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Outfit Missing Something? Add A Leather Belt.

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I’m a sucker for a good magic trick. Did you learn a card trick at sleepaway camp in fifth grade? Show it to me immediately. Snagged tickets for a local illusionist? Absolutely I’ll be your plus one, and I will be raising my hand to go onstage when they ask for a volunteer from the audience.

Personally, I’ve never learned any magic, not even how to pull a quarter from someone’s ear. But I do know a fashion magic trick, and — good news — I’m telling you how it works.

If you want to magically elevate any outfit…add a leather belt.

Abracadabra, you’ve got outfit elevation. Whether you go with a brown belt or a black belt, silver hardware, gold, or brass, you’ll be amazed at how any look instantly goes from meh to magically marvelous.

Need to see this stylish magic trick with your own eyes? Keep scrolling.

Men’s leather belt outfit inspiration

Add a leather belt to a t-shirt outfit

man standing on the sidewalk in front of a brownstone wearing brown pants, black sneakers, and a black t-shirt with a graphic print on the front. he's also wearing a green baseball cap and a watchman standing on the sidewalk in front of a brownstone wearing brown pants, black sneakers, and a black t-shirt with a graphic print on the front. he's also wearing a green baseball cap and a watch
image: @stylesbyslimster

A t-shirt and sneakers automatically looks street style photographer-worthy when you tuck the tee and add the right belt around your waist.

Also great? The tall white socks peeking out between the shoes and hem of the pants.

Wear a braided belt with chinos

If you don’t already have a black braided leather belt, let this be the push you needed to hit “add to cart.” This is how you dress up an outfit without feeling fussy.

Wear a braided leather belt with jeans

actor Jeremy Allen White walking down the street wearing a white t-shirt, light-rinse jeans, and slip-on sandals. he's holding a coffee and bottle of water in one hand and a white takeaway bag in the otheractor Jeremy Allen White walking down the street wearing a white t-shirt, light-rinse jeans, and slip-on sandals. he's holding a coffee and bottle of water in one hand and a white takeaway bag in the other
image: @britishGQ

Presto change-o! Shower sandals magically look cool when worn with a black braided leather belt.

Add a western belt to a casual look

Want to up the fashion quotient with the sartorial equivalent of waving a magic wand? Opt for a Western-style black leather belt, which is extra on-trend these days.

RELATED: How to Embrace Western Style Without Falling into Cowboy Cosplay

Pair a belt with your denim jacket and canvas sneakers

man standing outside in front of greenery wearing a baseball cap, denim jacket, white t-shirt, dark pants, and canvas sneakersman standing outside in front of greenery wearing a baseball cap, denim jacket, white t-shirt, dark pants, and canvas sneakers
image: @billyarundell

A casual leather belt in brown is another men’s wardrobe essential. Look how great it looks in the belt loops of these wider-leg pants and SG favorite canvas sneakers!

Match your belt to your leather jacket

man standing in front of a building wearing a black leather jacket, white button-down shirt, grey slacks, and black loafers with white socksman standing in front of a building wearing a black leather jacket, white button-down shirt, grey slacks, and black loafers with white socks

This outfit is giving mullet in the best way possible. It’s a party on top with the black leather jacket, and all business on the bottom, with a dress belt, grey trousers, and black penny loafers.

Wear a belt to be seen…or not

A belt can change an outfit, even when you can’t see it.

RELATED: The Best Ribbed Tanks for Summer

In this case, a ribbed tank tucked into a black leather belt can shine, or just peek out from behind a chambray shirt. Ta-da!

Below, shop the best men’s leather belts:

black leather belts

You’ve got plenty of options beyond the traditional dress belt when shopping for your magical leather belt. Black is always a good place to start with casual belts because they still make an outfit look and feel more elevated.

As for belt buckles? That’s a matter of preference, but a good rule of thumb is to opt for the color of jewelry you wear, like a wedding ring or watch.

brown leather belts
coiled brown leather belt with silver bucklecoiled brown leather belt with silver buckle
BILLYKIRK
No. 289 Roller Bar Belt in hickory, $125

What to know when shopping for a men’s leather belt

Maybe I should have said this up top, but a fair warning: quality belts are not inexpensive!

High-quality leather goods like belts come in top grain and full grain. Here’s what to know about each type:

Origin: Full grain leather comes from the top layer of the animal hide, with all the natural grain intact. Top grain leather has had the top, most imperfect layer sanded or buffed away.

Quality and Cost: Because it uses the entire top layer, full grain leather is generally considered to be of higher quality than top grain leather. This is reflected in the price, with full grain belts typically costing more than top grain belts.

Appearance: Full grain leather will have a more natural look, with some variations in color and texture. Top grain leather can be sanded to have a more uniform appearance, and may also be embossed with a grain pattern.

Durability: Both types of leather are durable, but full grain leather is generally considered to be more durable in the long run because it’s thicker and has not had its fibers buffed away. Over time, full grain leather can develop a beautiful patina, while top grain leather may show wear more easily.

Care: Both leathers require minimal care, but full grain leather may benefit from occasional conditioning with a leather conditioner, as it absorbs oils more readily.

So, which men’s belt should you choose?

If you’re ready to invest in an accessory that will last a lifetime and develop a beautiful patina over time, then a full grain leather belt is the way to go. If you’re on a budget or prefer a more uniform look, then top grain leather can be a good option.

READ MORE:

5 Boat Shoe Outfits for Guys to Wear This Summer

The Best Drawstring Shorts (and How to Wear Them)

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