The focal point of any belt is the belt buckle. It is the first thing that people will notice. The belt buckle can be used to show your unique personality, your personal taste and even artistic inclination. There are several styles of belt buckles - from the simple, serviceable one to the most intricate, personally-designed one. Some people do not care what type the belt buckle is. They are more concerned with how secure the buckle will keep the belt. Belt buckles are made from different materials - pewter, silver, gold, stainless steel, alloys, copper and bronze, even plastic.
Buckles come in several types. One is the tang buckle, which is the most basic buckle type. The tang is the piece of metal that you push through one of the holes in the belt. Another type is the snap buckle which are usually made of plastic and commonly seen on women’s belts. This operates like the modern snaps used in backpacks which consist of two pieces, one hollow piece and the other with one or two prongs that you push into the other until the prongs snap into place. Catch release is found on the sides. Most western belts use the clip style buckle. The buckle is attached to one end of the belt and the opposite end is inserted through the back of the buckle and secured with a magnetic clip or a spring. This ensures that you can have an unhindered view of the whole buckle.
When it comes to choosing buckles, there are still some rules to follow.
- The size of your belt buckle should correspond to your body size. Choose a small buckle if you have a small frame. Likewise, a small buckle will look disproportionate on a big and wide frame. You should also choose the right buckle size that will fit your belt snugly and securely. You can consult a sizing chart from the buckle shop.
- Get a belt buckle that can be adjusted to make your belt fit just right. The tang and clip buckles are examples of this.
- Choose a belt buckle based on how and when you are going to use it. Get a simple and classic design for everyday use - something you can use for semi-formal and casual wear. Have a special one in silver or gold finish that you can use for formal and special occasions.
- Do not get a belt buckle that is too ornately designed unless you are an artist. There will be very limited occasions where you can use this type of belt.
- A western belt buckle is suited for casual and informal wear, with jeans and western-styled shirts.
- Do not buy a belt buckle that is too shiny. It distracts people and can appear garish and in poor taste.
- Vintage belt buckles made of pewter with designs and engravings of beautiful ladies and butterflies and designs that evoke images of Spain and Mexico are making a comeback. You can consider getting one of these vintage belt buckles if you have opportunities to display it. They are quite expensive too since most of those that are available are from the 1900s.
Find a belt buckle that will complement most of your wardrobe items and your personality. It is fun to wear a unique piece once in a while when the occasion merits it but fashionable classic designs should be a mainstay in your accessory drawer.