Belts have been documented for male clothing since the bronze age, which, for Europe, was between 3600 and 600 BC. Both genders used them off and on, depending on the current fashion. In the western world, belts were more common for men, with the exception of the early Middle Ages late 17th century Mantua, and skirt/blouse combinations between 1900 and 1910.
|A Japanese Obi-variant|
In modern times, men started wearing belts in the 1920s, as trouser waists fell to a lower line. Before the 1920s, belts served mostly a decorative purpose, and were associated with the military. Today it is common for men to wear a belt with their trousers.
Over the course of history, the belt has known many traditional different styles. In Japan, for women wearing the traditional Kimono, the Obi came to be. Worn both by men and women, though the width would differ, the men wearing less wide versions. Some have extensive folding on the back.
|Tribal Cowrie belt by Studio StebbyLee|
On Etsy you can also find them, though they are not plentiful, for instance in the store of Studio StebbyLee
Of course, the Belt has a very practical use now a days, keeping pants from ending up around our ankles. Although they are still a way to express ourselves. Either by colour, material or with adornment, such as the studded belts worn in Rock- and Grunge scene's. If you want to make a statement, a belt definately is a part of it!