Last year I ordered a bunch of stuff from Eddie Bauer and decided to peruse the clearance section before checking out. I liked the look of this Cotton Lawn Tunic, but it wasn’t available in my size. They had the next size up and it was only $3, so I threw it in the cart. Since it’s one size too large and a flowy tunic, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear it as-is but figured a belt might make it wearable. (My solution to everything is to add a belt.)
For reference, here is the shirt without a belt:
Not very flattering. I usually wear it with a wide black stretchy belt, like so:
I’m not sure about the color, though. In person, especially, the black is too much. This shirt seems like it would go better with brown or another color in the “natural” family. It definitely needs a wide belt, though, and I don’t have any wide brown belts.
Do you have any suggestions for how I should wear this shirt? Does the black belt look OK? Should I accept the shirt just isn’t going to work and eat the three dollars?
Style All Over reader Erin asked us to find a “really awesome belt” to go with her gorgeous new dress:
My first thought was all gold accessories, including a wide, shiny gold belt. Turns out shiny gold belts – especially wide ones – are hard to find. Here’s what I came up with:
- ASOS Metallic Metal Keeper Super Skinny Waist Belt (ASOS): $10.55
After no luck in all my usual places, I finally found almost exactly what I was looking for through Googling (though it could be a little wider), but I’ve never heard of this store. On the bright side, the belt is only 10 bucks.
- Foiled Metallic Skinny Belt (Express): $17.43
Initially I rejected the idea of a blue belt on the blue dress, but I think this could be a way to go metallic without being quite as daring as the gold.
- Fossil Shotbead in Antique Gold (Zappos): $32.00
If that first belt looks like it might blind you, this one is a little more muted and I like the shotbead detailing. I think this is my favorite gold belt. (Too bad it’s the most expensive!)
I also think brown belts would pair well with the dress and would be great if you’re going for a more casual look. I picked belts with detailing because I thought plain brown belts didn’t match the stylishness of the dress.
- Floral embossed belt (Gap): $39.95
I’d go with the “olive” option in this belt, which looks pretty close to dark brown. I like the subtleness of the detailing on this one.
- Tooled Jeans Belt (Eddie Bauer): $49.95
This one is a little out there. I never would have thought of pairing an Aztec-design belt with the dress, but for some reason I think it would work – with cowboy boots, of course.
Eddie Bauer has lots of sales, so even if you’d never pay $50 for a belt – I wouldn’t! – you can probably find a pretty good coupon code. Same goes for the Gap belt.
- Style&co. Belt, Wide Woven Stretch (Macy’s): $10.99
A stretch belt may be the way to go with this dress so it will stay put around the waist.
As I said, I originally thought gold, but when I came across these cheetah/leopard print belts I immediately knew this is what I would go with:
- Metallic Cheetah Print Belt (New York & Company): $17.46
The ‘gunmetal’ is my first choice out of all the belts (I’d wear it with silver accessories), but I love the ‘dark brown’, too.
- Wide Leopard Print Belt (Old Navy): $17.50
I wouldn’t pay full-price for this one – it seems to be typical Old-Navy cheap, but if you found it on sale, go for it!
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?