• Belt Shift

    Style | Sports  

    Great style should show no sign of effort. Within the prep uniform of chinos, oxfords and penny loafers, your style exists between the lines. It’s the very definition of sprezzatura—elements of your style that appear to be happy accidents. Anytime I consider folding small quirks into my style, I consider its authenticity—being cognizant of the half tucked polo’s origin, the American icons that owned the shorter inseam or in this case, the nonchalance of a shifted belt.

    “It takes a great deal of experience to become natural.” —Willa Cather

    Sure, Michael Bastian ran every model down the runway with his d-ring on his hip this season; but that’s not why it should occasionally be gracing your waist. Fay Vincent, Yale’s baseball captain, was sporting his belt shifted during his rivalries with Harvard as far back as 1963. It is not fashion that makes you well dressed, it is understanding. Your closet should be stocked with authenticity just as much as it is with pique polos.

    Image via ©Bettmann/CORBIS

    May 24, 2010 | Permalink (8) Total Comments

    Bunsy left a comment on 10/15/2010 at 11:06 AM:

    The “belt on the side” thing was started (or used) by Elvis Presley and a whole bunch of blues guitar players… so they would not scratch up the guitar.

    Are there any preppy bluesmen?  (!)

    M.D. Cooley left a comment on 5/25/2010 at 1:15 PM:

    Ah! It is indeed wonderful, I have had the pleasure of living there this year, so I was just wondering if you lived here as well.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 5/25/2010 at 10:24 AM:

    @M.D. Cooley—I have traveled to Marina del Rey but do not live there. Lovely weather all the time.

    Robert left a comment on 5/24/2010 at 10:56 PM:

    My girlfriend does that with her belt and I always wondered why but never asked. I have a newfound appreciation for her style.

    Kristi left a comment on 5/24/2010 at 9:09 PM:

    Wow, what a fantastic photo. The line, the belt buckle over his slim hips.  Just a gorgeous look.

    M.D. Cooley left a comment on 5/24/2010 at 8:54 PM:

    F.E. Castleberry, I noticed in past “Dress Code” post that some were taken in Marina Del Rey, Do you live there?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 5/24/2010 at 5:35 PM:

    @V—“There’s no crying in baseball!” And as such, there is no consideration for functionality in sprezzatura.  It’s about the happy accidents (again)...it’s about being different in the details, slightly imperfect. You do it to express yourself in a plausible way that comes off with a sense of disregard.

    V left a comment on 5/24/2010 at 5:18 PM:

    I suppose my primary question lies in the functionality of the belt shift. Why do it in the first place? What statement is it making?