A Comprehensive Guide to Belts - Choosing, Styling, and Types
Belts can be the final touch that completes and polishes your total look. In addition, they can add shape and aid in improving the garment’s fit. If you choose the right belt with your outfit, it will not only help in accentuating your curves but will also make you look complete.
When it comes to the belt on the natural waist /lower or higher/ you can wear it with a dress, over a cardigan or a sweater, or even with a trench coat and a coat. Wearing a belt on your waistline defines that part of the body, it makes your body seem in great proportions and it’s a nice opportunity for you to demonstrate your stylish touch.
How about the size?
When it comes to belts for pants and jeans, the width is vital. The bigger the loops, the thicker the belt should be, otherwise, it will shift up and down, becoming unstable. When the pants don’t have loops, you are not supposed to wear a belt with them, therefore they must be perfectly sized for your body. Ideally, you want your belt to fit on the middle hole. Any shorter than that look stubby, any longer and the tail may not lie flat against your body.
Thin and metal belts look more like jewelry. As a rule, belts over 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) wide are considered more casual, while those that are thinner are considered more formal. Skinny belts (~1-2 cm) match great with dresses and thin belts (~2-5 cm) match with jackets, cardigans and coats. Classic belts are approx. 3-4 cm and used for pants, skirts and jeans. Wide belts are for dresses and skirts when you want to emphasize your waistline.
How to wear them?
Medium to wide waist belts are great for women with longer torsos (low-waisted & short legs) because they help shorten their upper body and make them look more proportional. Avoid wearing belts too low as this will emphasize your long torso. Wear belts that match your pants to extend your leg length.
Women with short-torso (high-waist & long legs) look better with narrow belts because they don’t cover up their midsection and elongate their torso. Use the same colour belt as the colour of your top and let it sit below your waist.
If you have little waist definition, wear medium to narrow width belts in the same or darker colour than the garment you are wearing to create the illusion of a waist. Your belts should sit on the hips.
If you have full hips, use your belts slightly above your natural waist. Narrow belts in the same colour as your pants or skirts would make your look more streamlined.
How to match them?
There’s nothing wrong with matching your belt to your shoes or jewelry, but it is not a must. Matching will make you look polished and pulled together, but it’s also a very conservative look. Mismatching is better if you’re going for something more casual and fun.
If you are dressed casually, your belt must complement this kind of look. For example, elegant golden or silver belts go well with smart attire, whereas knitted belts go with more casual and sporty outfits.
If you want to add some style to a simple outfit then achieve it with the help of a statement belt. From a belt that sparkles for all you glam queens, to a studded belt if you’re more of a rock chick and an animal print if you’re a dramatic woman, the choices are endless. The key here is to find a style that resonates with your style so you can wear it with confidence.
Types of Belts
Classic Buckle belt
This is a simple strap belt with a press-on metal buckle on one end of the belt. The material of the strap may be made of leather or fabric or plastic. The buckles are usually made of an alloy of zinc and aluminum with a special plating to give it a shine or made of brass. The most favourites are in gunmetal color or antique gold.
These belts are versatile pieces that exceed their practicality. With a simple design of a brown or black belt, the buckle belt is adaptable to any type of occasion. This belt, when in good quality leather, will add polish to your office separates and your denim. You can elongate a monochromatic look by adding colorful belts with other matching accessories, such as a bag or scarf.
Skinny Knot belt
This is usually a thin belt tied as a knot in the front of the body. The belt may have metal hardware as well, but the fastening is made with knots. Skinny belts look amazing when paired with high-waist jeans, a straight dress, over a cardigan or jacket.
Thin / Skinny belt
A thin belt is one of the common types of belts generally worn as a dress belt to accentuate your waist. It gives a luxurious and finished look even to the simplest outfits. These slim waist belts also come in handy to define the waistline in a long top.
They are subtle accessories that can easily spruce up your outfit and make it look complete. It’s also easier to play around with colourful hues and bolder prints since its width makes it understated. Pairing them up with skinny jeans and skirts makes you look elegant and stylish.
This refers to a nylon webbing strap belt used by military personnel, mostly in neutral colours like black, navy blue brown or khaki. The strap is a heavy nylon webbing, and the belt will have metal hardware like buckles or sturdy plastic buckles.
These are typically worn with formal dresses and wedding gowns. Some metal belts are fastened or made of chains. Some are made of filigree silver or gold or gold /silver plated metals, normally about one inch in width.
Its metallic colour effortlessly adds elegance to the plain dresses. You can add glam to your look by pairing your neutrals such as nude, navy, black, and white colour outfits with metallic belts. Do not forget to pair them with the same colour metal earrings.
This refers to low-lying belts worn loosely draping over the hips. You can use these hip belts over your jeans for a casual look. You can also opt for a V-shaped style waist-belt look wearing over long cardigans or jackets. Yoke belts are also hip belts that look like the yoke of a skirt.
A cinch belt is a tight-fitting belt made of elastic / leather / stretchy fabric to encircle the waist tightly to make it look small. It is fastened with a fancy buckle/clasp or laced up. This stretchy, one size fits all type belt is usually worn over the belt loop. If you want to cinch in your waist when wearing shapeless shift dresses or empire waist pieces, a wide belt is your best bet.
These style belts have eyelets and drawstrings that will fasten the belt around the waist. The thick and wide belt worn over a loose outfit makes a complete look that would otherwise seem shapeless. This belt gives a waist-narrowing and oriental look.
These are fashion statement belts with a stretchable string instead of a buckle or a simple technique of tying knots that tightens the belt to the body. You can use plain colour high waist belts on plain long tops or pair colourful, printed tops with an opposite colour belt. This belt is perfect for creating an amazing hourglass shape and will work wonders for most waistlines.
They resemble the traditional belts worn around Japanese Kimonos which are wide in the center and then at the far ends. These are also called wrap belts as they are wrapped around the waist at least twice and then tied into a simple knot or bow on the center or the side.
This belt is great if you want to accentuate your shapes and curves when wearing a dress. It is a thick belt made of soft leather with stretchable strings. Knotting the strings can also vary depending on the style you want and how tight you want it to be. It usually comes in plain colours like red, black, and brown. They look good on electric pleated dresses.
Elastic / Stretch Waist belt
There are stretchable belts that can be adjusted according to the shape of the body. With a simple buckle, it can be fixed to your dress. It is best worn with loose, long, silky dresses. It’s perfect for women who have small waists because its elastic style hugs the waist which makes the figure stand out.
It normally has bow knot designs and comes in a variety of colours as well. Some elastic belts have a large bow is added to the center front of the belt which called bow belts. Elasticized belts can tend to look 80’s-inspired, especially if they sport an ornate buckle.
It’s a wide band worn just around natural the waist that has downward-facing pleats. It is a broad waist-covering sash worn inside tuxedos or single-breasted dinner jackets, over the shirt.
A sash is a fabric/ribbon worn with dresses and gowns as a belt. They are to be self-tied and don’t have buckles. The tails of the sash belt are tied usually into a bow. They may have different embellishments in the font. A thin sash belt looks perfect over a body-hugging sheath dress. There are also wide versions of sash belts that shape on the waist with a large clasp.
These woven belts are classified according to the way their strap is made – by braiding different pieces/strands of fabric or leather. If you love wearing dresses and you want to add a belt to make your waist prominent, then choose a braided belt as this adds a classic touch to your outfit.
There are a lot of different colour options to choose from, but the most recommended braided belt colour is classic brown. Many times, this belt looks best when worn overflowing with tunic tops and maxi dresses as well as more polished pieces like pencil skirts and sheath dresses or with pants to create a preppy look.
Cloth / Fabric belt
Casual but different-looking belts for women can be made even with mere pieces of cloth. The waist belts made from cloth look amazing on skirts and jeans.
Fringe belts are a unique design in the list of women’s waist belts. The brioche and matching patchwork in belts look amazing when you want to have a traditional look. The belt here is to be tied at the back and the brioche to be kept in the center of the front.
The leather fringe belt goes great with jeans and skirts. A bohemian fringed shell turquoise female decorated women belts are in demand among ladies for a casual but outstanding look.
They are typically made of brown suede and a wide metal buckle on the front. Some of them are embroidered. The soft texture and. A designer brooch in the center of the belt makes the look more attractive. They are perfectly paired with classic-fit jeans, pants, skirts, and dresses.
Animal print belt
If you want to add a bit of fun and tanginess to your outfit, you can wear animal-printed belts. If you do not like wearing animal prints as dresses, you can always opt for these belts. Be sure to choose a light and trendy belt that will bring an element of class and timelessness. These belts are very versatile and go with any outfit.
Handmade belts can include crocheted or embroidered belts. Also, this may include belts made with ribbons and laces. Crocheted waist belts look lovely on the waistline in casual wear such as plain t-shirts and jeans and serve best for tying your dress to your body perfectly. One colour crochet belt looks splendid on colourful printed long tops. The colourful crocheted waist belts go awesome with jeans and plain colour tops.
This belt style is for those who are very creative and stylish. You can either wear it tightly to show your figures or you can also wear it loose to give the dress a more stylish touch. The rope belt is lengthy and is to be wrapped more times around the waist. You can tie your rope belt in multiple ways, either in the middle front, the back, or even asymmetrical to one side.
They are an easy way to add structure and shape to your more casual looks. This rope belt works especially well for the warmer months with lighter fabrics. You can even personalize this type of belt even further with the way you decide to knot it.
These are usually black leather belts with ½ inch studs. They create a youthful and punk image and can be paired with casual outfits.
Pearl’s touch makes the appearance very natural and stylish with its smooth and pure look. A stretchable pearl waist belt kneaded with pearl beads looks elegant with a long gown.