For patent leather: To get your shiniest accessories glistening again, just wipe them with a bit of glass cleaner. To remove scuffs, gently scrub with a Q-tip and petroleum jelly.

For a too-big belt: When even the smallest notch is loose, pull your belt through its buckle to the desired tightness. Then loop it under and back over to create a secure knot.

For slippery soles: Prep shoes for icy surfaces by roughing up leather soles with sandpaper. Now you have enough grip to stay afoot.

By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor

Know any at-home tips or tricks? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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November 24, 2014

Belts. One is enough, right? Wrong. Belts are a great way to switch up an outfit or repurpose the same one you’ve been wearing week after week (you can’t fool us). Here are the answers to three questions about belt-ology.

The Men's Guide to Belts

1. What kind of belt should I wear with jeans? With a suit?
For jeans, throw on a leather, tweed, wool, or cotton belt – all these options look great against denim. On the other hand, a suit requires a sleek and simple belt. For navy suits, go with dark brown. For black and grey, look toward black leather.

2. How long should my belt be? 
Dress belts should have at least a few inches to the left once fastened. Too-short lengths make the belt appear too tight (you don’t want people to think you’re going to pop a button or anything). Casual belts can be worn looser since they’re not as stiff.

3. Should I choose a thin or thick belt? 
It’s all about the occasion. Never wear a thin (less than 1 inch in width) belt with jeans. That’s strictly for the ladies, and let’s keep it that way. With denim, go for a heftier buckle and thicker belt (between 1 and 1.5 inches in width). A thin(ner) option is, however, appropriate for formal and dressy events.

Still can’t decide? Own one black and one brown belt. You can’t go wrong.

Our Below the Belt: Denim, Boxers, Socks, & More Boutique opens Thursday, June 26 at 11AM ET.

By Natasha Iwanow, Copy Intern

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June 26, 2014

I love me a good belt – just peek inside my closet. But I always find myself stumbling upon the same frustrating problem: What on earth do you do with that pesky bit of extra belt?

The answer? Get creative. Below, four ways to tame a too-long belt:

4 Ways to Tame a Too-Long Belt

1. Knot it up. There are a bajillion ways to knot a belt (peep these ideas), but the “classic knot” above is my standby. Simply pull the end of the belt through the buckle, loop it under, then pull it back down taut through the loop you create.

2. Try a hair tie. Who knew hair ties could be so versatile? Loop one around a similarly colored belt to keep the end from flailing around aimlessly.

3. Play with Velcro. It’s not just for kids’ sneakers anymore. A piece of self-stick Velcro adhesive is a surefire way to keep things in place. This works wonders on belts in patent or leather, which are thick enough that the adhesive doesn’t peek through. (Avoid suede and other textured belts, which can get ruined.)

4. Employ a cobbler. Most belts can be cut – but instead of doing it yourself (I’ve tried, to no avail), hightail it to your local cobbler. They’ll fix it in a jiffy – and punch more holes in it, too, if you’d like.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

Have other fit tips you want answered? Check our The Fitting Room column every Monday, or tweet us at @ruelala

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February 4, 2013