Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Against the Belt

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Here’s an early candidate for sentence of the day: “Beltlessness, or the state of being suited without a belt, is to me a superior state.”

We’ve been gaining sympathy for this position for quite some time. Our newfound suspender love is part of it, but even the more handsome belts these days have been slimming down to razor-thin proportions as a semi-apologetic sign that well, maybe you’re better off with less belt in your life. The truth is, you probably are. Your pants will drape better and, if you buy with an eye to beltlessness, fit better. That doesn’t mean the belt’s going to become a faux pas any time soon, but if you’ve got the chance to go without, you should. Yes, even with a suit.

A Different Cloth

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The knit belt isn’t for everyone, but as the knit gets tighter, it gets a whole lot easier to pull off.

This (via acquire) is one of the smoother ones we’ve seen. It comes courtesy of Billykirk, who stepped out of the leather shop for just long enough to dip their toe in the nautical style.

The Belt-Tie Connection

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A.P.C.’s 2009 accessories just hit the market and these belts were the item that caught our eye.

The usual rule is to match your belt to your shoes—brown to brown, black to black, and so on—but in this case, there’s a stronger affinity between the belt and the tie. We’ve already seen A.P.C.’s waist-bound response to the skinny tie, and this latest belt seems built to match its less trendy cousin, the knit tie. It’s a good idea, and it might even be a new style law in the making.

Up Front

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As style gambits go, the Texas-style belt buckle is a pretty risky one. But men’s accessories are pretty hard to come by, so it would be nice if some brave soul made it work…

The folks at Strapped Belts have an idea, although it involves finding a place for ceramics in your ensemble. But we’re always up for a challenge. If done right, it could give the usual suit a low-riding centerpiece—not unlike a good tie.

It’s a good idea, but it would be a lot better if they could stick to solid colors and less crafty designs. Is there still time to turn out a flat mimosa version?

See a few more Strapped belt buckles»

Belt Fan

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APC’s spring collection just went up online, and this belt was what caught our eye. It’s not exactly preppy, and it’s certainly not the kind of thing you’d see on a pair of suit pants, but it’s one of the cheekier accessories we’ve seen lately, which counts for a lot. Now that we’re done with the skinny tie, maybe it’s time for the skinny belt?

Knit Your Brow

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We’ve often been in the position of trying to convince a friend of the riskiness of heavily knit belts. Yet, as logical as we can be, it’s often hard to convey what a niche item they truly are, and how sparingly they should be applied in any wardrobe.

This picture, we feel, sums it up pretty nicely.

Rush Hour

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Leather can be a tough sell. After all, there are only so many ways to make a shoe, and you’ve got generations of European cobblers looking over your shoulder. The same goes for belts and most other accessories on the rack. So when we see someone pull it off, we figure they’ve earned a little recognition.

Gordon Rush has been around since 1998, but it’s only recently that his work has caught our eye. For instance, this belt that blends subtle texture and stitching with ostentatiously visible thread for a look that’s both formal and irreverent. Rush is all about multiculturalism, and he throws in a few self-consciously Asian touches in his line—like Kanji on the soles of shoes, which should lead to interesting footprints—but his heart is with craftsmanship.

Which, as it happens, is just what we’re after.