Passing your first dan is a very special day. It’s the day that you pass from provisional, cheapest essays actual black belt, and the last belt you’ll ever need to buy.
From now on, for the rest of your martial life, you’ll always wear the same belt. There are lots of belts to choose from, and lots of traditions to observe or ignore. Belts come in a choice of three materials, cotton, satin and silk. Cotton is the cheapest, has a matte finish, and is very hard-wearing. It is also the stiffest from new, and takes the longest to wear in so you can make a tight knot. As it ages, black cotton tends to go dark grey. Silk has a soft shine, and tends to take the dye better, thus it has a blacker look, that makes any text look brighter.
Silk belts tends to be a little softer, and thus tie easier from the word go. They age very quickly, and give the impression that you have been wearing them far longer than you actually have. I think that this is an immature con, but a surprising number of people buy them for exactly that reason. Satin is a compromise between the two.
It has a similar shiny look to silk but approaches the durability of cotton. It also retains its colour quite well. The main benefit of satin is that it doesn’t wear as quickly and costs less than silk. Name brand, high street manufacturer or converted sensei belt? There is a lot of personal philosophy involved in choosing a black belt.
I know that many senseis like to remove the white strip from their black and white belt to denote a continuation of their training. I would also remind you that technically, your black and white is still the property of GKR, so you’ll need the permission of your sensei before hacking it apart. Others like to use the black belt that they were awarded at shodan ho for similar reasons. The problem with both of these options, is getting them decently embroidered, and you’ll probably be limited to a high-street embroidery shop.