Accessorizing With Belts 101

I was doing the internet version of standing in the grocery store sneaking glances at The Star and Globe or whatever those Three-Headed-Alien-Was-Discovered-In-Woman's-Bathtub magazines are, and I was struck by something. Our respectable first lady does not know how to wear belts. To be completely fair, no one ever looked good gracing one of those covers, so I started searching flattering pictures of Mrs. Shelley-O, and I'm afraid she truly is guilty as charged. She deserves major kudos though for dressing as cheerily and adventurously as she normally does, so this isn't about me suggesting how the President's wife should dress (she does it far better most of the time).

This is about discussing belts. First things first... it's all about your waist, more specifically whether or not you're short waisted or long waisted (or anything in between). If you aren't sure, there's an easy way to figure it out. Stand up straight and locate the top of your hip bone, however many fingers you can fit between there and the bottom of your ribcage is a good indication of how long or short your waist is.

0-2 = short waisted
2-4= average
5+ = long waisted

Belts are friendliest to those of us who have long torsos and defined waists, but the right belt can give a more defined waist to someone who put their length to better use (like for longer legs...ahem).

This diagram I found on this site is super helpful. You can read her whole belting tips post here (which I would recommend, it's a great post)

Large breasts can be a real downer though for belts (pun intended). A small, thin belt on a large chested woman looks a little bit like the upper half is trying to swallow the lower half. Not always flattering. If you buy undergarments body armor like Christina Hendricks in Mad Men, then you can wear a wide belt perfectly brilliantly.

The rest of us are left wondering...

Is it too conspicuous?
Or too wide?

Too precious?

Or too sparkly?

I actually love all of these (especially the purple corset one...yikes). Thrift stores are a great place to experiment with these fickle accessories, because if one doesn't look good, another one is bound to... and it shouldn't cost you any more than a dollar or two.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has any thoughts or opinions. Are you a short waisted person who looks fabulous in expansive belts?

Now I want to go belt shopping.

1 sprinkles of fairy dust:

Yup. I'm extremely short waisted and I have huge boobs, but my saving grace is a very tiny waist. Wide belts emphasize my hourglass figure... and even though the figure keeps expanding (ugh), well, I'll take what I can get. Belts are a huge boon.