Which way does the belt go?

Belt up 3

Lately, when I was putting on my belt the other day, I noticed that the text on my belt was upside down. I was shocked. I never thought that I was wearing my belt wrong. In fact, I was convinced that I was wearing my belt correctly. So, I sought the approval of official sources.

Sadly, there is next to nothing written on the subject of how to wear a belt correctly. I searched my usual etiquette sources, but couldn't find anything to speak of. In desperation, I searched for military dress codes. The wonderful thing about the military is that everything is covered, down to the last detail.

In reviewing the latest release of the U.S. Army's Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia (Army Regulation 670-1), the Army's take on the belt is that the tipped end should be on the left for men, on the right for women.

Does that make it dogma? Not really. While the Army is quite strict about how its personnel should present themselves, that doesn't make them authoritative in the arena of etiquette and manners. However, it certainly makes me feel better about my belt.

By the way, belt and suspenders together are not okay. One or the other.


Anonymous said...

I have heard the following justification for why a man's belt end goes to the left:
In the days when men (in the military or not) used to wear a gun holster, having your belt end stick out your left side left allowed for free access to your gun which, because most people are right handed, was most likely to be on the right hip.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is the most reliable source I've found on this. I know that fashion has "rules" for everything... why can't I find which way belts go? lol! Drives me nuts

Mark Hudson (Huddo) said...

Unbelievable. I've been wearing it wrong for all these years!
And I couldn't find anything more definitive than this post and Military sources. maybe it's not that big an issue. Back to work people.

Mark, Sydney (Austalia)

BKK Bill said...

The use of braces (suspenders) with a belt is a matter of personal choice. Some say it is over kill to wear both some say it looks like you forgot to get dressed if you do not have a belt in your belt loops because if you are wearing your suit goat you can not see the braces and you look like you never finished dressing. If you wish to wear braces have your suits made with belt loops and have your tailor make the waist closer an extension type. This type of closer looks best for when you want to wear braces and no belt.

Eldric IV said...

A man's belt ends on the left because men dress themselves. Since most men are right-handed, they use the right hand to thread the belt through the buckle; thus, it ends on the left side.

A woman's belt ends on the right because a woman is dressed by her lady's maid. Since the made faces her lady, the belt ends on the opposite side as a man's.

It is the same reason men's buttons are on the right and women's buttons are on the left.

thomasanthony said...

There are four ways to do things in life - the right way, the wrong way, my way & the United States Army way! All men should read the "how to" sections of the dress codes for military rules & regulations governing dress because we carry those habits until the day we die. Trust me, women notice, they really do. I knew about the "gig line" long before any Army manual told me how. It's called upbringing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe men just wear a belt with the tongue to the left because it's practical for a right handed man to do it that way, and women wear it to the left cuz that's what they're taught to do. Or maybe men go to the left cuz that's the way most manhood turns and women go to their right cuz when facing a man that's the way their man turns. Either way, it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I noticed my belt was upside down today too! Tried to do it the other direction, and it felt very wrong!

mx200394 said...

The reason why you find China or made in ETC... is because the dies for tooling these products are all in unisex. So it is more time effective to produce said product.

One correction in the US Army you do wear the belt with the end to the left. This is because of the holsters would not fit correctly and in need of disarming one's self it is more fast to take off the holsters using the dominate hand. In Combat though there is no end to the belts because the holsters are clipped together using a three prong clip so there is no belt end to get snagged or make a noise in combat.

A mans shirt is buttons to the right because in the dark ages a man should be able to take off their shirt and draw their sword at the same time.

When it comes to dress a tire it is widely excepted to wear a belt because it will cover up the waist line and provide a uniform look to appearance. Belts should be worn all the time by men also because a man through out history the first into action and a belt can provide a number of useful things in emergencies. Such as a tourniquet to stop bleeding. To help tie someone who is a danger to others down. A noose to kill another man, etc. This is covered once again in your US Army Field Manual.

I always wear a belt because pants these days are way to tight for me to run around or do tasks that require a lot of movement. But also because when my gun sling broke It worked with some tape and a knife to make a gun sling.

Best belts are made from 100% leather not raw hide or canvas. Leather belts help protect and take take a lot of abuse. If you hate the new belt feel you can always boil water and dip the belt into the pot of water for 5 minutes and work it over a chair to build a curve on it to not cut into your waist.

Color of belt also says something to the working class. Black leather belts normally mean business where brown or tan belts are related to working class people.

Moving forward more adults need to explain the importance for other men why to wear belts.

Anonymous said...

That's very interesting that people assume that dress code rules regarding belts only go back a little way. In the British Army - my regiment was founded in 1678 - the rule is the belt goes from left to right ie the remainder of the belt 'tongue' is left pointing to the left. I have looked for evidence of when this first was decided upon, but it seems to back beyond the middle ages? As for belts versus braces (suspenders?): I was told by my tailor that trousers 'hang' correctly ie show one small twist in the crease if you wear braces. So there you go? Donald where's yer troosers?!