Many people think of belts as something to keep up their trousers. Something boring but necessary, usually bought once every couple of decades if you buy a good one. Or given as a gift. Often in black so they go with everything. But belts can be an accessory just like a necklace. They can pick up the colour or texture of your outfit or go against it entirely. Like socks and ties, they can be a way of expressing personality in a workplace with an otherwise strict dress code. You can hide a stunning belt away under a shirt or top so than people catch only an interesting glimpse when you stretch or turn.
Elliot Rhodes Belts are a rather wonderful secret. They are loved by sports personalities (particularly golfers) but seem, for some reason, largely undiscovered by the rest of the world.
Basically they are belts with press studs attaching the buckles so you can change them, if you so wish, according to season, whim or outfit. When you buy a belt it usually comes with a plain buckle, and then you can buy (if you want to) fancier buckles to change things up. You can buy them without buckles as well – they are called straps.
Elliot Rhodes has belts in everything from python to shagreen to crocodile to ostrich and in just about every colour known to man. The buckles have to be seen to be believed. A browse of the expensive ones is a must – sterling silver, diamonds, bone, bullets, you name it! But they also have plain, good quality no-nonsense leather belts – all in full grain leather. And on sale they have 70% off on belts and buckles, plus additional discounts on extra buckles if you buy a belt and so on. All sale belts come with buckles.
Because there are over 200 different kinds of belts and 800 different kinds of buckles it is good to wait until you have time and energy to spend a while growing without stress. If you go to one of their brick and mortar stores, don’t go at the end of a long day when you are tired or when you are rushing to get to somewhere else. If you go to their web shop, take your time. If you feel overwhelmed, use their web shop assistant to help you.
What I would recommend is deciding what width interests you and what you will use the most (wear your favorite jeans when you go, or take a few pairs with you as they do not all have the same size belt loops). Then go through all the belts in your price range twice, taking out whichever ones catch your eye. The staff actually encourage you to take your time and spread the belts over the shop furniture, and will leave you alone or help you, whatever you prefer. There is some coffee for customers if you need a break in the process.
Once you have a small pile of belts you like, decide which ones will go with the clothes you wear most often – style and colourwise. Then you can try them on. Once you have narrowed it down to two or three, you can try different buckles. You don’t have to buy extra buckles but they are really nice. Don’t worry if the belt is too long or does not have enough holes – they will fix that for you on the spot. Also, any further maintenance or extra holes will be done for you free of charge for the life of the belt.
When you have decided, the staff will measure the belt, discuss with you how short it should be and how many holes to add and then they will alter it for you – it takes about ten minutes and voila there it is with the edges beautifully trimmed, stitched and sealed, ready for you to wear out of the shop if you so wish.
I have two belts – one is a stiff textured brown one which was only available as a sample and never went into production. It is a gorgeous texture. I also have one in pinks greens and purples. The three buckles I have can be worn with both belts, or if I so wish, just with the plain buckles that they came with. Everything I bought was on the 70% sale so belt + buckle was £25 or less and the extra buckles were at the most £20.
And now some examples from the Elliot Rhodes web shop: