Friday, July 24, 2009

The Belt Bible

MY BELT COLLECTION:

EMBELLISHED (from top to bottom): studded, Burberry; lizard and semi-precious stones, Fendi; fabric and metal, Lela Rose

EXOTICS/EXOTIC-EMBOSSED: metal, YSL; crocodile, vintage Chanel; snakeskin, vintage

EXOTICS CONTINUED: snakeskin-embossed leather, vintage; crocodile, Barneys New York; stingray, Luca Luca


NOT-SO-BASIC BLACK: leather and fabric, 3.1 Philip Lim; leather, YSL; wool, Luca Luca; patent leather, Viktor & Rolf; leather, YSL
*Oops: I forgot to add this one: leather and metal, Max Azria

OTHER COLORS: linen, 3.1 Philip Lim; leather, Fendi; leather, Fendi; fabric, vintage

OTHER COLORS: leather, vintage; fabric, Tracy Reese; fabric, Viktor & Rolf; fabric, vintage
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Although this may be surprising, I rarely wore belts ten years ago. For some reason, belts perplexed me until I realized that high-waisted ones suddenly improved nearly every outfit I wore. It's been true love ever since. I hope that these tips help you rethink the power of a good belt.

REASONS WHY EVERY WOMAN SHOULD OWN A BELT:
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1. Belts cinch you in and instantly make you look thinner.
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2. Embellished belts are like jewelry for your clothes and add interest to a plain outfit.
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3. Belts draw attention to a woman's waist, which is usually the smallest part of a woman's body (in comparison to the shoulders and hips); they instantly create a sexy, chic hourglass figure.
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4. Belts work on nearly every frame (exception: women who are apple-shaped: widest in the middle).
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5. Belts create a sense of proportion. According to Tim Gunn, every woman should adhere to the rule of 3: one should break up an outfit into three parts (head to waist, waist to knee, and knee to foot), rather than into two parts.
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6. Belts help to disguise problem areas. For women with short torsos, a low-slung belt creates the illusion of a longer waist; for women with long torsos, a high-waisted belt creates the illusion of a better-proportioned body.
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HOW TO WEAR A BELT:
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1. First, figure out which type of belt works best for your body type. As I mentioned before, wear a high-waisted belt if your torso is long or proportionate; wear a low-slung belt if you're short-waisted. Consider whether a wide belt or a thin belt works better for you. In my opinion, larger women should avoid thin belts.
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2. Don't be afraid to experiment with belt types: exotic, embellished, metal, or fabric. Studded accessories are particularly popular for fall. Although belts with more details and better materials can be expensive, consider them just as much the investment as a good bag or a pair of shoes.
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3. Some clothing ideas:
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A. Choose one in a different color to break up a monochromatic or patterned dress, like Anna dello Russo does here.
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Photo Credit: Jak&Jil
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B. Wear one over a long tunic or vest.
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C. A wide belt looks great with a tucked-in top and skirt, especially a bubble or A-line one.
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D. Use one to cinch in a voluminous dress or tunic, as Hanh is demonstrating here:
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E. Play with textures, as Lynn (from All Things NYC) does here. I love her combination of a colored tweed shift with a playful, metallic animal belt.


F. Be creative! Lynn also found an obi belt made out of two men's silk ties.


The complete outfit:

Doesn't she look magnificent?

This man boldly chose a colored sash to decorate a simple outfit:

Photo Credit: Jak&Jil
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THUMBELINA'S PICKS:

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Heavy Metal Belt, $34: Very on-trend for an inexpensive price!

Valentino Glam Signature Belt, $595: Reminds me a little of Supergirl :)

Chloe Leather Chainlink Belt, $1,490: Pricey, but an investment piece

W. Kleinberg Wide Square Buckle Belt, $115: A colorful skin belt for a reasonable price

Valentino Iris Crystal Leaf Bow Belt, $695: Such a gorgeous, girly gem!

Oscar de la Renta Embroidered Gold Lame Belt, $590 (also in pewter): This investment piece will work as a neutral in your closet.

Etro Armadillo Belt, $625: One of a kind, this piece will be a conversation starter.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

these belts are amazing! Especially the Valentino Iris Crystal! And thank you so much for the tips, I have always had a thing against belts, this really helps!

Kat said...

Wow! What a magnificent belt collection! I especially love your YSL cage belt and all your embellished belts!

Belts really do have practical and beautifying purposes. For me, a belt usually gives me a waist!

Lynn's Christopher Ross belt is a dream, too!

Enjoy your weekend!

Anonymous said...

what an impressive posting is!
I am also a belt lover and know belt power. Great collection & great tips. In love with Obi belt.

Lynn said...

hi thumbelina! thanks for the mention! i love belts too. it emphasizes a woman's figure :).

i adore all your belts, specially the YSL cage ones. if the belt is thin enough you can even use it as a bracelet! :)

lovecoutureluxe said...

Wish I have more determination to wear belts! I have a couple of chanel, ysl and fendi but they're collecting dust! I reaaally need to take them out to make good use of them!

Love your collection!

xx Adeliet

TLT said...

Gorgeous!! Love your belt collection. I can't even decide which one is my favorite. I only have about 1-2 belts but you've definitely opened my eyes to the world of belts... will keep them open for more!!

-h said...

i like belts too. they are also a relatively inexpensive way to update one's wardrobe. my lazy day outfit consists of black trench, black trousers, and a fabulous belt.

Nini's Style said...

Thumbelina,
This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing with us on the belt 101 tips :). You have a very nice collection of belt. The YSL cage is still my favorite.
Nini

The Little Fashion Treasury said...

Holy Moly ;)
... this is such a beautiful "Belt Bible" and you care so much to show them in so many different sections!
Your lizard/ semi-precious stones Fendi belt looks stunning... and of course, your beloved, YSL cage belt ;)
Because of "Atlantis Home" I´m also addicted to vintage Christopher Ross belts!
And for upcoming winter: not sure about the huge corsetry Ann Demeulemeester "belt".

But I learned from this post:
When I have a "belt question" .... ask Thumbelina ;)

Have a wonderful relaxing sunday!

Hanh, Life-in-Travel said...

this is a great post!!! I love all reasons why we should wear a belt an how..

you have the best belt collection, serious!!! there are many belts that i love and want from yours!!

happy sunday!
Hanh,

jill said...

What a great, comprehensive, well thought out post. It's more than a post: it's almost the basis of a great illustrated book ('the beautiful belt').

I don't have anywhere near a nice collection of belts, but I do have a bunch and I hardly ever wear them. You're right: i really do need to re-think the Power of Belts! I love the way you used Lynn's shots, too: I've only recently discovered her blog, and it's great.

Marian said...

i adore a great belt and think every woman should have a few different ones. i love your collection,you have some yummy ones!
xx
marian

Brigadeiro said...

What a fabulous post & belt collection! I LOVE belts too! Especially with an interesting embellishment or in patent or bright colour, it completely changes an outfit! :)
xx