Belts Are Always Appropriate for Men at Work

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

As you know, your appearance and attire are am important part of positive personal impat.  Last Friday, I was on the website ( and I came across an article called Common Male Fashion Mistakes.  Belts – or lack there of them, and accessories clipped to them took up quite a bit of space.  Here’s what the people at had to say about potential fashion faux pas concerning belts.

“Pants without a belt — If you’re working a casual look and you’re wearing your shirt over your pants so that no one can see your waist, go ahead and forgo a belt — provided your pants won’t be too slouchy. Wearing your shirt tucked into your pants, however, necessitates wearing a belt. Not wearing a belt doesn’t make you look heavier or dumber, but it does make you look odd. A belt literally ties your outfit together and, especially when you’re dressing up, it’s an accessory that men can splash a little cash on to create a tasteful, elegant look. Of course, don’t cinch your belt so tight that you have gut overhang, but do wear one even if your pants don’t need help staying put just to add an extra dimension of style to your ensemble.”

“Classless clipping — This fashion atrocity refers to clipping cell phones, BlackBerrys and other devices to your waist. Not only does it look cheesy and tasteless, strapping electronics to yourself makes you look wider and shorter. You’ll also draw attention to your middle if you decide to join your PDA to your hip, and you probably don’t want the first thing others notice about you to be your waistline — particularly if you have a burgeoning beer belly Plus, piling on gadgets makes you seem ridiculously busy, but you run the risk of being perceived as self-important if others notice that you’re not actually as pressed for time as you appear. Cell phones and organizational tools are nice, however, and even a must for those frequently on the go, so try wearing coats or blazers instead with sufficient interior pocket space. A coat or blazer will smarten up your look as well as provide you with enough places to store your can’t-live-without items.”

Both of these pieces of advice received quite a few comments – some agreeing and many disagreeing.  One commenter went as far as saying that GQ says it’s fine to do without a belt.

I agree with both pieces of advice, especially for business dress.  First, no belt with a pair of jeans on Saturday, may give you a relaxed look.  However, no belt for business only makes you appear to be not completely dressed.  It calls attention to you in a negative way.  And negative attention is the enemy of positive personal impact.  The only time you should dress sans belt is when you’re wearing braces.  When you wear braces, never wear a belt, as you’ll come across as the most insecure person in the world.

Second, gadgets clipped to your belt.  In my opinion, these make you look like a gofer – someone who must always be available to meet the needs of an overbearing boss.  If you observe senior executives, you will note that very few of them wear cell phones strapped to their belt.  They keep them in their briefcase, or in their jacket or slacks pockets.  Again, people with positive personal impact have an uncluttered look about them.  A cell phone clipped to your belt adds to clutter.  I suggest avoiding that look.

The common sense points here are simple.  You chances of making a positive personal impact will improve greatly if you don’t call unwanted negative attention to yourself by showing up at work without a belt or wearing a cell phone clipped to your belt.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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