We’ve talked about belting several times, but I completely understand why some of you still struggle with belting. The blogger-belt love affair is a long-standing one, and it can be colossally frustrating to see this fun accessory worn successfully by so many women, and STILL feel mystified as to how you might belt your own ensembles.
Well, recently I read something – in People Style Watch, of all places – that gave me a welcome jolt of new perspective on the world of belting. Something I should’ve realized long ago, but never quite did:
It’s all about the torso.
Maybe you read this and thought, “Uh DUH,” but I’m telling you, I had never conceptualized belting in those terms. I knew belts could create balance, shift focus, break the body up in a million ways … but the belt-torso link is new to me. Here are the main things I learned from the article:
A skinny belt can make a short torso look longer
Halogen Skinny Belt – $28
If you’re short-waisted and feel like every belt you try makes you look as if your chin and knees are rubbing up against each other, try a skinnier style. The slimmer the belt, the more it will elongate your torso.
A hip-slung belt will also make a short torso look longer
Alternately, if you want to elongate your torso from the top down, placing a focal point at your hips does the trick. A loose chain or leather hip-slung belt draws the eye downward, elongating a short torso.
A wide belt can make a long torso look shorter
If the majority of your body length is in your torso, you may find yourself looking for ways to create proportional balance. A wide belt is the quickest, easiest way to make a long torso appear shorter.
A skinny belt that wraps can give that edgy/chunky feel without the torso-shortening properties of a wide belt
Love the look of wide belts … on OTHER PEOPLE? If you can’t find an enormous obi that pleases your eye when belting your bod, you can simulate the overall aesthetic of a wide belt by trying one that wraps. I know, it’s not the same thing, but it might serve as an acceptable stand-in.
A wide belt with openwork in the front is less torso-shortening than one that is solid all the way around.
Tory Burch Stretch Belt – $175
A design that has a little bit of breathing room in the bellybutton area – which is where the observing eye typically falls – won’t break up the torso as much as a thick, wide, unbroken band. If you adore wide belts, but can’t stand how they shorten you up, seek styles with openwork fronts.
As always, you decide your OWN figure-flattery priorities. If you have no interest in monkeying with your perceived torso length, don’t! But it’s my opinion that knowing how certain items of clothing, pairs of shoes, and accessories might affect your proportions and figure is always valuable. What you do with that knowledge is, of course, your choice.
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Originally posted 2011-02-03 06:27:48.