The Best Black Belts That Go With Everything You Own

Your hunt is over: Best Stuff is GQ’s destination for finding the perfect version of whatever you need, like the ideal black belt for every occasion and outfit combination you can think of. Everything we endorse has been heavily researched and thoroughly tested. You can thank us later.

A good belt isn’t the sexiest thing in your wardrobe but, like nice underwear and deodorant, its a deal-sealer your style thrives on. Choose unwisely and you’ll look like an amateur. Or worse, like a guy who hasn’t stepped into the gym in a long time. To build a belt wardrobe that works hard for you—and we’re talking about three maybe four styles, max—stick with belts that are on the skinny side. Anything wider than an inch has a tendency to you look heavier and older than you deserve. Also, look for hardware that has personality without coming off like a costume department prop. If you’re into logo belts, more power to you, just make sure they aren’t your only move.

Because black goes with everything and brown is its own can of worms, here are our picks for the best black belts money can buy. Whether you hunt down these specific styles or use these picks as a field guide of sorts is up to you. Just don’t ignore them completely. If 2017 taught us anything it’s that no one wants to date the guy who doesn’t know how to keep his pants on.

The Boots-to-Suit Belt

J.Crew leather plaque belt

>Visit JCrew.com for similar styles (or try Ralph Lauren’s engine-turned leather belt, $125, available at Ralph Lauren).

A plaque buckle belt is a preppy staple but you need not worship at the alter of boat shoes in order to rotate one into your wardrobe. We love it because it looks tidy even when you’re packing extra weight, and that it goes with everything in your wardrobe, from denim and chinos to your slim-cut suits. J.Crew’s antiqued buckle has a bit more personality than your average slider, giving tailored looks subtle cowboy vibes without taking things too far off topic.

The Confident Belt

Tod’s crocodile leather belt

>Visit Tods.com for similar styles (or try Saint Laurent’s crocodile leather belt, $375, available at Farfetch).

If you have the scratch, a shiny black crocodile belt will pump up every outfit in your closet whether it’s black jeans and a black T-shirt or a bold-color suit. Exceedingly elegant and highly confident, it’s proof that a belt can do a lot more than simply blend into your outfit. We love Tods just-flashy-enough spin on the style, but you can find different takes from the luxury brand of your choice. Just be sure to go with one that has an understated buckle and relatively thin width. You’re going for swaggy rich-guy not flashy drug lord.

The Skinny Rocker Belt

Saint Laurent buckled belt

This is the ultimate skinny belt from the brand that made guys want all things skinny all over again. If you wear more denim than tailoring and lean more rock ‘n’ roll rebel than heritage bro, this is your perfect belt. We like the fact that it has quite a bit of hardware spread out along the length of the belt, almost like studs on a biker jacket. This subtle detail does a good job of edging up everything you wear it with, even if that’s just a simple white t-shirt and jeans.

The Swanky European Belt

Burberry trench leather belt

This belt hits all the marks of the others on this list, but comes in a textured linear leather that you’re not going to find anywhere else. It’s a small touch, but one that stands out when paired with a Prince of Wales check suit or a pair of twill chinos and a sweater. The gold buckle meanwhile, only adds to the special, dressed up vibe. When your fit just isn’t poppin’, try this belt on for size and you just might find that it does the trick. Think of it like the stylish man’s version of red lipstick.

The Totally Uncomplicated Belt

CB Made in Italy by Ceclilia Bringheli “Semplice” black leather belt

Leave it to the Italians to know their way around a streamlined belt. From the buttery soft leather that’s just shiny enough, to the square buckle and contrast stitching around the edges, this is the belt you’ll never have to question. Not when you’re getting ready for work at 5am, not when you’re getting ready for a date with The One, not when you’re about to network the living daylights out of someone. Like a best friend, it’s always got your back. Or, uh, your drawers.

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