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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Reevolving, May 13, 2010.

  1. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    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.
     
  2. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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  3. modagg

    modagg Senior member

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    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.
     
  4. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    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?
     
  5. westinghouse

    westinghouse Senior member

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    Buy the $300 Ferragamo belt with the matching $500 Ferragamo jooz shooz and you'll know why.
     
  6. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. intent

    intent Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    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.
     
  11. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    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?
     
  12. MetroStyles

    MetroStyles Senior member

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    The same reason people spend $40+ on socks.
     
  13. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    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
     
  14. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    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?


    your question is about as answerable as a request to convince someone via words and pictures alone that a Five Guys burger is REALLY better than a mcdonalds concoction of sawdust and entrails.

    you have to try it. if you don't want to take a leap of faith, and are happy with the mcburger, by all means, stick with it!
     

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