The Black Leather Belt; it’s much more than an accessory that holds your pants up. It’s a piece of styling engineering that’s sophisticated yet highly practical and functional.
If you’re like me, you most likely have one or two quality black leather belts as your staples.
The versatility of this classic piece is almost limitless; it generally goes with cool tones, monochromatic color palettes, and dark-colored shoes like black and navy blue.
It even gets better if your black leather belt is made from full-grain leather, the highest quality leather grade.
I say so because a full-grain black leather belt:
- Ages beautifully, even with blemishes and scratches
- Is incredibly durable because of the leather’s tightly woven fibers
- Retains its shape, even after regular use
If you google black leather belts, you’re sure to find many questions asked by other leather belt lovers like you.
Fortunately, I’ll cover six of these questions and discuss them in detail so you can make a better choice in buying, styling, and maintaining your black leather belt.
table of contents
1 - Are Black Leather Belts Better Than Brown?
Every man wants a clean, functional, solid-colored, and low-key leather belt that they can wear with any pair of pants.
This desire has resulted in the dreadful black vs. brown leather belt debate. Some say that the black leather belt is better than the brown one. But from my experience, both belts hold the same value.
I offer both black and brown leather belts, and I’ll admit that I wear both equally.
The black leather belt is my first choice when my fit leans toward formal wear and cool tones. It’s the perfect statement accessory for formal meetings, especially when I pair it with my black Apple watch band.
The brown leather belt, on the other hand, pairs well with casual wear and warm earthy tones. It’s my most versatile belt, and it goes with almost everything, except for black shoes. (Rule of thumb: Your belt and shoe colors should never clash!)
That’s why every man should own at least one black and one brown leather belt. Neither one is better; your choice will depend on the occasion, your outfit, and accessories.
Check out more differences between the two belts below.
|Black Leather Belts||Brown Leather Belts|
|Most common belt color||Most versatile belt color|
|Goes well with formal wear and a monochrome color palette||Goes well with casual wear and every outfit color, except black|
|Pairs with cool tones||Pairs with warm, earthy tone|
Learn More: Black Leather Belt vs Brown Leather Belt: Which Is Better?
Remember, leathers must match leathers. So when choosing your outfit accessories, ensure they match the color of your belt.
For instance, if you’re wearing a black leather belt, match it with a black leather watch band and a black leather wallet. The same applies to brown leather belts.
2 - What Should I Look for When Buying a Black Leather Belt?
When it comes to black leather belts, quality beats appearance, though having a belt with both features is a win.
You can determine the quality of a good leather belt just by touching it. If you press your fingers into it, a quality black leather belt should feel soft and supple since real leather is pliable.
But if you can’t touch the belt, like most online buyers, look out for these other features present in all high-quality leather belts:
- Material: The best black leather belt is made from full-grain leather, the highest leather grade. It’s the outermost layer of an animal skin with all the natural markings and imperfections intact.
- Durability: Opt for a full-grain leather belt. This will be the strongest belt because the leather’s fibers are densely packed. This durability will ensure it lasts for ages and even develop a rich leather patina.
- Buckle closure: Regardless of your belt’s buckle size, choose one made from real metal like brass, which is strong and durable enough to last as long as the belt itself.
- Stitching: The belt must be well stitched with the most durable thread, such as Tiger thread, with no loose ends to avoid unraveling.
Other factors to consider when choosing your black leather belt are its cutting edges and price.
For a genuine belt, the edges aren’t entirely uniform. Instead, they’re rough and uneven with blemishes from the animal’s hide. Faux leather belts, however, have uniform surfaces with straight cutting edges and smooth, even grains.
Real leather belts are also much more costly than fake ones because of their intense manufacturing process. So if your belt’s price is too good to be true, chances are it’s synthetic.
Related Article: 5 Proven Ways to Spot a Real Leather Belt in 2022
3 - What Size Should I Get?
Tight leather belts may cause pelvic pain, while loose ones make you look unkempt and sloppy. That’s why choosing the correct belt size is crucial.
Accurately measuring a belt you own is the best way to determine your size.
Do this by laying a belt you own on a clean flat surface. Start a measuring tape at the hole you use regularly and measure it to just where your belt meets the buckle.
Round off your measurement to the nearest inch. So if you measure 36.8 inches, your belt length should be 37 inches.
Alternatively, measure a pair of well-fitting jeans, then add 2 inches to determine your belt size. If your jeans measure 48 inches, go for a 50-inch belt.
All Popov Leather’s belts range from 26–58 inches to ensure everyone gets a perfect fit. Follow our video guide to help you choose the right size.
Did you know? During the early 1940s, belts were mainly made with durable materials like leather and suede. But the aftermath of the Second World War resulted in a shortage of leather materials, forcing manufacturers to use Petersham ribbons as a substitute.
4 - How Should I Care For My Black Leather Belt?
Buying a classic black leather belt is the first step, but care and maintenance will prolong its longevity.
Real leather requires minimal lifetime maintenance, so your belt will stay in great shape without much effort.
While it’s possible to wash your black leather belt, avoid doing so in a washing machine that may damage it. Instead, wipe it down with a damp cloth to eliminate dust and grime.
For stubborn stains, gently scrub the belt in a circular motion with a soft bristle brush and a leather scrub. Avoid harsh chemicals which will strip the leather and ruin the look of your belt.
Once you’re done cleaning the belt, replenish its natural oils by massaging in a special leather conditioner, such as Popov Leather’s all-natural leather balm, for long-lasting protection.
Remember to leave your black belt to air dry before hanging it loosely in your belt rack.
Never apply heat to real leather belts, as this may make them shrink or crack.
5 - How Wide Should My Black Leather Belt Be?
The best width for your black leather belt is 1.5 inches. A leather belt that’s too thick won’t be comfortable to wear all day, while one that’s too thin will stretch and distort over time.
Popov Leather’s Black Leather Belt has a 1.5” strap width that will fit through the standard belt loops of any pair of jeans.
6 - Can I Wear a Black Leather Belt With a Suit?
Yes, you can. Wearing your suit with an elegant black leather belt will give you a clean, classy look. Add matching black oxford shoes, and you’ll look dapper wherever you go.
However, wearing a belt with a suit is only a matter of preference and accessorizing, not a necessity. Wear pants that fit and flatter your body; don’t rely on your belt to keep them from falling off.
Handmade Leather Belts Are the Best
Handmade black leather belts are an investment that will last for years. Unlike mass-produced synthetic belts, they’re carefully stitched, making each belt unique and highly durable.
Every black leather belt my team and I make at Popov Leather is handmade and saddle stitched with Tiger thread, the most durable thread, to ensure it never unravels.
We use full-grain leather for our belts and every other product in our collection to give you the best value for your money.
When you invest in a black leather belt from Popov Leather, you can be confident that you’re getting a piece that will last you for years—you could even pass it down to the next generation.
“This is the best belt I’ve ever worn. Top-notch leather and well-built. It looks like I’ll pass this to my children ...”
Unlike most store belts that come in small, medium, and large sizes, our handmade belts are available from 26–58 inches. So regardless of your size, you’re sure to find an item for you.
Article by Ryan Popoff
Ryan Popoff is the CEO and Co-Founder of Popov Leather. He has absolutely no business background, in fact, he graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. Ryan's leather goods business was born from a hobby at the dining room table and a passion for technology (ecommerce in particular). Ryan calls Nelson BC his home where he's raising his family and enjoys spending the odd afternoon at a local craft brewery.
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