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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I thought it would be less painful to jump in, rather than dip my toe on the first post, so here we go... :icon_smile:

I recently became nostalgic for my old ribbon belt as a kid (sailboats!), and decided to look into getting a new one (or a few).

I had no idea that this type of item is so much of a craft compared to a equally priced leather belt. There are so many different mom and pop (mainly mom) online sellers and sites with so much variation in ribbon designs that my head spun. I have no ideas about their quality, since I haven't had one in years, and no clue as to how good (or shoddy) the workmanship would be from these craftspeople, so I thought I'd ask for recommendations here.

Now, I see the moms, and I would love to support small businesses, but I also see a few larger businesses offering these too through other vendors. I was hoping for some input from anyone who has experience with them as well:

Leatherman
Belted Cow
Preston Ribbon
Vineyard Vines
Skippers

Specifically, I find the D-ring ribbon cotton web belts most appealing, but I also see military buckles, nylon web, leather, cotton web w/ leather tab, surcingle and needlepoint (which is too pricey and low-res for me).

What's the most popular, and why? I imagine the leather deteriorating under regular adjustment and buckling over time compared to the cotton web I've seen, but I may be off base there. How durable are the ribbons, or more specifically, the designs?

Personally, I'm still a sucker for the boats, and maybe some lobsters too. :p

Thanks for any info.
 

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You can't go wrong with J Press' selection.
 

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Agreed re: Press. When it comes to selection and price they are tough to beat.
 

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Re: Press ribbon belts - some are actually Leatherman (I wouldn't be surprised if they all are commonly sourced) and Leatherman is $11 cheaper per belt. There is not much overlap between the designs offered by Leatherman and Press right now, though, on their websites, so check them both out.

I have two Leatherman ribbons and have been very happy with them in terms of construction and look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Press ribbon belts - some are actually Leatherman (I wouldn't be surprised if they all are commonly sourced) and Leatherman is $11 cheaper per belt. There is not much overlap between the designs offered by Leatherman and Press right now, though, on their websites, so check them both out.

I have two Leatherman ribbons and have been very happy with them in terms of construction and look.
This is why I didn't mention JPress by name. I thought all (or most) were Leatherman. (Or Smathers & Branson for the needlepoint)

The thing is, online, the only "motif" ribbons are on the tab belts, which I have some reservations about compared to the basic ribbon/web. Maybe you guys are referring to the brick and mortar selection?

Also, does anyone have experience with 2 or more of the brands I mentioned?

Thanks again.
 

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I've always assumed that D-ring ribbon belts tend gradually to loosen during wear, due to slippage at the buckle, especially with nylon. Am I wrong?
 

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I have a Vineyard Vines d-ring cotton/ribbon belt that I got as a present some years ago. I wear it regularly and the only sign of wear is where the belt is folded over to keep the d-ring; the plastic thread is starting to pull away. it is a slight annoyance that i'm sure my cobbler can repair.

I have another cotton/ribbon d-ring belt from North Sails that is holding up much better, except it is very worn where the d-ring rides. i wear it sailing and the sun and salt water have taken their toll over the course of many seasons

both tend to slip a little with wear and i have to keep cinching it throughout the day

i don't like ribbon-only belts. i feel like there isn't enough substance to act as a proper belt. but i have no rear and my belts truly hold my pants up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I've always assumed that D-ring ribbon belts tend gradually to loosen during wear, due to slippage at the buckle, especially with nylon. Am I wrong?
That's a worry, but I thought if I went with cotton web it would be ok. Does anyone here know for sure if that holds up better (literally)? (They do need to be functional as I'm not quite as svelte as I used to be :rolleyes:)

Did not know they existed. You might be the first to review if you decided to do business with them. I did not see any prices on the web site.
Found them through an online seller. Apparently there's more who carry them, but I haven't found any reviewed comparisons to Leatherman or Belted Cow.

Anyone go the mom (& pop) route? Did they turn out ok?

I have a Vineyard Vines d-ring cotton/ribbon belt that I got as a present some years ago. I wear it regularly and the only sign of wear is where the belt is folded over to keep the d-ring; the plastic thread is starting to pull away. it is a slight annoyance that i'm sure my cobbler can repair.

I have another cotton/ribbon d-ring belt from North Sails that is holding up much better, except it is very worn where the d-ring rides. i wear it sailing and the sun and salt water have taken their toll over the course of many seasons

both tend to slip a little with wear and i have to keep cinching it throughout the day

i don't like ribbon-only belts. i feel like there isn't enough substance to act as a proper belt. but i have no rear and my belts truly hold my pants up.
Hmm. Now I'm reconsidering things a bit.

EDIT: I suppose I could still get one, and use a military buckle since those can be easily added on and hold very well. Would that look acceptable, though?
 

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I prefer my JPress belts to my Brooks Brothers' ones. I have two BB "Country Club" belts in appealing colors, but they don't have enough material inside to prevent the belts from rolling over on themselves.
 

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Yeah, I just looked at those (seersucker/tartan/anchor). They are printed ribbon belts, not ribbon over cotton web.

I also just looked at the North Sails one, and that's a textbook example of what I was after (except other designs).
^where are these from?
 

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Hmm. Now I'm reconsidering things a bit.

EDIT: I suppose I could still get one, and use a military buckle since those can be easily added on and hold very well. Would that look acceptable, though?
to be fair, it was Vineyard Vines' first year making web belts. so it's possible they're making them better now. the belt itself is holding up well, just the one line of stitching is pulling out.

as for a military buckle, it has been awhile since i've worn one but if the width's of the belt and buckle match up, i don't see why it wouldn't look fine...different, but fine. i prefer the d-ring style.

I also just looked at the North Sails one, and that's a textbook example of what I was after
that's the belt i was talking about. i have the one with the red trim going on 10 years now. i got it from my local North loft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
^where are these from?
Although, I just posted it as an example of type. Most other ribbon designs (boats, lobsters etc) look better. (to me, anyhow)

to be fair, it was Vineyard Vines' first year making web belts. so it's possible they're making them better now. the belt itself is holding up well, just the one line of stitching is pulling out.

as for a military buckle, it has been awhile since i've worn one but if the width's of the belt and buckle match up, i don't see why it wouldn't look fine...different, but fine. i prefer the d-ring style.

that's the belt i was talking about. i have the one with the red trim going on 10 years now. i got it from my local North loft.
Different, eh? Different as in overhearing "Hey mommy, why is that man wearing a buckle with that?" wherever I go? :icon_smile_big:
 

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I have a number of the Leatherman/J. Press "motif" belts (most are the leather tab/buckle variety), and I also recommend them. As well, I have a Leatherman d-ring belt that is ribbon over cotton web, and it also is a good, inexpensive choice. The J. Press ribbon belts (which are pure ribbon with a d-ring closure) also are very nice belts -- I find that this belt does the best job actually holding up my pants, but I don't wear it that frequently as I favor the leather tab and buckle closure.

In my experience, the nicest belt by far is the Smathers & Branson needlepoint. Based upon the quality of the S&B belt (the leather, the closures, as well as the effort that goes into the needlepoint design), I can understand why they are significantly more expensive than Leatherman/J. Press belts with tab closure. I do not have any experience with Tucker Blair, but they offer (what appear to be) high quality needlepoint belts at a lower price point than S&B.
 

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I have a couple Leatherman/J Press surcingles and they have held up very well. Among my d-ring collection, every belt has developed some amount of slippage. It's rather annoying.

As for VV. Would someone please let me know when they come out with a quality product at a good price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I have a number of the Leatherman/J. Press "motif" belts (most are the leather tab/buckle variety), and I also recommend them. As well, I have a Leatherman d-ring belt that is ribbon over cotton web, and it also is a good, inexpensive choice. The J. Press ribbon belts (which are pure ribbon with a d-ring closure) also are very nice belts -- I find that this belt does the best job actually holding up my pants, but I don't wear it that frequently as I favor the leather tab and buckle closure.

In my experience, the nicest belt by far is the Smathers & Branson needlepoint. Based upon the quality of the S&B belt (the leather, the closures, as well as the effort that goes into the needlepoint design), I can understand why they are significantly more expensive than Leatherman/J. Press belts with tab closure. I do not have any experience with Tucker Blair, but they offer (what appear to be) high quality needlepoint belts at a lower price point than S&B.
It's not just price, or that I suspect the notches on the leather would wear before the fabric, I also favor the ribbons for their "resolution" in design. Short of the Nautical Flag one (which I would love, but can't afford), most of the needlepoint designs look pixelated. Of course, that's due to the nature of the method, but that's a negative aspect for me.

I have a couple Leatherman/J Press surcingles and they have held up very well. Among my d-ring collection, every belt has developed some amount of slippage. It's rather annoying.

As for VV. Would someone please let me know when they come out with a quality product at a good price?
I think I'll add the brass buckle if I encounter that.
 
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