Wear A Belt

Wearing a belt can visually alter your body’s proportions and hold up your pants. After a certain age, I almost stopped wearing belts because of my thickening waistline. However, after seeing myself in belts worn well, I am returning to one of my favorite accessories.

If a jacket is too long or too boxy, try adding a belt over the jacket to define your waist.

If your top and jacket are the same lengths and that length cuts your body in half, add a belt over the top to emphasize your waist and create a more flattering third above the belt.

You can see that this look without a belt almost has a casual vibe.

This fabulous jacket looks good from every angle!

A few well-chosen accessories can personalize your look and make you appear polished and confident. I never feel well-dressed without accessories. So I will be thoughtfully adding belts more often. The pants are from last year by Lior Paris. The shoes are a couple of years old from Saks Off 5th. The earrings are several years old from Stein Mart. The belt is also more than two years old from T.J. Maxx.

The elegant faux leather-trimmed jacket and the perfect green top I am wearing in this post were gifts from Misook.

  1. Susan, I haven’t worn belts for years, and I remain convinced that a belt over a top layer will only make me look like a garbage bag with a string around it. But you may have given me courage to try the belt-under-jacket look in your second photograph. I can see how that might work for me. Thanks for the nudge!

    1. I am short-waisted, so I find that unless an obi belt is very thin, I don’t look so great in them. One needs to have lots of space between the bust and the waistline to wear a wide belt well.

    2. My Obi belt migrates around during the day, if it’s no becoming untied then the knot slips up or down across the wide part. I like belts but they need to stay put so I’m not so much a fan of that style.

  2. Belts do me no favors but I do appreciate your snagging the discount at Misook. I have already used it! I love Misook but they have reduced their petites to practically nothing so I rarely shop there. The discount really helps!

  3. Look lovely but after visiting the website for the cost of clothes found out way out of my price range. I found your clothes from chico,s a better price fit especially when they were on sale.

  4. I’m short waisted (I think – waist is up high?) and my waist is wider than my skinny hips – I’m the apple style of body. Do you still think a belt will help give me some shape and should I wear it loose? Thanks – love you style but love you kind suggestions even more!

    1. Thank you, Martha. Try a low slung belt with a tunic or longer top. If you confuse the eye as to where your waist is and what size your behind is, you will look best. I have the same issues, so I never tuck in a shirt all the way around to show my whole waistline without a jacket or cardigan left open to confuse the eye.

  5. Cute & the green is a different color for you. I’ve always liked the big shirt or tunic style tops with the low slung belts that you mentioned; they help cover my less than svelte waist area. Still have several of the stretch metallic belts as well. Misook site had some very slimming & linear looks. Good day for a belt post here as the wind has really picked up! Thank you Susan.

  6. I’ve always assumed wearing a belt would make me look thicker in the middle. But wow! It looks great on you. I’ll have to try it again but be sure and wear the right belt the right ways. Thanks for this post.

  7. Interesting and informative post,as usual. I liked the photo where you had belt on under the jacket. Although this jacket is very attractive, I think the fabric is a little stiff to belt. I check out all your posts and really enjoy your site.

  8. I always wear a belt under an open jacket or cardigan. It makes it appear that there is a well defined waist under there. It draws the eye to something interesting while not allowing anyone to see the size of my “middle” Also the width of the belt makes a difference. Sometimes a narrow belt does the trick and sometimes a wider belt makes just the right bold statement. It took me into my 60s to realize the fun and importance of accessories 🙂

  9. Beautiful outfit. I love your heels with this outfit. I haven’t been able to wear heels for several years and miss them. Our weather is beginning to get much colder and I’m shopping for warm things to hide under my skirts or pants. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Today a friend mentioned ‘pant socks’ that come to your knee. Do you know anything about them?

    1. Search for Trouser Socks. I like to wear tights under pants in the winter because the top of those socks always shows through the pant material due to the fact that I have thick calves.

  10. Mary, I always wear thick tights under dresses, lined ones when it’s really cold. Under trousers I wear leggings because they don’t add bulk. However, I also have some under trouser leggings that are designed for outdoor activity. In my opinion these are even better (though more expensive) because they are not quite so tight.

    Susan, many thanks for your blog. It really is an inspiration to us all, and shows what a difference small changes and a bit of thought can make to how we present ourselves.

  11. I also love belts and wear them daily. I feel they define my waistline which I love to show off. My outfit does not feel complete without one.

  12. I, too, absolutely love belts. I had a wide brown leather one with a large buckle in front that I bought at a street market in Europe. It cost $5. I wish I had bought every one that they had. However, our tour group was moving on, and I had to make a quick decision. It was leather. Every time I wore it I got compliments. It finally broke and the shoemaker could make only a temporary fix. I now have many belts but always revert back to a silver one which I also love. HOWEVER, as the waistline increases it is more difficult for me to wear a belt comfortably. I wear it a bit down from the waist now and under jackets. I am 85!! But never too old to look for cute stuff11!! A silver belt at the waist should not be worn with a necklace, however. Maybe a scarf. I sometimes have a hard time choosing which to wear. It is fun to be able to try new things. And to watch what your choices are.

    I enjoy your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.