Little known fact*, the first belt in recorded history is attributed to Grrrog, a prehistoric hunter who got tired of his seal-fur pants falling down when he was chasing mastodons across the Siberian steppes. Littler known fact*, the first belt was actually created by Grrrog’s wife, Mrs. Grrrog, for her husband, when he complained of his pants falling down on the hunt.
I’m a big fan of Grrrog and his clever wife, because I’m a big fan of belts. I always have been, having one of those bodies where my waist is quite a bit smaller than my hips and thighs so belts are necessary for keeping my pants up. In the past several years though, I’ve also become a fan of belts as an aesthetic accessory as well as a functional accessory
Belts are a good way to try trends like pattern-mixing and a good way to add interest by adding color or texture to an outfit. Belts can also be a good way to create or define a waist and yes, they’re still great for keeping your pants or skirt up.
The Pattern-mixing Belt
Pattern-mixing can be difficult for a lot of people, especially at first. That’s why I suggest starting out small. Instead of head-to-toe mixed prints, try a single print and add a small amount of another print. How small? About belt-sized.
For example, in this look I paired a polka-dot dress with a leopard belt:
In this look, I paired a striped skirt with a differently striped belt:
In for this look, I paired a striped dress with an embroidered belt:
The Interest-adding Belt
This is probably my favorite category of belt because they’re, well, interesting.
In my wardrobe, this category includes such gems as my Eye-of-Sauron belt:
This suede belt:
And this chain belt:
Oooh, so interesting!
The Waist-defining Belt
I use belts to help define my waist both with separates and with dresses. For separates, even if you tuck in your top, there can be a lot of extra volume at the waist. A belt is a good way to keep that volume down, and less volume = a more defined waist.
Even on dresses with a clearly defined waist, a little more definition doesn’t hurt:
The Keep-your-pants-on Belt
Of course, I still use belts for their original, Grrrog-intended purpose as well. I use them to keep my pants up:
And my skirts:This skirt is at least a size too big in the waist.
This skirt had no elastic at all in the waist.
Of course, all of these belt uses aren’t mutually exclusive. I often use belts both to keep my pants on and add color or interest. Or use them both for defining a waist and mixing patterns.
And finally, in case you were wondering, no, you absolutely do NOT have to match your belt to your shoes.
*These are not facts. I made them up. Probably.
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Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails from from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.
Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.
Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.