If you’re a stylish gent, (and since you’re reading this we’re assuming you are or are at least on your way) you’ve no doubt probably seen conflicting information out there about whether or not you should be wearing a belt with your suit. And while it may seem contradictory to the general basics of your pants-wearing skills, it’s a fair question with some historical merit. So let’s dive in and then render a verdict.
As we mentioned, this basic idea has some background in sartorial history. Back in the day, when suits were the uniform of choice for most men almost all the time, suit trousers were made without belt loops and featured adjustable tabs at the hips to accommodate the waist. This tradition really started with custom and bespoke suiting as a tailor’s feature and gradually fell out of favor as suits became more and more mass-produced and styles changed. Belts trickled up from casual wear into formal wear and the waist tabs were relegated to a custom tailoring detail. Fast forward to today as traditional suiting styles became more popular again, and style icons of the past gained prominence, many gents have begun foregoing the belt as a nod to these rakish vibes from the past with the idea that the belt upsets the clean lines and uninterrupted look of a well-tailored suit.
But the reality is, unless you’re getting a custom suit with waist pull tabs, (which is definitely a cool detail we highly recommend) your suit has belt loops. It goes without saying that your pants should fit you well enough that a belt isn’t strictly necessary to hold those bad boys up and prevent some sort of weird, unintentional flashing incident on the subway platform, but also, the belt will keep your pants at your waist and will look more natural with your suit that has belt loops.
If your suit pants have belt loops, wear a belt. That’s where we stand. To be fair though, if you’re so inclined, a good tailor can remove belt loops and add in waist tabs for a reasonable cost. But just forgoing the suit and leaving those loops empty not only leaves the suit looking unfinished, it can cause your trousers to sag unnecessarily, neither of which are a good look.