Unless you can afford to have your clothing custom-made, there is a good chance that something you’ve bought hasn’t fit quite right. Pants in particular can be difficult to truly get right. Even if you buy in your size, there’s a chance that your pants may not want to stay up on their own.
Belts are a practical way to keep your pants up but they come with a caveat. First and foremost, they can be quite expensive if you want something of relative quality.
The second caveat is that they can be uncomfortable, especially with metal buckles that can dig into your skin. And that’s not even talking about the fact that they can and will wear down over time, requiring replacement.
Perhaps the biggest detriment to using a belt is the cost. Having just one belt is fine but it will eventually wear down and won’t be viable for long. This facilitates the need for multiple belts, which can really add up in cost.
Even on the low end, belts can cost $20 to $25. But for a quality belt, it can run in the hundreds of dollars. Spending that much on belts just isn’t feasible for many people, nor is it something that they want to spend so much money on.
Belts are the only way to hold your pants up, though, right? Wrong. There are plenty of other ways to keep your pants up that don’t require the purchase or discomfort of a belt. You can make use of one of or all of these methods to keep your jeans from falling down the next time that you wear them.
Here are a few alternatives that you can use to keep your pants up, save yourself a good deal of money, and avoid the discomfort that a belt can offer.
1 – Buy Elastic
Here’s the thing: not every pair of jeans on the market is the same. Sure, traditional jeans that we are most familiar with come with belt loops for just that reason. But there is another type of jean that is gaining popularity — the elastic band jean.
Whereas those traditional jeans are made from 100% denim, there are some made from a combination of the aforementioned denim as well as elastic fabrics. The elastic is primarily in the waistband so that the person wearing the pants can get the flexibility without needing something else to hold their pants up.
The elastic waistband specifically eliminates the need for a belt and will remove the discomfort that wearing a belt can provide. Elastic bands provide comfort and flexibility in a way that most belts are not able to accommodate.
2 – Wear Multiple Layers
The belt’s primary purpose is to hold your pants up, right? That can be achieved by simply adding more layers and tucking them into your jeans. When there is more fabric taking up the space that causes your pants to fall, it makes the fit tighter and keeps the jeans from falling.
Men could try to wear something such as an undershirt, a t-shirt, and a button-up or a sweater. All of those layers can be tucked into the jeans, filling up that void of space and making the jeans fit that much tighter.
This method works great in colder climates, too, as it can provide extra warmth and offer protection from rain and snow. Sporting the extra layers keeps you warmer, even making it possible to skip using a jacket while working to keep your pants up without the use of a belt.
3 – Wear Suspenders
Another viable alternative to wearing a belt is suspenders. Suspenders are straps that get worn over the shoulder and they run down and connect to both the front and back of the pants. The idea here is that the suspenders run over your shoulders, preventing the jeans from falling down.
Suspenders are often made from a highly elastic material, making them a comfortable alternative to belts. Suspenders even offer the same kind of style, coming in different colors and designs. The best part about suspenders is that they can be as visible as you choose them to be.
So if you want them to be seen, you can stylize your suspenders with the rest of your outfit. But if you don’t want them to be seen, you can leave them hidden under your clothing. That is versatility and comfort that you can’t quite get from belts.
4 – Shrink the Jeans
This is a slippery slope, so tread lightly. If you want to shrink down your jeans so that they fit tighter, you can try to purposely shrink them by washing them. Generally, you can shrink them by using hot water to wash them and then high heat to dry them.
This is because the exposure to heat will naturally shrink just about any garment and that includes denim jeans. It is even possible to wear the jeans while taking a hot shower to get them to fit the way that you want them to.
Just keep in mind that if you shrink the jeans and they don’t fit properly, there’s no going back. Use this process carefully and you can get jeans that fit perfectly even without a belt. Go too far and you could have a pair of jeans that won’t fit at all.
5 – Create a Makeshift Belt
It is always possible to create a belt of your own out of a fabric that is more comfortable for your needs. Using something such as a string or another material can work just fine even though it may not look quite as good aesthetically.
The good thing here is that you can create a belt from something as simple as a string laying around the house. It is also potentially much more cost-effective than buying a belt from the store where even the cheap belts can run $20 to $25.
The downside is that it isn’t aesthetically appealing in most instances. If you’re going for functionality over style, it isn’t a problem. But if you’re looking for a fix to your loose jeans that will also match your style, this isn’t it.
6 – Clip the Jeans
Instead of wearing a belt, you can always try to clip the jeans to give them a bit of a stronger fit. The idea here is that you want to pinch the denim of the fabric on either side of your jeans and secure it using a clip.
Even better, you only need a clip that is small and durable; even an office clip can work. Just keep in mind that it will not look stylish and you’ll probably need to hide it using a longer shirt or a sweater of some sort.
Still, a clip is a quick, cheap way to make your jeans fit a little snugger without having to spend on a belt.
Get the Right Fit
Given that you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you did not get the right fit to begin with.
A good rule of thumb is that if you need a belt to hold your pants up, they don’t fit properly. Finding the proper fit can be very tricky, especially in this day and age where buying online has offered tremendous convenience to consumers.
Many online retailers will offer a couple of measurements. One of them is the waist size. This is the most commonly used metric for finding the right pair of jeans. But there is another measurement that tends to get ignored far more than it should: the inseam.
To get the right fit for your jeans, ignore your other pants. This is because some brands use what is known as vanity sizing and those numbers aren’t always accurate.
To get your true measurements, visit a tailor or even measure your numbers yourself. This will give you a truly accurate idea of what size jeans you should be buying.
Pay attention to the waist size because that size is often misinterpreted. The “waist” in pants goes to the very top; your physical waist is measured around your midsection, right about at the navel.
This is where people make incorrect assumptions and often get poorly sized pants.
At the end of the day, finding the right size of pants is important. Not only does it look better when pants fit properly but it makes it much easier to keep them up without the proper level of assistance.
Belts make for a fine aesthetic complement to the jeans but they can be expensive and sometimes painful if they have to be worn on a regular basis.
With so many different alternatives, it is possible to not need a belt ever again. It takes a little bit of ingenuity or perhaps knowing your exact measurements instead of operating on the assumption of your older pairs of pants.
Don’t deal with needing a belt. Use one of the aforementioned suggestions and you can wear your jeans more comfortably and in a more cost-effective manner.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.