Almost everyone is wearing a belt in their jeans or pants nowadays. But back in the days this wasn’t common, as the belt loop wasn’t introduced yet. In the early examples of jeans and pants you will see a cinch back and suspender buttons. Those were the two options to keep up your pair.
A cinch back, also known as buckle back, was placed on the back of your jeans or pants to tighten the waist. You saw also cinch backs on the back of jackets. The first miner jeans and the end of the 1800’s had also cinch backs. The example here below shows an old pair which was found in a closed mine in Nevada, California. The pair is from the Meyerstein & Lowerberg Pacific Coast brand and dates back to 1886. This jean is now in hands of collector Viktor Fredback from Sweden. The pair shows a cinch back and suspender buttons.
Suspender buttons were also part of the original miner jeans. With these buttons you were able to wear your jeans with a suspender. You could choose to tighten your jeans with the cinch back and/or suspender buttons. The last few seasons you see the comeback of the suspenders in the fashion industry. But also in the denim industry it’s quiet popular.
The Introduction of the Belt Loops
The year 1922 is a historical year as the belt loops were introduced. Belt loops were introduced by the American denim brand Levi’s. The first pairs had belt loops and a cinch back, so customers could choose how they preferred to wear their jeans. During World War 2 all the brands had to skip elements from their garments in order to save material for the war. This rule was set by the War Production Board. This ensured that jeans only had belt loops, so no more cinch backs or suspender buttons anymore. After the war they continued producing jeans (and pants) with only belt loops. People were now used to wearing their jeans and pants with a belt. The belts were a popular item and all kind of variations appeared on the market.
The picture above shows one of the last productions of a pair of Levi’s 501XX with a cinch back. This is an original vintage pair produced before WW2, around 1937. This pair is now in the hands of our co-founder Wouter Munnichs (also founder of the daily online magazine Long John).
So, we just launched our new leather belts. Our leather belts are available in four authentic colours; Natural, Cognac, Brown and Black. Just like the rest of our collection they’re made with the finest natural vegetable tanned leather. This kind of leather is tanned on a so called slow method. There’re no chemicals included in order to get the best results. The best leather available in the market.
Our buckle of the belt is developed in partnership with our Portuguese factory Art in Vogue. Together with them, we developed a unique, solid and typical Butts and Shoulders buckle from scratch. The buckle will age very nicely with wear. Both the leather as the buckle will get a beautiful patina.
Watch the video here below to see the making of our leather belts at Art in Vogue:
Handmade details as signature
The leather on our belts are fastened with hand stitches. This outstanding detail is one of the remarkable signatures of our brand. The leather of the belt is 31 mm high. The belts are available in four different length and four different colors; Natural, Cognac, Brown and Black. So everyone is able to wear them in your beloved pair of jeans. Or chino or pants of course.
Go to our store for more pictures or to buy our leather belts: www.buttsandshoulders.com/shop/accessories/
Join the discussion 4 Comments
Belt loops were added to DENIM in 1922… but they were around in trousers a long time before then.
The pant belt loops were not invented in 1922. Maybe Levi Strauss & company first put them on their pants then, but they were used way before that. Look up pictures of baseball clubs of 1860 or 1870.
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[…] 20th century, it was not the intention to wear the suspenders visibly. But at the arrival of the belts the suspenders are seen more as a fashion piece. Because let’s get honest, it looks really […]