Challenge set by Julia Rees
Welcome to the fifth day of the “New Year New You” Challenge, and here is your challenge for tomorrow. How are you finding them so far? Each one is easy to do with items we all have at home. It’s just a bit of fun to help see us through a difficult start to the year as we begin 2021 in Lockdown. It might be tempting to sit back and embrace a new uniform of jogging bottoms and baggy tops. In todays challenge Julia encourages us to wear a belt – and gives us tips to choose the best belt for our individual body shapes. It’s amazing the difference a simple accessory can make when it comes to looking fabulous over 50.
We are posting each challenge the evening before so that you have time to prepare your outfit/ your challenge ahead of time.
Here’s Julia’s challenge:
So, for tomorrow, let’s Wear a belt
“It’s not what you spend but how you wear it that counts. The key is often to dress up inexpensive basics with accessories. Something like a beautiful designer bag or belt can make everything else look richer and more luxurious.”
I am a big fan of all accessories, as for me they really are the icing on the cake, and they can transform your outfit from dull to extraordinary! And a beautiful belt not only elevates your style, but can also make you look slimmer and accentuate your waist.
And if you look through my blog or Instagram feed, I think you will be hard pushed to find a photo of me without a belt.
Have a look at this post for the difference a belt can make to your style.
In general, make sure to wear the belt at your natural waist (the thinnest part of your body) and also opt for dress styles that include belts or patterns that draw in your eye at the waist.
It was not so long ago, when belts were purely an afterthought—something just to hold your jeans up or maybe for the enlightened to define your waist in a dress!
But, now, belts really are one of the most popular accessories and come in all shapes and sizes from chain belts, rope belts, fabric belts, suede belts, narrow belts, wide belts, coloured belts, braided belts, tie belts, leather belts….. the list goes on!
And, it’s so easy to incorporate a belt into your look and who doesn’t love minimal effort for maximum impact?
Of course, like any other accessory, there are factors and elements that come into play to successfully pull off and integrate a belt into your look so here’s my guide to wearing belts and looking amazing in them.
10 WAYS TO WEAR A BELT
- Use wide, light or bright coloured belts to emphasize your curves and highlight your waist
A belt is your new best friend if you are an hourglass or a pear shape as it will show off your waist, but you can also use a belt to create the illusion of a waist if you are an inverted triangle or a rectangle.
If you are an apple shape, wearing a belt is a little trickier, but can still look amazing – you just need to experiment to see where to cinch the belt to give the most flattering silhouette.
2 Wear a belt as a Belt bag
As well as looking stylish, this is also very practical for hands-free shopping and to deter pickpockets!
However, be careful that you don’t choose anything too bulky as this will just make you look larger than you really are! So, opt for a flat belt bag as opposed to a banana shape.
As for how to wear it, you can wear it at your waist, as in the above photo or around your hips for a more relaxed look. And as for the bag itself, you can centre it in the middle or wear it slightly off-centre for a more chic look.
3 Tie your belt in a knot
Instead of buckling your belt, try looping the tail end of the belt across the buckle and tucking it behind the belt. Or try an Obi (sash/ wrap) belt.
To tie an Obi belt, place the widest part (the centre part) of the belt to the front and pass the ends through the slit (as you would for a wrap dress) and tie at the front or the side.
This works best with soft leather and fabric belts and looks so chic. Another great thing about the Obi belt is that it will still fit perfectly even if you lose or put on weight.
4 Use a belt to add a pop of colour or print to elevate/ change your look
Adding a belt to your look will instantly style it up, and can be used to add a pop of colour to a monochrome look or a bit of sparkle (for example a gold or sequin belt with a black dress).
Also, just changing your belt is a great way to wear the same clothes and yet look as if you’re wearing a different outfit!
If you’re wearing separates, a shirt and trousers or a shirt and a skirt, then a belt is a great way to make the look more coordinated, by drawing in the colours of your outfit.
Similarly, a belt is a great way to pull together an outfit where you are using several colours or prints. Just pick one of the accent colours to bring the whole look together.
5 Wear over your cardigan or sweater
Thick, textured cardigans and sweaters are great for keeping you warm, but less good for flattering your shape, as they can look a little boxy.
Try wearing a belt over your cardigan to highlight your waist and look a little slimmer, and don’t be afraid to choose one in a pattern or a bright colour to brighten up any neutral sweater shades.
6 Over Your Blazer/Suit jacket or a Coat
This is very on-trend at the moment and looks really chic, as well as slimming. It’s a great way to wear an oversized blazer or a coat which needs a little definition.
It also looks amazing over a suit jacket and is great for transitioning from the workplace to after-work socialising (when we can go out again!).
Simply belt the outside of the jacket with a skinny black, gold or silver belt, and if you want to look subtly sexy, wear the blazer without a top or with a cami top and just a hint of lace peeping through.
7 Over a loose dress or a long tunic
Whilst loose dresses and tunic tops are very comfortable, they can definitely leave you looking shapeless.
Adding a belt will give you a bit more shape and you can choose to wear it at your natural waist to highlight your hourglass shape or you can cinch it at hip level for a drop-waist silhouette.
8 Over a tight dress
A belt isn’t just your best friend when it comes to loose dresses and tunics, it can also be your best friend when it comes to tight fitting and bodycon dresses.
In this case, I would opt for a wide belt or a corset style belt that I would wear directly over any lumps and bumps to camouflage them!
- To Cinch in Your Jumpsuit
I often have a problem with jumpsuits that just don’t fit right at the waist (not to mention the bathroom problem I also have with jumpsuits!).
If you have a jumpsuit which doesn’t fit properly at the waist, then try adding a belt to create a more flattering silhouette.
10 Wear a scarf as a belt
Get a little creative and try using a scarf as a belt. This will add a pop of colour to your outfit and looks particularly good with jeans and shorts.
So, I hope this has given you a few ideas for how to incorporate a belt into your outfit. If you don’t normally wear belts, you may want to experiment a little with the most flattering (and comfortable) place for you to wear them, but in general, belts will always be most flattering when worn on the narrowest part of your body.
Remember, when in doubt, belt up!
The aim of this challenge is to experiment and have fun with your wardrobe, by wearing what you already own to put together new outfits.
It’s about putting together what you own in new ways and shaking you out of your style rut. So, just have some fun with it!
You can share your outfit on our Facebook Pages (@StyleConfidenceandSuccesswithJulia and @Fabafterfifty – don’t forget to follow us if you don’t already ) and if you love using social media you can also share your looks on Instagram or Twitter with #NewYearNewYouChallenge2021.
“Look good, feel good, live your best life“
Julia and Ceri xo