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A belt is a flexible band made of either leather or a type of cloth worn around the waist, generally serving the purpose of supporting clothing items, in particular trousers, that would otherwise become too loose, and/or for the purpose of decoration. At one end of the belt is a belt buckle that is fashioned onto the other end of the belt. The other end of the belt contains several holes, into which a prong (which is part of the buckle) may be inserted to for the purpose of securing the belt. Sometimes there is a clamp system so that no holes are needed.

In western civilizations, males insert the belt through the pant loops in a counter-clockwise manner (if looking upon from above) and female tend to insert the belt through the pant loops in a clockwise manner.

A variant of the belt is the utility belt, which includes pockets for carrying items that the wearer needs for prompt use and loops to hang larger items. Police officers, soldiers and repair personnel are typical roles which use this kind of belt. The most famous fictional example is Batman's utility belt.


Another variant is the sash, which is a cloth belt designed to hold a robe together. A sash is usually tied about the waist.

The Japanese equivalent of a sash, which is used for a kimono or yukata, is called an obi. Obi are generally worn differently depending on the occasion.

Sashes are traditionally part of formal military attire, and some decorations, such as the Legion d'honneur are worn with a special sash.

In South and Latin America, the president's authority is indicated by a special Presidential sash.

Decorative sashes may pass from the shoulder to the hip rather than around the waist.