English Bridle Leather Belts. Day 3: Equus Leather
About the author: Chris (aka bruschetta) is an America-born university researcher and teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland. His sense of style is inspired by a childhood dressed in Ivy league trad, and the fact that he is enormously well bred. He’s the moderator that the Dappered Threads deserve, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian of style. A watchful pro, Joe, are you writing this down?
If there were a custom English bridle leather belt championship in the overall style community, Equus Leather would be the undisputed titleholder. Charlie and Dawn Trevor have enjoyed tremendous success on style forums and blogs due to their focus on three elements: terrifically high quality, excellent customer service, and savvy community based word-of-mouth marketing.
After achieving some early success in the realm of custom English bridle belts, I decided to find a belt that I could wear on the rare days that I wear a suit. Equus Leather came highly recommended by the mysterious stranger that I mentioned in an earlier review. Equus is also a sponsor of Styleforum, and is a highly active member on a number of online style forums.
Fancy packaging for another investment-level belt.
Equus offers by far the most custom belt variations. They also have the most customization options on their product pages. The photographs of their belts are superb, and the descriptions of each belt, buckle, leather type, and colour are detailed. There is a risk that a visitor may feel overwhelmed by the the amount of information and the high quantity of customizable variables offered. However, I think that they’ve found the perfect balance between information and choices. Equus uses the same J & E Sedgwick leather as the Worcestershire Leather Company.
Well that’s awfully nice.
The West End Bridle Leather Belt is Equus’ most popular style, and that’s the belt that put them on the style community’s radar. I was sorely tempted by a few other styles, including the Swage, the Carnaby, and the Garrison.
I ordered a West End Bridle Belt in Dark Havanna in a 1 1/8th width with a nickel buckle. I also chose the option to have 5 holes instead of 7, and shrink the spacing of the holes to 3/4ths of an inch. The total cost was £65.88 GBP shipped to the UK (the same belt is £69.76 shipped to the USA ($116). Again, many will wince at that price, and that’s understood. But I was shooting for my own personal interpretation of perfection.
West End Bridle Belt in Dark Havanna with 3/4″ hole spacing.
Dawn sent me a personal email the same day that I placed my order to let me know that it would be around six weeks before the belt would ship. This wait time is not unusual for Equus: they have become highly popular (for good reason). I expect that their wait times will become even longer as their popularity continues to grow. Dawn emailed me again when the belt shipped, just short of six weeks from when I placed the order.
The belt is gorgeous. The J & E Sedgwick leather is thick, soft, and smooth. Dark Havana is a dark, rich, suitworthy shade of brown. I wore the belt to work the next morning and it conformed to my waist without any break-in. I like the slightly narrow 1 1/8ths widthÍ¾ 1″ would be too thin for a belt made of leather this thick. I’m also a fan of the 3/4th inch hole spacing.
The buckle is really the star of the belt. The body of the buckle is a light, polished gold, and the tongue is a silver stainless steel. I prefer this buckle to the buckles on my Journeyman and Worcestershire belts.
The two tone buckle. A little bit of flash.
I have a hard time finding any faults with Equus’ work. If I had to find some criticism it would be that the leather is not as perfectly polished or as uniform as Worcestershire’s belt. But that difference is negligible. Much of what I wrote on the tremendous value of Worcestershire’s belts also applies to Equus. That being said, Equus offers a sizable advantage in terms of the customization options that they provide.
Company: Equus Leather
Length: 36″, 5 holes, 3/4″ between holes
Width: 1 1/8th inches
Colour: Dark Havana
Cost: £65.88 GBP shipped within the UK, £69.76 shipped to the USA ($116)
And that, dear reader, is the final stop on my custom belt journey. I am pleased with all three of my purchases and I would happily recommend all of the companies that I reviewed. In anticipation of questions that are sure to appear in the comments, here’s a quick Q and A.
Q. Which company are you likely to purchase from in the future?
A. It depends on the type of belt that I would be purchasing. For example, I prefer a Equus’ Sam Browne belt to Worcestershire’s. In a situation where Equus and Worcestershire offered belts that were identical, I would be more likely to purchase from Tim Hardy at the Worcestershire Leather Company. I feel that his belt provided the most valueÍ¾ the belt was as flawless as an article of clothing can be. Additionally, the wait time was short compared to Equus’ 6 weeks. Having said that, if I were to order from Tim again, I would want to customise my belt more than his website allows. He’s open to taking custom requests over email, so I would pursue that option.
Q. Which company do you recommend to someone who is buying their first custom belt?
A. Equus Leather. The quantity of information and the high degree of personalisation makes Equus the best choice for new buyers. Equus’ array of options makes it easy to purchase a highly custom belt. They also have excellent product photos and descriptions. The quality is darned near perfect, and their belts represent a fantastic value.
Q. How do I measure myself for a custom belt?