The 10 best belts for men in the UK for 2023, including leather and canvas options
BELTS are one of those accessories that are easy to treat as an afterthought. After all, a belt will hardly transform a look and rarely has the ability to take it from pedestrian to something special.
But it’s the small details that often make the difference, and the best belts can be the difference between a successful look and a sloppy one.
While many trousers don’t need belts, many can benefit from them, and depending on your body shape, a belt might be necessary for comfort and practicality.
From selecting the right style to settling on colours and materials, here’s everything you need to know about this often-overlooked staple.
What to consider when buying belts for men
There are, of course, numerous belt styles out there.
From super sharp black leather belts that are designed for suits, to hiking-style nylon belts aimed at those who lead active lifestyles, there really is something for everyone.
This does mean you need to tread carefully when selecting a belt for yourself. How are you going to wear it, and what with? If you need a belt to wear with tailored trousers, you’re going to want to invest in something equally sharp. Looking to add a belt to your jeans wardrobe? You’ll likely need something a little more casual and easy to dress down.
Colour and fabric
Belts can be a great way of introducing colour to a look. If you want to add a flash of colour or pattern, consider investing in a canvas belt, then wear it with casual trousers and jeans.
Naturally, the two most popular colours for belts are black and brown, so if you’re after maximum versatility, this is the place to start.
You might also be better off buying a leather belt, to begin with. Go for a dark brown one made from a tough saddle or cow leather and you can dress it up with chinos or wear it more relaxed with jeans.
Also, consider your shoes. If you’re wearing a black leather belt, you’ll want to match it with black leather shoes, and the same goes for brown. Mismatching leathers is a tricky look to pull off, so it’s best to play it safe and follow this age-old menswear rule.
The best belts for men, at a glance
- Best braided belt: Maikun
- Best cowhide leather belt: HZHY
- Best suede belt: Polo Ralph Lauren
- Best fabric belt: House of Bruar
- Best reversible belt: Charles Tyrwhitt
Maikun Elastic Woven Belt
- (AD) Maikun Elastic Woven Belt, £12.99 from Amazon – buy here
For a casual, laid-back look, it’s tough to beat a woven belt.
Leather belts are perhaps the most luxurious option, but there’s a certain ease and effortless nature to fabric belts. They work especially well with off-duty looks consisting of chinos, polo shirts or tees and trainers.
This particular one is made from a dark blue stretchy fabric, which has been woven tightly for added durability. The faux leather ends give it an elegant touch, while the matt black hardware ensures it can be worn with virtually any colour, from green and burgundy through to brown and natural shades.
HZHY Full Grain Leather Belt
- (AD) HZHY Full Grain Leather Belt, £16.99 from Amazon – buy here
As previously mentioned, a brown leather belt is arguably the most versatile of all.
This is a style you could wear with denim jeans, shorts or chinos, but could also accompany an unstructured, lightweight suit at a push.
The key is to find a belt made from durable calf leather with a semi-matte finish, which will ensure it can be worn with all manner of casual and smarter looks.
This particular belt is made from 100% Italian full-grain cowhide and comes with solid metal hardware for a rugged, durable finish.
Polo Ralph Lauren Suede Belt
- Polo Signature Pony Suede Belt, £70 from Ralph Lauren – buy here
Coming in a beautiful soft suede, this Polo Ralph Lauren belt perfectly borders the smart-casual divide.
Dress it up with an unstructured linen suit, or play things down with denim jeans or drawstring trousers.
A versatile option for when leather won’t quite cut it, it comes in either a light tan shade or a dark navy.
House of Bruar Dalvi Two Tone Belt
- Dalvi Two-Tone Belt, £29.95 from House of Bruar – buy here
Combining both leather and canvas, this two-tone belt represents the best of both worlds.
Handmade in Spain, its subtle green and red textile material pairs with brown leather and brass-coloured metal for a luxurious, easy-to-style finish.
Charles Tyrwhitt Reversible Leather Belt
- Reversible Made in England Leather Belt, £39.95 from Charles Tyrwhitt – buy here
If you need a smarter belt and can’t decide between black and brown leather, a reversible design might do the trick.
This Charles Tyrwhitt take is designed for ultimate adaptability, with its 100% Italian leather finish and rectangular, polished metal hardware.
Wear it to the office with suit trousers and an Oxford shirt and complete the look with matching leather shoes.
Luca Faloni Woven Suede Belt
- Woven Suede Belt, £110 from Luca Faloni – buy here
This luxurious design is handmade in the city of Bergamo by Luca Faloni, a brand well known for its unmatched attention to detail and expert build quality.
Made from soft, dark brown suede, it’s the ideal finishing touch to stone chinos and a lightweight knitted polo.
Balibaris Vasco Belt
- Vasco Belt, £110 from Balibaris – buy here
Woven leather belts evoke a timeless elegance that harks back to classic Riviera style.
Think galavanting around the south of France, hopping between cafes and drinking aperitifs by the ocean.
This one is made from full grain, vegetable-tanned leather and comes with a brass-style inspired buckle for added vintage points.
Village Leathers Classic Brown Leather Belt
- 1 1/4″ Classic Brown Leather Belt, £22 from Village Leathers – buy here
Specialising in simple, versatile belts, Village Leathers is well worth a look in.
The brand allows you to customise each one, giving the choice of buckle styles and finishes. This particular brown belt is made from full grain leather and comes with a silver buckle.
It’s the kind of style that would look as good with stonewashed denim as it would pleated chinos.
Folk Orb Belt
- Orb Belt (Light Olive Suede), £65 from Folk – buy here
For something playful, why not introduce a bit more colour?
While they may not go with everything, a bold red, blue or green belt will add a characterful edge to casual looks. This light olive suede example shows the potential of a colourful belt, with its textured finish and rounded metal buckle.
Osprey The Dean Plaited Leather Belt
- The Dean 3.5cm Leather Plaited Belt, £39 from Osprey London – buy here
Osprey London belts combine elegant design with excellent build quality. For the price, the brand is hard to beat.
Made from hard wearing, durable saddle leather, this brown woven belt will age beautifully, while it can be worn with everything from shorts to casual tailoring.
How to make a hole in a belt
Belts can be slightly annoying if you’re between notches, but thankfully it’s easy to create a hole in a belt that will make it perfectly comfortable to wear; you don’t even need special tools.
Simply take a hammer and nail that is a similar size to the holes on your belt, then drive the nail through the belt with the hammer.
How to measure a belt
Measuring a belt is simple: take a tape measure, then measure from the notch of the belt you use (you can often tell which one it is as it’s more worn than the others) to the end of the belt.
However, belts are usually measured in inches, the same as trousers, making it simple to know which size to buy. if you’re between sizes, it’s best to size up.