How to wear belts
A belt is a flexible band or strap made of leather or heavy fabric or other material worn, typically round the waist, to support or hold in clothes. There are belts for men and belts for women.
Wearing any kind of belt can be challenging, especially when you don’t want to draw attention to your waistline. On the other hand, belts are fun and useful accessories that have the potential to add a whole new dimension to your wardrobe. They can add extra polish to an outfit, define the waistline as needed, provide textural interest and even add a bit of edge.
Wearing belts effectively over tops and dresses is a marriage between the style, colour and position of the belt, and the style of top. Because of that, it’s really hard to cover all belt solutions for all body types.
However, there are few tried and tested rules of wearing the belts for women.
Find your sweet spot: Position is important. Sometimes your sweet spot will be a little higher than your natural waistline and sometimes a little lower. When you are regular bust size and carrying a little extra around the midriff (area between the chest and the waist), positioning a belt just above the waistline is usually the sweet spot.
When you are short-waisted and well endowed, positioning a belt lower than the waistline in front and at waist level in the back is often the solution. If you’re long wasited, wearing a belt high on the natural waist is usually most effective.
Pick a width: Once you have found your sweet spot, think about the width of the belt. Sometimes a wider elasticized belt worn a little above your midriff extra bits does the trick. Sometimes positioning it right onto the extra bits does the girdling trick.
With a straight, undefined waistline, a narrower belt positioned a little lower in front can work really well. Long waisted gals can usually wear extra wide belts, whereas short-waisted gals tend to look better in narrower or skinny belts.
Think about contrast: Once you have found your sweet spot and the best widths for your frame, you have a choice between making the belt contrast or blend in with your outfit. A low contrast belt is usually best for waistlines which aren’t that defined, giving you a flattering long lean line. Whereas a high contrast belt automatically draws more attention to the waistline.
Add another layer: Layering a jacket or cardigan over a top with either a low or high contrast belt is an effective way of wearing a belt without worrying about its effects around the midriff. When worn this way, the belt adds an interesting textural dimension to your outfit.
Elastic is your friend: Where possible, choose belts that are part elastic because you can’t beat the comfort. They will stretch with your body during the day.
Try woven tops when wearing a belt: Your confidence can fall to pieces when you sit down because those extra midriff bits start spilling both over and underneath the belt. Enter the magical effects of woven tops and dresses that don’t cling like knits, but glide over curves adding structure in the right places. Wovens can either be rigid like shirt fabric, or soft and drapy like silk and rayon blends. Both work equally well.
Give it time: Belts can feel odd when you are not used to wearing them. Sometimes it’s just a question of getting used to the extra pressure around your waistline, so allow some time to get used to the feeling of wearing a belt.