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20 Different Types of Belt Buckles


Buckles are unique belt fasteners or claspers that hold two ends of fabric or leather after releasing a grip. They consist of screws, tongues, double sides, and stitches. Like belts, belt buckles come in many designs, shapes, and materials. They are grouped in terms of functionality, source, and design. Initially, military men wore belts to hold their pants in place, prompting the evolution of different buckle designs. Besides giving belts a unique look, they are great fashion accessories, making your outfit look more appealing. While you rely on buckles to hold your pants in place, it's imperative to match them with the occasion you're attending. Here are 20 different types of belt buckles to help you decide which one suits your outfit and occasion.

1. Clamp closure buckles

If you're looking to make a fashion statement at a formal event, the clamp closure style is the one to go for because they come in unique colors and designs. It mainly consists of two parts which the belt strap supports, according to Thread Curve. You might notice that the sizes of the two parts are slightly different, with one bigger than the other. The bigger one accommodates, the smaller one to hold the belt in position.

2. Tongue buckles

The traditional tongue buckle consists of a frame, prongs, and a bar. Surprisingly, modern tongue buckles have prongs secured to the bar, so pushing through the belt holes is easy. Besides a metallic pin, these buckles have a loop to keep the other end of the belt from hanging. These components make this type of buckle easy and reliable to fit.

3. Screw closure buckles

Of all belt buckles, a screw closure buckle is the most basic. Depending on your waist length, it has a screw bar with a pin that you insert in the belt's holes. They are designed to hold your shorts or pants for as long as possible. This belt type suits official and casual wear and is popular worldwide. Some screw closure buckle makers match them with cruelty-free belts for men and women.

4. Pin buckles

A pin buckle is one of the most conventional buckles. It has a pin on the buckle's back which you press inside the belt strap to hold it in place. You can find the pin buckles on official and non-official belts, making them more versatile.

5. Stitch closure buckles

Whether you're going on a date or an important business meeting, you need a buckle that doesn't make you feel out of place. That's where stitch-closed buckles come in handy. These buckles boast an elegant woven style that can match any outfit, guaranteeing an all-day-long comfort. Ideally, buckles should bulge out to accentuate your belt, but this type adopts a minimalist approach. This type suits official and casual events.

6. Automatic latch buckle

One end of an automatic latch buckle has a protruding feature that you insert on the other non-protruding end of the belt. Once you reach the desired position, the belt and latch lock automatically. Unlike pin belts, the auto-latch won’t subject you to frequent looping. They pair well with casual belts from different materials like leather and plastic.

7. Auto-grip buckles

If buckles revealing their pins make you uncomfortable, auto-grip buckles are the best alternatives. As their name suggests, they have flip-style teeth attached to the frame that you insert in the belt holes. Now you can gently press the frame against the belt until the teeth grasp the material and hold it where you want to until you achieve a suitable grip.

8. Reversible buckles

The most remarkable thing about reversible belt buckles is you can wear them from left to right and vice versa. Makers can customize each side with different colors to make it look versatile and fashionable. So, if you want one side black while the other brown, reversible buckles can do the trick. Like other belts, this style suits official and casual events. It is best to go for a reversible buckle with neutral colors like black and grey for official events. Getting one that matches brown either color is also a good idea.

9. Plate buckles

Have you ever noticed what bikers and cowboys have in common? Its plate buckles. This buckle style consists of three hooks: one at the front of the buckle and the other two at the rear end. Due to their old-school nature, they are a perfect choice for avid casual clothes wearers. One way of making them stand out is by tcking your shirt into your pants to reveal them.

10. Automatic locking buckles

Buckles have evolved, and the trend continues. Since buckles came into the limelight, one of the best inventions is automatic locking buckles. This buckle automatically interlocks with the belt upon insertion. So, if you don't want to go through the hassle of a complicated buckle, go for this one. The only downside to having them is they can malfunction when mishandled.

11. Designer buckle

You already know of buckles as cloth fasteners, but what good can that do if the type you're wearing doesn't give the fashion statement you want? One perfect way to make people envious of your style is by wearing a designer buckle. You want people to know who you're wearing through a small piece of accessories like a buckle. These buckles come in various designs like Louis Vuitton (LV), Gucci, Chanel, and many others. Another selling point that designer buckles have is they are timeless accessories. Once you identify an outfit for the occasion, put the belt in a way that makes the buckle bulge out of your pants. Be it a wedding, graduation, or blind date; a designer buckle is the perfect casual accessory to accentuate an ordinary-looking outfit, making you appear stunning.

12. Flip-flop closure buckles

These buckles have teeth on the undersides, creating a firmer grip. Most are made from fabric, perfect for people who want something nonmetallic. If you look at it, you will notice it looks so simple yet elegant. They can go with almost all outfits from dresses, skirts, pants, or even jumpsuits because they come in versatile designs. Because they are unisex, you don't have to worry about looking ridiculous because they are super gorgeous.

13. Brass belt buckle

Do you have western wear and are worried about the type of buckle to pair it up with? The brass belt buckle is the best accessory to choose from as they boast durability due to the metals they come from. Also, brass is a good material that allows various engravings, giving you an easier choice of buckles you can pair with your outfit. Some people prefer these accessories for parties, while others in laid-back settings. Either way, make sure you choose the one with solid colors for casual events because colored buckles dictate the outfit you wear. For example, if you have denim pants, go for brown, black, or navy-blue belts for buckles. Choosing the right size and color is to make your outfit stylish. But if you're a maximalist, go for any color you want because there is no such thing as a clownish look in fashion.

14. Double ring buckles

Being up-to-date with fashion trends is a concept you cannot overlook, and that's what the double-ring buckles aim to prove. Both men and women can use this accessory at many events because they complement different belt materials. Besides being fashionable, these buckles are easy to use. Online and physical stores have double ring buckles in many colors, but the most common ones come in black and brown. Because they are encased with canvas, their D rings easily pull on the belt's loose end closer to the ring. One trick to staying comfortable in these buckles is to make the D rings rest flat on your pants. Another selling point of this style is that it lacks holes, so adjusting it to suit your waist length is hassle-free.

15. Military buckle

Military buckles have plastic strips directly stitched on the belt's insides. Once you slide the belt's end without the buckle, all you have to do is push the release buttons on the undersides of the belt. Its flexibility allows you to adjust its length depending on your waist length. Because they are classified under casual belts, using them for formal events is not a good idea. Instead, they look good on casual pants.

16. Clip belt buckles

Another western-style buckle is with dished plates that lie flat on the ends. You might have noticed them on backpacks and other cowboy outfits. Tighten the bar at one end to secure the belt in place through these buckles. Now you can attach the hook to the other end of the belt, getting a "click" sound. Moreover, they have three bars for adjusting the belt's fitting, depending on your preference. So, whether you want to spend your day at a dude ranch or stroll outside your house for fresh air, this buckle will make your casual outfit look trendy.

17. Wrestling buckles

Whether you're a wrestling fan or an avid buck collector, a wrestling buckle should be one of your prized collections in your closet. At first glance, you will notice a dish-like frame. Once you secure the belt through the snaps on the sides of the belt, insert the buckle, and you won't have to worry about it moving regardless of what you're doing. Like military buckles, wrestling buckles best suit casual events.

18. Self-defense buckles

A self-defense buckle is self-explanatory. It's a buckle with a special compartment for holding a knife in place. They are designed to prevent the knife from accidentally poking you and for easy retrieval in the event of a physical attack. This type also comes in many sizes and designs, so make sure the one you choose can hold the knife properly. Alternatively, get a self-defense buckle with a mini-strap that you can adjust. Most people prefer these buckles on camping, hiking, or mountain climbing missions.

19. Webbing buckles

A unique loop attached to webbing buckles makes them unique and functional. There is a buckle on one end of the belt while the other doesn't. You slip the non-buckle end into the buckle and tighten the belt. The belts attached to webbing buckles come in many designs, patterns, and fabrics. So, it is easy to choose one that suits your fashion sense. Their unique style makes them perfect for casual outfits.

20. Dress belts

Figuring out the right dress for a corporate function, date, summer get-together, or girls' night out is every woman's nightmare. That's where a slim or medium-thick dress belt buckle comes in handy. Today's designs vary depending on your dress' design. For example, get a slim buckled belt if you have a skater dress with a bodycon design above your waist. This will make your waist look slimmer and the rest of the dress fuller. A minimalistic look can go better with a slim buckle. But if you're plumper, a thicker belt with a more oversized buckle will do the trick.

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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