Few accessories (if any) offer the same level of versatility as a genuine leather belt. They can be worn for casual occasions, formal occasions, and anything in between. Furthermore, leather goes well with just about any color and style, making them a simple yet effective way to enhance your appearance on the fly. But like all genuine leather garments and accessories, certain attention must be given to a leather belt in order to preserve its attractive characteristics.
Break it in
Leather belts often feel stiff at first, which is completely normal and should cause no reason for concern. This is due to the fact that it’s still new and hasn’t been broken in yet. To fix this problem, try wearing the belt for a “test run” around your home. It may feel and even look awkward at first, but this will soon go away. And once your leather belt has been broken in, it will look right and be more comfortable to wear.
Watch the Humidity
Like all leather garments and accessories, leather belts are susceptible to moisture damage when placed or otherwise stored in humid environments. Typically, when the relative humidity level exceeds 50%, it can damage leather. The excess moisture vapor in the air will seep into its pores, promoting the formation of mold and mildew. To protect your leather belt from this type of damage, it’s recommended that you store it in a climate-controlled environment with a relative humidity of 50% or less. Following this tip will go a long ways in protecting your leather belt from moisture-related damage.
Of course, you should also get into the habit of cleaning your leather belt on a regular basis. Many guys (including myself) are guilty of neglecting simple maintenance such as this. Over time, however, dust, dirt and debris will accumulate on a leather belt, affecting both its appearance and physical characteristics. You can clean a dirty leather belt by simply wiping it down with lukewarm washcloth. Remember, though, you should only use a small amount of water, as too much may saturate the leather to the point where it causes damages.
Last but not least, use a leather conditioning product like Saddle Soap on your belt. These products live up to their namesake by “conditioning” leather. They contain moisture and other essential ingredients that protect leather from drying out. Just remember to condition sparingly, as doing it too often may saturate your leather belt to the point where it becomes damaged.