20 Types of Belts – Be Aware of Fashion!

In this post we've picked the most popular types of belts and buckles used today - from classic one-buckle belts to sash and embellished ones.
Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
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Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 21, 2023
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When the word belt is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a leather strap with a buckle at the head for fastening around the waist. This conventional or classic image of a belt is still trendy in today’s world, but fashion has evolved to accommodate many more types of belts.

The evolution from the conventional belt doesn’t just stop in the number of belts that exist but also in the materials they are being made from. Gone are the days when belts were being made from leather alone. Now, belts are also made from materials such as cloth, metals, canvas etc.

Another way in which belts differ is in their very nature. Whereas they mostly used to be a functional part of a man’s dressing, they have outgrown this usage to become functional accessories and fashion items.

Common belt styles

As implied, there are many types of belts around today, and they fit into many outfits differently. Many of these belt styles also come with their manufacturing difficulties. For instance, a leather belt might need a sewing machine suitable for leather work, just like the Juki TL-2010Q portable sewing machine, which many users have applauded as being durable and ideal for both beginners and experts alike.

When selecting belts that are not be made from leather, their durability should also be important and not just their attractiveness. This is especially noteworthy when the wearer is not versed in repairing belts or willing to purchase new belts regularly. This is the case with fabric belts which require sewing machines to stitch and adjust and hand sewing needles if the adjustments are to be made by hand. A reliable hand sewing needle of renowned durability is the Tulip needle set, which comes with a separate set of needles for embroidery, sewing etc.

The above are just some of many considerations that go into producing the numerous belt styles in use. The most fashion conscious of us is usually well aware of this in our decision making.

Buckle belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!These types of belts mostly follow the design of the conventional belt. They usually consist of straps made from leather, fabric or plastic and a buckle used to hold it in place.

D-ring belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A D-ring belt is similar to a military belt and may be used as such. It usually has two D-shaped rings at one end that can be used to fasten it. As such, the D-ring belt doesn’t have a buckle or clasp, and though it can be worn by females too, it doesn’t do as good a job as the military belts at flattering the body shape.  To use the belt, you thread the other end through the rings, going over the closest ring and under the second one.

Suspender belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Once upon a time, these were the height of men belt fashion. Now, they make an excellent retro fashion accessory and have become unisex. They are rocked by women who wish to hold up their shorts, pants or even skirts. They are fashionable because they need no strap around the waist; all necessary are stretchy straps worn over the shoulders and fitted to hold up the trousers or skirt at the waist.

Skinny knot belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A skinny knot belt is usually a relatively thin belt that is knotted at the front to fasten. It is so-called because of the use of a knot as a fastening mechanism and the fact that the width of the belt strap is skinny compared to other belt types.


20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This is a wide sash worn around the waist along with tuxedoes or single-breasted dinner jackets. Such a belt is worn around the real waist region and over the shirt. It should be noted that not all formal suits require a cummerbund, though. The use of one is also often accompanied by the use of a bow tie.

Military belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!These are neutral-colored belts made from nylon webbing and without holes in their straps. They usually have metal or plastic buckles to fasten them. Military belts are mostly made for men, but they could help to emphasize the waist of a woman and are a good way to make a bold fashion statement.

Metal belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Metal belts are either made of chains or are fastened with chains. The metal segment of this belt is usually made from metals such as silver or gold because they are usually used to confer sophistication and extravagant beauty to an outfit. It is most common to see them used with formal gowns or wedding gowns.

Hip belts

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Hip belts are worn below the waist, usually to emphasize the torso and waist movement. As such, they are used for belly dancing. They can be made from leather and be heavily embellished, or they could be made from fabric.

Yoke belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A yoke belt is a belt that is designed to extend towards the hip when worn. This influences the name of the belt as it is similar to the yoke of a skirt. It helps to accentuate the body shape while supporting loose clothing as needed.

Cinch belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A cinch belt can be made of silicone, leather, canvas or fabric. It is usually fastened using a clasp or buckle, and it serves to accentuate the waist relative to the hips. Thus, the waist appears smaller, giving the wearer an hourglass shape. These belts are usually a one size fits all type of belt covering a wide range of sizes.

Lace-up belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Unlike most belts, these are fastened by drawstrings or eyelets. They are used to mimic retro fashion and are suitable for casual wear.

Corset style belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!The belt is designed to resemble the corsets of old, but rather than being worn underneath heavy dresses, and they are used over shirts. They also help to accentuate the shape of the body and are laced uptight as a result.

Sash belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This is a type of belt that consists simply of a piece of fabric that is tied around the waist. It is a female type of belt, and the owner may place the knot wherever they wish and fasten the belt anyhow they prefer.

Obi belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!The obi belt mostly resembles belts worn with the Japanese kimono. You wrap the belt around the waist twice or more, as you may prefer, and knot it is a traditional knot or bow.

Braided belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!These are belts that have been made out of pieces of leather or fabric (mostly leather) that have been braided together. They are casual belts that could serve both men and women alike in different designs.

Garter belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Many do not regard this as a type of belt nowadays, but they are a sensual one. Rather than serving as belts for the waist, garter belts are bets for the stockings. They are fastened around the waist and clipped to stockings to hold them up. As such, the stockings do not require pulling now and then to stay up.

Peplum belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This sort of belt can be used with pencil skirts (to resemble peplum skirts), skinny jeans and even leggings. They emphasize the waist and flatter the figure of the wearer.

Reversible belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A reversible belt is a sort of budget belt. This is so because it consists of a strap with different colors and maybe different designs on both sides. Such a belt also comes with a rotatable buckle that allows the side to be changed at will. Possessing such a belt is thus as good as having two different belts.

Twisted belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This type of belt is usually made of leather and may or may not have a buckle. However, it possesses two intersecting loops that are suitable for casual outfits and occasions.

Embellished belt

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This refers to belts that are embellished in one way or the other. Most of these embellishments are usually on the belt strap, and they can come in various ways. Some belts are embroidered by hand, studded with metals and rhinestones or possessing belt holes that have been decorated/reinforced with grommets.

Types of buckles

The classic belt that first comes to mind at the mention of the accessory usually comes with a buckle for fastening it. But, other belts may also come with buckles too, and though they might seem like a merely functional addition, there are some style angles to be considered in selecting a buckle. As such, to avoid a misstep, knowing the type of buckle that is appropriate for your outfit is an important aspect of picking a belt.

Single buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!A single buckle, as the name implies, is just one buckle on a belt. In a classic belt, it is attached to the belt properly. While it is usually made of metal and is usually gray, it can also be made of plastic and many different colors.

Double buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This consists of two buckles fitted facing each other on the belt or placed one above the other. It is popular in certain types of female belts and is suitable for casual and semi-casual settings as it is for formal occasions.

T-lock buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!This is another buckle that is found on female belts. The buckle is usually made from steel or copper, and it has an automatic, t-shaped lock. It is mostly an accessory for casual outfits and wouldn’t do so well in formal settings.

Horseshoe buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!These are belt buckles shaped in the form of a horseshoe as a style statement. If you reside in areas where this is fashionable, or you are looking to make a certain statement, this might be a potential choice.

Horse-bit buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Just like the horseshoe buckle, this is good for the rugged cowboy look as well. It is mainly made from steel or copper and could be rocked by females as well, in the right setting and outfit.

Embossed buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!Embossed buckles are quite popular, and they go with a variety of outfits. They can be made from brass steel or zinc and can be used by females to enhance the beauty of otherwise plain dresses.

Jeweled buckle

20 Types of Belts - Be Aware of Fashion!These are usually embellished with stones or diamonds but may also be made from precious metals. They are great buckles that, when coupled with the right outfit, could confer a look of sophistication and good taste.


How do I determine belt size?

A simple way to determine belt size employed by many people is to add a couple of inches (maybe two or three) to your normal trouser size.

How long should a good belt last?

This depends on the material the belt is made of and how regularly the belt is used.  A belt made with inferior leather and used daily cannot last as long as a quality leather belt used once a month. The only advice is to maintain your belt well and use it correctly. If the belt is truly good, it should last at least a year.

Final thoughts

Just as belts are expanding in function and fashion relevance, the fashion of beltless pants is also catching up. However, a key reason for this catch up is that many are eager to shun belts due to discomfort or, in most cases, ignorance as to how these accessories can improve an outfit and the general appearance.

In this article alone, insight has been given on types of belts that could emphasize the body figure, add a bit youthful flair to a person’s dressing or enhance the sensual flavor of an outfit.

In this way, the functions of belts are endless, and so is their style effect. Be sure to choose wisely, as this can go a long way in determining the fashion statement you are making.

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