Accessorizing your custom leather belts with an eye-catching buckle is a great way to stand out from the crowd. It shows that you've put thought into every inch of your outfit, not just 'top and bottoms'. There's also the matter of range: there are thousands of choices out there that it's always possible to find something that doesn't just work for you, but also really speaks to you.
Finding the perfect buckle can be a labor of love. You could spend hours crawling through niche corners of the internet. First things first, though: you need to know how to put on a belt buckle!
Get the Right Belt
Not all belts can have the buckle changed. It's worth bearing this in mind when buying a belt in the first place. If you're planning to accessorize, then make sure you get a belt in a style that will fit your choice of buckle.
It should have a detachable buckle. The strap (the main part of the belt) is sometimes attached permanently to the buckle and can't be removed without damaging the belt. If you're not sure if a buckle can be removed or not, ask a member of staff in-store or read reviews.
Belts sometimes come with two other components. One of these is an end tip, which will be made of metal or leather and is designed to prevent the end of the belt from fraying. The other part is the keeper loop, which is a small loop that you tuck the end of the belt into. This keeps the belt neatly in place.
Once you've chosen a belt that you can accessorize in a style that suits you, it's time to pick a buckle that will really make a statement.
A Buckle for Every Occasion
There are many different types of buckle, and the belt you're wearing determines which type will be appropriate for the situation. Here are a few of the different types:
One of the most recognizable types, formal belt buckles come in a frame-style. The strap passes right through the frame of the buckle and is then fastened by putting the prong of the belt through one of the holes on the strap.
These are used on dresses, and have a distinctive design. The buckle tends to be much flatter and smaller than the buckle on a formal belt, and is often round. These are designed to look very pretty on leather dress belts, often coming in shining gold or silver.
Plates are frequently decorative or ornate. A belt using a plate-style tends to have snaps or studs, and is usually detachable.
O-Ring or D-Ring Buckles
Belts using O or D-shaped rings will have two rings which the strap is passed through. The strap is pulled tight through the rings in order to tighten the buckle. These belts are often casual and made of lighter materials; they can even be made of braided materials.
Box Frame Buckles
These buckles don't use prongs or holes, but instead hold the belt in place with a metal post and clasp. The box is hollow and the strap passes through it while the clasp is open. This belt buckle is great for mens casual leather belts.
Step-by-Step: How to Put on a Buckle
1) Can I Change the Buckle?
As mentioned earlier, it's worth bearing this in mind when buying any belt. Belts with detachable buckles are often slightly more expensive, but it's worth ensuring you get a quality belt to match your perfect belt buckle. Snaps or studs at the end are common on belts with detachable buckles. Figure this out before you take any tags off.
2) Set it Up
Make sure you've got the buckle the right way! Place the buckle next to the end of the belt and ensure they're both facing the same way up.
3) Buckle Up
Time to put the buckle on. If your belt has snaps or studs, you'll find these on the inside. Unsnap the snaps or take the studs out from their holes.
4) The Finish
Loop the unsnapped/undone part of the belt through the buckle, and then do the fastenings up again to close the belt around the buckle's hinge. If your belt uses studs and holes, make sure the studs are fully back through the holes or you risk the buckle falling off. You've now attached your buckle!
How Does It Look?
The end look is the most important part. If the buckle looks lopsided, you may have missed something along the way - it's vital to get your look right, and worth taking your time over. It might take practice to get it right.
Match up the perfect leather belt and buckle to get an unforgettable look, and the fun doesn't stop there: you can wear a different buckle every day of the week, every day of the year if you want to! It's a passion project and a fashion statement, and if you follow the steps carefully, putting on a buckle is the easiest thing in the world.
Get shopping and find the perfect buckles to express your personality!