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Ok. I'm going to vent to you about something.
At first, it might sound strange because it's something you don't normally hear a lot of complaints about. But hear me out:
I have problems… with my belt. That's right. I've got
Now, we all know that men are creatures of functionality. Even when it comes to fashion, those of us who are more aesthetically discerning and care about presentation would still feel much better about wearing something that truly WORKS – even better if we know it's working optimally.
This is why I've always felt that there are fundamental design flaws in the common belt. Take our average belt. You know, your good old fashioned tongue-buckle with five holes in the strap. Aside from the fact that we only get five size increments, we can only adjust our belt in whole inches.
Why do I care about this? Because different types of pants require a tighter or looser belt to accommodate the type of material they're made out of. Linen shorts need a tighter belt. Thick selvedge denim needs a looser one.
On top of that, my waist is in constant flux – and not just over the long-term – I'm talking day-to-day, even within the day. And I know I'm not the only one. I don't care how clean you eat or how well tailored your pants are – even 007 has to loosen his belt a little on cheat day.
With time and overuse, our belt will inevitably develop a perforation where it bends around the buckle. And since I'm a person who likes to eat lunch, I vacillate between 2 different holes, so I end up with a corrugated pair of creases.
It all makes you wonder why there aren't more micro-adjustable belt options out there, especially in a world of functionally-minded men who are increasingly conscious about a more personal fit.
By the way – when I say “micro-adjustable”, I mean a belt that can be fastened at much closer intervals than the standard inch. Micro-adjustability is certainly not a new thing, but until recently it's only been possible with either a ratchet buckle or a braided strap. I personally love the clean, casual look of a good ratchet belt, but they can be limiting. The traditional ratchet buckle works by clamping down on an ultra-durable cloth material (which you can't exactly pair with your favorite suit). Also, since they're usually one-size-fits-all, I end up with way too much excess strap hanging off to the side.
Braided belts are difficult to find, and they're not so versatile either. Personally, I prefer the look of a regular belt anyway. But even with a regular notch belt in a size 30, I don't always land on just the right amount of excess. Ideally, the belt excess ends up just past that first belt loop. Any longer, and you end up with something like this:
At StyleCon this year, we came across a company that addresses these (and other) belt anxieties. They're called Anson Belt & Buckle, and they make micro-adjustable belts fastened with tiny grooves on a hidden track. There are no holes – so in addition to a cleaner look, you don't get that perforated wear and tear. Their belts also allow for over 30 micro-adjustments, spaced a quarter of an inch apart. That makes for a much more precise fit (before and after lunch).
There are other track belts on the market, but here's how Anson is different: All of their buckles and straps are detachable, allowing you to create your own belt combination. Ever have a belt with the perfect strap color but wish the buckle better matched the metal detail on your shoes or watch? Not a problem anymore. This mix-and-match feature is also economical – with Anson's “Gift Box” option, you get to choose 3 buckles and 2 straps (or vice-versa, equating to 6 different belt combinations) for $99.95. They use full-grain leather (the highest quality type of leather) and they also have cloth and canvas options too.
Their “trim-to-fit” feature is probably my favorite. All their straps come extra long, so there's no need to choose a size. This is good news for me since it's hard to find belts in size 30 and under. All you do is cut off the excess leather with a pair of scissors to fit your exact waist (but don't worry, the trimmed end is what attaches to the buckle). Check out this video I made of the process:
The guys at Anson Belt & Buckle believe in their product so much that they offer a lifetime guarantee on everything. If anything happens to the functionality of your belt, they'll repair or replace it for free for the life that you have it. It's as simple as a guarantee gets – no fine print, no strings attached.
I still got 99 problems, but a belt ain't one.
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