The Problem with Belts
Earlier this summer, I purchased a new belt and it broke down in less than a couple months. It was a faux leather belt, but it was still about $45, which is too much to pay for something that wouldn't even be considered wearable in professional situations within a matter of a couple weeks.
To start with, the material it was made with became heavily creased within a couple days. The holes also started to stretch and tear a bit. The finish on the outside strips of material had started chipping off just a few days into it's life as well. The seams along the sides then wore away within a couple weeks. At this point in time, I can see the thick middle strip of material separated from the outside two strips with the faux leather finish.
I started to only use it with casual outfits when it wouldn't be seen, but at this point the buckle is detaching from the rest of the belt and its time to put it to rest. I needed to get a new belt and I had some questions in mind.
Our Questions about Belts
- How long is a reasonable amount of time that I should expect a leather belt to last
- What price should I pay for a quality belt that will last that long
- Are there any materials I should be on the lookout for besides leather
- Are there any ways to take care of my belts so that they last longer and stay in better condition
- Is there a certain number of belts that I should have in my rotation
- Which style of belts last longer
These questions warrant a sizable amount of information, and it's going to be divided into multiple parts. But the first thing I'd like to tackle is...
How long should I expect a belt to last?
Now the first thing to address with this question is that it's correlated to the amount of money you spend. Obviously if you spend $150 on a nice leather belt, you'd expect it to last longer than one that cost $40 right? But how far (or rather, how long) should I expect my dollar to go in either scenario?
The lifetime of a belt depends on the material of the belt, and whether or not the belt buckle is made from solid metal or it has a plated finish. We'll keep the scope of this post limited to belts made from leather. So if you were to use the same leather belt every day, then it should last for several months to around a year before it has become too worn or creased to wear to work.
If your belt is stitched, it will be more durable than one that is only glued. If there's a lack of stitching, the belt will separate more easily, just like what happened to mine.
So there you go. The belt I bought was nowhere near a year, or even a month for that matter. Now I got to (get to*) buy a new belt soon. We'll be posting an answer to another one of these questions in a couple of days, so stay tuned for that! If you have any recommendations of quality belt manufacturers, then feel free to leave them in the comments below for our other readers.