Whether you’re trying to style up your evening attire or you want to revamp your daytime look, a belt can make or break your entire ensemble. Although this accessory is often overlooked, a belt can be as important to your outfit as a pair of shoes or a handbag. Picking the right belt sounds like an easy task, but there are a few elements you need to factor in.
Here is a short guide to help you choose the right belt for your outfit:
Function or Fashion?
Although a belt should be both functional and fashionable, the first step to pairing the best belt to your outfit is to ask yourself why you need a belt in the first place. Begin by trying on your outfit in front of a full-sized mirror. Next, figure out where you want the belt to sit and if you need it for a visual or practical purpose. A belt that wraps around your waist can give you a cinched-in, hourglass look.
Although you can use a traditional belt, a proper waist belt or one that is the right length for your waist is better. To pull off this look, you need a belt that fits around your middle comfortably. Belts used for practical purposes, like preventing your favorite pair of jeans from sliding down, need to be the right length for your hips.
Get the Right Length
The best way to determine the right length, whatever its purpose, is to use an accurate measuring tape. A fabric measuring tape is the most suitable, however a piece of string and a ruler will work too. With your outfit on, measure around the part of your body where you want the belt to sit. Once you have taken your measurement, add two inches to get your belt size.
Ideally, you want to be able to buckle the belt using the middle hole. An excessively long belt could result in unsightly, excess belt material. On the other hand, a belt that is too short can be very uncomfortable and give you a muffin top.
Matching accessories, such as a sleek black belt with a pair of black leather courts, can pull an outfit together and make you look more polished. However, if you are going for a lighter, casual look, try mismatching your accessories instead.
Types of Belts
A classic belt is a closet essential. With a simple buckle design, this type of belt can be worn with many different outfits. Leather varieties are great for the office and can dress up a pair of denims too, while belts made from other materials can add a unique feel to your outfit. For example, a colorful canvas belt can liven up a pair of shorts while a high shine belt can add a touch of glam to an evening ensemble.
Rope belts, such as the Lizard Tail’s minimalist belt, are ideal for people who lead a practical lifestyle. However, they also look great with different types of clothes. This type of belt is quicker to adjust than a classic belt, and it can be more comfortable too. Either tie one haphazardly around your waist for an effortlessly cool look or fasten it around your hips to keep your outfit in place all day long.
For boho chic, add a casual, braided belt to your oversized tunic or your maxi dress. This stylish accessory is easy to incorporate into various ensembles and can even be used to dress down certain outfits for smart-casual occasions.
Statement belts include belts that are extra wide, bejeweled with gemstones or feature a bold print. They are used as the focal point of an outfit and should not clash with other loud accessories. Statement accessories are great for special events and for glamming up evening wear, and they can give you the wow factor when implemented into an outfit properly.
When picking a statement piece, always choose a belt that you would be proud to wear and speaks to your sense of style. The last thing you want is to purchase an amazing belt only for it to sit unused in your closet.
Doubling up and belting a scarf is a clever way to dress up an outfit. All you need to do is roll up a long scarf, then loop it around your hips or your waist Tie a knot to finish off the look. Scarves in sleek fabrics, such as silk and chiffon, work best for this type of belt.
What’s your favorite kind of belt? Let us know in the comments below!