In the Long Run, a Man’s Belt Should Not Be Knotted


Some men have a great casual wardrobe, but the details escape them. To go with hot jeans, they have a woven leather belt. But after a short time, whether through a reduction in the waistline or a natural stretching of the leather, the belt has lengthened and they have to weave it back through the pant loops or (gasp!) knot it.

“Looping a belt back through because of length just isn’t a neat look,” says Matt Blanchard of Polo Ralph Lauren in Costa Mesa. “If a belt’s too long, you should probably have it replaced or shortened.”

A leather repair shop can shorten the belt so it fits correctly. However, some guys don’t mind a belt that flops over (perhaps it simulates the process of losing weight). Looping a couple of inches back in isn’t too bad, but make sure you avoid the big no-no--knotting the end. This is a practice common in women’s fashion but still taboo on the men’s side.



Sweat chic: For years we’ve known and accepted that the athletic club is a place where people are still aware of fashion. If that weren’t the case, why wouldn’t everyone just wear utilitarian gray sweats?

Many women who have been gym fiends for years parade past the free weights wearing the latest spandex outfits in the hottest colors, while others who may be fulfilling a New Year’s resolution are sticking to those baggy gray pants and sweat shirts or extra-large T’s.

Whether it’s a mistake or it’s intentional, several novices have been spotted in local gyms wearing shoulder pads while panting through the stair climber or bopping up and down in aerobics.

“There should be a sign on the door of gyms, ‘No Shoulder Pads Inside,’ ” says fashion designer Carol Steele of Newport Beach. “Pads work for you when you’re standing or walking, not while you’re working the leg press.”

If you want to look good at the gym without wearing anything too revealing, try going with a hot colored T-shirt and coordinating shorts or gym pants. And of course, if you feel more comfortable in those gray sweats, go for it. The natural look is always acceptable.


Lazy, hazy days of winter: Here we are in the depths of winter. You’ve been wearing your heavyweight wool slacks. On weekends you’ve got your jacket on as soon as you leave the front door. You’ve even been known to layer yourself in those fuzzy wool sweaters.


But this is Southern California. On some of those 80-degree winter afternoons, do you ever look jealously at those guys in linen pants?

“In our climate, there are almost no seasonal rules for what should and shouldn’t be worn,” says John Shaw of Alex Sebastian in Costa Mesa. “If it’s warm enough to wear a tan linen suit in February, go ahead. People back East would love to do that.”

But if it’s warm enough to pull out the summer wardrobe, is it too warm for the woollies? Unless your metabolism runs cold and you need those warm clothes all the time, you may want to “layer.” Wear a light jacket over a light sweater over a short-sleeved Polo shirt to make sure you’re covered if the weather should suddenly take a dip, which can happen during our winter evenings.