I Wear-Tested 15 Viral Belts and Honestly Think These 5 Are Worth the Hype

A collage of close up images of different belts
(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

Though practical in nature, belts of all shapes and sizes have always been played around with and utilized in the fashion space. Looking back, it's hard to find an era that prioritizes the traditionally utilitarian accessory quite as much as our current one. Now, practically every one of the top brands is experimenting with them, utilizing unique buckles, materials, and styling to elevate individual looks and collections as a whole. But seeing a chic belt in a runway show or viral TikTok video isn't the same as actually wearing one, and since some of today's buzziest styles cost hundreds of dollars, I thought I'd take it upon myself to do some digging and find out which hold up IRL.

My determination? If you were under the impression that all belts are created equal, I'm sorry to break it to you, but you've been led astray. After trying out 15 in total—at home, at the office, for a night out, and just in random stores around NYC's dressing rooms—I can say with absolute certainty that the difference between a really good, worth-buying belt and the opposite is vast and not easy to tell from an e-commerce image. Lucky for you, I'm ready to share all of my findings, including the five best belts that I tried on, from a $58 Madewell option to a $720 style from Khaite. Scroll down to read all about them ahead of your next belt buy.

B-Low the Belt Jordana Mini Moto Belt

White T-shirt worn with black trousers and a black-and-silver studded Western-inspired belt

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

The studded-belt look has been making waves in and around the fashion space for about a year now, mostly because of the success of Khaite's Benny Belt. The style I've seen talked about most online is actually B-Low the Belt's Jordana Mini Moto Belt, which features the same studded details but with a larger, more Western-inspired buckle. Plus, it's a lot more affordable at $209. The Jordana belt was sold out for what felt like forever, but it recently was restocked at Bloomingdale's and on the brand's website in the Bone Silver colorway. I, of course, had to put it to the test.

My first impression was that it was very heavy and expensive feeling, especially when compared to some of the other belts I tried out that felt far more lightweight. It's made of lightly pebbled leather that is super soft and has a high-quality feeling. It fits a touch large, so I would recommend going with your normal size or sizing down, especially if you're hoping to wear this with high-rise bottoms a majority of the time. I styled it with a baggy Uniqlo tee, high-waisted vintage Gucci trousers, and a gray Me+Em military-style blazer, and I got tons of compliments at the office. It just adds something special to a simple ensemble.

Shop B-Low the Belt's Jordana Mini Moto Belt:

Khaite Lucca Leather Belt

Black blazer with black trousers and a black-and-gold western-inspired belt

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

One Khaite belt that I constantly see people rave about is the Lucca, which features a supersized, sculptural metal buckle and other palladium-plated brass accents. I ended up testing out the black-and-gold version, but it also comes in brown suede with gold hardware, black calf hair or black leather with silver hardware, and snakeskin with silver. First things first, this belt feels like a $720 belt. It's heavy as can be, but not in a clunky way—more in a way that allows you to register that buying it would be money well spent.

When I wore it alongside a fitted, vintage blazer and black trousers and subsequently posted the look on TikTok, the comments perfectly summed up what makes this belt worth investing in. "The chokehold this belt has on me," said one commenter. "That is *the* belt," a friend of mine wrote. "I'M SPEECHLESS," said another.

Shop Khaite's Lucca Leather Belt:

Madewell Chunky Metal Leather Belt

Black blazer and white tee worn with jeans and a camel-colored Madewell belt with gold hardware.

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

I first noticed this belt in the black-and-silver option in Madewell's new-arrivals section, and I quickly picked up on how almost every size in that colorway was already sold out, making it a fast best seller for the brand. According to the site, 1098 people added it to their shopping carts in the last week, so naturally, my curiosity kicked in. Now that I've tried it on, I can see why everyone's buying up this belt right now.

According to Madewell, this is its chunkiest belt ever with big metal hardware. As many of the reviews state, it is a bit stiff at first, but that didn't bother me one bit. In fact, I think it made the $58 accessory feel more elegant and pricey. For a quick and easy workday outfit, I paired the brown version with a plain white T-shirt and some old Levi's, throwing on a black blazer to make the ensemble feel office-appropriate. Everyone at work kept asking where it was from, and it brought me an abundance of joy to share with them that it's currently in stock and won't cost them an arm and a leg.

Shop Madewell's Chunky Metal Leather Belt:

B-Low the Belt Kennedy Leather Belt

Cream top with black jeans and a black belt with gold hardware

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

If you like the classic belt buckles more than the sculptural ones that have been big lately but also feel like your belt collection needs a special touch, I'd suggest going with B-Low the Belt's Kennedy style. It looks simple and timeless, but it's a lot wider than a standard belt at 1.5 inches for the leather and 2.25 inches for the buckle, making anything that's worn with it feel a touch more stylized and interesting. I went with the black-and-gold option, but the Kennedy also comes in bone and camel, both of which are equally worth adding to your closet.

The day I wore it, I styled it alongside a cape-like knit top in cream with high-rise black jeans, and the belt immediately became the focal point of the outfit. With a belt this good, that'll probably always be the outcome.

Shop B-Low the Belt's Kennedy Leather Belt:

Toteme Glossed-Leather Belt

Black top with black jeans and a double-wrap black and gold belt

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

To be honest, I never really thought about wearing belts in this way before I spotted Toteme's double-wrap style at Net-a-Porter. In my mind, if you were going to wear the two-belt trend, you'd channel Miu Miu's F/W 22 collection, where all of the mini- and knee-length skirts featured two sets of belt holes for two separate belts. This way is far more practical, however, because you don't need to buy specific pieces to wear it with. The extra-long belt strap is one-size-fits-all and is thin enough to fit inside the loops of any regular pair of jeans. It doesn't make a huge statement, which I enjoy in this instance—it just feels more intentional and cooler than the regular version that only loops around once.

Though I chose to style the belt with jeans, Net-a-Porter showed it on top of a satiny dress, and the belt was used to give the model a cinched waist in the billowy, relaxed silhouette, which is next up on my agenda when I go ahead and snag one of these for the long-term. I know full well that they won't stay in stock for long.

Shop Toteme's Glossed-Leather Belt:

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This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.