Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reader Question: Belts and Skirts, Skirts and Belts

The other day I received an email from lovely Reader Friend Dana:

Hello –

My name is Dana, and I'm a fan of your blog. You have fantastic style, and I love how you pair your skirts with belts. My question for you is: how? I always want to wear belts with my skirts, but can never get them to stay in place. If I tighten them enough to stay put, then they dig into my middle too much. It ends up being more hassle than it is worth during the day, so I tend to forego them entirely (despite how much cuter my outfits are with them).  Any suggestions?

Dear Dana,
Of course I have suggestions!  Lots of them!   Looking back through my archives, it appears that I depend on a few different things to keep my belts in place; belt and waistband width, belt placement, texture and, sometimes, safety pins. 

Go Wide
My first suggestion is to go wide; if you want to belt a skirt, a wider belt is usually better than a skinny belt.  And a wider waistband is usually better than a skinny waistband.  And they don’t have to be super wide; either.  Personally, I like a waistband between an inch-and-a-half and two inches wide and/or a belt between an inch and an inch-and-a-half wide.

Wide belts work well with wide waistbands:

 But, they also work well with thinner waistbands and can help improve the tuck of a shirt:


Hate wide belts and want to wear skinny belts?  Then placement is especially important because skinny belts tend to slide around like nobody’s business.  I keep my skinny belts in place by resting them in the seam connecting the waistband to the skirt:


As you may have noticed, smooth patent belts on smooth cotton skirts won’t stay put for anything, so I suggest adding a little texture at the waist.  Like with elastic.  A lot of my skirts are thrifted and are from an era when they still had elastic waistbands.  Turns out, they’re not only comfortable, they help keep my belts in place:

If elastic waist skirts are too “old lady” for you, you can also add texture with an elastic or woven belt.  Again, the rough texture will help keep the belt in place:

Safety Pins

I sometimes use safety pins to create temporary belt loops on some of my skirts.  I pin them vertically to my waistband and then thread my belt through them.  Of course, unless you’re attempting to add a little subversive punk-y-ness to you outfit, I’d suggest using safety pins only if you’re doing a half tuck.   Just add the pins to the back and if you’re only half-tucking, no one is the wiser:

There are safety pins in the back, under the half-tucked shirt.

What about you, Dearest, Favoritest Reader Friends?  Do you have any tricks for belting skirts? 

Happy Tuesday, All!