Tighten one’s belt. A belt and braces approach. Belt up. It’s no wonder the humble belt can’t escape its reputation for functionality when so many phrases ingrained in the English lexicon evoke caution and heed. But it’s time to think outside the box with this accessory, as when deployed imaginatively and with a keen eye for aesthetics, a belt can really pull a look together. With that in mind, here are 4 IDEAL style tips for women’s belts.

INVEST IN MORE THAN ONE

It’s not uncommon for a person to own only one belt and wear it regardless of the outfit and its colourscape. While belts are first and foremost there for functional purposes, the right belt can make an outfit look complete. On the flipside, the wrong one can completely ruin an otherwise stylish, well put together outfit. While a single belt may seem versatile, finding the right one to complement each and every outfit is a tall order. Instead, have a few in your armoury.

CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

A belt isn’t just about functionality. Instead, change your mindset and outfit outlook, and start thinking of your belts as a piece of jewellery. Or at the very least, an accessory. Because a belt can add real intrigue to an otherwise low key ensemble, adding a pop of colour or statement of intent with a little sparkle and swagger. That said, we would exercise a little caution; there’s nothing worse than an overly blingy, ostentatious number. Which brings us neatly to… 

MAKE SURE IT COMPLEMENTS YOUR STYLE

A black belt deployed with brown shoes. A brash buckle in a smart casual setting. A heavy duty belt holding up suit trousers. There is plenty of fashion faux pas where belts are concerned, but most are comfortably avoided by remembering the golden rule; make sure the accessory complements (rather than contradicts) your overall style. As such, consider colour, formality and appropriateness, as well as width, before pairing. Simples.

CONSIDER DIFFERENT TYPES

So, we’ve extolled the virtues of diversity and diligence, now it’s time to drill down into the different styles so you can pair as appropriately as possible.

Firstly, we have what’s often termed the classic belt, which must be comfortable and durable, and suitable for everyday wear. Because of this, it’s more often than not made of natural leather. Within that umbrella, calfskin belts are elegant, and the vegetable cowhide belts are resistant. On this type of belt, the seams can be contrasting and the buckle can be slightly rounded or covered. 

Another popular design is a jean belt, a typically high, comfortable and enveloping number which at its best expresses a feeling of strength. They tend to come as a standard 40 mm height and with a thickness of 4 mm unlined. Seasonal colours are appropriate here.

Fashion belts are known for the particular beauty of the buckles, which can range from elegant to gaudy (we’d aim for the latter end of the spectrum) and may have special finishes or special designs in faux silver or gold. These require tasteful deployment or the outfit as a whole can appear jarring. These often come in a vintage style with skins treated in a distressed way to recreate a rustic look and the buckles are likewise brushed or antiqued. 

If you’re in the market for a new belt after reading our tips, click here for inspiration or to buy an amazing belt.

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