A black, white and cognac outfit recently caught my eye at two different Banana Republic stores. The fluid black eyelet tunic was combined with white skinny jeans, a low-slung cognac belt and black sandals. The graphic integrity of the black and white was warmed by the addition of the cognac belt. The flutter sleeve and eyelet fabrication are pretty. The overall vibe is crisp, feminine, modern, and ever so slight Boho Chic.
The same tunic and belt combination would be equally good over bellbottoms or bootcuts because of the snug fit on the thighs. The addition of a heel, low or high, is quite important because a low-slung belt lengthens the torso, which in turn shortens the leg line. A heel compensates for this effect. That said, if you are short in the waist and keep the tunic length mid-thigh, the proportions are just fine with flats. A short waist positions the low-slung belt higher on the body, and the tunic hem higher on the leg, both visually lengthening the leg line.
I remember wearing this look in the ‘80s with a curved wide belt. The curve in the belt gave it a better chance of staying put while walking and sitting. The knotted leather belt that they’ve used in the outfit on the mannequin works quite well, especially if you wear it a little higher on the hips.
It’s not the best look for apple shaped body types because the belt and blousoned effect of the tunic draws attention to the area you are used to concealing. But it can work with a little perseverance. Select a mid-thigh fluid tunic with a curved hemline made of rigid fabric and pair with a substantial wide belt.
A low-slung belt adds structure and interest to an outfit, and as I mentioned earlier, does a great job of lengthening a short torso. It can feel a little fussy if the belt keeps shifting throughout the day. A little adjustment is fine, but constant adjustment will drive you batty. I’ve found that the belt shifts around less when worn with a tunic made of fabric that causes friction with the belt, like a stiff cotton. A slippery fabric like silk, on the other hand, is a belt shifting disaster.
I’m going to experiment with this look on myself and on my clients. Does the concept appeal to you too?