The silver buckle has for 5 centuries been used as ornamentation of man and beast in North America. But it was the silver screen that brought it to the attention of the masses. In the 80 years that have passed, silversmiths have challenged one another to create different and significantly more artistic pieces. A buckle should be a personal expression of oneself and may vary anywhere from a beautiful and predictable overlaid gold and silver Victorian scroll pattern, to the head of your favorite hunting dog, or an abstract expression of a profound underlying statement. The choices are endless and are part of the fun and challenge of selecting or composing a buckle. We have an exceptional buckle selection at AXEL'S and are available with advice and suggestions should that be desired. When selecting your first belt buckle it may be useful to review some practical decisions:

1. Decide whether it will be worn more for dress or casual. This is not to say that you can not cross from one to the other, but it affects the width of the belt and therefore the belt loops of the pants you will be wearing. Typically, dress pants and chinos are used with 30mm wide belt straps and jeans with 1.5 inch straps.

2. Choose between the two styles of buckles: A) The traditional buckle set, that may include, apart from the buckle itself, one or two keepers and a tip. The two keepers are kept in place by snaps mounted on the backside of the belt, whereas the tip is fastened by a screw. Or: B) The trophy style buckle with a bigger surface allowing the artist a greater space to express his talent.

3. The choice of the buckle itself is a very personal decision not governed by any rules. We typically suggest to our customers to push towards the edge of their comfort range and have found that almost everyone is appreciative of that in retrospect.

4. When choosing a belt, be aware that buckles are interchangeable between straps. (The only piece that is semi-permanently attached is the tip of a buckle set.) This allows a person to have a variety of belts, be that in both skins and colors for every buckle. We carry an inventory of belts at somewhere between 1500 to 2000 straps at all times, including buffalo, calf, snake, ostrich, American alligator and Nile crocodile skins. It is noteworthy that we carry both matte and shiny crocodile skins. Often shiny is considered dressier. We also carry an incredible selection of hand-tooled belts artistically carved by toolers considered to be some of the best in the world.

February 17, 2016 by Stirling Thomas

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