This is definitely the “Year of the Belt” according to Style by Jury’s fashion maven David Clemmer. “Belts of all kinds have taken over…on the runways…on the streets…and of course in all the good stores.”
He says, “the past year has seen a huge shift as belts have gone from playing a supporting role in an outfit to being the big star.” And along the way, designers have rewritten the fashion rules on getting belted.
The must-have item for this season is the wide waist-cinching belt. It can create a feminine shape regardless of a woman’s body shape. It’s especially welcome by women who have straight or boxy shapes. And it’s essential if you’re in love with this year’s flowing, drapey tops but don’t want your body shape to vanish completely under them.
We especially love the belts from Canadian designer, Suzi Roher (www.SuziRoher.com). She’s been a belt evangelist for more than 20 years and describes belts as a yummy dessert to finish off an outfit.
Think of your belt as the icing on the cake. That means you can use a great showy belt to set off your outfit and give it a pop of colour. Imagine a simple black outfit transformed with a shiny wide white belt into a fabulous eye-catching outfit. Belts are an easy way to update your wardrobe and wear some of your favourite outfits in a completely new way. Love a buckle but not the belt? Buy it anyway because great buckles are hard to find, and it’s easy for a cobbler to transfer it to another belt.
If you need a belt for a specific pair of pants, take the pants with you to make sure the buckle fits though the loops. Or forget the loops altogether and wear your belt over top. It’s a great finishing touch especially over low rise jeans. Let yourself go, and try different looks. Move the buckle around so it’s not hidden by the top of your shirt.
In the old days, the rule was to match your belt to your shoes. That look is now passé and if your belts and shoes look like they come from two different planets, it’s no problem.
Belts are looking fresh over dresses, blouses and long sweaters. Wide belts look great over almost any length skirt, and a chunky leather one works great on top of a coat. If your belt has a little stretch to it, you’ll have more option on exactly where you want it to land.
But just a little reminder, if you’re on the short side a dramatic belt can visually cut you in half. Look for narrower belts, or better yet get some that are made up of separate narrow pieces so they show the colour of your outfit underneath.