Functional Yet Fashionable Finery: The Noble Belt
If you’re creating a historic or fantasy outfit, whether it’s for LARPing, Cosplay, or simply because you feel like it, you may or may not be aware of the importance of accessories. Accessories, while small, are what put a personal stamp on every outfit. They help you to stand out from the crowd and can make your character look and feel all the more real.
A belt is an especially important accessory, for a couple of reasons. First, they were very common in medieval times, making them historically accurate. Second, they are very helpful in providing shape to the wearer’s silhouette, as well as an extra dimension to the outfit as a whole.
This belt is, rather obviously, geared towards a more noble character. When you look at the belt, this aspect of its design is immediately obvious. The tip of the belt especially features an elaborate thistle design, which matches the medieval aesthetic wonderfully.
The belt itself is made with sturdy leather, which is available in either black or brown. This leather is sturdy, and the fit is quite long on most wearers. While the belt does secure with a buckle, the extra length allows you to also include a knot, which shows the decorative tip of the belt off nicely.
The detailing is what sets this design apart. The intricate tip, along with the buckle and further detailing, is cast in brass. This brass contrasts nicely with the dark leather and lends a definite charm and sense of distinction.
The Many Uses of a Medieval Belt
Nowadays, people generally wear belts for a few main reasons. Most obviously, belts are used to hold up our trousers via belt loops. Some outfits (often feminine) call for a decorative belt around the waist, both to accentuate the wearer’s figure and to complete a certain look. Finally, we have the practical toolbelt, which a workman will use to carry their tools.
As it turns out, medieval people wore their belts for similar reasons. While medieval trousers or pants didn’t have belt loops, people still wore belts to secure their clothing. Rather than stopping trousers from falling down (they were secured with string), the belts would keep loose material out of the way while the wearer was working, protecting the clothes.
Common men and women used their belts to carry the tools that they’d use throughout the day, which was especially important as pockets weren’t a normal part of medieval clothing. Fighting men would use their belts for a similar purpose, typically to carry their weapons. Even the nobility had belt pouches, which could contain money or keys.
Decorative belts were especially common among the nobility, with some variation among the sexes. Noblewomen wore thin, delicate belts as a part of their jewellery, and these belts could be incredibly valuable. While leather was a popular material, it could be intricately detailed and embedded with precious stones. Otherwise, noblewomen may well wear silk belts, or even belts made with precious metals like silver or gold.
Noblemen also wore belts to display their status. Knights with sword belts weren’t an exception to this trend. Often, these belts would be made using leather and would feature an elaborate buckle and tip, as well as other metal embellishments.
While leather was a relatively common material, it didn’t mean that these decorative leather belts were plain. On the contrary, skilled leather workers were capable of carving delicate and beautiful designs in the leather, elevating it into a work of art.
In this way, belts could be both practical and fashionable, much like they are today. Sure, it’s a relatively simple accessory, but a good belt can do wonders for an outfit, whether it’s historical or modern.
The technical specifications of the noble belt are as follows:
- Materials: Leather with brass fittings.
- Colour: Black or brown. Both have brass accents.
- Belt Width: 1.4 inches or 3.56 cm
- Tip Length: 3.35 inches 8.51 cm
- Total Length: 51.2 inches or 130.05 cm