How to spice up your outfit with a designer belt
As far as accessories go, a great designer belt is one of the most versatile investments you can make. This is because it has the ability to transform the structure of your outfit as well as the power to introduce a sense of seasonality. Plus, with brands focusing more and more on how to wear belts right now, there seem to be greater possibilities than ever before. When contemplating belts outfit ideas, then, it’s helpful to look to the runway for inspiration. Over recent years, designers have become far more experimental with the style. Just look at last season’s Proenza Schouler, for example, where belts were presented as chokers instead. Since then we’ve been rethinking the humble belt and the different ways it can now be worn to transform an outfit, whether that’s through changing the overall silhouette, introducing seasonal prints or making a bold statement by way of a signature buckle. Who knows – you could even find that the most rewarding way to wear a belt now is anywhere but the waist.
A corset belt like those favored by Ellery offers the perfect way to update the overall silhouette of your outfit. Designer Kym Ellery layered hers over roomy white shirts and even tailored black blazers, proving the options really are endless. At the risk of coming across too Dita Von Teese here though, it’s a good idea to keep the rest of your look as structural as possible.
Take Christine Centenera’s street-style approach for example. The Vogue Australia fashion director has been known to cinch a voluminous blouse with a corset belt of a similar tone and then balance it all out with a cropped flare. The result calls attention to her feminine figure as well as her distinctive knack for styling belts for women.
Cinch the waist skinny
If the fuss of lacing up doesn’t take your fancy, thin is also in – when it comes to belts, that is. A skinnier width belt can draw in the waist and create shape without the theatrics of its wider corset counterpart. Guys aren’t exempt here, either. Between the waist and hips, they might pair one with chinos and a loose-fitting shirt to add definition to an otherwise relaxed look.
Meanwhile Lanvin took this idea even further for menswear SS17 by cinching multiple layers with a skinny belt at the waist. Drawing inspiration from this collection, you can loop a narrow leather belt through high-waisted trousers and tuck in an open button-down layered over a T-shirt. Et voilà! A look is as impactful as it is multi-layered.
Make a statement
Maybe an attention-grabbing belt holds the key for you though because a statement designer belt buckle is sometimes just the cure when your outfit needs a lift. This could be the signature interlocking Gs of a Gucci belt or one of the Medusa Versace belts. After all, simple jeans and T-shirt combination can always do with a subtle flourish. With this in mind, who could ignore the signature block letter leather belts by Moschino that feature the brand’s name laid out boldly across the front? Think less reality-TV-star style here and, instead, take inspiration from the polished approach of style bloggers. When worn to streamline a pair of distressed denim shorts and a simple silk blouse, for instance, these statement belts are worth a thousand words.
Flirt with the season’s key prints
A designer belt can offer a great way to update the seasonality of your wardrobe by introducing key prints. Want to reflect the latest patterns without necessarily investing in the head-to-toe look? This is where belts can come in, offering an approachable yet impactful way to experiment with the Dolce & Gabbana penchant for leopard, for example, or the striking Haider Ackermann take on zebra, elsewhere.
The beauty of using your leather belt to introduce seasonal prints is that you can keep the rest of your look fairly minimal and still make quite an impact. In fact, the simpler and more color-blocked you keep the rest of your outfit, the more your printed belt style will stand out, calling attention to your instinct for staying ever ahead of the curve
Wear a belt, but not as a belt
Inspired by that same Proenza Schouler collection and the ripples seen throughout other collections since you could try wearing your favorite leather belt in ways other than as a belt. This could take the form of a choker or even a harness-style adornment like those seen at Louis Vuitton for AW17. This look can be particularly impactful when layered over feminine florals, toughening up their innate prettiness.