An Interview with Michael Federer of F2 – The Element in Accessories.
The â€œitâ€? accessory of the season â€¦is the belt. They are everywhere, outside of coats, sweaters, dresses, you name it. Can you believe you might need instructions on how to wear a belt properly?
SCS: So, what’s hot in belts right now?
MF: Belts worn up high on the torso. Think 80’s wide stretch with big buckles or hooks. Patent leather is also huge this season, as are sash or obi belts in leather and fabric. Fashion chains are making a comeback as well. Look for colors like rich dark chocolate, cognacs, black, red, dark green and leopard print.
SCS: How are belts being worn this year?
MF: Like I said, high up on the torso, but really anything goes. Wear them over sweaters, shirts or coats. Belts are to accent the upper part of the body this year, not the bottom like in recent years. In New York City, we have noticed a trend of wearing two or three belts at a time. Another trend we are seeing is wearing the buckle to the side.
SCS: What is the most figure flattering way to wear a belt?
MF: It really depends on the figure. If you are a little heavier and want to create an hourglass figureâ€¦wear a wider belt high up on the torso. It takes pounds off immediately.
SCS: What are the biggest mistakes you see women make wearing belts?
MF: Wearing a belt that doesn’t match the figure or the age group. For instance, I see women wearing contour belts too low. I also see women wearing belts with no contour whatsoever, so when they sitâ€¦it sticks out in the back (also the sign of a cheap belt). Make sure the belt is contoured. Another mistake I see is wearing tacky belts. If you buy a belt of a good material such as leather, it may eventually go out of style, but it will come back in. An extra cheap belt looks, well cheap. Don’t buy pleather or other man made faux leathers. Oh, and certainly don’t wear it if it’s falling apart.
SCS: Besides contour, what should one look for when purchasing a belt?
MF: Materials and hardware. Italian leather is your best bet. Also look for hardware that is unique or speaks to you. Timeless elegance never goes out of style.
SCS: When should you wear a belt?
MF: When should you not?
SCS: OK, when should you not?
MF: There really is not wrong time because they are everywhere this season. You can change the entire look of an outfit with a belt, dress it up, dress it down or funk it up.
SCS: What should you expect to pay for a good belt?
MF: You can buy a great belt for $100-200. You don’t have to spend $500.
Nicole Miller Haircalf Waistbelt $125 from bloomingdales.com
Steel Couture: Annette Belt was $78.00, now $58.50 from starsandinfinitedarkness.com
Massimiliano Musina Crocodile Belt $395.00 from neimanmarcus.com
Elegantly Waisted Suede Studded Belt $330.00 from couturecandy.com
Michael Kors Kilty Trouser Belt $495.00 from neimanmarcus.com