In terms of practicality, a belt's purpose is to keep your pants from falling down. But when it's really working, it pulls your whole look together. There aren't many rules when it comes belts (except for those logo-ridden buckles—lose 'em). Sometimes you want one that's simple and understated. Other times, you'd like something to punctuate your outfit. Herewith, some to consider:
The Dress Belt
Slim and simple, in plain black or brown leather. To be worn with suits, nice shoes and proper trousers.
The Slide Belt
Versatile and timeless, this instant heirloom (with an engine turned buckle) only gets better with years of wear.
The Hoof Pick Belt
Really an ode to equestrian style, this belt (made from English bridle leather) has a jaunty, yet rugged sailor vibe.
The Surcingle Belt
Named after the cotton fabric making up these preppy favorites, they're tipped with leather and often a brass buckle.
The Braided Belt
Woven belts add a laid-back casualness to whatever you're wearing. Buy one a little longer and let the tail hang to the side.
The D-Ring Belt
Often made from colorful grosgrain ribbon with two metal D-rings, they can offer a nice contrast to your outfit.
The Canvas Web Belt
Standard issue for soldiers, these casual canvas slide belts go with everything from chinos and cotton suits to jeans and cargos.
The Novelty Belt
An expressive wardrobe requires a bold belt. Whether in of-the-moment ethnic or tribal prints or a bright color or pattern.
The O-Ring Belt
Not unlike the D-ring belts, these are made from leather (with two metal rings) giving them a heartier feel and appearance.
The Casual Belt
Jeans and other casual pants call for a wider (and tougher) belt like the Trace Carrier, modeled after a trailer hitch.
The Faja Belt
A simple strap of patterned woven cotton traditionally worn by Argentinians, there's no buckle, so it must be knotted.