Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt Kickstarter First Impressions – €90

The Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt has a lot going in its favor. It looks great, it’s made with high caliber leather, it’s reversible, and it’s affordable. I haven’t been able to spend much time with this belt, but so far I’m impressed, and love wearing it. They are currently running a Kickstarter for this product which can be found here.

About Atelier Bertrand

Atelier Bertrand, founded in 2015 and based in Paris, has a somewhat unique sales approach that I’m a fan of.

First, they sell direct to consumer, which keeps prices down. In fact, seeing the exorbitant pricing on luxury items is what prompted Jerome, the founder, to start his company. Influenced by some of the most well known premium brands in the world, Jerome wanted to make luxury available to a larger audience.

In addition, Atelier Bertrand has a great approach to bespoke. If you want, you can just give your size and order a jacket. However, you can also customize any part of your jacket you wish. Different leathers can be used (they even have some fun exotics like reindeer!), different colors, etc. Each product is made for the individual, which results in one-of-a-kind leathergoods. Construction takes place in France. Hides are sourced from trusted French tanneries and individually inspected for quality.

Leather & Construction

The Reversible Belt is made with full-grain, finished calf leather. This results in a nice soft touch, but with plenty of the sturdiness offered by cowhide. As you might guess from a reversible belt, it’s made with two layers of leather, with a reinforcing layer sandwiched between them. All edges are precisely stitched and painted for a very finished look. Buckles are made of nickel free brass. The materials and construction of this belt are perfectly suited for their purpose as a luxurious, formal belt.


Truthfully, there often isn’t much to say about a belt’s functionality in a review! However, Atelier Bertrand has given us a unique take differing from the typical prong closure belt.

First, the buckle. Both ends of the belt pass underneath the buckle, secured by a metal loop and a stud. The excess leather comes out a small ways from the buckle, but is difficult to notice. Overall you’ve got a really clean look. It can be a little difficult to pull the stud out of one side of the belt for removal, but I imagine this will loosen up over time.

Then we have the belt itself. It’s reversible! By pulling both ends off the stud, you can switch the belt around and get a different color with the same functionality.

Note that you’ll need to get your sizing just right, as these belts only come with three sizing holes for about 3″ of adjustment. This does mean fewer holes to disrupt the look, so there are advantages to this.


There’s a lot of beauty in simplicity. This belt exemplifies that well. The buckle, while unique, is even more simple and symmetrical than a standard prong buckle. Thread color matches the leather, and the finish on the leather is very smooth and uniform. Here we have a belt that stands out by not standing out, and I’m a big fan of such understated fashion.

Then, on the other side of the coin, this belt is reversible, giving some versatility. On top of that, it’s offered in a plethora of color combinations, some much louder than my black and tan version here. Anyone should be able to find a combination they like.


Pros: High end materials, solid construction,  great low-profile  and versatile look, reasonably priced.

Cons: Only a few inches of size adjustability.

Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Atelier Bertrand Reversible Belt. If you’re looking for a new belt, I highly recommend visiting their Kickstarter and backing this project. The Kickstarter features a ‘classic’ style in addition to this reversible one, as well.

Thirteen50 Big Hoss Full Grain Leather Belt Review- $60

For the past few weeks, I’ve been wearing the Big Hoss Full Grain leather belt from Thirteen50 Leather. I have nothing but great things to say about a solid and cool piece like this one. But let me start from the beginning.

BestLeather is no stranger to the three guys out in California. Pat, Trey, and Craig started the shop a few years ago when they realized they could make better quality leather goods, and still charge a reasonable price. We’ve seen their full grain leather belt and we are inclined to agree.

But recently, Thirteen50 released their new Big Hoss belt, and this thing is just phenomenal. When you take it out of the bag, you can tell it’s unique, and that’s because it is.

The Big Hoss pairs well with a casual look, like a pair of jeans


The belt starts with Old World Harness leather from the Hermann Oak tannery in St. Louis. This stuff is tanned and finished to be durable and weather resistant. Beyond that, Thirteen50 uses the thickest hides they can get for this belt: around 14 oz. For reference, most leather belts are between 8 to10 oz in thickness. It’s also runs about an inch and half wide, wider than most products on the market. There’s no stitching at all on the belt-generally the weakest point of any leather product-which will likely extend its lifetime.

When holding it in your hands, you can feel the weight and thickness immediately. I imagine that this will be the heaviest belt that the average person owns. Putting it on for the first time, I almost felt like I was holding a saddle. I did experience a bit of stiffness from the belt at the beginning, but it’s been wearing down during each wear.

The rest of the design is pretty straightforward. There are four Chicago screws punched and attached near the buckle, which hold a single loop in place. When you order from the Thirteen50 site there are two options for the buckle: either a slider or roller. All these pieces of hardware come in a matching set of silver or brass.

You can see the natural grain lines running across the leather


The build of the belt, pragmatic and rugged, is intrinsic to its style. Because this hide is vegetable tanned, you can see the beautiful and natural grain lines running across the width of the leather. The screws and buckle come in simple tones and designs that compliment the leather quite well.

The entire belt has a simplicity which just gives it a certain kind of cool. Its thick, wide, and warmly colored. It goes great with a good pair of jeans and a casual look. I wouldn’t recommend it for a formal event of any kind, but I don’t think the guys at Thirteen50 would either.

The Big Hoss uses incredibly thick 14 0z. hides


The Big Hoss Full Grain leather belt truly meets the goals that Thirteen50 set out to accomplish. This is a great product, made with some terrific leather that’s been properly hand burnished and waxed. It has simple and durable screws and buckles that do their jobs well. I can’t tell you for sure, but I would bet that the Big Hoss will last you years and years. For all that, it comes at a pretty fair price.

Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt Review – $160

We’ve enjoyed reviewing a good handful of belts recently, but this is our first dress belt of the year. In fact, it’s somewhat rare for quality leather product companies to make them! Which makes our look at the Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt all the more exciting. This belt is well made and looks fantastic with a suit.

About Brookes & Hyde

It’s been my pleasure to get to know Connor Sambrookes, owner and founder of Brookes & Hyde, over the last year or so. Connor started Brookes & Hyde as a senior thesis project. Hoping to design shoes, he began work for a company designing products for some of the biggest names out there. It was at this job the opportunity to apprentice under a highly experienced leather craftsman came about, leading to creating his own products and founding the company. Brookes & Hyde has grown quite a bit since we began working with them. The company continues as a one man show out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Leather & Construction

Brookes & Hyde’s Dress Belt is made with Horween leather, Essex on the outer and filled with Snuffed Suede. Essex leather uses the same tanning extracts as the famous Horween Shell Cordovan, and is perfect for a dress belt. It’s strong, has a great feel to it, and will age beautifully.

The buckle is nickel plated cast zinc and looks fantastic. While a buckle attached with rivets or chicago screws would be stronger, I think stitching works better for this belt. Firstly, stitching fits much better aesthetically for a dress belt. In addition, a dress belt likely won’t take too much abuse, and this quality stitching will hold up well.

Stitching is done by machine with bonded nylon thread, and follows the entire edge of the belt to hold in fill and reduce stretch. It’s very uniform and strong. Impressively, all edges of the belt are burnished and painted–even the buckle pin holes! This is a level of attention to detail we don’t see too often.

Overall construction is immaculate. Some aspects are done with class in mind rather than pure strength, but that fits the bill for a dress belt.


I’ve said it before and will say it again: a belt is functionally very simple. This belt, like many others before it, holds up your pants. Brookes & Hyde’s Dress Belt is made very well, and is a pleasure to use. The careful burnishing and painting of the edges and overall uniform construction make it easy to slip this belt through your belt loops and tighten.

My belt size has the bad habit of being right between standard sizes, but this does give me the opportunity to note if it’s best to size up or down with belts. I ended up getting a belt a size down. This worked out, as the belt felt a bit small at first, but a little use proved to stretch the size just a tad to make it just right. Brookes & Hyde will help you find the right size for you.


It’s critical for a dress belt to look great, and Brookes & Hyde doesn’t disappoint! The Horween Essex has a beautiful color and grain. The nickel plated buckle has a chrome-shine finish. The clean stitching and painted edges bring the materials together in a classy, high-fashion way.

I typically pair my Brown Ale colored belt with a grey suit, matched with my shoes. I think it would go equally well with a navy suit. This belt is a real stunner and will shine amongst all the standard belts most men pair with their suits.


The Brookes & Hyde Brown Ale Dress Belt strikes a great balance of sturdy construction while not forgetting the importance of a classy, great looking dress belt. The materials are high quality and carefully put together. Attention to detail enhances the formality of the look and makes the belt a pleasure to use. This isn’t a cheap belt, but you’re not likely to see this level of attention to detail at a much cheaper price point. I highly recommend this belt for anyone hoping to enhance their dress look with a belt made of high-end leathers.

Brullen Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt Review – $80

We love belts here at BestLeather, and we’ve had the opportunity to review some fantastic ones lately. Too many people settle for mediocre belts, despite the fairly reasonable price to upgrade to one you’ll enjoy for life. Brullen’s Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt is soft, sturdy, stylish, and a great entry into this category.

About Brullen

Brullen was founded in 2014. Founder Alex Harrera was driven by a frustration with low quality products found amongst designer brands. Inspired in that direction, there’s definitely some effort put into the fashion of their products. Brullen’s items have even been featured in GQ magazine!

Brullen is focused on making quality products, “like they used to,” at great prices. ‘Brullen’ means scream or roar. Their Lions Head logo represents the company’s values (and looks really cool doing it).

Optional premium packaging shown here


This belt is made with 10oz full grain leather that appears to be vegetable tanned. It’s impressively soft compared to similar belts. Edges are stitched all around, which not only enhances the look, but also inhibits stretch.

The buckle is solid brass, and is held in place with a couple lines of stitching. This isn’t as strong as some metal hardware would be, but is still very strong and shouldn’t give out with normal use. The buckle itself is very strong.

Edges are all painted a contrasting black color on the tan belt I have.


We say this in just about every belt review, but a belt is a simple product. Long story short, it holds up your pants, and the Drago1 is no exception. Sometimes a well made belt can be a better experience to use than others, though.

The soft leather feels great in your hands and makes the belt easy to manipulate. One thing I always look for in a belt is how smoothly it moves through your belt loops and the buckle, and the Drago1 glides easily. I really like the solid brass buckle, you can feel how strong it is. The leather keeper is unusually tight, but I felt this was probably good to support the soft leather.

A 1.5″ belt may not fit through too many belt loops on formal pants, though it could fit in aesthetically.

I have the misfortune of having a belt size that is almost inevitably right between standard sizes. My loss is your gain, however, as this usually gives me an idea of whether or not it’s best to favor sizing up or down if you’re between sizes like me. For the Drago1, I’d suggest sizing down. Of course Brullen will be happy to help out in making the right choice.


As you might imagine of a product from a company inspired by designer brands and featured in GQ magazine, the Drago1 isn’t pure function. This is a great looking belt!

I was torn on a couple of the color offerings Brullen has, but ultimately the tan just stood out. The white stitching is complementary to the tan leather, but the black edging is contrasting. I love the look of the silver Lions Head logo. These look killer with a pair of jeans.

While the Drago1 isn’t the most flashy belt we’ve reviewed, it isn’t the most conservative either. You’ll have to decide if the look is for you, but Brullen informs me they’re working on some new designs with less adornment if you’re not sure about this one. I personally feel it stands out just the right amount, and love the look of the Drago1.


The Brullen Drago1 Full Grain Leather Belt is an excellent option if you’re looking to upgrade your belt. It’s made with quality leather and is well assembled. The look is great and will turn some heads. On top of all that, the price is great for a belt of its caliber. This is well worth the slight added cost over far inferior options on a lot of department store shelves. I recommend the Drago1 as a stylish upgrade to your wardrobe.

Lombardi Buckleless Leather Belt First Impressions – $149

A belt is overall a very simple product. It’s rare to see a lot of variance in how they work. Today we’re happy to introduce an exception to this standard. The Lombardi buckleless leather belt uses a special twisted loop of leather to hold the belt in place instead of the classic buckle. This belt is sure to stand out from the crowd while maintaining both quality and function.

About Lombardi

Francis Lombardi originally made one of his signature belts for himself. After enough questions and compliments had accrued, he decided to start making them for other people, and in 2012, Lombardi was formed. Lombardi prides itself on handcrafting all of their goods to be both stylish and of the highest caliber.

Construction & Leather

The Lombardi belt is made with thick (probably around 8oz) vegetable-tanned full grain leather and thick stitching. Cutting and stitching is done by hand. The saddle stitch follows the entire edge of the belt, enhancing the look but also minimizing stretch in the belt over time.

Construction is overall top notch, and only shows minimal variance that would be expected with a handmade product. The leather and thread is going to see a lot of wear and tear because of the design of this belt, but the materials are high caliber and should last for many years.


This is where the Lombardi buckleless belt is really going to differ from most any other belt. I wasn’t sure what to expect before I actually was able to use it for myself. As you might expect, the twisted loop closure takes a bit of getting used to!

The method isn’t too complex. The thin end of the belt is passed through the two horizontal holes, turned down through the vertical ones, and then back over itself through the horizontal holes again, creating a tight loop. While this might sound strange, looking at the photos should help in understanding how this works, and instructions are included with the belt.

It was frankly a little frustrating at first. I had to develop a technique where I hold the belt in place while tying the loop to keep it from sliding. It was slow going, but I did get faster. I’m not sure this will ever be as quick as a standard pronged buckle, but it’s sort of like having buckles on a bag instead of a zipper or quick-release closures: it may take an extra moment or two, but there’s a reward for your extra effort. There’s no buckle, which is really nice in some situations, and the look is unmatched.

Most people that see this belt quickly ask if it really does hold tight like a buckled belt. Yes, it does. I’ve only been able to use this belt for a couple weeks, but so far I’ve had no issues at all. The twisted loop is very tight, and I don’t see this changing anytime soon.


This is another area where the Lombardi buckleless belt differs itself quite a bit from the pack. I’m a big fan of how this belt looks. The twisted loop catches a lot of eyes. The stitching accents the folds and turns well so you can see easily how the closure works. I had some friends see the belt on my counter and doubt that it would look good, only to change their tune once I actually put it on and twisted the loop. This particular color, Brits Brown, is one of Lombardi’s best sellers, and for good reason. It’s good a deep red-brown hue that looks fantastic and fits in in nearly any situation.


The Lombardi buckleless leather belt is a stand-out belt both in look and function. The construction and materials are top notch, and should endure being looped around your waist for a good many years to come, looking better and better each time. It may take some getting used to, but if you’re looking for something unique to freshen up your belt loops, I recommend giving this belt your consideration.

Want a chance at winning this belt + other leather goods for free? Enter into the giveaway below!

[RF_CONTEST contest=’5266′]

Craft and Lore Mountain Belt – $90

Belts. They hold up your pants. However, they aren’t all created equally. The Craft and Lore Mountain Belt that is currently on Kickstarter is the last piece of leather you’ll ever need to slide through your belt loops.


The Mountain Belt is made out of some of the thickest leather I’ve ever handled. Made out of Hermann Oak’s harness leather it comes in at 13 oz and available widths of 1.5″ or 1.75″, meaning it is not meant for dress pants. Hermann Oak has been making leather since 1881 in St Louis Missouri and it surely shows in the quality and temper of this belt. It’s not everyday that I get something in the mail and think to myself “USPS couldn’t have damaged this if they tried.”

The hardware for the buckle is solid brass and held together with 2 Chicago screws. There’s also a nicely finished keeper to hold any extra length on the belt down. All the edges of the belt a burnished and waxed and haven’t shown any sign of flaking or cracking with my constant wear.

The belt is custom sized to fit, so just take note of their sizing guide and you won’t have any issues there. Just measure an existing belt and you’ll do just fine. It is worth noting to not go with your pants size. Clothing sizes are typically vanity sized anywhere from 2-5″ and you may need a slightly larger size than that if you wear heavier pants and tuck your shirt in.


Belts are a rather simple concept. Either they hold your pants up or they don’t. Some belts will last a few months, some a few years. This belt I could likely give to my 1 year old son as a wedding present if I was so inclined.

Some like their belts to be completely custom sized with only one punched hole. That’s not something I prefer since I like the ability to tighten or loosen my belt based on water weight or the thickness of my trousers but it is something to note. The belt has 7 holes providing enough room for growth or weight loss if your keeping up with your New Years resolutions.


Like I stated before this is certainly not a dress belt. It would do fine in a casual or business casual environment but not anything past a sport coat. It’s certainly not without charm though as the detailing on the keeper looks great. The belt I received was their dark brown color and it has different hues based on how much dye was picked up where and it will certainly age gracefully.


The Mountain Belt is unquestionably a buy it for life belt that you’ll have no need to replace. With a typical price of $130 picking one up from their Kickstarter for $90 is a steal.

In a world where countless things are trying to pull you down do yourself and favor and get this belt so your pants won’t be one of them.

Gray Bull Leather Co. Classic Leather Belt Review — $59

Update (March 2017): Sadly, Gray Bull Leather Co. is no longer in business. Check out our belts category for other options.

What happens when you take two university business students who are tired of poor quality products? You get a no-frills, tanky belt that looks great and should last a lifetime–for a reasonable price, at that. That’s exactly what you get from Gray Bull Leather Co. and their Classic Leather Belt.


Let’s start with the leather. It’s thick–10oz thick, to be exact. It’s also vegetable tanned leather, wax and grease stuffed and finished to make it weather resistant and sure to not color your pants. One thing you’ll typically see with belts is skiving, or thinning, at the fold point around the buckle. Not Gray Bull. The leather remains 10oz through the fold, and while this does lead to an occasionally unwieldy large piece of leather, it avoids removing strength from the most vulnerable part of the belt. Edges are gently burnished, smooth but not glossy.


The buckle is appropriately thick and sturdy as well. It’s nickel plated, though I’m not sure of the metal used below the plating. The roller should minimize wear on the belt over time (if that was an issue with a belt of this thickness). I didn’t love that the prong scratches the finish on the back side of the belt, but thankfully these marks won’t ever be visible. I’m sure some conditioner could remove the marks if desired, though the finish on the belt means conditioner shouldn’t be necessary otherwise.


The chestnut color I have here is great for just about any occasion, if the 1.5” width will fit through your belt loops. I like cognac/chestnut from a fashion perspective since it’s very versatile and works with most colors. The thickness makes for a very tanky look, and some nice jeans are probably the best match for the Classic Leather Belt. The look can also be changed by changing out the buckle if desired, compliments of the Chicago screws.

If you’re on the fence about a size, it’s might be best to favor rounding up than down. I choose the same length as an existing belt I own, but I think the thickness of the Classic Leather Belt made the fit a bit tighter.


The Classic Leather Belt is a simple leather belt, but it fulfills a need many products do not: doing its job well and doing it for a very long time. The founders of Gray Bull Leather Co. began the company with that goal in mind, and this belt fulfills it. There’s nothing fancy or excessive here, just a great belt at a great price. So far mine has endured a couple months of heavy use and shows no signs of quitting, and I recommend the Classic Leather Belt as a Buy It For Life product.


Hawkmoth Leather Co Propeller Review – £225

“It evokes to an age of fedora wearing explorers in far away places, where they would arrive at their destinations by a plane that is powered by a propeller.”


Inspired by historical figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Lawrence of Arabia, and “appealing to the Indiana Jones in all of us,” the Hawkmoth Propeller is a one-of-a-kind belt, a beautiful work of art skillfully crafted with fine and rare materials.


ABOUT Hawkmoth Leather Co.

It’s been my great pleasure to get to know Hawkmoth Leather Co’s Tom Sanderson over the last few months. Located in the heart of Sussex, England, Tom designs and handcrafts Hawkmoth’s belts himself between working on costumes for major movie productions.


Tom has a simple goal for Hawkmoth: using traditional techniques of leatherworking, make the most high quality leather products he possibly can out of the best materials he can get his hands on. With one of the most creative minds I’ve met, Tom draws inspiration from Al Stohlman, one of leathercraft’s pioneers, as well as “a mixture of British and European military leather work, with a sprinkling of the American wild west and a touch of the Indian subcontinent.”


Each Hawkmoth belt comes packaged in a handmade canvas case with a leather handle, stamped with the Hawkmoth Death’s Head insignia. This same insignia adorns one end of the belt, alongside two other signature stamps–the letter R representing the year 2016, and two windmills to represent Sussex.


We speak often of the rarity of vegetable tanned leather here at BestLeather, but far rarer still is the type of leather used for The Propeller: oak bark tan. Vegetable tanning is a lengthy process that takes around two months, but this pales in comparison to the year-long tanning oak bark leather goes through. It’s said to exceed veg-tan leather for durability and longevity, and only a small handful of long-running tanneries still produce this rare leather.


Once the leather arrives at Hawkmoth, The Propeller is entirely made by hand. It’s saddle stitched with thick linen thread that is waxed in-house using local organic bees wax. Large rivets are used for reinforcement. Dying is also done by hand over the course of a few days. The Propeller is overall expertly built. Edging, burnishing, stitching etc. is all well done and shows the work of a very skilled artisan. As with any handmade item, minor imperfections can be found but they’re strictly cosmetic and add to the individual personality of the belt.


I noticed that, instead of folding the leather over the buckle and sewing it shut, Hawkmoth uses a small separate piece of leather folded over and sewn such that it’s pinching down on the end of the strap. I thought this was an interesting choice, and inquired Tom about it. This is an enhancement in several ways: it allows the buckle to lie even within the thickness of the belt, ensures the buckle doesn’t rub on threads, and prevents the threads from being positioned in a high-strain position. This is a very impressive level of attention to construction detail.



The Propeller is a ranger style belt with a two-piece buckle, combined into an asymmetrical design you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. While ranger belts aren’t too uncommon, a two-piece buckle is a harder find today. Reminiscent of Civil War memorabilia, this bronze buckle is believed to be an old/new stock item from WWII (though, despite efforts by Hawkmoth and myself, we’ve yet to find documentation of its origins. Any leads would be appreciated!). Hawkmoth has only managed to procure a handful, furthering the rare and unique aspect of the Propeller.

The two piece buckle is used by slipping the small end horizontally through the large end and then rotating it flat into place. It takes getting used to, but eventually becomes as natural as coupling a typical pronged belt. A smaller standard buckle sits to one side of the main buckle to give a short range of length adjustment.


Ranger belts are intended to be wide, and The Propeller is no exception. At 1.75” (4.5cm), it’s definitely intended for wide belt loops. The tapered points of leather will sometimes catch onto smaller belt loops as well, so this belt is best worn with a thick pair of jeans (as much as I wanted to wear it with…well, everything).

The Propeller is likely quite different than the belt you’re wearing now, but it’s easy to get used to and will serve its wearer well.


Normally, I get home, roll up my belt, and place it on a somewhat high shelf in my closet out of the way. When that belt is the Propeller I instead link the buckle and place it prominently on my desk in my room–similar to the painting hanging on my wall.


The Propeller is a work of art. The US Navy two-piece buckle catches a lot of attention, but it wouldn’t have that power without the gorgeous background of hand-dyed, deep cognac oak bark leather. It carries the spirit of its inspirations well, exuding a vintage air of military and historical literature, with perhaps just a hint of steampunk. To say it plainly, wearing the Propeller makes me feel incredibly cool. Based on the number of compliments it draws, I’d say I’m not the only one.


It is a bit of a ‘loud’ look for some. We’re used to very simple belts. The Propeller poetically ascends above this standard for those who can appreciate it.


I absolutely love this belt. At the basic level it’s well constructed with top-of-the-line materials, and is a highly functional belt. Beyond that, it’s a one-of-a-kind work of art, exuding numerous inspiring cultures and sure to leave you feeling great just from the experience of wearing it.


The price makes it clear that the Propeller is for someone looking for much more than just a way to keep their pants up, but rather someone who’s looking for a rare, heirloom belt that’s the product of a highly artistic mind. I see this being the kind of item given as an indulgent graduation gift or passed from generation to generation.

The Hawkmoth Propeller is, unquestionably, a Buy It For Life product that I couldn’t recommend more. It’s only one of numerous impressive designs Hawkmoth boasts, so swing by their online shop to see for yourself.


Les Cuirs Peussou Handmade Leather Belt Review — $80

I’ve recently been shopping among small-time leathermakers, in search of something more unique, with a customized feel. I found a Handmade Leather Belt from Les Cuirs Peussou. This belt traveled so far in transit that I don’t actually know how to pronounce the shop’s name. Luckily, I’m a writer.



About Les Cuirs Peussou

Les Cuirs Peussou is a one-man operation based out of Veyrac in the heart of France (near Limoges). The maker’s name is Remi, a craftsman who sells handmade products through his Etsy store. When I exchanged emails with him, I asked about his passion. Here’s his response, which is so candid you can almost hear the accent:

“I hope the description would be clear and apologize on my non perfect English (this is not my mother tongue).

“I do my best selecting the highest quality of leather from local tanneries. I would like to develop a brand which purpose is an original way of thinking in leather products, particularly in the colors. I spend lots of time to create my own tones from basic primary colors (blue, yellow, and red).

“And I always try to improve comfort of my products. My way of thinking of the work is to be perpetually in evolution, to offer better and better quality.”

— Rémi DRENO



The leather for this belt comes from the Gal tannery in Bellac, France, which has a reputation for quality leather, and from what I’ve seen this belt lives up to that. It’s sliced from top-grain leather, polished to a smooth finish.

The leather wraps back on itself to fasten the buckle, and this segment is hand-punched and saddle-stitched (two needles go through each hole in opposite directions for added strength). This gives the finished product a slight variance or ruggedness that adds to the visual appeal, a detail that requires a close look to really appreciate.

The leather is finished first with bee’s wax and then with Remi’s homemade leather polish. The leather feels smooth to the touch (despite the visual texture).



The back of the belt has a suede finish which is soft. Although this doesn’t show when worn, it makes the belt seem more formal to the wearer.

I found my belt to be right on the edge of being too small. So you might consider getting one size larger than your other belts. (Or maybe I need to cut back, if you know what I mean.)

I don’t have a lot more to say about the functionality. It kept my pants up. I did actually test the durability by hanging my body weight from the belt. The leather and the buckle held up just fine under my 180 lbs. There was no creasing or bending. So it’s durable.



The leather is vegetable tanned, which makes it adaptable for dying. On the style I selected, Remi created a black texture that creeps inward onto the brown and looks really cool. It feels stylish in a rugged kind of way. And the contrasting colors make it fit nicely with a variety of outfits.


BestLeather Conclusion

This belt is standard in its functionality. What’s unique about it is that it’s handmade by a French craftsman. It also takes a classic style and blends the hues, giving the belt an uncommon fashion advantage. If you’re looking for a unique accoutrement to give some dash to your wardrobe, take a look at Les Cuirs Peussou’s Handmade Leather Belt.



Satchel & Page Belt Review – $95

If we have “one ring to rule them all” in The Lord of the Rings, surely we can have one belt? Personally, it would make wardrobe accessory choices much, much easier. The good news is that Satchel & Page is helping us out by launching the Belt and billing it as “Simply the highest quality belt. Guaranteed for life. A belt built to last forever. Leather, hardware, and width options for any occasion. Exceptional quality at every step of the process.”


About Satchel & Page

We’ve had the privilege of working with Daniel and crew from Satchel & Page on several occasions now. We have reviewed their Bomber Jacket and Mailbag – both of which proved to be stellar pieces. And, we’ll be publishing a review of their Café Racer Jacket in the coming months too (along with some other yet to be announced pieces).

Based in Austin, TX Satchel & Page is dedicated to producing handmade, high quality leather products for you to enjoy and pass on to generations to come. They launched their business on Kickstarter with a few iconic bag designs: the Mailbag, Map Case, Gladstone, Briefcase, and Pilot’s Bag and have been expanding their product line with exciting designs – both new and well established.



Over the course of six months, Satchel & Page tested natural vegetable tanned hides from 4 different suppliers. For production, they chose hides originating from within the USA, which aged with the richest patina. And, they are only using the Bend portion of each hide for their belts to ensure consistency in thickness through and through. The Belt is comprised of 10-12 ounce full grain, vegetable tanned leather. They’re thick!


The hardware is military grade brass buckles and Chicago screws. Satchel & Page is using Chicago screws because unlike stitching, snap buttons, or rapid rivets to attach the buckle, Chicago screws will never break. And you can also unscrew them and easily swap out the buckle if you wish. In addition to the antique brass and silver matte finishes, they have developed two finishes that are hand aged by their team of craftsmen – Iron Rust and Copper Patina.

Belt Options - Satchel-Page



Aesthetic & Function

The Belt is available in four leather colors, two widths, and your choice of 4 hardware colors. So many choices and possibilities… The Belt we received for this initial review is a beautiful Mahogany color and features their Iron Rust hardware (buckle and Chicago screws). **Note: Prior to receiving the Belt, it received a light coat of conditioner and now has a richer, darker tone to it. You can see the difference when looking at the image of the same belt (with different hardware) supplied from Satchel & Page below.**

guy with belt

Due to short notice, we were only able to get a small version of the belt and consequently have not actually worn it (it’s too small for my no-petite-at-all-frame).

But, the Belt has made the rounds at home, in the office, and amongst several team members here at BestLeather. Everyone’s initial reaction and assessment has been overwhelmingly positive. “Thick leather”, “gorgeous hardware”, “I like the tapered tip of the belt”, “nice, robust belt keeper loop”, “subtle logo placement”, and more are the words I’ve heard spoken about the Belt.


I have no doubt that this belt will perform its role superbly and admirably all while looking fantastic. And, since it’s vegetable tanned leather, it will get better looking as it ages and is used.


The Belt from Satchel & Page is no doubt a Buy It for Life piece. The quality of the leather coupled with the superior hardware ensures that you’ll be using this belt for a long, long time. Their Kickstarter has about 8 days left on it. They’ve blown past their goal, which is no surprise. There are still plenty of rewards and incentives left and you can still get this belt at the Kickstarter price of just $62 (will be $95 post-Kickstarter). The best option? Spend $275 to get all four belts with all four hardware options. Then you’ll truly “rule” in the belt kingdom.


Thirteen 50 Leather Belt Review – $70

The leather belt is oft overlooked and simply taken for granted. This is especially true for what is often referred to as the “daily” or “casual” version of your pants’ keeper upper. The gentlemen at Thirteen50 Leather have supplied us with two great looking belts to put to the test. They also just launched their first Kickstarter campaign, which we encourage you to check out thoroughly and support.



Based is Oceanside, CA Thirteen50 is a leather company with a passion to create quality leather goods made right here in the USA. From their website: The saying, “they don’t make em’ like they used to” is said far too often in this day in age. This is sad, but so very true. At Thirteen50 we wanted to do as our ancestors did, and make a quality product at an affordable price (not to mention, offering a killer traditional look).



This is a belt you could tow your truck home with…although that would be a really cool sight to see, we don’t necessarily recommend it. However, the Thirteen50 leather belt is fashioned from 12-14 ounce leather, which means it is incredibly thick and durable. The leather used by Thirteen50 is sourced from within the United States – bridle leather from Wickett & Craig or Hermann Oak. The point is…it’s tremendously strong and long lasting. The edges of the belt are nicely burnished and beveled. The hardware used is solid brass. The belt also features 4 heavy duty Chicago screws, which allow you to personalize the belt with your own buckle should that be something of interest to you.

Aesthetic & Function

I’ve only had these two belts for a couple of weeks so far, but I really like them. The thick leather feels great and looks fantastic. The two colors I received (chestnut and black) are classic colors and go well with a variety of dress options. I like the antique brass color of the hardware on both belts and I think it compliments the leather colors perfectly.


Both belts have plenty of adjustment holes in them and everything just works the way a belt should. The Thirteen50 logo is tastefully placed near the back set of Chicago screws. The folks who’ve had a chance to check out the belts thus far all have commented favorably on them…with lots of comments on the quality of the leather.





Thirteen50 Leather is in the middle of their Kickstarter campaign, which is focused on these belts. In addition to the chestnut and black colors shown here, you have the option to order it in natural veg tan and dark brown…both of which appear to be excellent choices too. They’re just about to crest their goal on Kickstarter…but there are plenty of rewards left. $50 will get you a belt that later on will cost you $70. So get it while you can…and you won’t regret it. This belt, which definitely meets our Buy It for Life criteria, is backed by a lifetime guarantee, but it is designed to outlast you, so don’t worry about it. I look forward to using these belts over the course of time and I’ll definitely plan to post an update on them in the not too distant future.


Satchel & Page’s Belt Kickstarter Reaches First Stretch Goal

Satchel & Page, based in Austin, Texas, has quickly made a name for themselves in the leather world. After successfully funding two Kickstarter campaigns for their leather bags and belts, they recently launched a third campaign for their leather belts. We’ve reviewed several Satchel & Page products, including their Mailbag and Bomber Jacket, and found their products to be top-notch.


For $62, you will receive a leather belt that comes in four colors and four hardware finish options, detailed in the graphic below:

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Here are some of the features of their belts, as listed on their Kickstarter:

1. Custom made for you. For any occasion. – With two width options (1.5 + 1.25), you are covered for casual wear with jeans, and formal/office wear with slacks. And with 4 leather and 4 hardware options, you can create a belt just how you want it. They all come with the same exceptional quality and lifetime guarantee.

2. The highest grade leather hides – 10 -12 oz. full-grain, vegetable tanned leather from only US origin cows. It’s simple: The best hides make the best belts. See below infographic.

3. Military grade brass hardware – We offer the standard antique brass and silver matte finishes, but we also wanted to offer some unique finishes that you can’t find anywhere else. So we developed our own process to hand antique finish the Iron Rust and Copper Patina hardware, which makes each one of these buckles just a little different.

This Kickstarter has blown past its original goal of $5,000 and reached its first stretch goal, which is a hand-stitched journal cover. They’re just a few hours away from meeting their second stretch goal, which would allow them to offer their belt in a Chestnut color. Be sure to keep an eye on Satchel & Page’s Kickstarter and for other updates we encourage you to like their Facebook page.

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Victory Leather Oak Bark Leather Belt Review – $93

I’ve mentioned before my affinity for products that have a great story behind them. It’s true – whether it’s a new product that arises out of something inspirational or it’s an heirloom piece full of great stories and a little bit of mystery, I seem to enjoy them the most. Such is the case with Victory Leather’s Oak Bark Leather Belt.


About Victory Leather

Peter Sandford, a designer, maker, artist, and entrepreneur founded Victory Leather in Hampshire, UK, which is based on the south coast of England, within sight of Portsmouth’s historic dockyard, home of Nelson’s HMS Victory and the inspiration for his brand.

Peter’s no stranger to creating high quality leather goods – he’s been involved in leatherworking for quite some time, making bespoke watch straps, wallets, and briefcases. And, he also has a successful track record with a previous Kickstarter campaign for his Shuttl minimalist dockable wallet system.



The leather. It’s one of those very exciting parts of why this belt really grabbed my attention. The leather from this belt comes from a tannery located in the southwestern part of England that has been there, on the river, since Roman legionnaires marched past it. Amazing. The same family has owned it for the past 150 years. Again, amazing.


Here’s some more amazing information. This leather uses a natural tanning process that combines river water and the shredded bark of English Oak trees. It’s a slow, eco-friendly, process that yields simply beautiful leather. It’s strong, flexible, smells amazing, and extremely durable. It’s an 18-month process to utilize this tanning method.

My belt is 1.5 inches wide and is a gorgeous dark oak color with a brass buckle and solid brass Chicago screws. The thick leather edges are beveled, burnished, and dyed. The belt holes are oblong so that your buckle post rests in a flatter, more natural position when secured in the belt. Victory Leather’s logo is tastefully placed on the belt loop and looks great.

Take a few minutes and watch Peter make this stunning belt in his workshop:


The Victory Leather Oak Bark Leather Belt performs its role perfectly. My pants stay up, my shorts stay up…it’s all good. I also appreciate the use of the solid brass Chicago screws versus stitching or rivets. It’s nice to have a belt that I can swap out the buckle easily should the occasion or need arise.



This belt generates attention. It started generating attention before I ever wore it. I had it on my desk for a couple of weeks and it was interesting to see how many people picked it up, commented on the way it felt…and then, they smelled it…and the comments continued. It feels great and has a unique, very pleasant smell to it.

Wearing it is a pleasure. It feels fantastic and has a rich look to it. It’s perfectly capable of complimenting your favorite jeans or will look excellent when used in semi-formal situations too.



The Victory Leather Oak Bark Leather Belt is definitely what we’d consider a Buy It For Life item. “A belt built to outlast its owner” is how Peter refers to it. At $120 (its post-Kickstarter price) it’s a little more expensive than some of the belts we’ve featured in the past. But, it also has a pedigree that those other belts lack. In addition to the unique leather (and amazing history behind it), it also sports impeccable craftsmanship…something that we appreciate, respect, and highly endorse.

For a limited time (through June 30th) you can secure one of these amazing belts for about $93 USD during the Kickstarter campaign. Can’t decide on what color to purchase? Get two (there’s a package for that) or all 3 (save even more and really be set for life in the belt department).


Be sure to visit Peter’s main website too:

Finally, we are also hoping to work with Peter to feature more information about the tannery mentioned in this article soon. Thanks!

W.H. Earl Dry Goods Walnut Belt – $80

If you’re a regular reader of BestLeather, you’ve probably started to form an appreciation for well made products. Admittedly though, sometimes the products and pricing can be intimidating. If you’re looking to dabble in the world of fine leather goods, a belt is a great way to start. W.H. Earl Dry Goods Walnut Belt would be a good start.


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W.H. Earl Dry Goods is a one man operation run by Nathan Hamm. Based in Portland Oregon, all his products are handmade and he offers a variety of wallets, belts, cardholders and more. The name W.H. Earl is a nod to Nathan’s family history as W.H. Earl was an artilleryman in the Civil War who later ran a general store. Using only the best materials available, W.H. Earl Dry Goods goal is to provide functional, durable products that will last for years to come.


WHEarlBelt (9)


The belt we reviewed was the Walnut Belt. It is comprised of one long strip of Hermann Oak vegetable tanned leather. The belt gets its signature look from actually being stained with dye made from black walnut hulls. The hardware used is solid brass and is sturdily kept in place by Ritza Tiger thread. You have the W.H. Earl branding on the interior below the buckle. The belt is 1.5” wide and has teardrop holes which are especially useful for reducing “buckle bulge.”  W.H. Earl also has other options for the buckle finish and thread color for really personalizing your belt.


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The life of a belt is a simple one, and the Walnut Belt delivers. The leather is treated with a wax finish that gives protection against moisture and abrasion, but I find the best benefit of that smooth finish is that it is incredibly easy to get through my jean belt loops. The holes are spaced 1.25” apart and I was able to find that sweet spot of being tight but not too tight. The belt is stout enough that I can throw on my knife, keys or other belt mounted essentials with confidence.


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The Walnut belt has a rugged and adventurous vibe to it. The walnut dyes really gives character to the grain. It’s not uncommon to feel the sudden urge to chop wood or search for Atlantis when putting this belt on. I find this belt pairs particularly well with denim jeans. The brass buckle looks great and really adds to the overall look.


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The W.H. Earl Walnut Belt is a solid investment. It’s a triple threat being rugged, well made and quite handsome. At $80 dollars, its affordable and you’re supporting American craftsmanship. So if you’re looking for a belt as manly as you, I’d recommend checking it out.



My father has worn the same belt ever since I was a boy. Its a weathered tan color with a huge brass loop buckle. It’s beat up, gnarled and old. I love it. I remember the first belt I purchased in high school, it was “genuine” leather.  It’s held up in the 10 years I’ve had it, but not gracefully. The leather is cracking and there’s a strange film peeling off the surface. I tossed it and resumed my search, where I came across a worthy contender, the Sandlot Goods Men’s Belt in Horween Rio Latigo.


Sandlot Rio Latigo Belt (2)


Sandlot Goods was founded in 2013, but judging by their design and craftsmanship you’d think they’d been at it since 1913. With a passion for yesteryear, hot summer days spent playing baseball, and cool nights catching fireflies, Sandlot Goods aims to capture the spirit of simpler times in their products. Of course everything is proudly handmade in their Kansas City studio.


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This belt is made with Horween’s Rio Latigo Leather.  Katy Bird, Sandlot’s designer, explained to me just what is involved in producing this leather;

Latigo is a full grain leather that is combination tanned and fat liquored. This means that the process uses both chrome and vegetable extracts, which is then conditioned with emulsified oils and waxes. What makes Latigo unique is the dying process. The leather is first drum-dyed and then aniline finished. The dyes in the aniline finishing process contains no pigment, allowing the natural of the character of the leather to be seen. The leather is then pasted and hand glazed. Pasting is the drying process where the leather is fixed to ceramic plates. This process smooths out the grain and provides very little stretch, making it a perfect leather for belts!

The belt itself is 1.5″ wide and features solid brass hardware. The buckle and keeper are secured in place using large rivets. The Sandlot emblem is located at the end of the belt and Made in KC is branded behind the buckle. Edges are beveled and notches are set 1″ apart. Did I mention Sandlot also backs up all their hardware with a lifetime warranty?


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A belt is a belt is a belt, right? Sometimes. Sandlot Good’s Horween Rio Latigo belt will keep your pants up. But thanks to the 1.5” strap it will do more than keep your inner plumber from emerging. You could holster tool pouches and firearms from this and not worry about your belt caving in. So if you’re the Batman utility belt type, this belt will work for you. The only issue I had difficulty with was getting the end of the belt through the leather loop. But like a new baseball glove, you gotta work it a little to get it just right and I suspect that issue will resolve much the same way.


Sandlot Rio Latigo Belt (4)



Versatility is important with belts. The Rio Latigo coloring goes great with a vast variety of pants and shorts. I normally don’t tuck my shirts in, but I just can’t let that solid brass and Horween leather go unnoticed.  Keep in mind, Sandlot also offers this belt in Horween Black Chromexcel if you need something more formal. The rough edges offer a subtle contrast from the latigo finish that give the belt just the right amount of character.


Sandlot Rio Latigo Belt (7)




Sandlot Goods Men’s Belt in Horween Rio Latigo is a bombproof belt that looks great from all angles. The combination of top quality leather, riveted construction and brass hardware mean you’ve got a belt that will simply last. Competitively priced at $90 dollars makes it a solid investment as well.


Colonel Littleton No. 5 Cinch Belt Review – $120

We’re really pleased to be working with Colonel Littleton. This is the third review we’ve done for them recently and we’re looking forward to bringing you several more reviews of their creative, well made designs. Along with the awesomely made No. 40 Campaign Bag and the No. 18 Tablet Portfolio, we now have the privilege of reviewing one of their unique belts, the No. 5 Cinch Belt.


About Colonel Littleton

As with all of the Colonel’s other items, the No. 5 Cinch Belt is made entirely in their workshop, which is located in Lynnville, TN, population 327. Colonel Littleton has been designing and creating high quality leather goods since 1987.

If you’re ever in the Nashville, TN area it’s well worth the 1-hour trip to stop in at the Colonel Littleton store and peruse all of the fantastic items they make and sell there. And who knows, you may bump into the Colonel himself while you’re there!



In a departure from the leather used on all of Colonel Littleton’s bags, the No. 5 Cinch Belt uses bridle leather from a tannery in Santa Croce, Italy. It is vegetable tanned the traditional, old-fashioned way by processes developed over the centuries. Colonel Littleton uses the heart of these hides to make belts, coasters, desk pads, and a few other products.

The No. 5 Cinch Belt is available with solid brass hardware and 1 3/8″ wide belt strap, which requires a 2″ belt loop to accommodate buckle hardware. Or you can choose your belt to use stainless steel hardware and 1 3/16″ wide belt strap, which requires a 1 5/8″belt loop to accommodate buckle hardware.


The No. 5 Cinch belt is available in two attractive leather options – dark brown or black. The black version also has an attractive stitched edge on it. It comes in three sizes: Small – fits sizes 26 – 32, Large – fits sizes 34 – 42, and X-Large – fits sizes 42 – 50.

There are two pieces of hardware on this belt that combine to create its uniqueness. First the two pronged, “claw” style hardware used to adjust the length of the belt and the level style buckle.



I was a little skeptical at first that the cinch style buckle would perform well. For some reason, I kept thinking that it would not remain closed securely and would pop open constantly. My fears were quickly assuaged and I’ve quickly learned that this lever styled closure is very secure and works perfectly. But, be warned…people will ask about it frequently. It’s unique and not something you see very often. So, be prepared for a little attention when you wear it.

The belt is also easily adjusted thanks to the double “claw” adjustment. Again, I was wary of the claw sticking through the leather and pushing into my side. But, it hasn’t happened yet after 7 weeks and wear and at this point, I think it will never happen. The belt performs perfectly and does its job faithfully day after day, which is just what it’s designed to do.



In addition to performing its expected role of keeping your trousers in place, it also looks splendid. I received the dark brown version of this belt with brass hardware. Simply put, when it’s drawn through the belt loops of my favorite jeans or khakis, it looks fantastic. The combination of the deep, rich brown, brass, and design of the belt combine to create a feeling of rugged luxury. As described on their website, it “could have easily been worn by the U. S. Cavalry or by Teddy Roosevelt on his trek through Africa.”



The Colonel Littleton No. 5 Cinch Belt is a great alternative to the traditional men’s casual belt. It mixed a little bit of unique, a little bit of history, and a lot “cool” to combine into a standout belt that will serve you well through the daily rigors of life. Best of all, it will age well and develop a patina unique to the way you wear it and use it. It’s fairly priced at $120 since it’s made with very high quality leather, beautiful hardware, and it’s made in the USA. Get one for yourself and create some adventure of your own with it.

Stitched Gear Men’s Original Belt Review – $55

Stitched Gear Outfitters began as a collaborative effort between Randy Smith, an ex-rodeo rider/saddle maker/leatherworker and Wayne Bell, an ex-state law enforcement officer with an eye for product design and practical functionality. Together they have been making gear for friends and family for decades before deciding to share their creations with the general public. By focusing on an initial small assortment of belts, they are able to dedicate their efforts towards hand-selecting the highest quality materials and crafting each piece in-house by themselves.


The Men’s Original Belt is created using THICK 10-12 oz hand-selected full grain vegetable tanned leather cut 1½ inch wide. The leather chosen is from the firm back of the cow instead of the soft underbelly for a sturdier shape that doesn’t roll or bend during use. Wayne and Randy also hand select each dyed hide themselves to ensure that each hide is evenly dyed throughout from outer to inner surface. Industrial strength stitching is done with American bonded UV resistant nylon and the buyer has a choice of a solid brass roller buckle or polished stainless steel. If you change your mind, these buckles are easily exchanged due to the Chicago screw design. The edges are dyed and burnished for an elegant finish. When you purchase your belt, either Randy or Wayne will personally construct your belt to your size. If Randy makes your belt you will find his maker’s mark  “star” on the tip of the tail. Wayne’s belts will be finished without a mark. Like all Stitched Gear belts, the Original Belt carries a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.



This belt was designed for maximum function. It was created for those who like to add gun holsters, cell phones, knives, or other equipment necessary for day-to-day life. Aptly named Stitched Gear Outfitters, the company pays extra attention to using recessed stitching to prevent any unnecessary abrasion and weakening against add-on equipment. There are also seven holes instead of a standard five. Three holes are added above and below your desired size, to last through a lifetime of changes to your midsection as well as adjust to waistband holsters while maintaining a secure fit.



Although this belt is perfect for the everyday rugged, gun-carrying outdoorsman, it works equally well in a professional office setting. The belt’s final design is streamlined for rugged but elegant functionality. It comes in saddle tan as shown, dark brown, or black. This particular belt in saddle tan is a deep honey color which works with denim or khakis and is just begging for a darkened patina from use. Together with the brass buckle, it goes perfectly with business casual attire and can easily be transitioned to casual wear with jeans or shorts.  The contrast stitching is done with a natural light tan color although a black option is available. If the contrast stitching, color, and buckle choices weren’t enough to satisfy you, the Stitched Gear team even thought about logo placement. The belts are tastefully stamped with the logo under the tail section so as to not be visible when being worn and the extra maker’s mark adds that personal handmade touch so you know this was thoughtfully made specifically for you.


Logo cleverly placed where it becomes hidden by the tail when worn.
Star = Randy made mine!


The Stitched Gear Men’s Original Belt is currently on sale for $55. It’s rugged. It’s functional. It’s stylish. There are many times when a belt is just a slip of leather with a buckle, but when you can tell that every little design and construction detail was so thoughtfully implemented, you cannot help but admire the belt and the company behind it.  With the current sale, it’s even harder to resist so grab one before the sale’s over!


J Michael Ashland Steerhide Belt Review – $70

A major portion of us only have one or two belts in our arsenal – one black and one brown…and that covers pretty much our entire fashion spectrum. So, choosing the two belts that will keep our trousers up and all of our long term fashion-ability tied together is critically important.

Today we’re taking an in-depth look at the J Michael Ashland Steerhide Belt.


About J Michael Ashland

J Michael Ashland is a designer and full time minimalist leather crafter. From his location in northwestern Oregon he designs and crafts all of his products 100% by hand – no power tools, no machines…at all. Currently J Michael is designing and making several types of belts, wallets, card holders, and other accessories. It also appears that he is venturing into making high quality knives (and awesome sheaths, I’m sure).



Here’s the low down directly from J Michael about his construction process that I received while dialoguing with him about his Steerhide Belt:

“The belt is constructed from USA Steerhide – a bit over 10 ounces thick. This belt was made for comfort and durability. What you have is a full grain shoulder cut from a mature bull (you can see the texture if you hold it up against the light). It would have made premium tooling leather but instead has been turned into Latigo – fully drum dyed and hot stuffed with oils to resist the elements. This belt’s leather does not require maintenance and develops a supple exterior shine.


The brass buckle is a low lead heel bar made for comfort. I like it because brass holds up well in all environments and does not corrode.

All of my belts are permanently sewn with Tiger thread (machines cannot use this). Tiger thread is U.V. coated, bonded, and waxed (originally made for hand sewing sails). On belts snaps fail, screws unscrew, and both rust, but hand saddle stitching is permanent. That is why I think this is the best belt in the world.”



Indeed, when your belt arrives and you un-package it, you’re in for a treat. 10-ounce leather is thick – real thick. It would be stiff and uncomfortable if this were just regular 10-ounce vegetable tanned leather. It would take quite some time for it to break in and become soft and flexible. But, since this is Latigo steerhide, it is pliable, supple – which is ideal for a belt.

At 1.5 inches, this belt works well with blue jeans, khakis, and most any casual/dress style pants. The buckle is solid brass and well contoured for maximum comfort.

Not surprisingly, this belt has a perfect record so far. That’s right…it’s held up every pair of pants it has been used on so far. All kidding aside, it’s a great belt to use. The flexibility of the Latigo leather used, its thickness, and that nice buckle form a perfect trifecta of purpose.



The deep, smooth black color contrasting with the silver buckle on this belt combines to create a very classy look. The quality of the leather combined with the high level of workmanship also exudes a commitment to your desire to purchase and use products designed to last. The addition of the symmetrical score lines along the length of the belt, the subtle placement of the logo, and the thick stitching further accentuate the fact that this is not a run of the mill, mass produced belt.

Whether you purchase this belt for casual use or to wear with dressier outfits, you won’t be disappointed. It will serve either purpose well.



The J Michael Ashland Steerhide Belt, with its high standard of build quality and superior components, definitely qualifies it as a Buy It For Life item. With its $70 price tag, it’s also a bargain. And, you can also get this same thick Latigo belt in  brown and your choice of a brass or silver buckle. BestLeather encourages you to visit J Michael Ashland’s website and put your own order together. You’ll enjoy working with a craftsman that is so dedicated to his trade and you’ll end up with a belt that you’ll enjoy putting on each and every day.


Uhl House Leather Classic Women’s Belt Review – $49

Women’s belts can be a bit finicky. A belt that’s too skinny might get overlooked. A belt that’s too thick might be overwhelming. A belt that’s too shiny might not go with a casual outfit. A belt that’s too long might look funny. But Uhl House Leather has hit just the right casual note with its Classic Women’s Belt.


Uhl Leather was founded by Ross Uhl, currently based based in Texas, and is dedicated to creating heirloom quality products. We recently reviewed their men’s Latigo leather belt. If you’re looking for a thicker version of the belt check out the review article here.



The Leather

The Classic Women’s Belt is made with Latigo leather, hand-dyed and USA sourced. It’s not burnished or struck through, which gives it a bit of a rough look. This look, of course, is subjective. If you’re going for a super polished or dressy look, this is probably not the belt to choose. But for a more casual, everyday look, this belt does the trick. The Latigo leather is extremely soft and supple, without feeling like it will wear out. As you use it, the belt gets even softer and more flexible. You can learn a bit more about Latigo leather from an informative article we wrote earlier this year.



At 5/8ths of an inch, the Classic Women’s Belt is definitely on the thinner side. It’s a very classy, subtle size. It looks its best at the waist, belting a dress or accenting high-waisted pants. I personally love the oxblood color, but it also comes in natural veg-tan, ivy, navy, and chocolate. The navy and ivy colors would be very cute in this skinny size. The small, oval-shaped polished stainless steel buckle is one of my favorite aspects of this belt. The Horse Shoe Brand buckle has an undeniable western flair, with its floral engraving, but it’s not over-the-top cowgirl style, either. The buckle comes in a round or rectangle shape, both very cute and dainty. As I said before, this belt has a more “rustic” look, as you can see the unburnished edges.



The only complaint about the function I have is that there is no strap loop to hold the belt flush against the waist without belt loops. I find myself tucking it under the side or else the end of the belt sticks out pretty far. If you have an outfit with belt loops, or you get a smaller size that doesn’t have much belt left over, this won’t be an issue. You could also trim the end to your liking, if you’re a DIY type.



The Uhl House Leather Classic Women’s Belt is a cute addition to your closet at the reasonable price of $49. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference. If you like a more polished look, this might not be the belt for you. But for casual wear, this is a great, sturdy belt in an attractive color. The engraved belt buckle and Latigo leather are both unique features that will add an understated charm to your outfit.


Uhl House Leather Latigo Standard Belt Review – $57

Belts are needed by everyone – young, old, short, tall, fat, or thin…we all benefit from them by making our own appearances much more pleasing to all of those around us. You know that feeling when you encounter that belt-less person…it’s just awkward. Belts are made and manufactured from just about every possible substance you can think of and come in a dizzying array of designs and styles. But, of course, we think there’s one superior type of belt around here and it’s belts made from 100% leather.


About Uhl House Leather

Uhl Leather is the progeny of Ross Uhl, an entrepreneurial gentleman who is currently based in Texas, but looking to migrate to Charleston, SC soon. Ross is dedicated to creating heirloom quality products and from what we can gather, is doing a darn good job at it.

Ross’ grandfather always said, “Invest in a fantastic belt, a good bed, and a damn nice car. Most of the time, you’ll be in one of them.” With that in mind, we delve into a review of Uhl House Leather’s Latigo Standard Belt.



Thick, heavy leather – this is what comprises the bulk of the Latigo Standard Belt from Uhl House Leather. Latigo leather is tanned with a hybrid of the mineral alum and plant-based tannins, with a very rugged yet flexible result that is often used in the manufacturing of equestrian equipment. It is also infused with waxes, creating a smooth feel and making it resistant to water and able to wear well in harsh conditions. In the case of creating belts for us humans, it’s an ideal choice.


The belt I received from Ross is a deep, dark, blood red color (Oxblood is a common reference for this color). The leather is sourced from Hermann Oak Leather Company in St. Louis, MO. The hardware (buckle and Chicago screws) are solid brass. And that comprises all of the materials used in the construction of this belt.



It’s a belt…and, it has performed admirably to date. Whether you’re sporting a pair of raw denim jeans or your favorite khakis, this is the belt for the job. It’s a little thinner than most standard leather belts coming in at 1.25 inches, which is great and allows it to be used on a variety of lower body clothing items.


The color is outstanding. And when you grab this belt, it feels like it’s been around for decades. It’s soft, supple, and flexible. This is not a stiff belt and requires zero break in to soften it up. Right out of the packaging you’ll be treated to a belt that looks and feels fantastic.


The brass hardware is sturdy and will age well with the belt. The Chicago screws give you the option to use the buckle of your choice. For those of you who have multiple buckles available for those fashion sensitive occasions, this will be very helpful and appreciated, I’m sure.



Here’s a little quote from Uhl House Leather’s website that I think sums up things very well: “Be proud of the few things you’ll use every day. Instead of buying a belt that will need to be replaced in six months, give quality a chance. In six months your belt will look six months better than the day you bought it.” This is exactly how I feel about the Uhl House Leather Latigo Standard Belt. It’s going to just keep getting better with age. $57 is an excellent price for the workmanship, quality of leather, and the longevity that you’ll experience with this belt.