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Layering top (similar here), Anne Klein cashmere sweater, Pendleton glen check wide pants, GNW socks, pointy toe pumps, LeatherCoatsEtc beret, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle

Sure, belts have the purpose to hold your pants or skirt up. However, you can use them beyond just function to up your style factor. This post covers how you can use a belt of the right width and color to balance your body type. Read which belt is best for you.

  1. Which Belt is Best Depends on Your Body Shape
  2. Why is the Belt Width Important?
  3. Who Looks Best with which Belt?
  4. To Look Your Best Ignore the Trends
  5. Further Tips on Wearing a Belt

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Updated: 3/2021

Which Belt is Best Depends on Your Body Shape

Today’s post addresses which is the right belt for you. Of course, your belt must fit your outfit and your personal style preferences. Are you not knowing your primary style? Take this free online style finder.

In addition to your personal style and outfit, your belt has to fit your body type. No, here it’s not about the belt’s length – whether it fits or not – but about the belt’s width. Take this free online quiz to identify your body shape.

Don't underestimate the importance of the right width for your belt. #agelessstyle #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Why Is the Belt Width Important?

In dressing for your body shape and achieving your best look, it’s all about balance. Hiding the “flaws”, emphasizing the best features. The most balanced body type is the hourglass. When we weren’t lucky to be born with the shape, we still can give the illusion to have it.

Styling is all about creating balance.

A belt creates a horizontal line. Dark colors give the illusion of being leaner than light colors. Thus, a dark belt at the waist “reduces” the width of the real waist. See also this guide on how to best accessorize with belts.

midlife woman looking posh in men's wear inspired attire

stylist looking posh chic in a sweater with high waisted plaid pants look

stylist in a men's wear inspired posh casual outfit with belt
Layering top (similar here), Anne Klein cashmere sweater, Pendleton glen check wide pants, GNW socks, pointy toe pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, cameo cat pendant necklace, cameo women’s portrait earrings, LeatherCoatsEtc beret, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle (all own)

Who Looks Best with Which Belt?

When you are short-waisted thin leather belts and whimsical chain belts work best for you. You can read more about how to dress when you are short-waisted at the link. Try a low slung belt on your hips.

When you have a long torso and comparatively short legs, wide belts are your best friends. Avoid low slung belts and convex ones. Match it to your skirt, or pants. Here match means, have the belt the same color as the bottoms. Doing so creates the illusion of longer legs and a shorter torso than you actually have.

Stylist tip: Add heels in the color of your pantyhose or pants to create the illusion of miles long legs.

Vintage MOSCHINO belt
Here the  MOSCHINO belt serves to give shape to the straight cable-knit Barbour dress (all own)


Stick with these simple rules:

When you have a short torso and long legs, match your belt to your top to elongate your torso.

When your body type is balanced you are lucky. You can get away with a belt that contrasts to what you wear on the top and bottom.

#fashionover50 #agelessstyle mildlife woman looking posh chic with a statement belt, burgundy pants, coat and beret

fashion blogger with Russian scarf, statement belt, colored jeans and beret
LeatherCoatsEtc beret, Cole Haan shearling coat, Apostrophe colored jeans, statement belt, Anne Klein sweater, Pavlova Russian floral print scarf, and Harley Davidson booties (all own)


Rules for inverted triangle, apple and pear shaped gals:

When you are pear-shaped, never wear a belt on your hips. Any horizontal line creates attention to where it is. You don’t want the attention at your widest part ever!

When you are apple shaped, wear your belt just below the breast to give the illusion of a waist. Never wear one on your hips.

When you are Y-shape (inverted triangle, try a wide belt in a light color on your hips to balance your wide shoulders.

When you like these looks please pin them to your pinterest board so your friends, family and colleagues can see them too.

To Look Your Best Ignore the Trends

Never let fashion dictate you to wear a wide belt when a thin one is best for you or vice versa. Even when a dress or skirt comes with a belt, exchange the belt when it has the wrong width or color for your body type. Check this ultimate guide how to best accessorize with belts.

Are you absolutely sure you wear the right belt? #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.

Further Tips on Wearing a Belt

There are also many ways how to wear a scarf as a belt. Actually, this styling offers many colors and you can adjust the width to your body shape. However, besides wearing the wrong belt for your body type, there are other mistakes to avoid when belting various garments.

Photos: G. Kramm

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