There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to belt placement—you can wear a belt at waist or hip. But having your belt at each of these places accomplishes vastly different things. If you’re wearing a belt as an accessory over your outfit (as opposed to through the belt loops on your jeans, for example), allowing it to hug your hips is a relaxed-chic look that is great for tunics and dresses. This is an option mostly open to women with longer legs; if you have shorter legs, the low belt can divide your body in a way that makes your torso look too long and your legs too short. Wearing a belt at natural waist, however, works for almost all body types and a lot of different outfits. It simply helps to accentuate your waist.
Your Belt Is An Accessory
Yes, it serves a purpose, but a belt is also an accessory! It’s a good idea to have one or two classic belts, like a medium-width black or brown belt with a basic buckle, but if you’re belting for style you should also have some fun belts that stand out! Try a vibrant red belt with a black dress like our Duchess Embossed Dress, or a shiny gold belt with the Urbane Amelia Dress. You can choose to match it to your clothes or have it stand out on its own! Have fun with your belts and pick out some fashion-forward styles: a laser-cut leather belt, an obi-style belt, rope, chain, harness… there are so many great styles out there!
While you should try out a variety of different styles, some belt widths are better for certain purposes. You’ll surely look your best when you choose the right belt for your body type and specific garments.
Thin: These belts look can have a delicate vibe and are great for a subtle addition to already fabulous outfits. They’re best suited to slimmer to medium-build body types.
Medium: A medium-width belt is the standard and is incredibly versatile. These can be used for pretty much everything from dresses and tunics to jeans and trousers. They work for every body type.
Wide: A wide belt can be used as a bold accessory that creates excitement in an outfit. They can be used by people of any body type but are the best option for women with wider waists.
While a belt can be an awesome addition, there are some instances where it should be left off. Do you know what kind of belt to choose for you outfit?
Pants and shorts: If it has belt loops, simply choose a belt that is an appropriate width for the loop size and that goes with your outfit. For work, a classic black or brown belt is great for your trousers but for a day out try a belt with a print! If there are no loops, your decision will depend on the rise. A low or mid-rise pant without belt loops should be left un-belted, but a high-waisted pant can look great with a tucked shirt and a wide belt at natural waist!
Skirts: For the most part, the only time a skirt will be belted is if it’s high-waisted; wearing a skirt that sits near the hips looks strange with a belt regardless of whether it’s on your waist or your hip. A high-waisted skirt with a tucked shirt is great with a slim belt (especially if there are belt loops) or a wide belt. For example, Lilika’s Poshed Fantail Skirt with the Dainty White Top tucked in would look cute with a wide black stretch belt right at the waistline!
Tops: As a general rule, don’t belt tops. Most tops looks awkward belted and it’s unflattering. There are exceptions though! Tunics look cute belted because they’re long enough that the division the belt creates looks chic rather than strange. A tunic that reaches to the bottom of your bum, like the Flossy Chante Tunic, is certainly long enough to handle a belt. Tops with peplums are another exception; the natural division between the fitted upper and flared lower can be beautifully complemented by a belt. The Divine Peplum Top’s fabulous shape would look posh with a slim, coloured belt at natural waist!
Dresses: Dresses with a fitted upper can be easily paired with just about any belt at natural waist, but it’s a bit trickier for relaxed-fit dresses. If the silhouette is just a bit loose, like the Catherine Dress, adding a thin belt at natural waist can help define your shape and a thicker belt will create strategic fullness that gives an hourglass figure and fits into the Victorian trend for Spring/Summer 2016. However, if your dress has a lot of fullness, avoid belting it. A dress with a trapeze silhouette, like the Prissy Dress, is not meant to be belted and the significant bunching of fabric under the belt is unappealing—let it be free! For belts that sit at the hip, choose a wider belt and a dress that has either a relaxed-fit or a body-con silhouette (at least from waist down). The Ravish Dress (as seen on one of our lovely customers) with its fitted skirt looks amazing with a belt draped around the hips!