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How to Choose the Best Belt for an Outfit

As important an accessory as a handbag, a belt doesn’t just hold up your pants or pull in your tummy. Change your look by creatively matching your belt with your outfit.


  • Step 1: Try outfit first Try on the outfit and decide where you want the belt to sit – hips or waist. Use a measuring tape to determine the proper belt length
  • TIP: Belts generally come with five holes; a comfortable fit will use the third hole. Tightening further can cause an unattractive "muffin top" effect.
  • Step 2: Determine width Determine the width you need. A belt worn over a dress or shirt can be any width. If you’re wearing it around your hips, use a belt that is narrow at the top and follows the contour of your hips.
  • Step 3: Choose a color Select a belt that is the same color as your outfit. Or, if you choose a belt for contrast, make sure it complements colors or design elsewhere in the outfit.
  • Step 4: Enhance but don’t clash Enhance your outfit with a fancy-cut or textured belt, but avoid clashing. For a conservative ensemble the belt should be less noticeable.
  • TIP: Create a belt using a men’s tie, fastening it with three-inch strips of adhesive Velcro.
  • Step 5: Highlight your waist Highlight your waist when wearing separates by tucking your shirt in. Add a belt that best fits the belt loop width.
  • Step 6: Try fun alternatives Wear metal belts with segments, Indian beads and leather, fancy fabric weaves, even scarves, for a fun look when going casual.
  • FACT: Did you know? Belt buckles date back to the Bronze Age.

You Will Need

  • A measuring tape
  • A variety of belts
  • A selection of outfits
  • A men's tie (optional)
  • Velcro (optional)

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