question: going belt-less

a few answers to questions from some readers, email questions to

is wearing a suit without a belt a style faux pas?

my best answer is 'no, unless'
today, i wore a suit with no belt and i'd like to think i looked fine - the trick is to go belt-less on purpose, not because you don't have a belt handy. the general rule is that less belt means more casual, but the bigger rule is to only wear one or two things that really stand out or you risk looking like you're trying too hard. if you have some detail like bold socks, or suede saddle shoes and a cotton suit, consider going belt-less to keep things in check.

in my opinion, this a great example of when not to wear a belt. the pocket circle, bold socks, white-bottomed loafers, and chambray shirt give this look plenty. here, no belt compliments the look by keeping things simple.

so no, you don't have to wear a belt, as is displayed above, unless the occasion calls for it like in a more formal setting. in truth, i almost never go without a belt, because even when you're trying for a more casual look, there's often a belt for that. instead of going without a belt, i would say sport a cotton webbing belt or woven leather for a more casual look. but never go belt-less if you want to look nice e.g. a formal dinner, job interview, or your wedding.
those are occasions where a slim shiny belt with polished shoes just frankly looks better.

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