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Should You Wear A Black Or Brown Belt With Jeans?

December 21, 2022
Should You Wear A Black Or Brown Belt With Jeans?

Jeans are a perfect staple for any wardrobe and they can be easily dressed up or down. The color of the belt can have an affect on the overall look, begging the question: should you wear a black or brown belt with jeans?

When wearing jeans, wear a black belt if you’re wearing black shoes and a brown belt if you’re wearing brown shoes. The color of your jeans and the formality of the setting should also be considered, especially if you aren’t wearing black or brown shoes. 

That’s just the beginning. Read on to find out exactly how to decide between the two whenever you choose to wear jeans. 

Let’s get into it.

Black Vs Brown Belt With Jeans: 3 Deciding Factors 

Consider these factors when deciding whether to wear a black or brown belt with jeans depending on whether it would be appropriate for the occasion or the color of jeans you’re wearing. 

The Color of Your Shoes 

The most important factor that influences whether you wear a black or brown belt with your jeans will be your shoe color.

The belt should match the shoes whenever possible. 

brown shoes and brown belt with jeans
Image From Deposit Photos

This is especially true if you’re wearing leather dress shoes and a leather belt, elevating the look of the jeans to an acceptable business casual status in most settings.

Wearing a matching color of leather that corresponds with your shoes will be paramount in this situation.

A good rule of thumb is to match the color of your shoes, such as wearing a black leather belt with black shoes or a brown belt with brown shoes.

If you aren’t wearing black or brown shoes with your jeans, consider the following factors when making your decision instead. 

The Color of Your Jeans

The color of your jeans should partly determine what color belt you choose to wear. You have the option to go for a classic look or to subvert this tradition.

This factor isn’t as important as your shoe color, but it’s still worth considering. 

The more “formal” settings may determine that you wear black jeans, in which case a black belt will be more appropriate.

Black jeans with a black belt

Image From Deposit Photos

On the other hand, you may be in a more casual setting where you are wearing dark wash blue jeans with a dress shirt and perhaps a blazer. 

In this case, a brown belt will pair well with the addition of brown shoes.

Brown belts typically look much better with blue jeans, even in casual settings, and a black one can sometimes clash with blue jeans.

blue jeans and brown belt
A casual looking brown belt and blue jeans combo

Image From Deposit Photos

Some may choose to subvert these rules, however, and when doing so, it’s important to match with at least the shoes when wearing a black belt with blue jeans.

Gray jeans will also pair great with a brown belt, especially in shades of mid and slate grey.

The Formality of The Setting

If you’re dressing formally, a black belt would generally be more appropriate than a brown one. 

It’s also more likely that if you’re dressing more formally, you’re also wearing black jeans. In this case, a black belt would be more appropriate.

Wearing black jeans, brown shoes, and a brown belt can work great for more casual settings (eg. smart-casual). 

However, this contrast would be better suited for smart-casual settings rather than business-casual ones.

Tips For Wearing A Brown Belt With Jeans 

Brown belts are the less formal of the two and will look great in casual settings. You can get more experimental with the type of brown belt you wear with jeans.

This can give you more room to express yourself and assert your individual style. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when wearing a brown belt with jeans:

1. The Casual Belt

Even with the more casual look, opting for a quality belt will ensure that you still look great. The casual belt is perfect for this situation and will look great paired with jeans.

Though it is casual, you can still find it in leather material, but it can also come in others, such as canvas or suede. 

It’s also a lot tougher, thicker, and more rugged than a regular leather belt, so it can withstand a little wear and tear and will likely stand the test of time.

These belts are commonly 1.5-1.7” in width, as wide straps look better with the casual look. They also have a larger than usual belt buckle.

2. Match The Buckle With Other Metals

You’re not as restricted with the color belt buckle you wear as you might have been when wearing a black belt in a more formal setting.

However, you still want to make sure your look is cohesive and fashionable. A great way to do this is to match the belt buckle color to any other metals you’re wearing.

This might be your watch’s belt buckle, buttons, cufflinks, or any metal on your shoes. 

Tips For Wearing A Black Belt With Jeans 

Black belts can offer an immediately classic and sophisticated look when wearing the right pair of jeans.

When dressed up, they’re also the most accepted to pair with black jeans in more casual business settings. Here are a few tips to get the look right.

1. Avoid Wearing a Big Buckle

Big buckles are more commonly associated with casual wear, which can look particularly odd when wearing jeans more formally.

Stick to a simple belt buckle for a more classic look too. A simple silver frame with a single prong will look best.

The skinnier the belt, the more formal it will look, and unless you’re wearing the black belt with blue jeans, you should opt for the thinner option.

If you decide to wear a black belt with blue jeans, know that the look has become more casual. In this case, loose-fitting will be more acceptable.

Also, you can wear a belt with a slightly thicker frame and a bigger buckle.

2. Make Sure Your Pants Fit Well

Black belts tend to look better with smarter looking jeans. 

If you’re wearing your jeans in a casual setting, feel free to experiment with the type of jeans you wear – wide-leg, skinny, distressed, stonewashed, etc. 

But bear in mind that black belts tend to work better with tapered jeans as these tend to look more formal. 

Pairing your jeans with polished pieces should help elevate your look, as will wearing a classic black belt with a narrower width. 

Ensuring your jeans fit your silhouette well is paramount. Fitted jeans don’t mean skin-tight, however, and you can wear jeans that don’t constrict your movement.

You’ll want to be able to grab about a half to an inch of fabric around your thigh.


So there you have it. These are some guided tips that will aid in your decision to wear a black belt vs a brown belt with your jeans, depending on the color of your jeans, the formality of the situation, and the color of your shoes.