I never would have believed it before I was a fashion stylist, but belt phobia is very real fashion condition. I know many clients, friends and YLF forum members who refuse to wear belts of any description. The reasons?

“They don’t look right on me”

“They make me feel self conscious about my midriff”

“They’re uncomfortable”

It’s such a shame! Wearing waist cinching belts over tops and dresses can solve fit dilemmas and resolve ensemble challenges. It can also camouflage torso lumps and bumps. I can’t tell you how many items of clothing I have salvaged (both for myself and for my clients) by adding a belt in the right place. Instant waist definition works it’s magic time and time again, even for those who think they don’t have a waistline.

But it has to be the right belt, in the right position, on the right outfit. This takes practice. If you’re well endowed and short-waisted it’s a little harder to get this right, but it can absolutely work. Everyone can look good in a belt once the variables are correct.

It is true that some belts are awfully uncomfortable. So, like shoes, you have to find styles that are comfortable on your body, AND get used to wearing them. Full or half-elasticized belts stretch with the bod as it moves and I find those more comfortable. I also prefer soft and flexible leathers, pleathers and fabrics to anything hard that chaffs or digs into my rib cage. I much prefer the waist-cinching belts of the noughties over the bulky hip slung belts we wore looped into low rise jeans in the 90’s. Those belts rubbed against my hip bones, especially on the side where I wore my cross body bag. I don’t think I’ll be sporting that look again.

Do you wear belts, or do you have belt phobia? Perhaps you had belt phobia but overcame your fears. If so, what’s your secret?