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Why spend a lot on a belt? All belts look the same to me.

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
A belt seems to be one of the more unnoticed parts of an outfit, so it doesn't seem like money well spent. Exposed contrast stitching can distinguish a belt. Suede can. Otherwise, dress belts all look the same to me...boring and black, brown, etc. What am I missing? What's the difference b/w a $20 belt and a $100+ belt? Can someone post some compare/contrasts ? I really would like to know if I am overlooking something. And I don't need to buy a $100 belt b/c it lasts longer. When I was younger, I had a $10 Syms belts last me 5-10 years, with daily use. Thanks.
post #2 of 124
:crickets:
post #3 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
A belt seems to be one of the more unnoticed parts of an outfit, so it doesn't seem like money well spent. Exposed contrast stitching can distinguish a belt. Suede can. Otherwise, dress belts all look the same to me...boring and black, brown, etc. What am I missing? What's the difference b/w a $20 belt and a $100+ belt? Can someone post some compare/contrasts ? I really would like to know if I am overlooking something. And I don't need to buy a $100 belt b/c it lasts longer. When I was younger, I had a $10 Syms belts last me 5-10 years, with daily use. Thanks.

Sounds like u got it all figured out; I been on this for a while now, get my belts at banana republic on sale and have not looked back.
post #4 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
. What's the difference b/w a $20 belt and a $100+ belt? Can someone post some compare/contrasts ?

They do last longer. Usually a good belt is made of superior products whereas cheap ones are made of everything from paper products, to corrected grain leather. I have an old Giorgio Armani belt that has outlasted many "cheaper" belts. Just about everything about it is better, the leather, the buckle, the finish. Hell I feel better putting that belt on over a piece of crap made by Kennith Cole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
. And I don't need to buy a $100 belt b/c it lasts longer. I can just as well buy five $20 belts,

This argument could be made about anything that we buy. Why buy a pair of Edward Greens when you can buy a pair 50 pairs of walmart shoes? Why buy a good watch when a quartz timex is more accurate? It has to do with appreciating quality.
post #5 of 124
Thread Starter 
If the dress belts look identical, I will chose the $20 cheap one, and replace/pay as I go. Time value of money. However, if they indeed look different, can someone show pictures of how/why a $100 dress belt looks better?
post #6 of 124
Buy the $300 Ferragamo belt with the matching $500 Ferragamo jooz shooz and you'll know why.
post #7 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
If the dress belts look identical, I will chose the $20 cheap one, and replace/pay as I go. Time value of money. However, if they indeed look different, can someone show pictures of how/why a $100 dress belt looks better?

i agree with your general principle; the value-to-cost-curve flattens out a lot faster for a belt than it does for, say, a suit. nevertheless, there are definitely differences in the suppleness of the leather, its durability, how fast the holes wear out, how long it will take for the nasty coating on the buckle of a cheap belt starts chipping away, etc. these are all things you will see on a $20 belt bought at target, but very late, or not at all, on a $150+ belt.

then, of course, there is the value that you place on people seeing that you're wearing a ferragamo belt, discreetly branded, vs. a brandless one.

there is marginal added value to going for a $300 belt vs. a $150 one, but there is a very definite difference in quality between a $150 one and a $50 one. your call as to whether the subtle differences that exist -- as well as the very real differences in durability and the belt's ability to age gracefully -- warrant that premium...

in some ways this reminds me of an almost identical recent SF discussion on watches -- another item where the value-to-cost curve (in strictly product terms) flattens out quickly, and where price premium is paid primarily for internal architectural complexity, "mechanical authenticity" and brand.
post #8 of 124
There's really not as much difference. I look for belts made of good leather that won't crack, deform, or stretch over time. As a result, my favourite belts that I own happen to be a Cole Haan and a Joseph Abboud that I got at a Marshalls for under $20. I also won't feel as bad when I have to eventually replace it, but they have lasted me awhile and show almost no signs of wear. I doubt spending 10x more would yield even 5x better results. The shoe argument is unfair because there are lots more details in a pair of shoes, and better construction clearly pays off at least correspondingly to the price point.
post #9 of 124
People in the know recognize the Ferragamo Gancini buckle logo. The "H" of the Hermes belt is also quite distinctive. And so are the many variations on the "G" of Gucci.


I don't see Walmart doing that.
post #10 of 124
To me it is not just about how it may look better but your own appreciation for the belt: the quality, the workmanship etc. I know people who buy high quality $200 copy watches since they "look" the same as the real thing (especially without close scrutiny) at a fraction of the price. Well, there are people who don't have appreciation for quality and subscribe to a throwaway mentality. That's OK too but not easily combined with style.

I'd personally feel unsatisfied with a cheap belt. I have belts from a.testoni, JM Weston, Dunhill; they are expensive but the quality is obvious and it would be awful to go back to the mass produced $20 belt from a Chinese sweat shop.
post #11 of 124
fwiw, Martin Dingman belts have been one of the biggest surprises of my sartorial adventures. Extremely durable, the exotics are on par with some of the best Ive seen, and I got my deerskin and leather versions for $50-$100, exotics (which would normally retail $800+) for about $150-$200.
post #12 of 124
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. Lee, I avoid logos of any kind. Sorry if that sounds elitist. While I eschew "exotic" leathers , I do understand why they are expensive. (supply/demand) (I dress preppy/conservatively, and "skins" are reminiscent of "cowboys" to me) I paid a premium for a colorful suede belt with contrast stitching. And, I am gladly going to spring for this $100 "antiqued" belt b/c the style is so distinctive. This I can justify. Easily. http://www.forzieri.com/usa/product_...valore5=#image However, I refused to spend more than $10-$15 for my basic black dress belt, and am none the wiser. (All look the same to me) It's invisible. Which led me to the question, "Who would buy a $100 plain brown belt that looked identical to a $20 Target belt?" Durability is not enough. Can anyone care to post pics of expensive belts, and tell me what to notice?
post #13 of 124
The same reason people spend $40+ on socks.
post #14 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
A belt seems to be one of the more unnoticed parts of an outfit, so it doesn't seem like money well spent. Exposed contrast stitching can distinguish a belt. Suede can. Otherwise, dress belts all look the same to me...boring and black, brown, etc. What am I missing? What's the difference b/w a $20 belt and a $100+ belt? Can someone post some compare/contrasts ? I really would like to know if I am overlooking something. And I don't need to buy a $100 belt b/c it lasts longer. When I was younger, I had a $10 Syms belts last me 5-10 years, with daily use. Thanks.

U R a genius, U gotit all figgered out, so stop posting new threadz. plz thx
post #15 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
However, I refused to spend more than $10-$15 for my basic black dress belt, and am none the wiser. (All look the same to me) It's invisible.

Which led me to the question, "Who would buy a $100 plain brown belt that looked identical to a $20 Target belt?" Durability is not enough.

Can anyone care to post pics of expensive belts, and tell me what to notice?

If a $10 belt looks the same to you as a high quality belt, why would you pay more?

I also don't understand why you are comparing with cheap $100 belts? I haven't seen a belt priced at $100 that I would be happy with.
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