Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Had Any Good Belts Lately?

Talbots

Had any good belts lately?  No?  Well, belly up to the bar, girls, and grab a cold one as we dish the skinny on belts.  The following are some guidelines to keep in mind when deciding whether you should or should not wear a belt, and, if so, what kind.  Notice I say “guidelines” rather than rules.   I’ve been in this business long enough to know that what should work sometimes doesn’t, and what should not work sometimes does.   My only Rule is:  Give it a try; you never know….

The purpose of a belt is to accentuate and highlight a woman’s waist.   So, if you’ve got a waist, you can wear a belt. 
  
 

 

However, I’ve also been in this business long enough to know that there are a lot of you out there who do not have clearly defined waists.  In fact, Rectangles and Tubes (the Rectangle’s slightly rounder cousin) are the body shapes of most high fashion models.  The fashion industry prizes them for their youthful, boyish bodies, because there are no curves to distract the eye from the shape and flow of the clothes they are wearing. 

 
So, if you are a Rectangle or a Tube and don’t have a clearly defined waist, can you wear a belt?  Absolutely. 
 
Here are two suggestions: 
 
1)      You can bypass the waist issue entirely by wearing a big, bold belt slung low on the hips. 
Or…………..
 


Ladies Home Journal
 
2)     You can create the illusion of a waist by adding some bulk to the top and/or the bottom, as this model has done.  Here, she has added a bit of bulk on top by choosing a blouse with a collar and great detailing on the sleeves, then left the blouse unbuttoned over a tank or cami giving it a blouson effect.  The blouse flows out from under the belt like a peplum, which gives the illusion of hips.  A wide belt is essential to pulling this look together. 

 
Who should not wear a belt?

 
If you are an Apple or have a little too much tummy, you do NOT want to draw attention to your waist with a belt.  Instead, you want to wear tops and jackets that have darting on the sides, giving you a nice nipped-in look. 
 
Talbots
So, you’ve got a waist.  Congratulations!  Now, what kind of belt would look best on you? 

 
At this point you need to know whether you are short-waisted, long-waisted or right in the middle. 

 
Here’s how to determine that: 

 
1)      Take a tape measure and measure the distance from your armpit to your waist. 

2)      Then, measure from your waist to your leg break (where your hip ends and your leg begins at top of thigh). 

3)      These two measurements should be roughly within 1 inch of each other.   

 
If the distance from your armpit to your waist is shorter than the distance from your waist to your leg, then you are Short-waisted. 

 
If the distance from your armpit to your waist is longer than the distance from your waist to your leg, then you are Long-waisted. 
 
Talbots
If you are long-waisted, chose a wider belt, as there is more space between your bosom and your waist.  A medium-width belt looks better on a short-waisted woman, as there is less space between her bosom and her waist.   Got that?  

 

 

 
Ladies Home Journal
Wearing a belt in the same color as your top is a great way to visually lengthen a short waist.  Matching your belt to your skirt or trousers has the opposite effect, if you are long-waisted. 

 
Narrow belts work best if you are wearing a body-hugging dress.  Otherwise you can look as if you are wearing a sack tied in the middle. 

 
Can You Wear a Belt if You’re a Plus Size?  Yes, yes, yes!! 
 
Stylish Plus-Sized Belts
 
Plus-sized, curvy girls look absolutely fabulous in belts, provided they have a waist.  Never go skinny.  Go big and bold or don’t go at all. 
 
Fashion Plus
This sexy lady has maximized her curves with a body-hugging knit top, a slim pencil skirt and a great, black belt that does what a belt is supposed to do…..draw attention to her waist.  She looks fabulous. 

 
Well, I guess that’s really the long and short of it on belts.  Let me leave you with

 
One Final Thought:

 
Avoid the peasant look (puffy top, full skirt, with cinched-in waist) UNLESS……………..
 
Sophia Loren
You are holding a platter of delicious food and look like the magnificent Sophia Loren.  Or…………
 
Manorama
You are going for the Beer Mug Carrying Record at Oktoberfest. 




P.S.:  While we're on the subject of belts, which is one of my favorite accessories, let's not forget the Queen of accessories............the fabulous chapeau

You MUST stop by The Style Crone, where my beautiful friend, Judith, is having a massive HAT ATTACK. 

Join in the fun and post a picture of yourself in your favorite millinery creation.  

Olivia and I made an appearance as #16. 

For more information on Olivia, click on "What I Wore on Derby Day."

16 comments:

  1. What a fabulous post!! Wonderful tips here. I don't have much of a waist so generally steer clear of belts unless I angle it down on my hips. So many people make the mistake of slapping a contrasting belt on a body with no waist, and the eye slams to a halt right there. Not good looking. I'm passing this post along. People should know these tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, the contrasting belt can absolutely cut you off in the middle, especially if you are petite. The dress with matching belt is lovely, or something in a complementary color that doesn't interrupt the flow but calls attention your narrow waist.

      As ever, thanks for stopping by. We'll chat soon.

      Best, M-T

      Delete
  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Wow, that was an interesting post! Personally I do love belts and I have quite a collection. Not with all outfits but sometimes it does add and also the wider ones. La Loren had an absolutely impeccable body with perfect tiny waist.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ma chère Mariette, I've seen how beautifully you wear belts. You know just how to do it.

      Isn't La Loren fabulous? She's still beautiful and has aged with grace and elegance....a lesson for us all.

      Big bisous, M-T

      Delete
  3. Good advice. I love belts. I am lucky in that I am long waisted and have a very defined waist which I like to accentuate. I just need to be careful not to pull it in too tight or it makes my hips look wider. Love the burgundy belt at the top very useful colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see a picture of you in a belt on your Blog. Sounds like you know exactly how to do it. You'd be surprised how many of my clients haven't the foggiest idea whether or not they are short-waisted or long-waisted. It does make a difference, "n'est-ce pas?"

      As ever thanks for stopping by.

      Congrats and big hugs to the newest addition to your family.

      Best, M-T

      Delete
  4. Great post! So much information!! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Hope you found this post helpful. Belts are NOT just for holding up your pants "n'est-ce pas?"

      Stop by again.

      Best, M-T

      Delete
  5. Saw that belt in my talbots catalog last night and can't wait to get it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you buy it, please let me know how you like it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Best, M-T

      Delete
  6. Love this post! I will pass on the good advice, or guide lines.xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely....spread the word. Think of this as a mini-Belt Bible.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Best, M-T

      Delete
  7. Dear M-T, Loved the tips about belt wearing, written with your clever sense of humor. Always a delight!

    Thank you so much for linking up with Hat Attack and bringing Olivia to the party. You and she are stunning together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olivia has asked me to express her appreciation to you, dear Judith, for extending the invitation to attend a very posh party indeed....surely the social event of the season.

      She can't wait to see who turns up next!!!

      Delete
  8. My dear, I take the prospect of being the younger sister you always wanted... to be the greatest of compliments! Here's to making new friends!!

    Loved this post... I had all but forgotten about my dear belts.. and I so appreciate your expert advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your belts are feeling soooo neglected, Little Sister. Take them on an outing. They will love it, and you will love how you look in them.

      Best, M-T

      Delete

My dear Readers, I do so love reading your comments and appreciate the time you take to make them. To make it easier to leave your comments, I have disabled that annoying "Word Verification" setting, which Blogger (in its infinite wisdom) enabled without my consent.

If you have a problem posting your comment, just send it to me at frenchtouchimage@gmail.com.

I will be happy to post it for you and link back to you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...