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Thin or wide, bright, basic or bejeweled, a belt is an easy way to add polish to any outfit. Here's how to update your look with the season's most stylish belts.
Belts are the perfect way to introduce a chic pop of color, texture or bling to any outfit; this waist-wringing item is one of few accessories that can take any outfit up a notch, from fine to fantastic.

Where to Wear the Belt

Traditionally worn for their aptitude for pulling in waists to create the most feminine of figures, belts are now migrating all over the torso, from just below the bust line, to the natural waist, and even slung low around the hips.

Wide Belts

Cinching a wide belt around the smallest part of your torso – your natural waist – emphasizes and slims this very feminine zone while accentuating sexy curves.

Thick belts create the most dramatic, waist-narrowing looks since they brace your body in a corset-like fashion. Look for sturdy or stretchy materials such as solid and woven leathers, reinforced layers of satin, and thick, wide elastic bands that can comfortably resist all the bending and sitting you're likely to do over the course of a day.
If you want to stand out, get creative and fashion yourself a belt out of unconventional materials. Belts can be made out of a variety of innovative fabrics and closures. Mix it up by swapping buckles for bows, hooks and snaps, and trade the usual leather wrap-around for stretchy elastics, menswear-inspired cummerbunds, kimono-inspired silky obi sashes, and bands of fabric.

Skinny Belts

Skinny belts are a lovely complement to dainty dresses and separates; extra long slender belts look super stylish when wound many times around the waist or hips.

Skinny belts are often fabricated out of barely-there strips of leather, chain links and rope. And because skinny belts are so slim, you can go for a bright splash of color or a shimmering metallic finish without dominating the outfit.
Remember to keep in mind your body's proportions when choosing a belt; an ultra slinky skinny belt might visually add weight to a plus sized woman, whereas a slightly thicker medium width belt will produce a more balanced skinny-belt look.

Belt at the Waist

Tightly fastened, bellybutton grazing belts are the by far the most popular way to rock the belt this season:
  • Wear a thick or thin waist-level belt with a pair of high-waisted trousers, belted over a naughty secretary pencil skirt, or cinched over a simple shift dress.
  • Tie together separates – tops, sweaters, skirts, trousers or jeans – by wearing a waist-hugging thick or thin belt over light layers for a more refined look.
  • Give definition to day dresses by nipping them in with textured, woven, cut-out or plaited medium and thick belts.
  • Amp up the allure of a curve-flattering sheath dress with a patent leather belt or a decorative belt studded with crystals, rhinestones, gemstones, sequins, and metallic finishes.
  • Accentuate your curves and add sharp focus to tailored jackets and structured shirts by looping your waist with a belt.

Empire Waist Belt (Below the Bust)

Belts worn just below the bust line enhance the bosom and should be slight, skinny and simple. Look for thin belts in contrasting colors made from patent leather, alligator, suede, or a daintily bow-tied ribbon. Unless your garment already has empire height belt loops – and since gravity will want to bring your belt down past your thinner natural waist – you'll need discretely stitch loose loops into its outer seams.

Belt at the Hips

Low-slung belts draw the eye to more womanly curves: the hips. The most relaxed and casual mode of wearing a belt, hip-hugging belts do wonders for tunics, casual shift dresses, trendy low-rise jeans and boho skirts, adding a ring of color and a finishing touch of flair and personality to the outfit.




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