Every closet has them. Belts are a staple that we just sort of collect over the years. And I don’t know about you, but I find myself wearing them mostly with dresses for the perfect way to cinch your waist. When it comes to denim, I rarely add a belt unless it’s something that’s more of a statement. But the other day I was putting an outfit together before heading to NYC and decided to try something out of my comfort zone. A belt over a blazer for a true street style vibe for the streets of NYC! I loved the look and it quickly reminded me that I need to wear more belts. And find new ways to style them outside of my usual looks.
Belts can easily take your outfit to the next level. In my style rules, I believe a third piece is the key to completing a look. Even if it’s as simple as jeans and a tee. Adding a cool belt can instantly elevate the look and make it feel more put-together. Sure you can wear them with all your jeans and pants, but they’re such an underappreciated accessory that I want to share some new ways to style them. And some essential styles you should have on hand to elevate your outfits and make them feel more put-together in a pinch!
How To Style A Belt
Use A Belt To Create A Natural Hourglass Shape
The biggest thing to keep in mind when styling a belt when you’re NOT utilizing belt loops is to create a natural hourglass shape. Whether it’s a dress, jacket, blazer, and so on, always place the belt at your natural waist. This should be the narrowest part of your torso to help cinch it in and create a true hourglass shape.
Styling A Belt With A Dress
You can almost always take just about any dress in your closet and add a belt to it. From flowy dresses that could use a good cinch to create shape, to even fitted dresses to add some dimension and interest. The only rule I would keep in mind here is if the dress itself has a naturally cinched waist already. Let’s say you have a babydoll dress you’re wearing. I wouldn’t create an additional waist, instead, add your belt where the dress already has the cinched waist.
How To Style A Belt With Dresses For Spring & Summer
All of these dresses have a mix of shapes and styles. From oversized to t-shirt dresses, to cinched naturally at the waist and so on. And as you can see on all of them, I’ve cinched at my natural waist along with the dress shape if it’s already cinched, for a perfect hourglass look. It creates shape and curves in all the right places. For the spring and summer I love to pull out my woven and rattan belts. They add some great texture and elevate any dress. I usually swap the provided belt of a dress (you know how they always give you that flimsy piece of fabric?) for something nicer. It instantly changes the vibe of the look and makes it feel so much more special.
How To Style A Belt With Dresses For Fall And Winter
When it comes to styling belts for fall and winter with a dress, I like to always go for fall textures. A leather belt is a good idea or suede. And you can have some fun with a studded belt, or woven leather and even colored belts (think olive green suede is next on my to buy list!) You should always be keeping the fabric in mind when it comes to wearing belts just like you would the rest of your outfit.
Styling A Belt With Jeans, Pants Or Shorts
This may seem like a no-brainer in that you just add a belt to the belt loops. But there are still some rules to think of. For one, I wouldn’t ever pair a skinny belt with jeans. The belt should always be the width of the belt loops on your denim or things just look proportionally off. And always coordinate the colors with the rest of your outfit. If you’re going for black accessories (think bag, shoes, etc) then you’ll probably want to go with a black belt. You can also make a bit of a statement with a belt that has a fun buckle, or knot. This adds so much more interest than just a plain belt that’s designed to help keep your pants up. It almost feels like a third piece which is my #1 rule for a put-together outfit.
Belted Outfits With Denim, Pants And Shorts
Coordinating your belt to your color palette is the name of the game here. It doesn’t have to be exact, but you should stay within a color family. If you’re going with browns, pick a shade within the family. This idea that you have to be exact is an old way of thinking. Choose cognacs, creams, chocolate and anything in between. Play up with texture and materials. It really is amazing how a simple belt can elevate an everyday look that’s just jeans and a tee when you add a belt.
Styling A Belt Over Jackets, Blazers And Sweater
This is the perfect way to cinch in those jackets, blazers and cardigans you have in your closet. When adding a belt to these types of pieces, it’s best to keep in mind the fit of the item before you belt it. Typically a more oversized fit works best. I wouldn’t belt a cropped suit jacket. But one that’s longer or oversized like below, works best. It shows off your waist and works with the proportions. This is also when you can have some fun with a belt instead of just a plain leather one. there’s lots of fun belts that can add interest and texture and this is a great time to do just that.
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