Belts are great. They are practical, improving the waist fit of your bottoms and keeping them up. Visually, they add polish, structure, dimension, and textural interest to a look. When matched to shoes, bags, scarves, or another component of the outfit, they can help to pull it together. They can also be design features on dresses, jackets, pants, jeans, shorts and coats. Or they can be worn invisibly to prevent bottoms from slipping down the body. Belts come in all sorts of widths, lengths, fabrics, colours, and silhouettes.
Despite the potential fabness of belts, my clientele, friends and family seldom wear them. They are a low priority when working from home, especially with the popularity of elastic waists and leggings. Belts are thought to be uncomfortable on the waist and hips, add bulk, look bulky under outerwear, draw unwanted attention to the midriff, draw unwanted attention to the bust, and make people feel short-waisted or chopped in half. With many people on Team Untucked Top, belts are a superfluous and fussy accessory.
I’ve worn a lot of belts over the years. In the ‘80s they were wide and waist-cinching, or low slung on the hips and worn with anything. In the ‘90s I sported them with low-rise jeans and pants, which unfortunately chafed my hips. In the ‘00s and a little beyond, I wore belts with all sorts of mid-rise pants, and especially with slouchy boyfriend styles. About six years ago I stopped wearing belts but continue to tuck and semi-tuck tops, and of course wear untucked tops too. I guess as the rest of my style became more maximal, pattern-mixed, and even brighter, adding a belt to my bottoms was too much of a good thing. Generally, I like belts better when they are incorporated into my simpler outfits. I do not find them uncomfortable when worn with mid and high rises though.
I’m not into adding a separate belt to my outfits on this leg of my style journey, but I do wear self-fabric belts on dresses, pants and outerwear. I enjoy their subtle addition, and how they don’t interfere with the rest of the outfit. I like the waist definition too. Here are my self-fabric belt items.
For those that feel belt challenged but would like to wear them, these tips might help. I’m sure I’ll be back to wearing more of a statement belt at some point. For now, I’m following what feels right. Do you wear belts, and if so, how do they feature in your style? Or do you stay clear of belts.