The long and the short of it.
They're narrow one year, and as wide as a corset the next. They stretch, they jangle, they come in colors and in a wide variety of materials from metal to silk. Belts may have begun their career as utilitarian items meant to hold up pants, but they've come a long way since then.
If you go through your closet, you'd probably be surprised by the number of belts you actually own. Some came with garments, and match the fabric and colors in it. Others you bought in a whimsical moment because they made an effect you loved. Whether you're like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind and are showing off an 18 inch waist (everyone hates you, you know!) or just looking for something to complete your business look, belts are an inexpensive way to finalize your look.
The ones that got away.
A couple of years ago, The Associated Press reported a bizarre fashion trend in Norway. It seems the safety belts on a Norwegian airline were going missing in record numbers... and showing up on young people who used them to hold up very baggy pants that were all the rage at the time. You may have thought you'd seen every ugly belt under the sun, but an airline seat belt???
Actually, it was no laughing matter, because when a belt disappeared, a whole planeload of people could be held up while a new one was installed. Or, if no belt was at hand, a passenger was forced to take a later flight no belt, no flight. Simple as that. The belts themselves only cost about $30 each, but the cost in disrupted flight schedules, inconvenienced passengers, missed connections and other problems was much higher. The airline was considering suing belt-thieves for those costs, which could make this particular fashion statement beyond the reach of most wallets.
Of course, the fashion industry tried to cash in on the fad, and made replica seatbelts, but the real thing had status that the fashion version did not.
Another case of truth being stranger than fiction.
All Buckled Up.
In addition to belts coming in all sorts of materials, the real capstone of an eye-catching belt is the buckle. No doubt there are clubs in this world that do nothing but trade buckles. There are certainly buckles available for just about anybody:
- Themed buckles, including wildlife, sports, hobbies, etc.
- Professional buckles, that proclaim to the world you are a plumber or auctioneer or heavy machinery operator, or postal worker. Also come in hand if you have a momentary lapse and forget what you?re supposed to be doing for the day.
- Designer shapes and materials, like gold, silver, pewter and precious stones are all available for a memorable buckle.
- Patriotic buckles are hot, and you can also get buckles saluting different states, or different countries.
Care and feeding of your belts.
If you have leather belts, be sure to treat them as you would your other leather goods like shoes and coats. Use appropriate leather protection and conditioning agents on them to extend their life and keep them from cracking and breaking.
When a belt comes with a garment or outfit, always clean it whenever the garment is cleaned. Slow color fading over time is a fact of life for garments, and if the belt isn't keeping pace with the outfit, it will eventually not match properly. If your belt has a special buckle that is removable, you may want to consider taking it off before having it cleaned. If not, we will try to remove it or else protect it so that it is not damaged in the cleaning process.
Metal belts need to be kept free of moisture as much as possible. Don't buy cheap metal belts that are often coated with a thin gloss of shiny metal but with metals underneath that will quickly wear through and can stain your clothes when perspiration or moisture get to them.