Many of you probably already own a leather hole puncher (also sold at craft stores like Michaels), one of my holy grail tools featured a couple times on this blog! I’ve been punch-happy using this baby to make handbag straps, belts, even the ankle straps of shoes fit better. But after adding a perfect new hole, what to do with the unsightly belt tail that remains flapping against your purse strap or waist? (especially if you like to wear belts over dresses that have no loops) Below are a few solutions on how to fix a too long belt strap, ranging from easy DIY hacks to professional fixes:
1. Use a small clear or colored elastic.
Works best for: skinny belts or straps, or, black straps that are easy to match with black rubber bands. For the cleanest look, you want to use a rubber band that’s a snug fit and doesn’t need to be wrapped around multiple times. I buy packages of hair elastics that come with multiple sizes, in order to have the best size on hand for each strap width.
See clear hair elastics used above on my Gucci purse, and black elastics used below on belts:
2. Try a Belt Loopy
Works best for: wide leather belts that you wear over a dress or skirt. I ordered the Belt Loopy to see whether this was another “as seen on TV” gimmick, or an ingenious solution. Consensus so far is it’s in between, and works well for the specific situation I mentioned. These are basically wired strips of material covered in faux leather that you can bend and shape to create temporary belt loops. The strips are several inches long and work best on wider belts, otherwise you’d have to wrap them around multiple times.
If your leather belt is a good color match for one of the 4 shades, it actually looks pretty seamless like it’s part of the original belt! I also think these are best for a belt that you wear over a dress or skirt, since that means you won’t be buckling and unbuckling it throughout the day, causing wear and tear against the faux leather loop.
Sidenote, the double ring belt I’m wearing above JUST got restocked in XXS for both gold and silver! This should fit someone similar to me in size without adjustments needed. I have the XS which runs a little big (holes measure 27″ to 31″) since I didn’t know there would be a restock. The faux leather is weighty and good quality and the belt has a lining along the interior. And if you’re looking for a designer belt that fits narrow waists without adjustments needed, the Gucci belt I reviewed in this post starts in size 65 which would suit a 22″ to 23″ waist (I wear a size 70).
3. Style the tail into a single or pretzel loop.
Works best for: skinny belts with just a few inches of extra length (for a single loop) or a long tail of excess length (for a pretzel loop). I especially like these looks on braided skinny belts!
4. Have a cobbler shorten the strap.
Works best for: when you want a perfectly-fitting belt, or when you don’t want to punch extra holes into your belt and end up with a long row of holes. A cobbler will usually cut and refinish the strap, sometimes from the buckle end and sometimes from the tail end, depending on the fit situation and design. For belt / strap shortening, I’ve been quoted a range of $5 to $40 depending on the complexity of the job.
Which of these solutions have you tried? Please feel free to share any other tips!