I have to admit that I used to have “belt phobia”. Wearing belts were a challenge for me and I quickly gave up trying to style them with my outfits. But, over the years, I decided that I really had no reason to fear this accessory, and should at least attempt to figure out how to incorporate them in my style. I wanted to master this accessory, and like everything in life, if you are going to master it, then you have to try, try and try again.
Now, if you are one of those people reading this article and saying to yourself, “some people can pull off wearing belts, I’m just not one of them”, then I am going to ask you to have an open mind. Yes, I have seen many belt fails, but, on the other hand, I have seen tons of ways to wear belts creatively. I will be the first to admit that wearing belts can be challenging, especially if you are not trying to draw any attention to your waistline. But, you must know that belts can be very useful accessories and can add a whole new dimension to your wardrobe. They define the waistline, in a good way, add that extra polish to an outfit, and can even add a little bit of an edge to your look.
Now, let’s jump into some guidelines to wearing belts. It is very had to cover all belt solutions for all body types. If I were to take you shopping, I would probably end up trying on many belts with you in the store, as there is no one rule that covers it all. But here are some guidelines that could assist you. Remember, keeping an open mind is half the battle.
- Finding the right position on your body to rock a belt is very important. Let’s call it your sweet spot. As we all have different body shapes, our sweet spot may be a little higher or lower than our natural waistline. If you have a regular bust size, but carry a little extra around the midriff, placing a belt just above the waistline would usually be the sweet spot for you. If you are short-waisted but have a larger bust size, try placing the belt lower than the waistline. Finally, if you are long-waisted, wear your belt high on the natural waist.
- After finding your sweet spot, think about the width of the belt. Different widths may work better for different body frames. Experimenting with the various belt widths would assist you in finding one that works best for you. Women with a long waist can get away with wearing extra wide belts, whereas if you have a short-waist, narrower or skinny belts would be your best bet, as they elongate your body.
- Patience is your friend when it comes to trying to figure out the world of belts. Belts can feel a little odd if you are not used to wearing them. But, given some time, you will get used to the feeling of wearing a belt.
I have to say that the skinny belt is the Cadillac of the belt family. It’s rarely used to actually hold anything up. It’s only purpose is to sit on that sweet spot, and look pretty. Since it’s only job is to draw attention, make sure that it’s drawing the attention where you want it — normally, the smallest part of your waist. If you have no waist and consider yourself boxy, wearing a skinny belt will normally draw attention to the lack of shape, unless you are wearing a piece that is creating the shape for you, like an A-line dress or peplum shirt. When I first started wearing belts, I started off with learning to incorporate skinny belts into my outfit, and before long, I started to truly understand their true value to elevating my look.
Here is one perfect example where a belt was the perfect solution for a particular dress. I found this gorgeous off the shoulder dress online at Shein.com. I purchased it for $15, but it is currently on sale for $12. I absolutely love the material, quality, floral print, and can you really beat the price! Ordering from Shein is always a hit or miss, but I think I have figured out some amazing ways to never be too disappointed. But, that’s a different post. Once I received my order, and tried on the dress, I realized that this dress was way too big and loose for me, and hung really poorly. The print, nor style of the dress could save the ill-fit on me. And, that is when I thought about a skinny belt.
I found this leather Michael Kors belt at an Estate Sale in Long Island for $1.50! Yes, you read that right. $1.50 for a beautiful leather belt. When you think thrift, think thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales and consignment stores. In fact, thrift to me simply means, I am not paying full price for amazing quality. Anyways, I digress. This brown leather skinny belt matched perfectly with the dress, and immediately made the dress go from WTH, to YES! As you can see the belt was cinched so it sat nicely at the smallest part of my waist without bunching up the fabric. It wasn’t too loose nor dropping forward or flopping around. The perfect solution for a loose dress. This belt surely made this dress much more flattering wouldn’t you say?
After correcting this dress with a belt, I opted for these tie up Nine West ankle tie block heels. I found these heels at Buffalo Exchange, a consignment store in Washington D.C. for only $18. You can find it here for $33 on clearance right now, marked down from $99. The gray color is a perfect color that I can use as a neutral for most outfits, and went perfectly with this dress.
Finally, I tried a little out of comfort zone accessories with both the sunglasses and the choker. I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of the mirrored sunglasses. But, when it comes to style and fashion, you have to try new things to see if you like it. It will be my first and last pair. As for the choker. I did love how the choker went with the off the shoulder dress, and I became a fan of adding a choker rather than a necklace to off the shoulder dresses and shirts. I completed this look with a simple gray clutch.
If you are in the “never wear belts” camp, I really do hope that this article has changed your mind to give belts a try. If you have already seen the light, and wear belts whenever you get the chance, then I applaud your style.
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