Belt It Out

When most people think of accessories, they think jewelry. But belts are becoming another outfit-enhancing favorite. You’ll love the many options a belt can provide over a shirt, dress or jacket. Make a boring outfit look sophisticated with a thin or wide, basic or bejeweled belt. Traditionally worn for emphasizing waists, modern looks vary with popular belt placement just below the bust line, to the natural waist and low around the hips.

Here’s how to update your look with the right belt.

Red Belt: This remarkable one-size-fits-all ADA Python special finish, genuine leather red wrap belt can be worn different ways, depending on the look you want to achieve. Tie a wrap knot bow for a sophisticated look or twist the ends to make a flirty rosette. $78.

Grey Belt: Versatile and trendy, this double wrap belt with studs is the perfect accessory to dress up a casual outfit. $52. Both belts are available at Esme, Hilltop, Virginia Beach.

Pam’s Tips:
Look for materials such as solid and woven leathers and wide elastic bands that can comfortably stand up to all of the sitting and bending you may do during the day. Unless your garment already has empire waist belt loops, gravity will bring your belt down past your waist, so one option would be to easily sew loose loops into the outer seams. Remember to keep in mind your body’s proportions when choosing a belt. For example, a skinny belt might visually add weight to a plus sized woman, whereas a medium width belt will give her a more balanced look.

Skinny Belt
Skinny belts are a lovely complement to dresses and separates; extra long, slender belts look stylish when wound many times around the waist or hips. And because skinny belts are so slim, you can choose a colorful or metallic type without overdoing it.

Wide Belt
Cinching a wide belt around your natural waist emphasizes and slims while accentuating your curves.

Belt at the Waist
Tightly fastened belts at the waist are the most popular way to show off the accessory. Wear a thick or thin belt with a pair of high-waisted trousers or over a pencil skirt. A patent leather or bejeweled belt looks great with a curve-flattering sheath dress.

Empire Waist (Below the Bust) Belt
Belts worn just below the bust line enhance the bosom and should be skinny and simple. Look for thin belts in contrasting colors made from patent leather, alligator or suede.

Belt at the Hips
Low-slung belts draw the eye to the hips. This is the most relaxed and casual way of wearing a belt. Hip-hugging belts do wonders for tunics, casual shift dresses, and trendy low-rise jeans.

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