Why Not Collect Men’s Belt Buckles?


Do you collect men’s belt buckles? Even if you don’t, without knowing it, you might be perfectly poised to start a collection. A belt you bought off-the-rack at a department store might be designed to accept interchangeable buckles: a military-style belt, a wide leather belt with a pressed pattern for casual wear, or a polished leather belt for formal attire.

Belts for Interchangeable Men’s Belt Buckles

There are two very common schemes for belts that handle interchangeable men’s belt buckles. In most cases, the buckle end of the belt folds back on itself, and two or three snaps hold it around a bale on the back of the buckle. You might buy one of these without knowing it because they often hang on racks along with belts whose buckles are sewn or riveted onto the belt strap.

Alternatively, buckles made for web-style belt straps (common for military uniforms) clamp onto the belt strap anywhere you wish to place them. These come off the strap easily, and you can replace them with other clamp-on belt buckles.

Swap a Snap-on Buckle

If you don’t know whether you can swap buckles on your leather belt, look at the buckle end where the belt folds back on itself. If you see only stitching holding the belt together, that one isn’t a candidate. If, on the other hand, you see two or three rivet heads, these might be the back sides of snaps. Try to pull the folded-over flap away from the back of the belt. You may need to pull hard… but it’s not likely to require a lot of effort. If those rivet heads are riveted through, again: the belt isn’t a candidate for change. However, it’s likely that flap will pop free, revealing that it’s snapped against the belt. You can replace the buckle. The photo sequence below shows the simple procedure.

Swap a Clip-on Buckle

opposite ends of the same belt

If you have belts that resemble straps of tightly-woven threads, chances are the buckles are simply clamped onto those straps. Typically, the buckle end of the strap is unfinished, and maybe even frayed. The other end of the strap has leather or some other material stitched on, or a piece of metal folded around it and crimped into place.


Because you can slide as much of the belt as you want through the clamp of a clip-on buckle, you can easily adjust a belt strap made of webbing to any length. It’s an ingenious design that lets the wearer create the “brass-on-brass” look expected by the military brass. The photo sequence below shows how to insert a belt strap into a clamp-on buckle.

Your Collection of Men’s Belt Buckles

If you have at least one belt that can accommodate interchangeable buckles, you’ve already started a buckle collection (that belt must have a buckle, no?) Now, think about your interests, your hobbies, your affiliations. Are you a sports fan? An audiophile? A brand-enthusiast? Find some buckles that represent your preferences, and swap them onto your belt as your mood or situation dictates.

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