From the late Duke Of Windsor – who loved nothing more than to wear a gold-buckled woven leather belt with windowpane-check zoot suits – to Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford, who regularly wear oversized buckles with stately vim, style mavens throughout history have long shown how a statement belt can elevate a look. The designers have been peddling big belts on the runways for a good while now, too.
At Louis Vuitton and Valentino, Virgil Abloh and Pierpaolo Piccioli respectively have put showy monogram buckles on a whole range of belts; at Emporio Armani, Mr A has long made the case for his 1990s-style belts, while the low-key branding of Canali’s “C” has a more subtle appeal. Elsewhere, Hermes’s famous H-buckle has shrugged off it’s financier-focused connotations, while Gucci’s GG belts remain the talk of the label-wearing town.
The truth of the matter is, after all, that the teaming of a big belt buckle - with a pair of sparkling-white jeans say, or as part of a party look - has long been loaded with the notion that its wearer is showing off: big logo belts are nothing if not attention-grabbing, after all.
Done properly however, the look can feel knowing and kitsch. Approach your oversized belt with the same wry nod that you would an oversized pair of dad trainers, say, or a voluminous shell suit-style jacket (preferably Balenciaga) and you’ll look less hillbilly-done-good, more man on a mission with a sense of personality - and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
So, when it comes to wearing your own massive belt buckle this summer, I would advise that you team it with a pair of slim-cut jeans - preferably with frayed hems, to amp up the sense of insider knowledge - and a knitted polo (tucked in, of course) in a tonal hue. That, or you could go all out with a full western look, tasseled suede jacket and camel toe-exposing jeans, et al.
Either way, you’d better buckle up – way, way up!
Louis Vuitton, $720 at louisvuitton.com
Valentino, $347 at valentino.com