Is it worth it?: Belt and brasses

Would you spend pounds 540 to hold your trousers up with a Hermes 'dog' belt?

Hermes is one of those dreadfully posh labels that has been around for ever. The company was set up in 1837 as harness makers and produced saddlery for the great stables of France. Then, the motor car came a long, so Hermes went into leather goods.

The unfortunately named "dog" belt is one of Hermes oldest designs and comes at the very modern price of pounds 540. "Someone saw a dog collar in the Twenties and launched the style," says Hermes spokeswoman Louisa Barham, "and it has remained highly fashionable."

The "dog" belt has two rather odd, gold-plated, brass attachments. One looks like the studs and lead-pull you find on pit bulls, the other, which secures the belt, looks like nothing on earth - a strange fastening with five slits, a couple of pyramid shapes and a sticky-out padlock loop. The leather is soft and comfortable, but it looks ridiculous.

However, it is expensive and immediately recognisable as Hermes, so who cares if it looks like an extra on Pets Win Prizes? "Hermes uses the same traditional saddle stitch on all our leather products," says Barham. "This belt will last for ever. It's hand-crafted from the very best grained, calf leather and it's thick enough to go round jeans. If you put it around an inexpensive dress, it can make it look a million dollars."

So, what did our expert think? I took the Hermes "dog" belt and a cheaper pounds 27.95 version from Fenwick to Patrick Whitaker, one half of leather designers Whitaker Malem. "The Hermes belt is absolutely exquisite. It's very well made. It's got a very complicated buckle and they've actually edge-stained within there," he says pointing to the slits on the gold fastening. "Edge- staining is where they dye the rough edges of the leather to give it a finished look. Also, the slits have been hand-done with a clicking knife, which is very difficult.

"Good belts are curved and this one is straight, which is peculiar, unless they are trying to make it look parallel to the hip. The stitching is done with a two-tone thread and it's fabulous - I can't see where they started and finished.

"But I have to say," whispers Patrick, "I'm not impressed by the outer leather. It's a bit plasticky-looking. Also, the fitting on the side is a bit tiny. Hermes are really playing on the name and you are paying for the label. It would be okay to spend pounds 350, but pounds 520 is too much.

Patrick turns to the cheaper belt. "The brass buckle is quite good, but they haven't edge-stained the inside of the belt holes, which is a shame. The belt holes are lopsided, and the belt is also straight. It's cheaper to make them that way. This one is extremely good value."

So, the Hermes belt is a fine example of craftmanship, but if you have pounds 520 to spend, get a present for your dog and wear something a little simpler.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'