The Sam Browne Belt is a wide belt, held in place by a shoulder strap. This diagonal strap supports the belt and gives a distinctive appearance.
Sam Browne Belt – History
Invented by General Sam Browne, the belt helped support the weight of the sword carried by officers. The Sam Browne Belt would become a staple of military and police uniforms. Supporting the weight of duty items was its initial purpose. However, the formal appearance it created made this more than a belt. Representing authority, professionalism and duty, this belt became a statement.
From Browne’s Imperial India, the belt would spread among the British military. It became a symbol of an officer’s rank and prestige. Other countries soon followed. First the British and Commonwealth nations, such as Canada and Australia. Americans, such as General John Pershing would also advocate its use in formal wear.
Others would also make use of its authoritative appeal. The belt was a necessary part of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini’s wardrobe. However, these fascists were late to the Sam Browne Belt fashion. Women in the interwar period were already wearing the belt as a fashion statement.
Sam Browne Belt – Today
The Belt would survive the associations with excessive militarism, and remain a proud part of military and police dress uniforms. With relatively more women in uniformed service, the Sally Browne Belt is also noticeable.
While its use in the military is declining, a new company is adding this style of belt to the world of fashion. Heldin Belt designed a light and fashionable Sally Browne. Currently the only fashion belt of this kind. Marketed specifically to women, it’s available in black, red and of course pink.