Belts change everything

Hello my loves,

Today I’m feeling inspired by belts, yes belts. I love them, but I haven’t always. A few years ago, I thought a belt was a piece of fabric or leather that held up my over-stretched pair of jeans. Today that just isn’t so. The right belt can transform a dress, skirt/shirt combination, dress shirt/pants ensemble, even a wedding gown! I wear a belted outfit at least four times per week because they make me feel great. My waist looks smaller, and the belt seems to pull the outfit together. “But seriously, Tara, I don’t wear belts,” you are probably thinking. Do not fret, my friends, I am here to tell you how! Along with some handy photos, you too will be belting your outfits in no time.

Here are the two belts you need in your closet:
1. A long black ribbon belt. This belt can be made of any soft fabric – chiffon, organza, grosgrain, cotton, etc. It should be about an 1-1.5″ wide, and about 60″-80″ long.
2. A wide black elastic belt. This belt can be plain, or have embellishments. It should be between 2″-4″ wide, and should fit snuggly around your waist.

We will start by belting a dress. As you know, dresses come in many shapes – empire waist, natural waist, a-line, fitted, long, short, tea-length. The number one reason to belt any dress, no matter what the shape, is to cinch in your waist, and draw attention to the naturally smallest part of your body. Either of your “staple” belts will fulfill this need, and one will absolutely look better than the other. Start by adding the skinny belt to your dress – wrap it around the smallest part of your waist and tie it in a bow, then move the bow off to the side. How does it look? If you love it, leave it! If not, take it off and add the thicker black belt. Buckle, snap or tie this belt on to the smallest part of your waist and stand back for the flattering transformation. To enhance the look, add a jacket!

Next, we will belt a skirt/shirt combination. I love to wear bright colors, as well as black, and I feel that no matter what skirt/shirt I am wearing, a belt always makes it look as if I am wearing a dress because it hides the line between the shirt and skirt. I love this little trick because it makes me feel a little more sophisticated! First, make sure your shirt is tucked into your skirt – trust me, just tuck it in. Next, add the thicker belt to your waist, covering over the line where the top of your skirt and shirt meet (keep in mind that this may or may not be the smallest part of your waist, but that’s ok). Step back from the mirror and voila – very flattering!

Last, but not least, try belting a shirt/pants combination. This will work with almost any blouse, short sleeve or long sleeve dress shirt, and pants (even jeans). This time do not tuck your shirt in, and add the thin belt to the smallest part of your waist. You may want to tie the belt into a bow like you did with the dress, or try wrapping the belt around your waist twice, tying the ends into a knot. You can choose to keep the knotted ends in the middle, or move them off to the side. Either way, you’ve accomplished a tailored, and flattering look. Add a pair of high heels, and you are ready for the office. Add some accessories, and you are ready for a night out!

Just a note on wedding gowns – I work for the best bridal shop on the North Shore of Boston in Danvers, MA, Bella Sera Bridal and Lorraine Roy at Bella Sera Bridal. Almost every bride I dress comes into Bella Sera Bridal with a specific “look” in mind for her wedding day. No matter what her body type, or dream gown, adding a belt enhances her look 9/10 times. Belts are versatile, fun, but most of all flattering on all shapes and sizes!

Happing belting my friends!

Belts change everything - soft, thin belt
Belts change everything - wide elastic belt


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