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Belts sold in stores are generally sized to waist measurements. Women's belts run from 22 to 32 inches in length. Some belts are sized small, medium and large, and others are adjustable so one size fits all. When belts are sold to apparel manufacturers, they are sized to the garment.
Men's belts are also sized by waist measurements: small (30 to 32 inches), medium (34 to 36 inches) and large (42 to 44 inches).

Belts are made from a variety of materials, particularly leather, suede, reptiles and exotic skins, wooden links, plastic strips, plastic links, all types of fabrics, and straw. Some belts are made of cloth to match a garment. Jeweled, beaded or sequined belts are often used for evening clothes. Wide ribbon can be used for sashes. Buckles can be made of wood, metal or plastic. Some buckles are covered with the belt material.

Adjustable: a one size belt that fits all; can be resized by removing buckle and cutting down; or by the use of side ratchets.

Bandolier: Belt worn over the shoulder and torso rather than around the waist.

Belt Bag: Belt and elongated pouch all in one with self-adjusting slide buckle; also called "fanny bag".

Boy Scout: Canvas, twill or webbed belt with a self-adjusting slide buckle; comes in one size and is usually cut to fit.

Braces or Suspenders: Y-shaped supporters going over the shoulders and attaching to the pants in the center back, left and right front to hold them up; traditionally buttons to inside of trouser waistband but may clip on. Made of elastic, webbing or other materials; can be solid or patterned.

Cartridge: Belt with either cylindrical loops or pockets; originally sewn on to hold ammunition.

Cinch: Wide, tight belts that accents the waist, often of stretch elastic.

Contour: Belt cut to a figure-conforming shape.

Corset: Wide belt similar to a cinch; often curves above and below the waist; may buckle or lace up
the front, latter also known as "Merry Widows" corselet.

Cowboy: Stiff, tooled leather belt, usually with a metal buckle. Became very popular in recent decades with the spread of casual western wear.

Cummerbund: Wide sashlike fabric belt; usually worn by men with evening clothes.

Dangle: Belt with decorations hanging from it.

Dog Leash: Belt resembling a dog's leash with the same type of spring loaded snap closure.

Fishscale: Stretch metallic belt that looks like it is made of fishscales.

Lariat: Woven belt, usually leather, that looks like a cowboy's rope.

Link: Any belt made of interlocking links, such as a chain belt.

Metallic: Any metal belt, including linked ones.

Obi: Wide sash adapted from the traditional Japanese sash worn over kimono; usually 12-15 feet long, wrapped around the waist, knotted and arranged in bowlike folds on the back.

Polo: Stiff belt with front straps, adapted from those worn by polo players.

Rope: Cord belt that can be wrapped and tied.

Sash: Soft fabric or ribbon worn around the waist.

Self: Belt made of the same fabric as the garment it will be worn with; it can be sash style or backed and buckled.

Tack: Leather belt with a narrower piece sewn on in front to fit through the buckle.

Wrap: Belt that is wrapped around the waist and either tied or buckled; it can be of varying materials or widths.

Copyright 1997, NFAA/FASA, New York, NY.
All rights reserved.