One of the most important arsenals I have in my wardrobe are belts. I love belts. I invest on my belts.
Ever since I got my first job at twenty, I started collecting this wardrobe staple. In the beginning I went for cute but cheap ones (I had a smaller paycheck + I was the breadwinner for my family). But since moving and working abroad, thanks to a bigger paycheck, I started spending more on expensive and durable belts. I am also slowly but surely collecting show-stopping, one-of-a-kind belts.
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I can have a very simple dress, or a very affordable, kindá dull tunic top, but the moment I dress it up with a nice belt, the result looks like a million bucks. (Okay, I`m obviously exaggerating here, but you know what I mean).
I take care of my belts like they´re the most precious; probably more than I take care of my shoes and clothes. Now, I´ve put belts at the same pedestal with my arm-candy bags.
Lately though, I realized that I have a big box full of belts that I haven´t worn for a long time. I want to get creative ones again, and to get inspired to actually wear them and give them a chance to shine. Since I`m notorious for finding inspirations from the catwalk, here are the five creative ideas in accessorizing with belts that I am set to try.
1. To Accent or to Pull It Together with a Black Belt.
Cinching a solid dress with a black belt at the waist — whether the belt is bowed or buckled with gold – is something I am used to doing. What I haven´t tried yet, however, is pulling together a mixed and matched, patterned and layered separates with a wide leather waist belt. Surprisingly, I have two wide waist cinchers that I haven´t worn yet, ever! It´s time to put them out to the world.
The photo on the right is one of my current goals.
2. To Polish with the Matching Belt.
The belts in these outfits are stunners on their own but they are not stand-alones. As we can see, they are precisely part of the outfit. They are exactly an important element of the whole look and yet they don´t steal the show.
They help create the show while blending harmoniously together with the other pieces in the look. Obviously, the key to achieving this is having a belt with exactly the same color with one or two pieces in the look.
3. Belting to Create Waist.
Do you have some boxy tops or dresses that don´t flatter your shape? Chances are, cinching it with a slim belt at the waist will create that illusion of an hourglass shape. If you are layers of scarves on your dress, a wide waist belt will pull it all together.
4. To Showcase as an Accent.
This belt is used to break the monochrome or tonal look of an outfit. If you remove the belt, you´ll be left with a boring look. Strategically adding a bright belt on a muted monochromatic dress, for example, of a head to toe tonal combination, or a black belt on a bright solid jumpsuit, is a clever way to make your outfit so much more interesting.
5. The More is More with Belts.
For some people, mixing together different patterns and colors in a look is a total challenge. They may benefit from having loads of practice, or getting tips from a professional stylist, however, there are some people who are born with a knack for playing with patterns and colors. They can easily and effortlessly create looks similar to the runway looks above.
And then there are those people who, no matter how messy they look in their clashing prints, they strut it with loads of confidence and joy. (Who are we to judge?)
My tips in getting creative this way are:
- stick with at most three patterns/colors/textures at a time,
- use a color wheel to identify the complementary or analogous colors that you can put together,
- and pull together the entire look with one piece in solid color be it your top, your inner layer, your shoes or bag, or your coat.
6. To Belt the Cover-Up.
The belted cover-up is something not new, but it´s something I personally rarely do because I worry about ruining the crispness of my coat or jacket. But this month I´ve purchased a long, gorgeous cardigan with beautiful print and sleeves that I just love. The caveat, however, is it has an open front. I can´t wear it outdoor in a cold weather like ours. So my solution will be to belt it up.
7. To Wrap Around the Waist with The Belt Purse.
Fanny packs have been trending for a while now. My reaction to this trend when I first noticed it was both admiration and hesitation. They reminded me of those busy, poorly dressed but business-savvy women selling fish or farm goods at flea markets back home. Yes, they reminded me of my past.
But how they are being worn now are more than just functional, that´s why they´re trendy, right? I may not be a huge fan of it but I may get one for myself one day. It will be a practical solution to me not being able to carry my handbags around while chasing a super active toddler. If given threee options like the ones above, I will pick the green.