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Belts - a brief history

You might not realize that belts actually have a long and storied past (we certainly didn't). So we decided to do a little research in quarantine on the most underrated men's accessory:
 
3300 BCE- The first belts were typically simple pieces of string worn around the waist to carry pouches, like ancient fanny packs.
1 CE- Soldiers in ancient Roman times would wear a belt (AKA a balteus) slung over their shoulders to carry their weapons. Baltei were used as a form of identification, decorated with silver and bronze studs and pendants attached to their straps. If a soldier was dishonorably discharged, his balteus would be confiscated, thus stripping him of his rank.
1100 CE- Belts in the Middle Ages were a symbol of the rich and elite, often gifted from one noble to another . They were long, large, and elaborately designed. Belts were essential for keeping their swords at hand.
1837 CE- Men preferred suspenders over belts during the Victorian era, but women sometimes wore extravagantly ruffled and lacy belts to accentuate their corseted waists.
1920 CE- With baggy cuffed trousers as the trend du jour, belts naturally became a stylish companion. Belts provided a cinched waist in order to achieve the bold and shapely silhouette favored during this time
2020 CE- Belts have really come a long way in the past 5,000 years. With Beltology, they’ve never been cozier, comfier,  or easier to wear than right now. So grab a woven belt today and start making history!

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Read This if You’re Working From Home, But Not Really Working

It’s easy for the boundaries between work and home to get blurred when you’re working from home. After a long day in the office, you usually come home to unwind, but if you’re already home, it’s tempting to be in chillout mode all the time. One thing that can be helpful is dressing up. Forgo sleeping in an extra hour, and take that time to reestablish your morning routine. Slicking back your hair and putting on a belt can really help you get into that professional mindset.



Some of you may be resisting the thought of wearing a belt all day to sit on the couch. We get it— you want to feel comfortable in your own home. Thankfully, our belts are made from stretchy flex material so they fit snugly without ever being too constricting. You’ll be feeling cozy whether you’re sitting in bed with your laptop in your lap, or pacing back and forth in your hallway.


And once you’ve realized how awesome our belts are and how suitable they are for working from home, buying one counts as being productive. So at least you did one thing today.

7

Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Some popular schools of thought assert that the tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day arose because it is leprechauns’ favorite color. As well, wearing green makes us invisible to leprechauns who would otherwise pinch us for not wearing their favorite color.

 
Uh, okay. Leprechauns’ favorite color is also invisible to them? What? How does that work? And also, why are we pinching each other then? Let leprechauns do that. That’s their thing. It’s potentially borderline appropriative.
 
In conclusion, do not pinch me this year because it is problematic or something. I’m convinced that most people wear green on St. Patrick’s Day simply because they do not want to be pinched. In fact, you might be one of the many people throwing on a random article of green clothing this year to avoid such a fate. Well, there’s no reason you can’t look cute and put-together while being held hostage by the banal violence of society! Here are belts you can wear with every shade of green.

 
Forest Green

A classic shade, quite vivid. Wearing it with the
Litmus in cordovan will make the color look even richer.

Hunter Green

A very classy and easy-to-wear color. Make it bold with the
Catalyst. The navy complements the dark green nicely, while the red, yellow, and white add pops of color to give this solid shade a much needed jolt of fun energy.

 
Kelly Green

A popular green variant despite being somewhat difficult to pull off. Pair it with the
Basis for a standout outfit. This bright blue belt can more than hold its own against this formidable shade.


Lime

Very cheeky. The dark navy of the
Control can help keep this bright shade from coming off too garish without fighting it.


Mint Green

How do you catch such an ethereal shade and pin it down? Wear it with the
Terra for a refreshing pastel look. 


Neon Green

Doesn’t get much brighter than this. A solid neutral allowing the neon to do its thing, the
Wavelength in black is a unique mashup of traditional and modern that will add visual interest to your outfit beyond color.


Olive

A color that can easily go drab. Pairing it with the
Helix in gray creates a cool and unique color combo.


Shamrock Green

Can’t write a post about green for St. Patrick’s Day without including this color! This brilliant shade worn with a stylish belt like the
Quadrant will turn heads. Combined with the melange of burgundy, navy, and white, this green will look pretty swanky.

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The Cream of the Crop


You can always rely on your trusty brown belt, but it’s the same one you always wear. As for your old black belt, I only care if it was awarded to you to signify your technical proficiency in martial arts. For something that won’t make people yawn, consider the cream belt— the roundhouse kick of belts.

One of the things that makes cream belts so amazing is how well they pair with a range of colors. They’re perfect with pastels because they allow lighter shades to shine without breaking up your outfit’s color story like a black or brown belt would. On the flip side, cream belts pair brilliantly with jewel tones and other darker shades, making those colors look richer. You can even wear a cream belt with other neutrals! All you need to add to a brown, navy, or gray suit is a cream belt and you have a thoughtfully tasteful getup.


 
Just as important as what you wear is the where of the wear. With cream belts, that where can be almost anywhere. Pair your eggs benedict with a cream belt at brunch for a classic weekend look. Of course, a cream belt is a no-brainer at the country club, but a cream belt can also be a simple statement piece on a lively jaunt through the city. Put on your cream belt for basically any special occasion— a baby shower, an engagement party, a spring wedding, or a summer cookout.



You don’t have to take our word for it. Try the crème de la crème of cream belts, the 
Chaos, yourself and love how dashing it’ll make you look.

5

I Pink I Can!

Think pink! Vastly underrated and underused in men’s clothing, pink is a sweet and playful color that deserves some special consideration. Whether it’s a romantic dusty rose, subdued blush, or daring magenta, adding pink is a great way to punch up an outfit’s visual impact with minimal effort. It’s a color for the confident, though deceptively easy to wear. Here are a few of the many ways you can wear the Tropic— a breezily stylish belt perfect for pink newbies.
 
What’s Neutral, Pussycat?

A pink woven belt sounds like it could be quite ostentatious, but the hushed pink and sophisticated blues of the Tropic make it thoughtfully subdued. Restricting your wardrobe to a neutral color palette heightens the Tropic’s understated effect, so even if pink isn’t a color you usually wear, you’ll look NBD-chic (something I just made up, but only because it should already exist). For an ultra-mellow vibe, pair the Tropic with light neutrals like white, pale gray, and camel. It’s a tender and pseudo-minimalist look that won’t come across as boring. If you want the pink to make more of a statement without sacrificing the belt’s low-key charm, darker neutrals like black and dark brown will do the trick!

Go Green

A complementary green goes a long way. Wearing an army green, hunter green, or sage will balance out the Tropic’s pink without obscuring it. Green also goes well with the belt’s blues. Dark greens or muted greens will work wonders, but if you’re feeling quirky, you can even try wearing it with an avocado or emerald green for a more high impact look.


 
Keep It Casual

The Tropic is great for slightly dressing up a casual outfit. Its blues pair well with denim for an interesting tone-on-tone look. Throw on a plain white tee with some jeans, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate laidback weekend uniform. It’s what you’ll want to wear while sipping mojitos and kicking back with some friends on the patio this spring.

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How to Get a Reaction with the Reactor



We’re launching the 
Reactor today— the least boring belt you can wear. A striking mélange of classic blue shades snazzily offset with interwoven hints of taupe, you might be a little intimidated if you usually just default to your trusty black or brown belt. You might be thinking, “How do I even wear a blue woven belt? I should probably just stick to the same belt I always wear.” Coward. What are you afraid of? Afraid of looking rad as heck? Afraid you’ll get a bunch of compliments? Well, stop it. To assuage your anxieties, here are some ideas on how to style your new favorite accessory.

1. For an attention-grabbing accessory like the Reactor, wearing neutrals will seriously make the colors pop. You can opt for lighter tones like white, or beige or warmer tones like tan.


2. If you’re going for a more understated vibe, throw on a complementary blue or gray. You can also pair the Reactor with denim for an easy, breezy look. 


3. The Reactor is obviously a star, but if you’re worried it might be too focus-pulling, try wearing it with a fun neutral print. People will still undoubtedly notice your cool belt (because they won’t be able to help themselves), but a patterned shirt can help balance your outfit’s visual interest.

So now you have no more excuses to not pursue your fashion aspirations - Go forth and be stylish.


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5 Ways to Celebrate Love Around the World (with Belts)

 

This is our public service announcement reminding you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Hopefully you have something nice already planned for the day (even if you’re single!), but if not, we’re here to help.

Since love makes the world go round, here are some of the different ways Valentine’s Day and love are celebrated across the globe (with some tangentially related belt content NATCH, because you’re on a blog about belts).

Slovenia
Slovenians believe that Valentine’s Day is the day that birds propose to one another. People must walk barefoot across frozen fields in order to observe the ceremony of birds. If you’re looking for a quirky, offbeat Valentine’s Day, maybe do as the Slovenians do and go birdwatching. But instead of walking barefoot on frozen ground, just wear the Basis as a nod to this icy tradition with its mellow blue hues.

Romania
Instead of Valentine’s Day, Romanians’ day of love is Dragobete. On February 24th (considered the first day of spring), girls will collect snow to use in magic potions meant to protect from illness and hard times for the rest of the year. As well, boys and girls will go into the forest to pick colorful flowers for each other. It should be noted that it is forbidden to sacrifice birds or other animals on this day— so don’t do that if you want a fruitful Dragobete. Brewing magic potions with your partner seems like a great bonding activity for Valentine’s Day, but for a more low-key Dragobetian celebration, a bouquet of fresh flowers will do the trick. And a colorful bouquet should be presented in your most colorful belt. Check out the vibrant colors of the Catalyst!

Ghana
In Ghana, Valentine’s Day shares its date with National Chocolate Day. In order to promote domestic tourism and the consumption of Ghanaian chocolate and cocoa-based products, citizens are encouraged to drink hot chocolate for breakfast instead of tea and to finish off dinner with a chocolate bar. Perhaps the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa could inspire you to have a multi-course chocolate feast: brownies, chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate fondue, chocolate ice cream, chocolate souffle, chocolate lava cake, chocolate milkshakes, and chocolatinis. And obviously you’ll want to wear a sweet accessory like our chocolate-colored Control.


Bulgaria
February 14th also marks St. Trifon’s Day in Bulgaria. As St. Trifon was the patron saint of winegrowers and winemakers, his holiday is celebrated by drinking lots of wine (and also making a special bread for some reason). You’ll probably want to skip fertilizing your vineyards’ soil with blessed wine, but for a Bulgarian-inspired Valentine’s Day date, going out for a fun wine tasting or a paint-and-sip class seems like a perfect way to spend time with someone you care about. And what’s the perfect accessory to wear while pounding back pinots? Probably the Quadrant, interwoven with lush burgundy strips.


South Korea
On Valentine’s Day, women in South Korea will give the men in their lives chocolate. White Day, on March 14th, is the day men return their affections with chocolates of their own. For the lonely singles who receive nothing on either of those days, there’s Black Day on April 14th. They gather to eat noodles in black bean sauce, all while dressed head-to-toe in black. So if Valentine’s Day is more like Singles Awareness Day for you, slap on the Wavelength in black, call up some close friends, and cry over some noodles together.

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Love, Match-ually


Looking for the right belt? I mean, the answer is always. But how do you decide which is the right belt for your outfit?

Old-school fashion mavens are adamant that the leather of your belt should match the leather of your shoes— so a brown leather belt for your brown leather shoes, or a black leather belt for your black leather shoes. Some very accommodating department stores will even offer a range of belts in the same colors as their lines of shoes, but matching your belt to your shoes exactly is only really necessary if you’re having a professional power-luncheon with a serious stickler for style etiquette (at which point, you should probably worry about matching the metal of your belt to the metal of your shoes as well).

It all boils down to color theory. If not adhering to strict matching, a “warm” color like brown can go with other browns or reds and creams, while a “cool” color like black would pair nicely with other blacks or grays and navies.

But fashion is all made-up anyway. You can wear anything as long as you wear it with the right amount of confidence. And Beltology is all about confidence. We’re all about bright colors and bold patterns— the fashion gods be damned. So here’s a list of other things you can match your belt to for maximal effect!


The sky
For when you’re feeling like a placid blue expanse of puffy cauliflower clouds. Or moody and overcast.

Your drink
For classy nights sipping a well-mixed White Russian.

A Mondrian painting
For the attention-seeking Modernist in you.


1

In the loop about "in the loop"


Your fun fact for the day: The phrase "in the loop" can trace its origins back over 150 years ago, when Theophilus Beltson first invented the belt in 1863. As the use of Beltson's newfangled invention surpassed in popularity the previous method of keeping pants from falling down— simply stapling one's shirt to their pants— "in the loop" made its way into the general lexicon. Only really cool people knew what belts were, so a person wearing pants with belt loops was said to be "in the loop," meaning they were highly knowledgeable about fashion trends.


We’re joking of course. No one knows where “in the loop” came from or what it means. Maybe some people know, but no one’s told us. There should really be a phrase for this kind of situation…


UPDATE:


We have been informed that the term originated in the 60s or 70s. It was potentially referencing aviation and aircraft control circuitry, regarding the pilot’s control over the autopilot. It could also have been derived from the military term “command-and-control feedback loop,” referring to the system of passing orders from officers to soldiers and status reports from soldiers to officers.

“In the loop” means being informed on a subject known to a select group of people. For example, if you’re “in the loop,” you should know that our Black Friday sale is fast approaching. Other things to loop you in on: our belts are stretchier and comfier than any other accessory you can wrap around your waist.

 
Stay in the loop by following us on Instagram!

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