The humble belt has been around for hundreds of years. Originating as a utilitarian tie simply there to keep garments from falling down, the belt has evolved into a staple item of women’s fashion. To really bring an outfit together and make it look clean and polished, the simplest way is to add a belt.
Narrow belts can be worn either at the hip or at the natural waistline (where the body is narrowest), with skirts, pants, dresses, or even coats. It creates a clean, professional look, streamlined and neat. The wide belt, on the other hand, is best worn at the waistline to create emphasis and an impression of an hourglass figure. Most wide belts have large buckles or some other form of visual interest; the key is in making certain the belt does not overpower the rest of the outfit, but enhances it.
For bohemian chic, braided, macramé, or beaded belts are the way to go. Best worn outside the workplace, these belts give a casual, outdoorsy feel to any outfit. When paired with a long, flowing skirt or a floral print, they give an effortless breath of fresh air. Beaded belts in particular can also add a splash of color and ethnic print to an outfit, brightening up neutral colors.
Chain and studded belts give a rough-and-tumble appeal, and again are not the best choice for work. Harkening from biker and punk culture, these are the perfect accessories to introduce a little edge for a night out on the town.
Simple leather belts are a classic choice for ease and utility, but the pouch belt rapidly growing in popularity is a close second. These belts come with small storage pouches, usually just large enough to hold a phone or a wallet. Initially made for hiking and travel, these belts are gradually becoming more fashionable, with sleeker, less bulky models being made. They are ideal for the woman on the go – or the one who needs extra storage space outside of her purse!
Belts come in a variety of materials – fabric, leather, metal, chain, and cord, to name only a few of the most basic. Whichever style you choose, a belt is always a way to add style and interest, and to pull your look together into a fashion masterpiece.