Belts present a special conundrum for men. Do you buy one that stands out, or one that's purely functional and disappears? If you're in the former camp (and you really ought to be), then your first concern is actually a belt buckle. For most of us that still means finding one that'll conveniently match almost everything in your wardrobe. A buckle that'll become your go-to accessory. A buckle that's not-so-subtly badass. Which is to say one by leathersmith Jeff Taylor, who makes that very product, and then partners it with 27 belt varietals that all but guarantee a never-seen-this-before look.
Taylor's buckles are handmade to order in his Hyannis, Massachusetts, workshop, which is located in the heart of the Cape Cod town's historic downtown. The veteran craftsman, who has spent the last 32 years fashioning these brass and white-bronze-silver clasps, uses an antiquated wax casting method to mold his desired shape – in this case, an offshore fishing hook. Once it's cooled, the resulting hook is removed from the mold, and any sharp edges are smoothed. For the accompanying belt, Taylor uses buffalo leather that has been cured with bark tannins, which he also hand cuts and bevels to ensure any sharp edges are removed. We fully endorse Taylor's hook, but he also offers a popular Cape Cod model, along with a plethora of other styles that are just as well crafted. [$97; cellarleather.com]