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The Number One Indispensensable Men's Travel Accessory - The Reversible Belt

Updated on October 29, 2007

I travel a lot for business and through the years of doing it I've grown more and more successful at packing just enough of everything I'll need when away from home. It's almost a contest for me to see if I can pack just the right amount of clothing to get through the trip having worn absolutely everything in the carry on or suitcase, whichever the case may be (get it?).

Through my travels and the continual changing restrictions of carry on luggage in the name of security, I've tried my desperate best to not check luggage when at all possible. Sure it means an extra visit to the chiropractor or massage therapist from shlepping more than the law should ever allow on your shoulders and trailing behind you. Sure it means juggling carry on, briefcase and shoes like you're with Barnum and Bailey at the security checkpoint but when I can sail right by the people waiting at the luggage carousels, it makes it all worth while.

Regardless of whether you're going for a short trip or long trip I've found the number one indispensable men's travel accessory is without a doubt the reversible belt. I know, I know right now you're saying, "You mean it isn't enough clean underwear?" No, it's not, I'm sorry to tell my Jewish mother who right now is wondering what would happen if I got in a car accident on my travels and didn't have on clean underwear. It's all about the belt.

Most likely you're going to wear one pair of shoes and unless they're going to be black and go with everything, you will want to pack a pair of shoes in a different color. This is for a couple reasons. When you're on the road you may as well be a pregnant woman. You eat more salty foods and usually drink more alcohol until you're puffy enough to be the Michelin Man. Well, besides your pants (which in a worst case scenario you can always push down under your gut - I know, not pretty but can be done.) You're feet can get pretty swollen from all that retention of water and if you've ever worn shoes that were too tight you know exactly how miserable it can make you (and in more than just the foot area). So wear the black shoes on the plane and take the brown ones in your luggage. Believe me when I say it won't go unnoticed, either. If you're with a group of the same people in meetings every day and show up with the brown shoes instead of the black you wore the day before, they may not say anything but the ZZ Top song is true, "cause every girl's crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man." They'll notice all right and wonder how you managed to just have carry-on luggage but have an extra pair of shoes plus all the clothes you need. It presents an image of being organized and ready for anything, not bad qualities to exude in the world of business incidentally.

But what always hangs guys up is that like it or not, for the most part our belt needs to match our shoes. Sure you can get away with a black belt on brown pants but start wearing a black belt on navy pants and you've suddenly created a look normally reserved for bruises. And this gentlemen, is where the belt you wear makes all the difference.

From the cheapest to the most expensive designers, most make reversible belts. I suggest if you travel often or even if you don't, treat yourself and go for a little nicer belt as you truly get what you pay for when it comes to a belt. If you buy too cheap the leather is so stiff that you may as well have a piece of metal around your waist. Go for the good leather, you won't be sorry from the feel or the durability. When it comes to the buckle you want to make sure that you have something not too flashy, remember the idea is to also make them think you've packed an extra belt too. I suggest silver as it's less likely to chip off and let's face it, the gold belt buckles always tend to look like you're trying to make people think you're wearing real gold when the truth is that if it was against your skin it would make your waist so green that you might think you have a disease.

Trust me when I tell you that the belt is not only important, it's the thing that can make or break you if you're on business, trying to pack efficiently and make the right impression. So remember that although what your mother told you is true about your underwear, you could always turn it inside out if you really had to...and by the way, that's exactly the idea behind the reversible belt - the number one men's indispensable travel accessory!


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