Quick Tip Tuesday: Belt It

My gal pal S* asked for some advice on belting.  She wants to wear dresses similar to this JCrew style dress with a cardigan and belt, but needed help on belt placement.

courtesy of jcrew.com

The problem with some dresses is that the natural waistline sits below the seam (where the top meets the skirt).  It can be problematic to decide where to place the belt!

My rules of thumb for belting a cardigan over a dress:

  1. Belt it to cover the seam (unless it’s an empire waist).
  2. There must be at least a hand width of cardigan showing under the belt to look balanced.

Here is a dress with a similar shape to the JCrew dress.  I wore two cardigans of different lengths for demonstrative purposes.  The belt placement is a little above my natural waistline so you could see how it would look (imagining the seam exactly like the JCrew dress).

I think the longer grey cardigan looks a little more balanced, but I have worn the middle ensemble to dinner also.  Notice my hand on the cardigan – it’s at least a hand width!

dress: Ross
fuschia cardigan: CABI gifted from MIL
grey cardigan: To The Max from Walmart
belt: H&M
heels: Stuart Weitzman

The next dress is an empire waist dress (I picked a color blocked dress so you could see the seam clearly).  I just wanted to illustrate the difference in how the placement of the belt looks against an empire seam.  Here, I have the belt on my natural waistline.  I’m really not crazy about this dress belted – maybe because of the belt/cardigan combo chosen.  But at least you can see the different looks with cardigan and belt!

dress: Ross – a friend got it for $5 and gave it to me!
grey cardigan: To The Max from Walmart
cream cardigan:  Marshalls
heels: Gianni Bini
belt: F21

A really great tutorial on how to cinch a long belt can be found at Anthrosdottir’s blog here.  I used a modified method with wider belts, but this tutorial got me started on belting!

Hope this helps!  :o)

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