Belts: Form, function or both? Belts can hold up your pants while adding a fashion statement that can make or break your outfit – especially at the office. But what about belt buckles? Overrated or underrated? When it comes to types of belt buckles, I’ve broken down the top eight categories to help you decide which one is right for you, whether it’s for a night out with the guys, a hot date or your next big meeting.
1. Prong or Tongue Buckles
When you picture a belt buckle, chances are you imagine a prong (also called a tongue) buckle.
Prong buckles are considered frame-style buckles. They’re usually used with leather belts but are popular on web belts and fabric belts. The buckle’s prong is the metal pin you insert into a belt hole for proper fit. You then push the belt’s tip under the buckle and the buckle loop(s) to secure it.
You can choose single, double or even triple prong buckles. The number of prongs you choose is a matter of personal preference. Double and triple prong buckles are sturdy but can be kind of a pain to fasten, honestly. Multiple-prong belts are also wider and have a unique look.
2. Ratchet Buckles
If you hate the look of prong belts, a ratchet belt may be up your alley. Ratchet belts are common formal belts and have a smooth, sleek appearance. You slide the belt into the buckle, and the ratchet belt auto-locks. Then you lift the buckle and pull the belt to release – easy on, easy off.
3. No-Buckle Belts
Do you love classic belt styles, but aren’t a fan of the buckles themselves? How about skipping belt buckles altogether? Like these ones made by BeltBro, no-buckle belts enable you the security of a belt without the hassle of buckling and unbuckling. I’m a fan of these easy-to-use belts because they’re versatile and go well with a bunch of outfits.
4. Pin or Anchor Buckles
Similar in outward appearance to a ratchet buckle, a pin buckle functions a bit differently. After sliding your belt into the buckle, you push the top down so that a notched pin hooks through one of the belt holes and snaps into place.
5. Reversible Buckles
Get more bang for your buck by buying two belts for the price of one! Reversible belts are often black on one side and brown on the other for maximum versatility.
6. Military and Tactical Buckles
Military and tactical buckles don’t have holes or prongs. Each type of fastener is slightly different, but both buckle styles are fully adjustable and hold the belt securely.
With a military belt, you slide the belt strap through the buckle to fasten it, then push buttons on both sides to release and unthread the belt from the buckle.
Tactical belts are threaded through the belt buckle on both sides and tightened as desired. Then, you unfasten the buckle with quick-release buttons on each side, so you never have to unthread the belt through the buckle again.
7. D-Ring and O-Ring Buckles
Ring buckles also fasten without prongs or holes and are suitable for a casual outfit. They have double loops often shaped like the letters “D” or “O.” You pull the belt through both loops, then double-back and pull the belt under just one loop to secure.
8. Plate Buckles
What do cowboys, bikers, and Howard Wolowitz have in common? Plate buckles have three hook clasps; two on one end of the belt and the third on the other end. Plate buckles are old-school and awesome if you’re ready to make a statement.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to make your belt a fashion accessory – but you don’t want to look like a dork, either.
Want to know more about belts? Make sure to check out the site for more great tips, like 9 Types of Belts and How to Style Them. Or, go belt-free with 7 Belt Alternatives: What Can I Use Instead Of A Belt?
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