If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to accessorize your clothing, a belt can be the answer. A well chosen belt can take a simple outfit and turn it into fantastic. Choosing the right belt can also subtly alter the contours of your figure, making your waist and hips look larger or smaller. Here’s how to choose the right belt to flatter your figure.
1. If You’re Short Waisted
It can be a blessing to be short waisted since you’re probably blessed with long legs. Short waists look best with thin, narrow belts since they’re less likely to overwhelm the midsection. It also helps to wear belts as low as possible to add length to the torso. A narrow belt slung low on the hips can be flattering and gives the illusion of a longer torso. Avoid big bulky belts which can overwhelm your mid-section.
2. If You’re Long Waisted
A long torso provides lots of length for a belt in a wider width. To add the illusion of longer legs, wear your belt as high on the waistline as possible, preferably with higher waisted pants. Try to match the color of your belt to your pants to give a long, unbroken line from waist to hips. Belting a dress or a tunic slightly higher than your natural waistline can add the illusion of length to your legs and call attention away form a long torso. Save the narrow belts and hip belts for those with shorter waistlines.
3. If You’re Petite
Large, bulky belts can overwhelm a petite figure. Stick with belts that are three inches or less in width to enhance your shape without looking too bulky. To give the illusion of greater height, wear a single color from neck to toe with a coordinating belt and shoes. Avoid wearing brightly colored belts or belts that contrast with your outfit.
4. If You’re Heavy
Choose a belt that’s similar in color to your outfit. Avoid wide belts in contrasting colors which can make your waistline look larger. Keep the buckle understated to avoid calling attention to a wide waistline. The key to de-emphasizing a heavier build is to keep it simple when it comes to choosing the right belt.
In general, you can’t go wrong with a simple, leather belt in a width of around three inches, preferably in a dark color. Dark, matte belts with simple buckles are naturally slimming and tend to be the most versatile. It can be difficult to wear a wide or brightly colored belt unless you’re tall with a slim waistline.
Always try on a belt before buying it to make sure it fits comfortably. Generally, your belt should be around two inches larger than your natural waist measurement. When you purchase a belt, take it home and try it with variety of outfits. Be sure it fits through the belt loops of most of your pants. If not, return it to the store. A well chosen belt should give you lots of versatility.