Handmade Bespoke Belts

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The main differences between a ready-made belt and a bespoke belt are Quality and Selection.

Quality: Firstly, our bespoke belts, with the rare exception of small skins such as lizard, are created from a single piece of skin. Ready-made belts are made by gluing together multiple pieces of skin realizing an extreme cost savings as shown in this diagram. Why is that important? "Pieced" belts are virtually guaranteed to come apart whereas a one-piece belt cannot. The difference to the maker? An example: 2 one-piece belts per alligator vs. 6 to 10 pieced belts. With alligator skins in the $1000+ neighborhood you can well imagine the cost difference.
Secondly - and to us of overarching importance - here one person creates your belt one-at-a-time vs. ready-made which are mass-produced. It's called personal responsibility.

Belt Cutting
Bespoke vs. Ready-Made

Selection: When it comes to Selection in our bespoke belts your choices are virtually infinite.

We offer many leathers and a huge variety of exotic skins. Our favorites include Lambskin, Snakeskin, Python, Alligator, and Butterball Cowhide. Just those few leathers will begin your selection with more than a hundred colors! Then come the keepers, tips, belt width and styles ... everything right down to the color of stitching thread. Simply peruse the choices and you'll begin to get an idea.

Belt Cutting

More: We offer many leathers not shown in the online color charts including Ostrich (sometimes pieced), Deerskin, Suede, Sharkskin (sometimes pieced), Shell Cordovan (pieced), and Sting Ray (pieced). Just Contact Us for color selection.

Let's get to it!


Click images to enlarge


Butterball Cowhide

Lizard Skin

An Important Note About Our Leathers: We source leathers which are farmed for their meat. The skins are a by-product of food or pharmaceutical production.

Special Leathers: We offer many leathers not shown in the online color charts including Ostrich (sometimes pieced), Deerskin, Suede, Sharkskin (sometimes pieced), Shell Cordovan (pieced), and Sting Ray (pieced). Just Contact Us for color selection.


Click images to enlarge

1] Belt Backing: All belts, whether exotic skin or leather, are backed with leather for strength. Given our experience, the best choice here is to select "Let us Choose For You" but you are welcome to make your own selection. If for any reason we feel your choice is unsuitable for proper construction we shall contact you to discuss.
Backing Leather
Alligator Belt

Alligator belt backed with Khaki Tan Butterball cowhide.

2] Belt Width: Belt width is of paramount importance from both stylistic and functional perspectives.

Stylistically, men's dress belts are usually in the range of 1" to 1 1/4" wide and women's from 7/8" to 1 1/4" wide.

Functionally there are two overarching points:
  1. The belt needs to fit the belt loops on the garment and those will usually accept up to 1 1/2" maximum

  2. The belt and buckle must be the same width. Again, dress buckles range from 7/8" to 1 1/4"

  3. Fashion belts, such as the Wide Back style, are not meant to be used with belt loops so width in those cases is up to the preference of the wearer
If you intend to order one of our buckles with your belt, note that each buckle's width is specified in the buckle chart at #7 below.
Belt Widths

3] Edge Coating: All belts have raw edges where the leather has been cut into belt shape. We use three coats of the top quality Italian edge coating (paint) known for its durability and flexibility. This is a long, hand-done process which requires three days to complete. Twenty colors are available and additional blended colors can be created when necessary.
Belt edge coating
Edge Coating Colors

4] Belt Tip: The end of the belt opposite the buckle end is called the Tip. Tips come in three shapes:
  • Tapered is the most popular for dress belts and the easiest to get through the buckle and keeper.
  • Point Round Well-suited for both dress and casual belts, the point round passes easily through the buckle and keeper.
  • Full Round Being the same width as the belt, the full round tip is more difficult to insert through the buckle and keeper and most often seen on belts with three-piece buckle sets.
Belt Tips

5] Keeper: Both utilitarian as well as an option for style, the belt's keeper (or keepers) is usually created of the same leather as the belt. We offer three widths, Narrow being most common on ready made belts. If you are having the belt made for a buckle set which includes a keeper, no keeper is necessary.
Belt Buckle Set
Belt Keepers
Shown left is a buckle set which includes the keeper.

6] Stitching: You can get really creative here with more than 200 colors of thread available. It's probably obvious from the samples shown, but I seem to prefer red stitching on most of my personal belts. If you find the selection of colors daunting, just write in a color name and we'll make an appropriate choice. Belt Buckle Set

7] Buckles: Why don't our bespoke belts come with buckles? That's simple: Belt buckles with which I am familiar range in price from a few bucks to $42,000. Which you prefer is totally a matter of personal circumstance.
That said, we've been making bespoke belts for our in-person clients since the 1970s. During the 1980s we invested in a collection of wonderful 24kt Gold Vermeil buckles from three of Italy's fine artisans who are, sadly, no longer. We offer these as optional add-ons.

A few buckle notes (see the Buckle Types image):
  • The Heel Bar buckle is the most commonly used type on dress belts
  • The second bar on Center Bar buckles acts as a quasi keeper but doesn't really eliminate the need for a regular keeper
  • Prong buckles hide the belt tip which goes to the inside of the belt
  • Keeper buckles ... I think I won't state the obvious!
Belt Buckle Types
What's the difference between "Gold Plate" and "Gold Vermeil"? The gold plating on vermeil is at least 5 times thicker than "Gold Plate". "Gold Plate" is usually 14kt or 18kt whereas this Gold Vermeil is 24kt.
If you will instead be using your own buckle or buckle set, we either need a photograph with dimensions or we need to borrow the buckle.
And if it's one of those $42,000 ones please send it appropriately insured!
Belt Buckles

Belt delivery ranges from 2 to 20 weeks depending upon a myriad of factors. If you need a specific delivery date please Contact Us before ordering.

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