How to Wear Belts in Interesting New Ways This Fall

gold belt
Wide gold belt from

Belts are trending this Fall, especially wide belts, but thin ones too.  The point is to emphasize the hourglass shape of the womanly body.  Belts add interest to a plain outfit and define your waist, giving you shape even when your clothes are shapeless.  I’ll give you some ideas for substituting other things for a belt, such as a necklace, or using two different color belts that are the same size and style.  And, of course, as usual I will give you outfit ideas using belts.  Age doesn’t matter because you can belt anything, and I encourage you to be creative about how!  

  • Use pearls as a belt.
  • Twist two contrasting ribbon belts (or lightweight scarves), then secure with charming pins.
  • Try suede cords tied around waist as a belt over a t-shirt dress.
  • Wear a classic black or brown belt with a maxi dress or tailored shift, or even over a blazer or coat.  Bonus points for a colored belt.
belted maxi dress
Belted maxi dress by Oscar de la Renta
  • Tie together separates — tops, sweaters, skirts, trousers or jeans — by wearing a waist-hugging thick or thin belt over light layers for a more refined look.
  • Amp up a sheath dress with a patent leather belt or a decorative belt studded with crystals, rhinestones, gemstones, sequins and metallic finishes.
  • Give definition to day dresses by nipping them in with textured, woven, cut-out or plaited medium and thick belts.
  • Add a belt to a casual shift dress or a shirt dress.
  • With a simple dress or long sweater, add a gypsy belt (coin, stud, gold chain or other exotic embellishment).
  • Try a belt with a lightweight blazer.
  • Add a belt to a structured shirt.
  • Wrap a belt around waist with a pencil skirt — with either the top tucked in or not.  If you have a thick waist, opt for a medium-wide (not skinny) belt in solid dark colors like black or brown.
  • To spice up a classic top and bottom (maybe both in ivory), add a colorful belt.
  • Add a belt to a boho skirt.
  • Half-tuck just the front of your shirt into blue jeans and add a belt.
  • For evening:  Add a jeweled belt or a gold belt to blue jeans.

Wide Belts

shirtdress with wide belt
Shirt-dress with wide belt by Shein
  • Wide belts give definition to boxy jackets and unstructured cardigans.
  • Wear baggy pants high on the waist and nip in with a wide belt.
  • Belt your top with a wide belt (at midriff) or make your top into a peplum with it.
  • Add a wide belt over a any tunic, or over a pencil skirt.
  • Wear a wide brown belt with a safari jacket, a black tunic or a turtleneck tunic.  Add brown beads and brown leggings with tall brown boots over them.
  • Wear a wide brown belt over a loose maxi-dress.
  • Wear a wide brown belt over a black, cream or tweed blazer.
  • Country evening:  Wear a jewel-buckle belt with jeans and a beautiful satiny shirt.

Skinny Belts

  • A skinny belt complements dainty dresses and separates (including chain belts and rope belts).
  • Wear a skinny belt with a blazer, a thin cardigan, a boyish tunic dress, high-waist shorts or pants, or a full skirt.
Michelle Obama wears a high-waist belt – from 40 Plus Style

Leather Belts

  • A gutsy leather belt looks chic on everything from denim to chiffon.
  • Use a one-inch wide tan leather belt with a brass buckle with trousers, jeans, skirts and country looks.
  • Use a soft kid leather belt with matching buckle (the crusher-style belt) for trousers (especially when you belt an over-top), skirts and dresses.

Faux Leopard Belts

I have to emphasize “faux” because of the time I ordered a leopard guitar strap.  After awhile, I called to see why it was taking so long and the company said they were having a hard time catching a leopard in order to make one!  Needless to say, I immediately cancelled the order!

  • Add a leopard-print belt over a trench coat.
  • Add a leopard-print belt to a neutral outfit, such as shades of ivory, tan or beige.
  • Add a leopard-print belt to a printed piece (leopard-print acts as a neutral and mixes with any other print).


Chain Belts

  • Add a gold brooch to a gold chain belt where it attaches.
  • Add a chain belt to a baggy dress.

Rope Belts

  • Use a rope belt with cotton city looks and summer beach or country clothes — Or:  Use a light-color braided belt.
  • Add a rope belt to jeans.


By sash, I mean a long strip of material like a belt but it just ties.

Bella Donna Sash by Free People
  • To blue jeans, add a scarf or sash as a belt (including mesh, lace, crochet, sequined, metallic).  You may use a pin/brooch as a buckle or simply continue to wrap it around your waist to the end so that it doesn’t hang down.
  • Belt a long top by wrapping a sash around your waist .  You may use a pin/brooch as a buckle off to the side so that the ends are both to the side just like a chain belt.
  • Wear a bright-color woven sash with jeans and boots.

Do you have favorite ways that you use your belts?  Let us know in the comments below.  And feel free to share this post with your friends!

Like this post?  You might also want to read…

101 Ideas for How to Use Scarves in Your Outfits

How to Wear the 9 Most Popular Accessories of All Time

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