Alligator Belts - Always Appropriate?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JCM, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. JCM

    JCM Senior member

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    It's nice to be back on SF...

    I'm about to order a "chocolate brown" alligator belt with a nickel buckle, but want to be sure before I spend the money ($165 + shipping) that it will be versatile/dressy enough to wear with anything, from suits to casual Fridays. I plan to wear the belt with Chestnut C&J shoes, specifically the Chelsea and Belgrave. Input from those more experienced than I (probably everyone here) is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    The belt is from http://www.alligatorleather.com
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    will be versatile/dressy enough to wear with anything, from suits to casual Fridays.

    I think so.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    Can I ask you where belt (really the buckle) no. 4 comes from?
     
  4. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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  5. boston

    boston Senior member

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    aligator is always appropriate.

    the width of the belt, and buckle may not be -- but I see yours are quite conservative.

    -boston
     
  6. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    Can I ask you where belt (really the buckle) no. 4 comes from?

    Paul Stuart(NYC) but they don't seem to be carrying it any longer. I've never seen another exactly like it and I'm always on the lookout for belt buckles.
     
  7. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    Tis a nice belt, The knights who say trad would approve.
     
  8. JCM

    JCM Senior member

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    It looks like in Tomasso's collection (which is beautiful) that many of the belts do not have edge stitching. Is there a quality difference or is it just a matter of preference? Is one considered "dressier"?
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    Tis a nice belt, The knights who say trad would approve.


    On the contrary, many Trads have opined that sterling buckles are ostentaious. Exotic straps were pooh-poohed as well.
     
  10. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    On the contrary, many Trads have opined that sterling buckles are ostentaious. Exotic straps were pooh-poohed as well.

    Hey Tomasso,

    I was talking about the original belt posted by JCM. Some of your buckles might be too much for that crowd, but the engine turned separate, slide through buckle is a Trad classic.

    The bigger ones might make them say "Trad" to you.[​IMG]
     
  11. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    No, because it will be attention-getting, a subdued alligator belt is not always appropriate for business tailored (dressier than Casual Fridays).

    Generally, lower-level employees (and would-be lower-level employees) should not use that kind of belt for regular business wear. If the jacket never comes off, it's a different story, but then the purpose of a flashy belt is defeated.
     
  12. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    JCM,

    Let us know about the quality of the belt once it arrives.

    Anyone else with insight on the quality of belts from this company? I am guessing that there are variations/corners cut at this price. The visible edge stitching may be one. I don't know the others. What should one look for in a quality belt from a construction perspective? Anything unique to exotics like alligator?
     
  13. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    JCM, Let us know about the quality of the belt once it arrives. Anyone else with insight on the quality of belts from this company? I am guessing that there are variations/corners cut at this price. The visible edge stitching may be one. I don't know the others. What should one look for in a quality belt from a construction perspective? Anything unique to exotics like alligator?
    If you don't mind paying top dollar, the two best makers (other than Hermes) are April in Paris (San Francisco) and Flemings (Atlanta). They make belts from a single piece and use the highest quality skins. Anything lower than this is really a crapshoot.
     
  14. JCM

    JCM Senior member

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    If you don't mind paying top dollar, the two best makers (other than Hermes) are April in Paris (San Francisco) and Flemings (Atlanta). They make belts from a single piece and use the highest quality skins. Anything lower than this is really a crapshoot.


    This is great info - I live pretty close to April in Paris but have never been inside. I'll check it out this weekend and let everyone know. I'm a bit worried about mensimageconsultant.com's comment - I wouldn't consider myself a lower-level employee, but do want some versatility out of a belt that costs more than $100. Perhaps he (or someone else) can expand or clarify? Also, is it correct to say that higher-quality alligator belts will not be stitched around the edges? Thanks to all for the help so far.
     
  15. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    If you don't mind paying top dollar, the two best makers (other than Hermes) are April in Paris (San Francisco) and Flemings (Atlanta). They make belts from a single piece and use the highest quality skins. Anything lower than this is really a crapshoot.

    I've spoken with all three makers within the last two months and I've found that their prices varied a bit. These are approximate prices. Flemings-$350, April in Paris-$700, Hermes-$1300. Both Hermes and Bea(AP) hand stitch their belts, Fleming machine stitches.

    I sensed that Hermes would be difficult to work with, what a surprise. Fleming seemed open for suggestions. I'm thinking that Bea would be a dream to deal with, and she offered a finish(in addition to glazed and matte) which the others did not offer.

    I would add that the fact that a strap is made of one continuous piece of hide is not the sole indicator of quality. Properly executed, a pieced strap can be just as durable and some would say more interesting.
     

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