Product was provided for this post as part of an opportunity with The Brand Connection.
I don't think much about belts, because I am a girl. I have these things called hips that hold my pants up, for better or worse. If I'm wearing a belt, chances are it's purely for fashion-related purposes. The utility of belts eluded me until my now-husband enlightened me when we were first dating.
Menfolk LOVE their belts. They have weird attachments to them, even. The weathering of the leather, the places where they had to add extra holes, the way the patina of the buckle ages… Even Jasper, at the tender age of seven, is developing opinions on and attachments to belts. it's all a part of some essential manliness that I just can't relate to.
Still, when I heard about the Mission Belt Co., I was intrigued. Their belts come in a range of leather colors and they offer varied buckle motifs, which obviously raises the bar from the usual "do you want brown or black leather to hold your pants up?" Even more intriguing is the proprietary mechanism that Mission Belts use to cinch up. Instead of using holes and a peg, they ratchet shut. Sort of similar to old fashioned military buckles but these don't untighten at unseemly moments. Your Mission Belt stays as tight as you want it to with no give and no fear of plumber's butt. Your pants will stay up, son! This video explains how it works:
Now, Bob has a color palette. You would assume since he's an artist that he would be open to some color and variety, but typically you will see him in some permutation of black/brown/charcoal/olive. It has actually become a joke between us and I am constantly trying to get him to incorporate some color into his wardrobe.
When I was asked to review Mission Belts, I decided to order The Ferrari for him. It's the racy bright red one shown above. Much to my surprise and delight, he loved it. It's slightly dressier than he's used to, but he was cool with giving it a go. I really loved the packaging, which was as well-designed and sleek as the Mission Belt itself.
Now, let me back up a minute. Bob's favorite belt is one he got when he was in high school. I am not even joking. Its brown leather has stretched over the years, so the part by the buckle is seriously a quarter of an inch narrower that at the back. He finally retired it after admitting it just wasn't doing its job anymore. (Being Bob, he is refashioning it to hold tools in his studio. Of course.)
I wasn't expecting him to embrace his Mission Belt with such a fervor. He loved his old belt and this was a brightly colored, newfangled, and even kinda metrosexual belt. Dare I say it has a European panache? So I was surprised and thrilled when he gave it a glowing thumbs-up. He even went into a long, rambling explanation of how ingenious the ratcheting closure system is and how it means that your belt will be ultra secure, blah, blah, blah. The man loves his Mission Belt.
It's darned good looking, at it holds my baby's pants up. What could be better? Well, let me tell you: the mission of the Mission Belt Co. is not only to hold men's pants up in the most attractive way possible. They are also committed to supporting bmicrolending initiatives that help make the world a better place. How cool is that? Answer: pretty darned cool.
A dollar might not seem like much, but when you consider that the standard Mission Belts only cost $34.95, it's a pretty significant contribution, and one that adds up quickly for sustainable trade/not aid initiatives.
Moms of and those married to fashionista type dudes will be impressed to know that the various buckles and belts can be interchanged for a wide range of options to match even the most fickle moods. And sports fans can even show their spirit with the Mission Belt Co. NBA, NCAA, and NHL team branded belts. (I am slightly annoyed that they don't have a Wichita State belt yet, but we'll see how the playoffs go this year.)
I am definitely ordering a kids-sized Mission Belt for Jasper this year. Probably the Kid Vader, because, uh, VADER. Duh!