Belt It Out

January 21, 2006 • Magazine

Belt It Out

Belt It Out

Sun, 2006-01-22 00:00

Jacqueline Zenn

Want to update your wardrobe with only a few key pieces? At least one of them should be a statement-making belt. You can cinch one over just about anything, and you’ll get a modern and flattering silhouette. Don’t settle for a simple leather style — go for something embellished or an exotic skin.

Double Buckles:
These wide, hardware-heavy belts were big on the runways, especially done in bright colors or cinched over sleek coats. Try wearing one over a fitted sweater or switch it up by wearing one over a classic trench. Go the cheap and chic route by picking one up at Target (yes, Target), or splurge on a bright red number by Marc Jacobs a studded Kooba, or this one by WCM belts.

Sash Belts:
Add a dose of femininity to your favorite jeans with a sweet little sash belt. Pick an embroidered or floral printed sash to wear with menswear inspired pieces, or a simple ribbon style to tie over cardigans and blazers. Whether you wear it around the waist or on the hips, a sash belt can be one of the most versatile pieces out there. You can even use a long, narrow scarf — Echo (carried at Marshall Fields, or get a steal at Filene’s Basement) has many different variations on the sash, or try this Ibisco one available from

Obi Belts:
Similar to the sash, but heavier and wider, this Japanese inspired look is full of drama. You can tie a satin one over a simple dress (like Lanvin or Diane Von Furstenberg) or wear a leather version over a tee and wide-leg pants for pared-down chic. Although you can find obi belts at various price points, one of the best is the “Elegantly Waisted� Karen Zambos Vintage Couture piece from

Exotic Skin:
Just like shoes and bags, belts in exotic skins are more popular than ever. From colorful snakeskin to luxurious ostrich and classic crocodile, you can find a belt in just about any skin and color you could wish for. This look works best in simple shapes and basic hardware — you want the skin (real or faux) to be the star. Try one over contrasting color like red with gray or royal blue with black (yes, blue with black — it’s one of the most up-to-the-minute combinations). For the mock croc look, try these Ralph Lauren belts, or pick up a gorgeous Etro ostrich skin belt to add a luxe touch to your closet.

Braided Belts:
These earthy belts are great for a relaxed look. Wear a wide braided belt low on the hips over a cozy sweater, or with a blazer and jeans to give the whole look a more casual vibe. You can even cinch one over a lightweight coat to give an old favorite a new look. Head to H&M to pick up the look for less, or pick up one of these classic braided numbers by Michael Kors.

A few wisely chosen belts can greatly expand your wardrobe, and the right belt will work on any shape. Wear a belt at the waist to enhance or create curves, or try one slung low on the hips with a loose top and skinny jeans to highlight great legs. Or just add a simple ribbon belt over your favorite jacket. Just have fun with it and make the trend work for you.

Double Buckle WCM belt – $110.00
Ibsico Sash Belt – $40.00
Obi Belt – $198.00
Exotic Skim Croc Ralph Lauren belts – $42.00
Michael Kors Braided Belts – $495.00

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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