Show off your hourglass shape.
A fashionable belt is a must-have accessory that ties an outfit together while it enhances a female’s curves.
“The beauty of a belt is it can really change the look of anything in your closet and give it instant shape,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “It also gives you instant detail. One thing to consider is the length of your natural waist. If you are short-waisted, a wide belt might not work well on your figure. So make sure you consider the silhouette.”
A colorful belt adds something new to a dress, skirt or pair of jeans, but neutrals offer plenty of options, too.
“Take something like a basic black dress and add a red belt or leopard-print belt, and it gives the dress a totally different and new look,” says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch. “You also can choose from skinny versus a larger, thicker belt. We are seeing every style, from those that double and triple layer, to those with tassels that hang down, to elastic belts.”
A belt can be wrapped around your natural waist or a little lower, which is a more casual look, Rubin says. Coats and sweaters can be belted.
Belts reflect a person’s fashion style, Rubin says. And most can be worn year-round, so they are a good investment.
Skinny belts in bright colors are the new version of preppy, and are easy for any woman to wear, Andrews says.
Various textures, prints and patterns reflect a global influence. Look at belts the same way you would a piece of jewelry, Andrews says. Some are more elaborate, with embossed leather that looks like snakeskin or crocodile, while others are more subdued with a minimal pattern or print.
Start with a basic belt for the office and then change it to something fancier for an evening out. All you need is a belt, pair of shoes and some jewelry to take a dress from day to night, Andrews says. Just remember to think about proportions in terms of your body type and how big or small the belt is.
A belt can add to any outfit, says Shane Johnston, director of western footwear for Ariat International.
“It is a piece that really allows a person to show individual style, with either the belt they choose to wear or the way it is worn,” Johnston says. “It is truly a statement accessory. A belt has a way of transforming an outfit; a belt can make clothes fit better and differently, as well as completely change the look of pants, a dress, etc.”
The beauty of stylish belts is that many of them have a lot of texture. When spring arrives, you might try a floral belt with a floral dress. It could be a very feminine look, Andrews says.
“Those belts add a touch of luxury to an outfit,” Andrews says. “Flower details are showing up on belts, from big and bold to more subdued. All belts are great for travel, because they don’t take up a lot of room in the suitcase and can be worn to create multiple looks.”