All belts are not created equal! The trick is to find the best width and style of belt for your look and figure. Luckily, your local Goodwill has dozens of options you can thrift for just a few dollars – new belts can cost $30 to $50. But before you hit the stores, here are some tips:
If you’re short-waisted, try thin belts. How do you know if you’re short-waisted? Belts will tell you. If you wear a wide belt and it looks like there’s no space between your bust and hips, you’ve got a short waist. A skinny belt will balance your proportions. I’m short-waisted, so skinny belts look best on me.
If you’re long-waisted, try wide belts. Thin belts will get lost on your frame, so try styles that are 2″ or wider. As you can see, a wide belt on a short-waisted gal like me doesn’t look quite right!
If you’re curvier, try soft belts. Stiff belts can dig into your midsection and create lumps and bumps. Look for softer materials. Wrap belts are often made of supple leathers or elastic.
If you want to balance your proportions, belt above or below your natural waist. Long-waisted women can create the impression of longer legs by belting higher, toward their bust lines. Short-waisted women can make their torsos look longer by belting lower. Here, I’ve placed my belt upward to create a different silhouette.
To highlight your waist, use a high contrast belt. It will attract attention to your waistline. This black belt on a white dress draws the eye to my waistline.
For a more subtle look, wear a belt with colors similar to your outfit. If you don’t want to match exactly, go for a belt that’s a few shades darker or lighter.
If you’re easing your way into wearing belts, don’t feel like you have to throw them on top of every skirt or dress you wear. Belting beneath a jacket, blazer, or cardigan will give you a surprising amount of waist definition with minimal exposure.
These aren’t hard and fast rules; feel free to experiment. Try a few styles and widths of belts to see which ones look and feel best to you. And above all, have fun!