Did you know that the first indications of people wearing belts are all the way back in the Bronze Age, between 3300 and 1200 BCE? Since then, the belt has been a vital part of our outfits, providing style and function. For women, in particular, it has become a fashion staple that can enhance any look, but it is not always an easy accessory to buy. If you are looking into buying women’s belts, the choices can be overwhelming. Read on to know how to find the exact women’s belt you want.
Buying Women’s Belts: Sizing
Sizing is crucial when purchasing a belt and yet most people do not really take the time to consider it. As a rule, the belt is measured from the end of the belt buckle to the hole in the middle and it usually does not include the belt buckle itself. You will find belt sizes in inches in the US and centimeters in Europe, with the number stamped on the back. To get the right fit for a woman’s belt, you can add 2 or 3 inches to your waist size. It is also a good idea to take a belt that fits well with you if shopping in person or to have that as a reference if shopping online.
Style and Function
Think of the style and function you want from the belt. All types of belts will not be appropriate for every outfit. For a multi-purpose belt, you want leather. A quality black or brown leather belt can pair with casual as well as more formal outfits and can last you for years. A handmade leather belt tends to be the longest-lasting and unique option, so if you are looking for an investment that can be around your waist for years, go for handmade.
There are also vegan leather options. You want to avoid the low-quality fake leather options, however, since they will not last. You can wear leather belts with pants, skirts, or to accentuate a dress’s waistline. If you want a more casual and colorful look, a canvas or vinyl belt can work perfectly. They will not look right with formal outfits or even a pantsuit, but they can look great with skirts and shorts. Canvas or vinyl belts come in lots of colors and pattern choices. If you want a touch of leather in the design, you can go for canvas belts with leather backing. Avoid choosing black or brown vinyl belts because they can look like knockoff leather. Instead, go for bright colors.
The belt buckle has to be easy to use and not be an obstruction to the outfit. Leather belts usually have a metal buckle with a tongue that slips through one of the holes, making it a safe option for multi-purpose belts. With canvas belts, you can many times find buckles that snap together or sliding latch buckles. You may also find braided buckles, which sizing notches on the underside of the best strap secure. There are decorative buckles, as well, for when you want a statement piece and they can be made out of numerous types of materials.
Choosing the belt thickness depends a lot on your body type and on the outfit with which you would like to pair the belt. If you have a longer torso, a thick waist belt is a good choice. They can help shorten the upper body and make the whole look more proportional. Women with short waists can benefit from narrow belts that do not cover up their midsection.
There are some golden rules to remember when choosing a belt’s width. Thin belts that are less than an inch in thickness pair perfectly with dresses, while one that is between one and two inches goes well with jackets, coats, cardigans, and sweaters. For a belt that is an inch in width, you want to pair it with pants, jeans, and skirts. The thicker options that get closer to five inches in width can work well if you want to emphasize a dress’s waistline or when you pair a top and a skirt.
How to Wear It
It is not always straightforward for women to know how to wear a belt, especially if pairing it with skirts or dresses. There are three main ways to wear a belt:
- On the natural waist
- On the high or low waist if you do not have a defined waist
- To keep your pants up
If you want to wear it on your natural waist or higher or lower, you can wear it with a dress, over a sweater or cardigan, or even over a coat. Wearing a belt on your natural waist emphasizes your shape and makes you look proportionate. When wearing a belt with pants and jeans, the width is very important. If you see that the pant’s loops are wide, you want to choose a belt that is also wide, otherwise it will move about and not offer the stability you want. If your pants do not have loops on them, then they are not designed for belts.
Complement Your Look
With the right belt, you can enhance your outfit and complement your look. Whether you want to know more about buying women’s belts or about any other fashion purchases, check out our Fashion page!