suede, and pebble grain leather are all available, as are exotic skins like alligator and lizard.
The design options continue into stitching. A belt with “matched” stitching will give you a streamlined, dressy look. If you’d like something more eye-catching and casual, then a contrast color stitch could be the perfect thing for you.
Reversible Custom Belts
Men who value convenience understandably prefer double-sided belts. We are happy to offer this option for our clients to help them save on a bit of closet space.
Every Henry A. Davidsen belt comes with easily interchangeable buckles in gold and silver. This allows for maximum versatility, which is always a good thing.
We offer various options in terms of buckle shape – squared, rounded, and much more. This is strictly a personal preference decision.
Custom Belt Sizing
Off-the-rack belt sizing for men is pretty straightforward. Offered in even-numbered sizes, you typically buy an inch or two above your pant waist size and hope for the best. Custom belts, on the other hand, are sized in a much more exacting way. If it turns out you’re, say, a 33 1/2″ belt size, so be it – we’ll make you a 33 1/2″ belt.
The other size consideration for belts is their width. In general, the thicker the belt, the more casual. The opposite also holds true, though belts narrower than 1″ start looking like women’s wear.
As in other areas of the outfit, proportion should always be taken into consideration. Taller, heavier guys should wear a belt that is slightly wider, whereas a shorter, skinnier guy should opt for wearing a slightly narrower belt. Intentionally choosing to go against proportion can send a message of elevated style, but can also become a distraction that takes away from the more important message of competency that you’re trying to portray.
The most standard men’s belt sizes are seen in two widths: 32 mm (1 1/4″), and 35mm (1 3/8″). Though a 3 mm (1/8″) size difference doesn’t seem like much, it actually has a huge impact on your look, and thus your image. When offering custom belts, we go beyond the standard widths and in addition offer 38mm (1 1/2″) and 40 mm (1 5/8″) styles as well. We recommend narrower widths to wear with our suits, and wider widths to go with our custom denim.
How To Get Started
We’re here to answer any questions you have about our products, belts or otherwise. Reach out anytime at 215-310-0219 or at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’d love to hear from you.
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Please consider supporting those that have been displaced due to COVID-19 to get back on their feet with a donation to Career Wardrobe’s OutFIT for Work campaign. $50 provides a full interview outfit for an individual seeking employment.