Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
If I’m perfectly honest, I am far more likely to wear natural, brown, or burgundy leather belts than black. It’s just so hard to look past a beautifully patinated belt and grab a black one that looks more or less the same regardless of wear.
That said, if I want to dress in a more understated way the black belt it is. There a seemingly endless number of belts out there, but we’ve selected some of the best choices for when you want your fit to be incognito.
1) Billykirk: Mechanics Belt
We’ve talked about it before and we’ll likely talk about it again: Billykirk’s Mechanics Belt is the minimalist dresser’s dream. Originally designed for people working in auto shops, this belt features a second strip of leather that passes over the buckle to prevent it from scratching the car paint when you have to reach across the hood. While I’m sure it does that job really well, this made-in-the-USA belt does just as great a job at keeping your pants up while drawing as little attention as possible.
Available for $99 from Billykirk.
2) Vintage Works: Handmade Leather Belt
If you want a more traditional belt that’s still understated, then look no further than Vintage Works’ Handmade Leather Belt. It’s all black, with a gunmetal finished buckle that keeps everything looking as clean as can be. It’s outfitted with five teardrop-shaped holes, which gives a decent range of sizing and prevents the leather from getting bends after being buckled for an extended period of time.
Available for $165 from Denimio.
3) Kika NY: S 1.5″
If the Vintage Works belt wasn’t quite minimalist enough for you, then Kika NY might be closer to what you’re after. While they offer a ton of belts that fit the bill, their S 1.5″ is among the most attractive with its antique brass, S-shaped buckle, beautifully curved end, and handstitched buckle attachment. Though a lot of simple belts go below the standard 1.5-inch casual belt width, the unique shape of the buckle allows this belt to maintain the full width without appearing overly cumbersome.
Available for $135 from Kika NY.
4) Maximum Henry: Slim Loop Ring Belt
Maximum Henry is another great brand that has a wide range of pared-down belts, but their Slim Loop Ring Belt is one of the neatest. The closure keeps it simple with one ring and one press stud, giving you maximum security with minimal hardware. This one is a bit thinner than many other casual belts at only 1″ wide, but it certainly fits the style that MH is going for. While I’m not sure I could get used to such a simple, thin belt as my daily driver, it’s a great piece.
Available for $115 from Totokaelo.
5) Miansai: Black Leather Belt
You might already know Miansai for their beautiful mixed leather/textile belts, their Black Leather Belt is possibly even better looking. It’s simple, features leather with a great texture, and the unique noir buckle really sets it apart from the competition. This one is complete with a diagonally cut strap end that, at least in my mind, makes it even sleeker. While I can’t really suggest that you get another colorway given the subject matter of this list, I would be remiss If I didn’t point out that they offer a wide range of other leather and textile colors as well.
Available for $115 from Miansai.
Plus One – Grovemade: Minimalist Black Leather Belt
Grovemade is a brand you might not have heard of before, but once you see their Minimalist Black Leather Belt you’re sure to remember them for the future. With its unique slide-through notched buckle designed, this belt is both unique and simplistic, which puts it in a rare category all its own. Available with two strap colors and two buckle colors, you can pick up a single strap and buckle or get a pack containing both straps and buckles for optimal selection. Regardless of which you end up buying, when you want to go minimal I’m sure you’ll be reaching for the black belt and matching buckle.
Available for $100 from Grovemade.