Belts are a great way to enhance a look, make a statement, or draw attention. They should compliment your style and be consistent with the rest of your outfit. But, belts can be a challenge because of the overwhelming variety of options you face. So think carefully before you buy. Do you want a fabric belt or one made of metal or plastic? What color, width, and length will best meet your wardrobe needs? Is the buckle or closure eye-catching, and do you want it to be? Do you need a waist or hip belt? And, of course, is it comfortable?
Belts can either be statement pieces that define your outfit, or be considered another ‘layer’ that blends with the overall look. Statement belts usually have ornate buckles, unusual detailing, or a contrasting color to your outfit. Belts that blend are typically in the same, or similar, color palette to your outfit to add some depth to the look. A fun way to wear a belt is to tuck in the front of a blouse so that only a portion of the belt shows. The look is effortless, and looks trés chic with additional layers such as a vest or blazer.
Regarding belt width, thick-waisted belts look best on women with long torsos, and conversely, short-waisted women look best and more in balance with thinner belts.
Further, for belts with punched holes, choose a size that fits comfortably in the middle hole. If the belt fits in the last hole, it will look like you bought the wrong size, and if it’s too long, it will just stick out and be unflattering. Belts with only one snap or hook closure should fit snug, but not tight at the waist, whereas hip belts should hang just below the hip bones. My personal favorite is a metal and leather combination hip belt made of various large size links that lay flat against your hips and don’t add bulk.
Matching belt to your shoes is not necessary, but if you choose to do so, know that you are creating a more conservative look. Mismatching is not only more fun, but says more about your unique style. By thinking about these style options when considering belts, you can accomplish a lot with only a few, carefully chosen pieces.
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