It was inevitable when denim began to reassert itself as a trend a few years back (we always mark Marques Almeida’s autumn 2011 collection as the turning point), that belts would come back into style. After all, while jogging pants hold themselves up with built-in stretch bands and cords, jeans have belt loops that cry out to be used.
In addition to the return of status belts by labels like Gucci, Goyard and Louis Vuitton, 2016 saw the emergence of the humble web belt as a nascent trend. Composed of a woven fabric, the belt is known for having an adjustable buckle or rings and designers made the most of its changeable size by creating extra long versions whose added length was left to hang down along the front of the garment. The new versions also included brand call outs, turning them into a statement piece rather than a functional garment.
Casual, street inspired and unisex (just about every outdoor and sport brand on the planet offers normally-sized web belts), the trend is a common sense way to evolve forward from the ath-leisure trend and makes a statement not unlike a wallet chain or a handbag clip on. Like a lot of what’s popping in fashion right now, it’s an irreverent accessory that adds some sass to an otherwise staid color story or outfit.
Who was the first to show the trend? While many designers throughout time have shown extra long belts to make a fashion statement, for this go round, Marques Almeida showed hanging denim belts on its fall 2015 runway, though it looks like Gosha Rubchinskiiy was the first to make a big splashy runway statement with an actual web belt, also for fall 2015. The two looks are very different but the devil-may-care cool concept is the same.
After Gosha Rubchinskiiy, the trend popped up on several 2016 runways, including U.S. labels Off White and Gypsy Sport, as well as Korea’s Supercomma B. In terms of making a big statement, Off White has owned the trend with industrial-looking yellow and white versions with floor-grazing potential.
The belt has been shown by designers with tops tucked into bottoms, which is part of a trend toward trousers and jeans that sit higher on the waist, though it can also work with an untucked top. However, if the top is also long, it creates a look where the top and the belt appear to be battling each other for supremacy.
Check out some extra-long belt options below. Click on the image to reach the brand’s web store. And don’t worry, if you don’t like these, more are coming.