We have been promising, for quite some time, to do an article about belts. We've received numerous questions and comments about types of belts, belts and body types, and what to wear with belts. So it's time. Time for some belt-love.
While I'd love to give you a few simple rules for rocking the belt…it's just not that easy. Even different body types (curvy, pear, boyish) can have so many variations on a theme that coming up with a set of rules for belts is almost impossible. Whether or not a belt looks good often has more to do with the distance between your ribs and your hip bones and what else you are wearing, than a rule that says, "short moms shouldn't wear belts" (because many of you can).
Instead, I offer up a belt exercise, a selection of cute belts, and loads of inspiration. So if you want to rock the belt (and you should – it's a great way to make an outfit instantly stylish), here's how to get started:
1. Get Your Belt "Starter Pack"
You need, at a minimum, the following belts: a skinny belt, a long boyfriend belt (or use your husband's), and a wide belt that fits at your actual waist. Waist = the narrowest part, i.e. somewhere under your rib cage, not down by your hips.
If you are really anxious to get started, and really don't want to run out and get the starter pack…you can always find a long scarf and fold it (length-wise) to approximate a skinny belt, boyfriend belt, or wide belt. The idea is to use something to get an idea of proportion. Once you have a better idea of what you like, go find yourself a real belt.
Or, just start with one of the Forever 21 belts, below. They probably won't last more than a few wearings, but they are all under $5. Seriously.
$6.80 - forever21.com
2. Try 'Em On
There's a million different ways to wear a belt. I'll show you some fabulous pics for inspiration …but honestly? The only way you'll know if you can pull off a belt is to try it. Several different ways. Several times.
3. Take It For a Spin
Sometimes, when a look is new, it's hard to adjust. So before you try and immediately reject all belts…take one for a test drive. Run an errand. See how you feel. Ask your husband. Ask someone who finds the female form sexy. Unlike, say, harem pants, belts are usually well-liked by the male community since they show off your shape. Guys are typically pretty honest…unless, of course, they are scared. Perhaps asking your brother is a better option.
4. Get a Real Belt
If you've started with my Forever21 starter pack (or just a scarf) and are now a belt convert, you're going to need a real belt. Belts are easy to come by either at thrift stores (they don't usually smell), Etsy, or the usual big-box retailers. Here are a few I'm loving:
$48 - nordstrom.com
$42 - nordstrom.com
$38 - nordstrom.com
Belts help define your waist. And whether your sweater is fitted, loose, or chunky, the women above all show cool ways of rocking the belt over a sweater. I especially love Kendi's idea (top right) of using your husband's sweater.
There are a million different ways to wear a belt and a cardigan. Over, under, right at the waist, slightly above (Kenzo lookbook), slightly below (like Academic Chic). One of the reason the belt is so popular is due in part to the flattering nature, but also because it makes any outfit so much more interesting.
Like a cardigan, belts look cute belted both over or under jackets. Also notice that for all of these looks (cardigans, also)…varying belt widths can be used. So just play around, and see what works best for you!
Now I'm gonna go tie one on. (snort)