WHEN you put a belt around your waist, do you ever wonder when people first started to wear it? The answer a very long time ago. The first belts were worn in the Bronze Age between 3300 and 1200BC.
Early forms of belts at that time were seen in parts of Asia and Europe. This tradition continued into the 1800s when belts assumed even more importance as they were needed to hold up skirts and trousers.
Before the 1920s belts were merely decorative and part of uniforms that soldiers had to wear. They were used to carry weapons and tools held around the waist. They also had a symbolic significance.
The belt and the buckle was similar to that of a serpent and represented loyalty, strength, protection, fidelity and eternity. Chastity belts prevented women during the Middle Ages from having sexual intercourse.
A belt was best described as a strap or flexible band made of heavy cloth, leather or plastic, worn around the waist or hips secured by a buckle.
In modern times belts have been in and out of fashion. There are more than 20 types of belts ranging from a horseshoe buckle belt to a peplum belt.
You may never have heard about the cummerbund. It is a sash that covers your waist inside a single-breasted dinner jacket or tuxedo.
Another is a hip belt or chain belt, we which is loosely worn by Asian brides in their hips and over their wedding dress.
Garter belts are more familiar. They are essentially bits of narrow fabric which are fastened around the waist with garter clips to hold up panty hoses or stockings.
Cinch belts are made of stretchy fabric (leather, elastic), which is used either laced up, clasped up or buckled up. Because they stretch, they come in a ‘one size fits all’ 21-48.
A corset style belt like the one worn in Elizabethan times, was laced up so tight, that it made the person look much slimmer than they actually were.
Some argue that if your trousers hold around the waist, why wear a belt? Others voice concerns that having a tight belt around your waist can be harmful to your health – adding abdominal pressure and making it hard for gas and food to move downward, interfering with your digestive system.
I wear a belt, but my only problem is that my size is in between the holes on the belt, so I either have to belt myself up too much or not enough, which means my trousers then appear to get too loose. On one occasion I made another hole in my belt which didn’t look too seemly. In the end, I came up woth the perfect solution. I have started wearing an elasticated belt and that works wonders for me. The one on the right works for me and has had rave reviews on Amazon.
However belts can perform a service in holding up your trousers and also be an accessory that can add a bit of personality to your look. Belts come in all shapes and sizes and many can be quite flexible, particularly elasticated belts. Women’s belts shown here can also be reversible, so they come in two distinct colours.
For those people that don’t like to wear a belt then there is an alternative.
Belts can also perform other functions than just holding up trousers and skirts. Money belts can carry cash, can be plastic for those people who suffer allergies, unisex, extra large for those with huge waistlines and made of synthetic materials which are vegan and not animal related – and not sensitive to metal detectors at airports.
Strong belt with a quick release buckle
One of the strongest belts on the market is believed to be the Klik Belt which is made from triple ply heavy-duty nylon and is 1.75 inches wide. It comes with a quick release cobra buckle and can be released easily. It is considered heavy duty and can be worn for work, casual, but is usually worn by the military.
Wearing designer belts showing off the company logo has become fashionable in recent years. The one at the top of the page is Hugo, but there are many top brands including Valentino Garavani, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Chanel to name just a few.
What kind of belt do you wear? Do you wear designer belts to impress? Let us know. We’d love to get some feedback from you.
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