Fabulous reader Elly recently asked for some general advice about exploring belts. She wasn’t necessarily looking for information about styles of belts or how to wear them best – topics that Audi covered thoroughly in her amazing guest post on belting – but instead, she wondered how to even begin experimenting with belts.
And since I’ve heard many of you say that belting intimidates you, I thought I’d share more broadly what I told Elly.
As with anything new, the best way to delve into belting is simply to experiment. For starters, you’ll need to figure out which styles work for your body type and where on your body to belt. And although Audi’s post is a great jumping-off point, you’ll need to do some in-person trial runs to find out for sure what works on your figure.
So start with scarves: Put on a fairly loose dress or tunic, and try belting it with a scarf at various spots on your bod. Hips, wearing waist, natural waist, and up under your bust. See what looks best. Then try making the scarf wide like an obi belt and see how that looks. Fold it so it’s the width of a pants belt. Roll it tight as you can so it’s skinny. See which width is most flattering. You may find that multiple combinations look good – skinny at your natural waist, wide up by your bust, medium at your wearing waist. Most women who like and can wear belts do so multiple ways, so don’t decide you’ve found your single belt-wearing style and stick to it! Keep exploring!
Now that you know what works for you, you’re going to need to actually procure some belts. So my next bit of advice? THRIFT. Belts are available at thrift stores in great abundance, and for dirt cheap. Why pay $30 a pop, when you can get 20 belts to experiment with for that price at the Salvation Army?
This is especially important since a belt that fits your natural waist is going to be WAY SMALLER than one that hugs your hips. So in addition to buying up multiple widths, you might need to stock up on multiple lengths. Yet another reason to buy used! I have never paid more than $3 for a thrifted belt, and often snap them up for $0.25.
About three years ago, I owned two belts and they were both for trouser wearing. They languished unworn in my closet because, well, I do not have a trouser-friendly body. But once belting dresses at the natural waist became a popular style, I dove in headfirst and started collecting belts like a madwoman. I now have a fabulous and enviable collection of belts, and love nothing more than to throw one into the outfit mix. But I did tons and tons of experimenting before I became truly comfortable with belting, and I encourage you to do the same. All you need to get started is a scarf and a mirror!