gbelts: Understated Swagger

Golf fashion has certainly been influenced by street wear over the past few years. We see it in the bright colors, the shoes, the flat-bill caps, etc. But what if we flipped this around and golf fashion started influencing every day wear? That’s the idea behind Southern California start-up belt brand gbelts.

gbeltsI love apparel and accessories that are multidimensional and offer a dichotomy of styles — a ying and yang, if you will. From the moment I saw the first images of gbelts’ prototype buckles and straps on Instagram and Twitter early this year, I knew they were totally on point. Take one peek at a belt from gbelts and you’ll see a complex confluence of styles. Understated, yet brash. A hip-hop swagger blended with a smooth jazz baseline. Uptown luxury fused with a downtown edge. A belt that is just as happy on a pair of jeans as it is on a pair of golf trousers (and don’t think for a minute you couldn’t pair a gbelt with a modern, slim fitting suit).

That being said, it’s not surprising that I was highly anticipating the launch of gbelts and it didn’t disappoint. This belt has a serious wow factor that can only be measured by my wife’s reaction. Most golf apparel and accessories elicit a shrug of the shoulders from my wife, but her first reaction to the belt from gbelts was, “Wow! That’s for golf? Very Cool.”

Very cool, indeed. The belt that I received has a rustic, yet modern look (another example of the blend of contrasting styles). The brushed antique brass buckle with a large scripted “g” is paired with the brand’s hybrid leather strap in a Coal River Black color.

gbeltsThe hybrid strap is made from genuine buffalo leather and has a soft, supple feel. The feel is on par with belts that I’ve owned from Hugo Boss and J.Lindeberg, so we’re talking about quality here. The strap checks in at a beefy width of 1.75″ and has two antique nickel snaps that not only add to the aesthetics of the belt, but also allow the buckles and straps to be mixed and matched to complement your look for the day.

gbelts offers straps in two styles and a variety of colors. In addition to the Coal River Black the hybrid strap is available in a grainy Safari Black; a rich Bourbon Brown; and a proper British Brown. The sport straps have a lower price point, a firmer feel and are available in a Simple Black, Ghost White, Timberwood Brown and my favorite, a spicy Caliente Red. Hopefully, we’ll see some additional colors in the future, too.

gbelts bucklesWhile the straps from gbelts are great, the buckles are what make these belts unique. One bit of warning. gbelts are addictive. Once you own one of the buckles, you’ll want to pick up the other ones. In addition to the antique brass buckle, gbelts also offers buckles in brushed antique nickel and matte black finishes. The sleek lines and aggressive colors of the antique nickel buckle conjures visions of a black Mercedes with chrome wheels. If ever a belt buckle could be referred to as sexy, it’s this one. The matte black buckle is understated, yet trendy, and will appeal to fans of the ‘murdered-out’ look. The brand also just introduced a smaller buckle for ladies, called the ‘1point5’, that looks just as good as the men’s buckles.

gbetlsIt’s amazing how many fashion brands have websites that are not up-to-par with the design of their products. Even worse they simply throw a great-looking shirt or pair of pants into a generic UPS bag or box and send it on its way. This has always created a disjointed customer experience for me.

The folks at gbelts, though, have extended the stylish design of their belts to their website and packaging — creating a consistent and aesthetically pleasing customer experience. The website offers a clean, modern design and great-looking product images. You feel as though you’ve stepped into a virtual boutique when you hit the site, which immediately creates a stylish first impression.

gbelts package closedThis positive experience is continued once you receive your shipment from gbelts. The brand stole a page from Apple’s book with a less is more approach to the packaging. The minimalistic design of a basic black box with the gbelts logo is simple and elegant — perfect for gifts and merchandising at green grass shops.

gbelts package opengbelts has become one of my favorite brands to follow in the social media world. Give them a follow on Twitter and Facebook, but the brand really shines on Instagram. Their images are highly creative and feature artistically placed products. I’ve included images from gbelts in this post to give you a flavor.

P.S. gbelts has some pretty cool hats in flat-ball and slouch-fit styles, too.

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