Belts have been called the ‘jewelry of the waist’ and for good reason. They accent the waist, add excitement to an outfit and can instantly pull an outfit together. Changing the belt can also change the entire look of the outfit taking it from casual to chic. Although belts continue to be big on the fashion scene for women, finding the right belt to flatter your figure can be a little bit challenging. Before you go shopping for your perfect belt, take a look in the mirror to determine your scale, shape and proportions. Luckily this season there is a belt for every body.

Scale Matters
Just as we come in different sizes, so do belts.

  • Taller and more statuesque women need larger details to harmonize with their larger scale bodies. Wider belts, stronger details and bold patterns will flatter this body.
  • Smaller and more delicate features will look overwhelmed in large details. This body will make a bigger statement in narrower to medium belts with smaller buckles and more subtle details.

Waists and Waist Not’s
Just as we come in different sizes, we also come in different body shapes.

  • Some of us have defined waists which allow for a wide variety of belt styles, colours and details. If this is you, look at your ‘Scale’ or ‘The Long and Short of It’ to choose your best belt.
  • For most body shapes, a medium width belt about 1-2 inches works well and offers a different effect on every body shape and size.
  • For those of us who love belts but have no waist or do not want draw attention to our waist, blend the colour of the belt to the colour of the garment it is worn over. Or wear a belt with a decorative buckle under an open blazer. This will draw attention to the buckle, not your figure. Sling and chain belts also tend to work well. They add interest without drawing attention to the waist.

The Long or Short of It

  • Just as we all come in different sizes and in different body shapes we come in a variety of body proportions. The length of your torso and waist will make a big difference in determining your most flattering belt.
  • If you want your torso or waist to appear shorter, contrast can work wonders. For this effect, the wider the belt, the better. The contrast of the colour and the bold statement of the wider belt break up the space making the area look shorter.
  • If your waist or torso is short, colour can also make a big difference. Toning your belt to the colour of your top will visually add length to your torso. Want contrast and a waist? Go for the skinny belt or follow the lead of the ‘waist not’s’. Or make a statement by wearing a wider belt over a tunic low on the hips.

Once you know what belt styles will flatter your body it’s time to shop. Luckily this season there is a belt for every body.

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

aiciimageconsulatant aicicip

Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)


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