When to wear a belt with a dress

Accessory Style Challenge: When to Wear a Belt

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When to wear a belt with a dress

Accessory Style Challenge: When to Wear a Belt

I’m all about a challenge and had the idea to give you the reins of when to wear a belt. I feel like belts are under appreciated accessories. Yet not everyone embraces this small piece of fun!! So what about I showcase both options, and give the pro and con of each? Then you can make the decision of when to wear a belt and which version you prefer.
Because style is very subjective and I like to remind us that since we are all so DIFFERENT, there shouldn’t be a right or wrong.

Quote of the day: “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” Alexander the Great

Trying with almost anything fashion related should be easy because it’s not permanent. You choose an outfit one day, and then change it up the next. So even if you don’t like one way to style something, you can easily try again.

Insider tip: The key is to remember that the more you do something, the easier it becomes. For example, I have been working on my necklace layering techniques. And I’ve had a multitude of failures (see here and here). Yet if I gave up, I wouldn’t have succeeded (which I consider this example a win).

Other Belt Posts
Simplified Belt Style Depending on What You Like Best with pants
How to Wear a Belt as a Short Waisted Woman
Looking Great by Styling a Scarf as a Belt with a Maxi Dress
With a modest summer look

When to Wear a Belt with a Dress

The above example shows an easy peasy summer print dress. It has an elasticized waist but did not come with a self belt.

Without a belt: The dress is easy to wear this way. It looks cohesive and is loose for the hotter temperatures.
With a belt: The light pink belt gives detail and focus to the waist.

My preference: I am an equal opportunity belt lover so truthfully I like it both ways. What I hate to hear are comments about looking taller one way over the other. Because I don’t care how tall I look. I want to look wonderful, not tall!!
OR another pet peeve is how women say they can’t wear a belt because they don’t have a waist. Lesley will tell you she has a body shape of a zucchini yet she wears belts at times!! (her words, not mine)

Insider tip: Just because a dress comes with a belt doesn’t mean you have to wear that one. I recommend to take off all self belts and hang them with all of your belts. This way you will think to try many. Plus those self belts can be used with other outfits, scarves or even bracelets!!

Belting and a Cardigan

Another example of when to wear a belt is for some added color and flare. A white dress look with a long gold cardigan has the opportunity to bring in additional red accents with a red belt. Or do you like it without the belt??
I used the belt over the gold cardigan or under the cardigan for two different options.

Without the belt: This dress also indents at the waist and came without a belt. I already have three red pieces in the outfit (the shoes, the earrings and glasses).
With the belt: This red belt is a wider option but not super tight. That’s why I could try it over the cardigan also.

My preference: I like the belt under the cardigan for this example. Some of my other belts might work over the cardigan but this one isn’t my favorite for this idea.
For some reason I always wear a belt with this dress. It seems unfinished to me otherwise, yet it’s a personal preference.

Insider tip: Belts can be expensive, yet I find some wonderful ones thrifting. Remember you can always wear a scarf as a belt too like I showcased here.

Red belt with white dress

When to Wear a Belt with a Summer Top

Now why would you even think to wear a belt with a flowy summer top? While flowy can be wonderful, there are times it’s nice to create more of a peplum look instead.
I paired this top with my bermuda shorts (which I will be discussing soon in a post).

Without the belt: When the summer temperatures hit 100 degrees, the more flowy, the better.
With the belt: It adds more of the print from the shoes to the rest of the outfit. It also shortens the top a tad PLUS the top doesn’t gape open when leaning over as much.

My preference: Truthfully, I’ve worn this top both ways. You could say that the flowy version adds 10 pounds, but I really don’t care. Just like my comment about not caring to look taller, I also see no advantage of looking thinner. Who decided that thin is better anyways. I want to look great not tall and thin.

Blazer Action

Adding a belt over a blazer is something I’ve seen on other women but haven’t practiced much myself. Since these pants are the opposite of professional, I wanted to see if a belt would give the outfit a better look.
This belt is the one that came with the pink shirtdress worn in this post and this post–last example. It’s leather in the back and metal in the front.

Without the belt: I think this is the traditional way we think about wearing blazers. Especially ones that are already tailored at the waist
With the belt: The metal of the belt gives the outfit more bling, and at this stage of the game, I feel like everyday deserves bling.

My preference: Again, I do like both of these options. I also tried this same outfit with a leopard brown belt and a tan belt, but I liked this brown belt the best.

When to wear a belt with a skirt

Function Times of When to Wear a Belt

There are many times when a belt is needed. In the case above, I wore it to cover up the tulle skirt waistband which was hiked up above the red plaid skirt waistband.

Insider tip: Do you have a skirt that seems a tad short. Why not layer another skirt under it. You don’t have to use a tulle skirt as the layering one, but try any that you have!!

When to wear a belt

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

My Goal

Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what other’s think.

My hope is that you get ideas and inspirations from Charlotte, Lesley and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?


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