There are several essential pieces that every stylish man should have to hand. I have offered my thoughts on these several times over the last couple of years. On reflection, I may have missed an essential that I use most days. Sure, it may not be the centre of sartorial attention, but it does a lot of graft behind the seams. I am talking about the humble leather belt. The workhorse of the outfit that goes about its work without fanfare or plaudits. It keeps many a pair of trousers up an at ’em every day.
A good belt could last a man a lifetime. Slow fashion and sustainable style are epitomised by such non-disposable items. A handmade belt made with love, attention to detail and old school craftmanship is even better.
Coast Leather in Dorset, England bring us belts made in this manner. Made by Matt . From the procurement of the leather to the finished belt, the work is his. Hand cut, hand stitched, hand finished. Handmade in the truest sense.
Matt had become a little bored with the working days in front of his computer and so looked for a hobby that would allow his creative streak to flourish. Many of us have had this thought process, but Matt followed through and did it.
After some research and picking up basic tools on eBay, his hands on relationship with leather began. He discovered the work and tools that he needed for working with leather had barely changed in the last 200 years. Coast Leather had been born.
Matt sent me a handmade (of course) belt to road test for the blog. First thing I noticed was the smell of the leather. On opening the brown paper package I was brought straight back to my childhood, when I would be dragged by my parents through leather goods shops somewhere in Spain where the leather scent was rich and warm. The smell of leather is up there with freshly ground coffee. Just a glorious scent.
The feel of the belt is smooth and sturdy. I can already see that this belt is going to forge several denim partnerships over the coming years. The sturdy feel can be partly attributed to saddle-stitching which is a very old technique which gives a strong stitching which will hold the buckle and loop together until I am drawing my pension.
There is a nice shine and finish to the leather which Matt works on by dyeing, burnishing, polishing and buffing. All in all it is a fine piece of leather that is made to order for the individual customer. The finished product is a belt built to last a lifetime. Pair it with denim, work trousers, chinos, whatever…it works with them all.
Check out the Coast Leather range here.
Get in touch with Matt for a made to measure belt which is a rare commodity in this increasingly automated world. Invest in the techniques, the man and the leather. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for reading,