Buying Belts And Wallets



It is a well-worn maxim that a man’s shoes should match his belt. While this sentiment certainly has its merits, it also, as with most absolutes on style, creates a rather severe and foreboding landscape in which a man may dress. A man’s belt and shoes can be in whatever varied hues he chooses, provided they do not clash; like socks, there is no need to follow the overly strict and generally misguided dictum of matching when coordination is a far more useful guide.

Unless you are a cowboy or it is made of brass and spells your name, a belt buckle shouldn’t draw attention to your midsection. I blame J. Lindeberg for this recent phenomenon. (I also blame him for convincing Justin Timberlake he could design clothes). Your t-shirt and jeans do not become an outfit just because you have a belt buckle larger than my hand.

A black leather belt should handle most of your wardrobe’s heavy lifting, pardon the pun. Kenneth Cole has a nice one currently on sale. This one distinguishes itself from the sizable pack with its thin, black metal buckle.

This one from Fossil has done the trick for two years now.

With a brown leather belt I think you can afford to be a bit more risky and creative. I like this Ben Sherman belt with his name punched out like a dot matrix printer.

I don’t have anything to say about fabric belts. There a little like off-white paint – ubiquitous and completely forgettable.


When I was eight I had a velcro Ocean Pacific wallet that never had any money it. Still, I carried it everywhere I went and kept it filled with notes about comic books. The main point of this story is that I had this wallet when I was eight. If you still hear a ripping sound when you need to pay for something it’s time to buy a new wallet.

Although not the first name to come to mind when contemplating men’s wallets, Coach has a handsome collection in a variety of textures – including this Signature Embossed edition:

I know men who change their wallets every year, perhaps in response to the fact that after socks and ties, wallets seem to be the most popular gift for men. Apart from being wasteful this denies the wallet the chance to mature, since most leather goods only reveal their character once broken in. At the risk of not having any money to put in it once you buy it, grab one like this Bosca made of ostrich leather and let it age until it is something you’d be proud to give to your grandkids.


Thom Wong writes


  1. These are too mainstream for me. I expected suggestions for cobler made belts or those made by quality shoemakers or at least Ralph Lauren belts.

  2. Of all the belts you could have picked! These are humdrum, unoriginal and plain dull. They are not even high-quality classic pieces. They look like they came from the Marks & Spencer bargain bin. Rather like the socks you put up last week.