Belt it! for an instant hourglass shape

13 Sep

I’ve had two kids, which has left me with what I call the is-she-pregnant-or-just-fat? shape. This problem is at its worst when wearing loose flowy clothing. I resisted the belting trend for a long time, thinking it would make my shirts look like those maternity tops with empire waist sashes tied with a bow in the back.

Once I tried it, though, I found it was just the opposite – the belt drew attention away from my stomach while also emphasizing it wasn’t really a pregnant shape. It also adds variety to outfits I’d gotten bored with and gives a new life to belts that used to fit around my hips and…don’t anymore.

I’ve had this dress for about 5 years. Pre-kids I wore it with a cardigan and a long silver necklace. Here’s how I wore it just a few months ago, featuring a belt I’ve had for probably about 10 years.

(If you like it, it’s a Fossil belt very similar to the one in the bottom right of the collage below).

I have a couple wide, stretchy belts meant for belting shirts/dresses, but I’ve found regular belts work just as well and are easier to find a wide variety of. I like to look at goodwill and other thrift shops for super-cheap ones.

Here are some I’ve been looking at lately – I think they’d be great for adding some interesting detail or color to your outfit:

Top row: Merona wide belt with buckles, New York & Company Colored Patent Belt

Bottom row: New York & Company Glittery Skinny Belt, Fossil Belt: Floral Studded Vine

Have you tried belting shirts/dresses? Do you prefer the belts meant for shirts or grab whatever’s handy?


6 Responses to “Belt it! for an instant hourglass shape”

  1. Melissa September 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m afraid of belts, afraid they’ll give MORE attention to the baby-belly-pouch-i-cannot-shed (after 2 kids aged 4 and 9 now…it’s never going away).

    • Jesabes September 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      I’ve found that, especially if you use the wide stretchy belts with detailing in the front, the detail draws attention away from your belly. The more detail the better. Also, for me, I guess they just make me feel more put together so I look confidant and not…”hey, I’m fat, don’t look at me.” So whatever makes you feel polished and pretty (belts, necklaces, pretty shoes…), wear it a lot!

  2. susie September 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I have IMPORTANT BELT questions. I want to be a person who wears belts, but I can’t do it right. I actually OWN some of the belts pictured (top left, and similar to top right in several colors), but have never worn them outside of my closet. My issue is that they never seem to fit right. Oh, Susie!, you might say, you can ADJUST them! I know. I KNOW. But the holes never seem to allow me to get them properly snug about my natural waist, leaving odd gappy bits, or if they DO, there is this long belt tail flopping off the side, and what do I do with that?

    I have tried to find belts with a stretchy panel in them to help with this terrible awful problem, but haven’t had much luck finding good ones. I have tried different SIZES of non-stretchy belts, but seem to fall between them, so they are either too small (won’t close!) or too big (floppy belt tail!). HALP.

    • Hillary September 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Floppy belt tail can get tucked under the side of the belt for a subtle twisted shape. It also can get tied in a loose knot in front. (Susan Wagner at THe Working Closet does this a lot.) I also think there’s “fashion tape” (two-sided tape) that you can get to hold it down, though I’ve never tried it.

      Also, I found that the place where I get my shoes repaired will punch holes in belts for free.

    • Jesabes September 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      What Hillary said! Also, if my choice is between the belt being too loose or too tight, I choose too tight. They loosen up as you wear them and it’s never as uncomfortable as I think it will be.

      Actually, in that picture, I’m wearing the belt super tight, because I couldn’t find my strapless bra. I tied the halter snugly to be bra-like and the belt is my underwire! (I also stuck in cloth nursing pads.)

  3. RA September 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I used to be all bitter about belts on the outside of clothing because I didn’t understand their purpose, which I only interpreted as “holding up pants.” When I learned that they were doing figure-friendly accessorizing duties, the light came on. Hooray!

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