Preston Ribbon Belts for Men are a Summer Hit
Are June and July two of your favorite months? Do you enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle? Is “casual” your preferred state of dress? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you owe it to yourself to check out Epic Mens’ new selection of Preston Leather Ribbon Belts. Smart and quirky, with a touch of prep school charm, a ribbon belt is the perfect way to add a little flair to your everyday attire. Chris Ebinger, owner of Preston Leather, couldn’t agree more, and he makes a convincing case that these versatile belts “go well with khakis or grey flannels, pants or shorts, socks or no socks, on the golf course or out to dinner.” In fact, Chris readily attributes his own “fabulous” seaside look to the designer ribbon belts and comfy boat shoes he wears religiously – every day of the week from the beginning of May through the end of October. But Preston Ribbon Belts are not just a summertime staple. True fans wear them year-round for a clean, tailored aesthetic that’s as easy on the eye as it is on the waist.
To learn more about these iconic American belts, we reached out to Chris in his small, coastal community of Ipswich, Massachusetts. As well as being home to famed 17th century American poet Anne Bradstreet and the ever-popular annual Clam Chowderfest, Ipswich is also home to Preston Leather, the family-owned business Chris’s father and uncles founded in 1947.
As Chris tells it, the original business was called Ebinger Brothers Leather and was primarily focused on selling leather for use in the production of shoes, bags, and garments. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that the family acquired Preston Leather and actually began manufacturing finished products, such as moccasins, fly reel cases, and fly books. Eventually, the line grew to encompass a wide range of ribbon products, including men’s and women’s belts, totes, key fobs, pet gear, and custom products developed for golf clubs, colleges, universities and other private entities – all sold under the name Preston Ribbons.
Every Preston Ribbon Belt has a unique story to tell. Like traditional needlepoint belts, ribbon belts feature a repeating design or pattern that holds a special meaning for the wearer. However, unlike needlepoint belts where the woven design is part of the belt’s structure, a ribbon belt is comprised of two separate elements: a cotton or cotton-blend ribbon embellished with a particular design and the webbed backing it is stitched to.
Today, all Preston Ribbon products are hand-assembled in the U.S.A. by a team of eight skilled seamstresses, whom Chris refers to as the “heart” of the business. Once a ribbon is designed and woven, it is stitched to the webbed backing, cut to the appropriate length and finished off with leather tabs and a nickel-plated brass buckle. To aid in this process, the factory boasts nine manually operated sewing machines and one computer stitching machine. Several additional employees, responsible for leather cutting, assembly, packaging and shipping, round out the close-knit team. As the business grows and new employees come on board, they are trained by veteran team members whose skills have been expertly honed over time.
The ideas for Preston Leather’s ribbon designs (A whopping 200 in all!) come from a variety of places: current fashion trends, customer requests, suggestions from friends and family – and of course the boss himself. While very few designs are ever retired, as many as 10 new ones are added each year. And it seems, some are easier to perfect than others. According to Chris, one of the company’s newer releases (Mermaid) has been in the works for almost a decade. Preston Ribbons places an extraordinary amount of emphasis on the clarity of its designs. Chris contends there should be no room for misinterpretation, adding that people should recognize what’s being depicted in a design the second they see it. It’s this devotion to realism and flawless execution, along with affordable prices and exceptional service and delivery, that sets Preston Ribbons apart from the competition.
Another factor that differentiates the folks at Preston Ribbons (and frankly endears them to us) is their focus on preppy pet accessories. We love the beautiful black lab sporting the aquamarine-colored ribbon collar on the Preston Leather homepage, and we weren’t the least bit surprised when Chris told us that pet accessory sales far exceed their “for people” products. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to choose who gets to step out looking his best – you or your dog. You can both look great this summer with matching Preston Ribbon accessories.
When we asked Chris how many Preston Ribbon Belts he currently owns, he confided he has upwards of 30 to 40 different styles, which he changes up weekly throughout the year. While you might not need quite that many, you can’t go wrong with three or four. Visit www.epicmens.com today to take a closer look at the line’s best-selling designs: Code Flags, Red Lobster, American Flag or Whales. If the sun’s out and the temperature’s rising, it’s time to freshen up your summer wardrobe, and there’s no better place to begin than with a distinctive Preston Ribbon Belt that speaks volumes about you and your winning personality.