A good belt can make an outfit, I think. Right now, anyway. Truth be told, my enthusiasm for belts has waxed and waned over the years. In my teens, I became obsessed with finding the perfect pyramid belt, a studded black leather style commonly worn by members of punk bands. (Luckily, there are very few photos of me sporting the outfits I paired it with – my punk phase was more misguided than cute.) I left that belt behind when I moved to Vancouver university, but found myself in love with a very different kind of belt when I took a job at a local boutique. The selection of belts where I worked all came from a single Canadian brand. They were immaculate and timeless, made of the smoothest leather. They were also way out of my very limited student price range and I was never able to afford one.
I have spent much of this year on an unsuccessful quest for the much coveted Gucci Marmont belt. My size is sold out everywhere and I have hesitated more than once when it has become available. The price is high, after all, especially for a piece everyone else has right now but may tire of in the next six months. What I want in a belt, truly, is a timeless style I can wear for years to come. The last thing I want to worry about when something I love might start to look dated.
Sometimes, there is a reason a purchase just doesn’t work out. A few weeks after my most recent Gucci hunt fiasco, an email arrived in my inbox from a brand with an undeniably familiar name: BRAVE Leather. I quickly realised why I recognised the name – it was their belts that I spent so much time coveting when I worked in retail at university. When a delivery with a BRAVE Leather shipping label on it arrived at my door, I could hardly contain my excitement. The belts are just are gorgeous as I remember and, as it turns out, the brand does a lot more than just belts. (I’ve been carrying one of their handbags everywhere lately, but there’s more to come on that later.)
There is so much to love about BRAVE Leather, from the quality of the craftsmanship to the timeless styles the offer. But, I admit, what I love best now isn’t just the fact that my new pieces go with everything I already own. Everything BRAVE Leather sells is made in Canada. Every piece, in fact, is made to order in the brand’s Toronto workshop. In our fast fashion world, made in Canada garments are increasingly rare. I’ve shared my desire to support local before, but it’s been a while. And the simple reason is that it’s not easy. Case in point: I’m wearing a Canadian made coat in these photos. My mom bought it at the Bay sometime in the early eighties. The days of buying Canadian made off the rack are long over. I can’t remember the last time I saw a coat with a “made in Canada” tag.
But Canadian brands are out there. And if BRAVE Leather is any indication, they are worth the patience it may take to find them. (And many, like BRAVE, offer online shopping, which means not actually going out in the cold to go shopping – a bonus, in my opinion.) Belts aren’t just for holding pants up. In fact, many of us don’t need them for that. But they can elevate even the simplest outfit, taking it from basic to beautiful.
#braveleather #sezane #aninebing #hm #paigedenim