Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To Belt or Not to Belt...

Belts really can be slimming because they offer a 'hint of waist' definition (which makes any woman appear more balanced in shape)...so they are worth giving them a go. Having a waist is better than not having a waist and looking like a big rectangle!!! So, don’t say ‘NO’ until you try them a couple of different ways.

Belts take some experimenting to discover what works best for you. Your waist, body type and height are all things to take into consideration as your experiment. 

Stand in front of a full-length mirror and start playing around using my suggestions below:

1. Find where on your body a belt works best. Sometimes the area will be a little higher than your natural waistline and sometimes a little lower. When you’re regular bust size and carrying a little extra around the midriff, positioning a belt just above the waistline is usually best. When you’re short-waisted and with a full bust, positioning a belt lower than the waistline in front and at waist level in the back is often for you. If you’re long waisted, wearing a belt high on the natural waist is usually most effective.

Still not sure about a belt? Try this...
This empire waist style of dress has a fitted band of fabric that brings attention higher up (right under the bust) for a body slimming look!
Ralph Lauren Metallic Gathered Empire Dress

2. Select the right width. Once you’ve found the area on your torso that works best for you, think about the width of the belt. Sometimes wide elasticized belts worn above your midriff hides your extra bits or you can try the belt right over the top of the extra bits to hide them. With a straight undefined waist, a narrower belt worn a little lower in front is a good choice. Long-waisted SYSters can wear extra-wide belts, on the other hand short-waisted SYSters look better with skinny belts. 

How about a peacock-colored skinny one?
 3. Take contrast into consideration. Once you’ve found your best belt location and your best, you need to decide if your belt should have contrast or blend in with your outfit. A low contrast belt is usually best for waistlines which aren’t defined, this will give you a long lean line without a color change. On the other hand, a high contrast belt will draw more attention to the waistline.

High contrast makes your waist stand out more...

Low contrast brings less attention to the waistline...

4. Add a layer.  Layering a jacket or cardigan over a top with either a low or high contrast belt is a fabulous way to wear a belt! Belts can add an interesting dimension to any outfit when they are ‘peeking out' from under a jacket or sweater. (Great idea for undefined waists :)

Chauncy Jacket by Chico's

5. Embrace an elastic belt. Wearing a belt with elastic means it will move when you do and be more comfortable.

Simple Pleat Stretch Belt by Chico's

6. Belts take practice. If you haven’t worn belts for awhile, you may find they are a bit uncomfortable and take practice to get use to them. Give them a chance, you’ll be glad you did.

7. Belts are NOT for everyone or every outfit. If you simply can’t, won’t or choose not to wear a belt…go for a slender and straight proportion instead. 

 Milly Maxi Sweater by Chico's

Are you ready to give wearing a belt another try?

Do you enjoy these style tips? Get your weekly style fix and tips created just for YOUR body type at MissusSmartyPants.com


  1. These are all great tips! I used to be anti-belt for so long until I discovered fashion blogs. Once I saw what a difference just a simple belt could make, I was hooked :) Heather

  2. Where can plus-size women find belts? I keep looking ...


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