A belt can be a girl’s best friend or her worst enemy.

Finding the right width, color, and location on your body to wear one can be a challenge.  So, why do we bother?  Belts are great for adding a pop of color and when worn correctly can make you look  longer and thinner.   As with all accessories, they can add a finished, put together look to an outfit.

Here are some tips to help you in your quest.

Wide (Cinching) Belts

These belts are worn around the center of your torso.  They pull you in to create or enhance an hourglass figure.  They work over dresses,  as a division line between bottom and top, or over a blousy top or cardigan.   They do not work particularly well on women who are short or long waisted.

Same color for top, belt, and skirt creates a longer, thinner line.

Skinny Belts

Skinny belts look great with a tucked in top and a high-waisted bottom.  They are worn above the waist, just under the bustline.  They also can be worn around dresses.  These are great for petite women because they don’t overpower your proportions.


These belts are meant to be worn somewhat loosely.  They are usually tied instead of buckled, even if a buckle is present.  Often you find tops with belt loops sewn in.  A ribbon belt looks best around your natural waist.  If the loops in your top do not align with your waist check to see if they can be easily cut out.   You can then wrap the ribbon wherever you like.


These belts are worn very loosely around your hips.  The look great over long fitted tops.  I am a very short waisted person and I find that these belts extend the length of my torso without making my hips look huge.

A note about belt loops

Belts worn through belt loops have the added bonus that they also hold up your pants.  With a tucked in top they can also be a fashion accessory.  Select a belt that is just slightly smaller than the width of the loops.