One way to rein in the added bulk of dressing for cold weather is to wear a belt, which helps define your waist and highlight your curves.
“Whether layered with a comfortable chunky sweater or paired with a chic top or dress, utilizing a belt is one of the easiest ways to inject color, texture and help showcase your silhouette or highlight a baby bump,” says Lisa Rissetto, the Founder and Creative Director of accessories brand 49 Square Miles, a favorite of celebs Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ellen Pompeo.
Lisa shares her tips for how to find the best belt to flatter your figure.
Pair with a purpose:
“Before you begin shopping for a belt, you must first establish the goal,” Lisa suggests. “Are you looking for a versatile accessory to pair with jeans and dresses, or do you want the belt to wear with a specific outfit? If you want to wear it with a specific look, you must consider whether you are simply looking to accessorize, or do you want the belt to have a function like complementing a slim waist, breaking up a loud print, or to make basic wardrobe items look chic. Next, take your waist and hip measurements. While most belts are slightly adjustable, you should know about where the belt will sit and measure appropriately. Finally, decide how often do you plan to wear this belt? If you are looking for a design to pair with multiple looks and wear frequently, you may want to invest in something that is leather and will last. Once you have established your goal, budget and have your measurements, it’s time to shop.”
Skinny belts: Width of 1” or less
In most cases, skinny belts tend to be more flattering on slim or petit women. Skinny belts can also be used to complement a baby bump by adding definition to loose-fitting maternity tops or dresses.
Wear a colorful patent, animal print or skinny metal belt with a sheath dress, blazer, or comfy cardigan to add color and enhance the fit of the garment. Don’t: Wear a really thin belt with super bulky knits or heavy fabrics, those items are better paired with a mid-width or wide belt.
Mid-Width Belts: 1”- 2” inches wide
The most universally flattering width belt, the 1”- 2” designs are also the most versatile and can easily be worn with jeans or a sweater dress.
Invest in a neutral leather or braided leather belt to wear with jeans and a tee, to cinch chunky sweaters, or to create definition with a top and skirt. Don’t: Choose a mid-width belt with an oversized buckle as it may overpower your shape and will limit how it can be worn.
Wide belts: 2” or more wide
Although better suited for a tall or curvy frame, wide belts can work for a majority of body types, if paired correctly. On a woman with a petite or slim frame, a neutral colored, fitted, wide belt will help define the waistline and add curves. On a curvy or full-figured woman, a large belt will accentuate the waistline, creating a more hourglass shape.
Pair a wide belt with a chunky sweater, maxi dress or long top worn with leggings or jeans. Don’t: Accessorize a super-short mini dress with a wide belt (this especially goes for the petite gals!) as it will draw up the fabric making the dress even shorter and it will also shorten the torso.
Buckleless Belt: come in all sizes and widths
Buckleless belts are a great investment because of their versatility. Without a traditional buckle closure, a buckleless belt is easily adjustable and can be worn around the waist or hips, as well as, over bulky or lightweight wardrobe items.
Combine a buckleless belt with a long top and leggings, over chunky knits or a printed dress to change the look and enhance the shape of the garment. Don’t: Buckleless belts come in a variety of widths so don’t forget the rules about when to wear a skinny or wide belt.
For more info, check out www.49sqmi.com.