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Belt Yourself Together

Belt Styling

Belts are a versatile accessory for all body types. You get to choose your silhouette. A belt at the waist -or even higher at the ribs- accentuates or creates the illusion of an hourglass shape. Wearing a belt lower can emphasize a long, lean torso and feminine hips. But even with this info it’s sometimes tricky to know how to wear a belt.

Of course there are classic belted outfits to refer to, and celebrate. But part of the fun is messing with traditions too. In this overly body conscious society we live in now, there is also a strong current of body positivity. It can be so invigorating to eschew traditional models and go for something a little daring. Something glamorous and honest.

Day and Night

Brown belt and JeansThere is something very all American about this classic: jeans, brown leather belt, plus a white tee. I like this look. It’s a go to. But I often want to be a little more inventive, more personal. It’s a good look but it needs some shaking up. For a riff on a classic I like to pair two of the same color tops and bottoms with a complimentary belt that has a little edge. So I’d pair this Patterned Discs and Wire Wrapped Tubes Belt with a black tee and black skinny jeans for some everyday spunk, and if it were summer (summer, yay summer) I’d do this same broken monochrome thing, wearing a wide white short, a loose button down white T tucked into a Cutout and Patterned Disc with Carved Leaves Belt. I love how a belt breaks an outfit up into definable chic parts.

Cutout and Patterned Disc with Carved Leaves Belt Patterned Discs and Wire Wrapped Tubes Belt

Jeans are a belts best friend—it’s true, they are such a classic pairing—but where I think a belt really shines is in basic evening wear. If you're anything like me, you love to dress up and express yourself through clothes, but I for one have spent way too may nights in a ball gown among people wearing sweats pants. Ok, I exaggerate, but it did take me years to find a balance between the all-dolled-up outfits and my other favorite sartorial disposition, what I’ll call “Nor-Calian “over it.’” For me, that kind of oxymoronic feeling is what fashion at its zenith is: the love of the drama of an ensemble and the ability to wear as it as though it’s just one’s skin. This is why I love belts so much. It is an exercise in contrasts. It can make manifest my dueling perceptions. I can pair a really flirty frilly light colored dress with a dramatic black and metal belt, and some edgy heeled boots. Or I might pair an elegant form fitting LBD with a chunky high cinching belt and pump up the drama there. I like to belt a long turtleneck. I like to belt a tunic dress, a tunic, a torn shirt, literally anything I have deserves the accent of a belt.

Cutout and Layered Shapes Sand Belt

Transform your Wardrobe

The additional structure of the belt injects a bit of spunk into anything basic you might have in your wardrobe already. It can change a simple outfit into something noteworthy.

I love a belt in a surprising place, or worn in a daring way. This year we’ve seen a lot of overly large belts cinched and left to hang dramatically down the leg. What is this look if not a celebration of the beltiness of belts?

Pleated Skirt

Other too cool for school evening looks: belted midi skirts. Pleated skirts are on the rise, especially metallic ones, if you dare. My new goal is to get a bronze pleated skirt, belt it with an MB black woven belt, wear a thin torn t-shirt and my leather jacket. 2016 begins with a bang. You can wear a belt low slung with your midi skirt in that kind of rebellious devil may care mode, or opt for something sweetly classic a la Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. She’s going to do just whatever she likes on her birthday. And so will you! 


Hepburn Roman Holiday

For more serious occasions I look to a statement belt to give some waist definition to a simple black dress, or add some edge to an otherwise refined suit-jacket. There is something so conservative yet punk about belting a suit jacket. The drama of a belt positioned on the natural waist is considerable (the traditional hourglass defined and insisted upon) and added to the power suit, now that is a go-getter move if I ever saw one.

So readers, how do you wear your belts? How do you style your MB belt? What does the contrast of the woven base and metal accents do for your mood? Are you suited up for today? How about tomorrow?



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  • Jan Mathern on

    What type of cord is used in making your belts? They are just beautiful and your embellishments are over the top! Love your work.


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