Few things frustrate like giving a honed outfit the once-over and discovering it doesn’t quite click. The jacket’s tailored, sits snug against your shoulders and nips in at your waist. The shirt and tie offer a subtle contrast in texture, but reflect your tailoring’s dominant shade to pull your upper-body together.
Down below, the trousers are cut slim but not skinny and break on your laces, which are woven through the eyelets of shoes handmade in Northampton, then polished until they shimmer.
The accessories, perhaps? It can’t be the bag, a lovingly worn leather holdall, that matches your brogues but just a shade darker. Definitely not your watch; there’s nowhere a vintage Submariner jars.
It’s the belt. It’s always the belt. Either you’re wearing a sliver of spaghetti-thin black leather, designed to entwine Latin hips as they sashay across St Peter’s Square. Or it’s a hunk of hide that looks as bad with denim or mohair, fastened by a buckle better suited to strapping planes to an aircraft carrier than keeping your suit trousers up. It’s time to finally realise that you’re not a cowboy.
So instead of threading on an afterthought if you notice your trousers sagging, take a leaf from the fairer sex. Their belts rarely serve the original brief, loosely looped as they are outside a dress to accentuate a waist, instead of pinching fabric. But in their absence of function, form plays a key role.
Women understand that a belt isn’t simply a way to avoid flashing your underwear, but an accessory that can add to (or detract from) your look, just as your watch has a role beyond marking minutes.
So bin battered leather that looks like it should be being scrapped over by dogs in an alleyway, and lace something more refined through your trouser loops. Something that elevates, rather than drags down precisely what it holds up.
A Brydon Brothers belt indicates that you’re a man who understands the importance of details. As its moniker suggests, the brand was founded by a quartet of siblings who decided that belts deserved upgrading from impulse purchase to a piece that makes a subtle statement.
Its first collection, the Kingsland range, is designed in Britain and handmade from webbing and full grain leather, which means it will develop a unique patina with every wear. Precisely the kind of extra detail that will set off any outfit.
This hard-wearing fabric is a better match to winter tailoring than leather, since the matte finish sits better with cold-weather textiles like flannel (the same reason you’ve shuttered up those silk ties for the darker months).
A woven belt is more practical, too. Since it fastens through the fabric it’s endlessly adjustable, rather than relying on where the holes are punched. Helpful for weathering first festive guttony, then the ensuing detox.
Every belt comes packaged in Brydon Brothers’ signature wooden case, which keeps it safe from scuffs while travelling and makes for much more interesting storage than simply stuffing in a drawer or – even worse – leaving to linger in the trousers you last took off.
The Brydon Brothers Kingsland range is available now from brydonbrothers.com, priced from £55