20 October 2010

Style Dilemma: Belting it Out

Sorry. Couldn't help it. I'm exhausted. And punchy. So bad puns, well...

Anywho, Miss Scarlet posted a comment on the last Style Dilemma:

On the belt topic, though, I have trouble wearing belts to work because I am constantly adjusting them. I wore one over an unbuttoned cardigan one day and spent most of my time keeping it looking ok.

My dear Scarlet, I feel your pain. I have the same problem. The "belt advice" is all over the style shows, blogs, and websites. "Make an hourglass figure with a belt." "Accentuate your fabulous curves with a belt."

Yeah, well, only if you can a) find one you adore, b) find one that fits properly at precisely that place on your torso that needs a belt, and c) find a piece of clothing that won't bunch, twist, or slide underneath said belt, causing you to figdet with your clothing all day. Which just. isn't. chic.

A couple of ways I've gotten around it in the past - though, to be perfectly honest, I pulled my adored orange belt out of the drawer the other day to put over an easy vneck sweater, which should've worked, but didn't. At all. It bunched in the wrong places, and just made me look, well, thicker.

Tip: When you buy your belt, buy it on the larger side (no shame about what size is on the label), so you have room to adjust. You can always have a cobbler add an extra hole if you magically shrink, but better safe than sorry. That way you can belt without belting too tightly.

Tip: Also when buying, buy while wearing at least one item you want to belt. Same deal. You can test it out.

Tip: Try belting over a longer structured jacket. I have one tweed jacket that has a sort of safari-like structure, and it (when it fits over my darned chest, which it doesn't right now), of all my clothes, does the best belted. There's just not much to improperly bunch.

Tip: Avoid belting blousy things like they show in all the fancy ads. Most of us aren't rail thin, and blousiness is rarely flattering on anyone but. It might not make us look wider, but it has this nasty tendency towards schoolmarm. And not the "sexy schoolmarm underneath" type that ads try to convince us we should attempt.

Tip: If you're going to attempt the belt, and are a belting newbie, try first with a skinny belt. It's a little more forgiving, and definitely less overwhelming than a Big Wide Belt. And buy patent. In any color. Goes with everything.

Hope that helps, Miss Scarlet - send us pics, of course!


31204ever said...

I have belt phobia as well. It doesn't help that I'm short-waisted in the back (made worse by the lovely love handles) and long-waisted in the front. So when you look at me sideways while wearing a belt, it sits at a stupid angle. I probably just need to get over it already.

Miss Scarlet said...

Yay! Good advice. I'll hopefully try it in the next few days and will, of course, take pics. Did I tell you I'm taking pics every day again? I'm posting them on my tumblr, though.


The pics aren't great, though...it's hard to take pics of oneself!