Can You Wear a Belt with Shorts? : Here’s What You Need to Know

While fashion trends come and go, shorts have remained a popular wardrobe staple for years Their timeless appeal means you can wear them summer after summer without looking outdated but when it comes to pairing up your favourite shorts with your outfit; there is always that nagging question: “Can You Wear a Belt with Shorts?” This question may seem trivial but it has significant implications in the world of fashion and personal style

In this comprehensive guide, We’ll explore the aesthetic and practical considerations of wearing a belt with shorts, types of shorts that can be paired with belts, how to choose the right belt for your shorts, and many other things that may provide you with the necessary information so that you can get accurate answers to all your belt and shorts-related questions.

Understanding The Role Of A Belt?

Understanding The Role Of A Belt?
Leather Belts

Before we can into specifics, it’s important to understand the role of a belt in your outfit

A belt primarily serves two functions practical and aesthetic.

From a practical perspective, a belt’s major role is to keep your shorts in place Therefore, if you find your pants or shorts slipping or if they feel too loose around the waist, a belt can be your savior and if your shorts fit well and stay up without a belt, you might not need to wear one.

From an aesthetic point of view, a belt can enhance your overall look, add a touch of sophistication and create a more polished finish to your attire. It can also help break up an outfit, adding a different texture or color and providing a visual line that can make your outfit more appealing

Remember, the aesthetics of wearing a belt with shorts depends largely on the type of shorts and the overall look you’re aiming for

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if your shorts have belt loops, it’s a clear invitation for adding a belt but this does not mean that a belt is an obligatory accessory you may choose to go without a belt if you are aiming for a casual, laid-back style.

Types of Shorts and Matching Belts

Types of Shorts and Matching Belts

We have already mentioned that the aesthetics of wearing a belt with shorts largely depends on the type of shorts you are wearing. Here are some common types of shorts and the belt scenarios they entail

  • 1- Chino Shorts

Chino shorts are a style of shorts made from chino cloth, a lightweight cotton or cotton-blend twill fabric. They typically feature a slim fit, minimal detailing and a length that ends above the knee.

Chino shorts are known for their versatility being suitable for both casual and semi formal occasions and are considered as a staple of summer wardrobes due to their lightweight and breathable material

Chino shorts usually come with belt loops and look great when paired with a belt. Opt for a thin, subtle belt that complements your outfit’s color scheme. Leather belts or fabric belts both work well with them

  • 2- Bermuda Shorts:

Bermuda shorts are a classic and versatile style of shorts that typically have a length that reaches the knee or just above the knee. They offer a more relaxed and casual look compared to dress shorts, making them perfect for various warm-weather activities and casual occasions.

Bermuda shorts often come with belt loops, which allows you to accessorize with a belt for a polished and put-together appearance.

Here are some tips on matching belts with Bermuda shorts:

  • Classic Leather Belt: A classic leather belt is a timeless option that goes well with Bermuda shorts. Choose a belt that matches the color of your shoes for a cohesive look. Brown leather belts work well with tan or neutral-colored Bermuda shorts, while black leather belts complement darker-colored shorts.
  • Woven Fabric Belt: For a more laid-back and summery vibe, consider a woven fabric belt. These belts come in various colors and patterns and can add a touch of texture and personality to your outfit.
  • Braided Belt: Braided belts are another excellent choice for Bermuda shorts. They offer a relaxed and slightly rustic appeal, making them ideal for casual outings and beachwear.
  • D-Ring or Canvas Belt: If you’re going for a more sporty or utility-inspired look, D-ring or canvas belts can be a great option. These belts are durable and adjustable, adding a practical yet stylish element to your outfit.
  • 3- Linen Shorts:

Linen shorts are made from lightweight and breathable linen fabric, making them perfect for hot weather and summer outings. They often have a loose and relaxed fit.

Similar to Bermuda shorts, linen shorts may come with belt loops and can be worn with a belt for a more put-together appearance. Consider a braided or canvas belt for a comfortable and summery vibe.

  • 4- Denim Shorts

They are a type of shorts made from denim fabric, which is the same material typically used in the production of jeans

They come in a variety of styles including but not limited to cut-off, frayed or cuffed and can be any length from short to knee-length. They are a casual wear item and can be seen in different scenarios ranging from summer beach outings to backyard barbecues

Denim shorts, much like denim jeans, typically come with belt loops. A stylish belt can give your casual denim look an extra edge. Here you can go bold with a statement belt, or keep it casual with a simple, unadorned one.

  • 5- Athletic Shorts

Featuring an overall nice fit, a lightweight fabric and added safety elements, these athletic shorts are a perfect choice for exercise and physical activities

Unlike chino and denim shorts, they usually don’t require a belt They often have an elastic or drawstring waist, which negates the need for additional support.

  • 6- Cargo Shorts

This type of shorts is typically seen as too casual. It often comes with belt loops and looks stylish when paired with a belt but whether you choose to wear a belt or not, it’s up to you

If you’re aiming for a rugged, outdoorsy look, a chunky belt could enhance your style. However, for casual, every day wear, you might opt out of the belt.

  • 7- High-Waisted Shorts:

High-waisted shorts have a waistline that sits higher on the waist, providing a vintage and flattering silhouette. They come in various materials and styles, from denim to tailored designs.

High-waisted shorts usually have belt loops and can benefit from the addition of a belt. Opt for a slim belt that complements the style and color of the shorts for a chic and well-defined waistline.

  • 8- Culotte Shorts:

Culotte shorts are wide-legged shorts that resemble a skirt or a divided skirt. They are trendy and fashionable, suitable for both casual and more dressy occasions.

Culotte shorts may or may not come with belt loops, depending on the design. If they do, you can accessorize with a belt to add some extra flair and define your waistline.

  • 9- Pleated Shorts:

Pleated shorts are a more formal variation of shorts with a classic touch. They are characterized by small vertical folds (pleats) around the waistband, providing a dressier appearance.

Pleated shorts are often made from lightweight and breathable fabrics, making them suitable for warm weather events or semi-formal occasions. They may or may not come with belt loops, depending on the design.

If your pleated shorts have belt loops, you can accessorize with a belt to enhance the polished look. Opt for a simple and sleek leather belt that complements the color of your shorts. Avoid overly wide belts, as they may create bulkiness around the waist.

It’s important to note that pleated shorts may not be as common as other styles, but they can be a sophisticated addition to your summer wardrobe for more formal or dressy gatherings.

  • 10- Board Shorts:

Board shorts are a style of swimwear or casual shorts typically made from quick-drying fabric. They are commonly worn for beach activities and water sports.

Board shorts are designed with a comfortable and secure waistband, often featuring a Velcro fly and a drawstring closure. They are not meant to be worn with a belt, as the drawstring provides the necessary adjustment and support.

How to Style Belts and Shorts

How to Style Belts and Shorts?
How to Style Belts and Shorts?

To better show you how to style belts and shorts. I have put together five universal styling tips to ensure you always make a strong fashion statement. Let’s check them out now

  • 1- Consider The Occasion

The occasion is an essential determinant in deciding whether to wear a belt with your shorts or not.

For casual outings, you have more freedom to add a belt based on personal preference and comfort

For formal events, a belt adds elegance to your outfit

  • 2- Match Your Belt With Your Shoes

This is a golden rule in men’s fashion that applies when pairing belts with shorts, too

Matching your belt with your shoes can provide a visual line that can make you attire more interesting and create a coordinated look

  • 3- Experiment With Colors And Patterns

Don’t hesitate to experiment with different belt colors and patterns. A pop of color or a unique pattern can make your outfit more attractive and appealing.

  • 4- Size Matters

Another tip that you should take into consideration is to choose the correct size of your additional belt It should not be so tight that it’s uncomfortable or so loose that it fails to serve its function (hold up your shorts and keep them in place)

  • 5- Material Choices

Leather Belts are excellent for a classic timeless look while fabric belts, on the other hand, are perfect for a casual and laid-back attire

How to Choose The Right Belt for Your Shorts

How to Choose The Right Belt for Your Shorts

If you decide to pair your favourite shorts with an additional belt to complete your ensemble and make it look more polished and put-together, it’s important to choose the right belt for your shorts and here are some tips:

  • 1- Match The Casualness:

The belt you choose should match the casualness of your shorts. For examble a canvas belt or casual leather belt both work well with chino or cargo shorts, on the other hand, a more refined leather could be better for dressier shorts.

  • 2- Consider The Color

This is a golden rule in men’s fashion try to match the belt to your shoes’ color to create that coordinated look which is visually pleasing. If the belt isn’t in the exact same color, try to find one in the same color family or complement each other.

  • 3- Mind The Width

The width of the belt should be proportional to the belt loops’ size found on your shorts A belt that is too wide or too narrow for the loops can look off.

Best Alternatives To Belt

Denim Shorts with Scarf Belt
Denim Shorts with Scarf Belt

If your shorts don’t come with belt loops, Here are other ways to keep them in place and ensure a good fit:

  1. Belted Scarf or Ribbon: If you like the idea of a scarf belt but your shorts lack belt loops, you can still use a scarf or ribbon as a belt. Simply tie it around your waist to add style and keep the shorts in place.
  2. Drawstring Shorts: Many athletic and casual shorts don’t require a belt. They often have an elastic or drawstring waist which negates the need for additional belt.
  3. Suspender Shorts: These give off a vintage or hipster vibe and can be a fun alternative to the traditional belt.
  4. Tailoring: If your shorts haven’t belt loops and are always loose at the waist, consider getting them tailored for a perfect fit.
  5. Button or Snap Fasteners: You can add buttons or snap fasteners to the waistband of your shorts to secure them in place without the need for a belt.
Remember that some alternatives might work better for certain types of shorts or outfits, so feel free to experiment and find what suits you best!


The decision to wear a belt with shorts depends on a variety of factors, including the type of shorts you choose and the overall outfit you are going for. Chino, Denim or Cargo Shorts for example usually come with belt loops and adding a belt could enhance your style

On The Other Hand, some athletic and casual shorts often have an elastic or drawstring waist which means there is no need for additional support

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to wear a belt with shorts is a matter of personal preference and comfort. As long as you feel confident and comfortable in your outfit, you can’t go wrong

So experiment with different belts’ colors and patterns and have fun with it!

“Your input is valuable to us. Please leave your comments and let us know what you think.”Sophia

Tags: #Do You Wear a Belt With Shorts?


Hey, I'm Sophia – a fashion writer and trend enthusiast powering Trendy Legs. I blend my love for style with creativity to handpick the coolest legwear and footwear for everyone. Let's explore fashion together and stay ahead of the curve!

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