Many business and professional women over 40 abandon belts in the belief that their waistline is not as slim as it used to be.
No! No! No!
Belts are associated with youth and confidence. By wearing a belt you look younger and more confident about yourself as a professional woman. When you practise smart dressing skills, belts will always be in fashion.
Here are my modern dressing tips for business women over 40 to help you redefine the purpose and the advantages of wearing a belt.
With a belt, you can tone in or stand out.
You tone in when you wear a plain narrow or medium belt in exactly the same shade as your top, cardigan, jacket or dress. A belt colour that is slightly darker, slightly lighter or merges in with the colours or patterns you are wearing has the same effect. Wear a narrow belt over a cardigan and only button up one or two buttons near the belt on your waist. This creates a V shape above and below your waist and is smart and slimming. Wear a narrow belt over a jacket or at the waist on any dress to look strong and confident.
A medium-sized plain belt (about 5cm or 2 inches) worn under an open cardigan, jacket or blouse shows a small part of your waist only and suggests a slimmer body shape. An alternative is to wear a plain medium-sized belt slung loosely over your waist. Let it drop slightly to create a small V shape. Worn this way, it suggests rather than emphasises your waist.
Standing Out creates a feature of the belt and draws attention to wherever you have placed it. Standing out is a smart dressing skill for those who want to look strong and confident.
Stand Out a Little
A belt that is a few shades lighter than the colour of your top will stand out a little. Similarly one that picks ups one of the colours in the pattern you are wearing will also stand out a little. A narrow belt will stand out less than a medium to large belt.
Fabric or plaited belts with no buckle holes look great when they are long and you let the excess hang to one side of your body. These are also great for hiding that little bit of extra weight gain. Just make sure that you do not do them up too tight because plaiting can stretch out of shape and will show where you are loosening it.
Stand Out a Lot
For those of you not afraid to draw attention to your waist whatever its size, look for belts in a contrasting colour to your top or jacket or find a belt with an interesting design or go for one in a glittery gold or silver colour.
A small or medium-sized belt in an obvious contrast colour positioned over your hips will draw attention there and take the attention away from your waist. Some business skirts come with a matching material belt. If tucking in a blouse or top is not the best look for you now, unpick the belt loops and wear the belt over your top at hip level. This works best over knits or woven tops rather than over shirts or blouses. Then use the magic of safety pins to stop the end of the belt from coming loose and flopping around.
There you have some modern dressing tips for wearing belts to make you look smart, business-like and professional.
Now go and explore in charity shops, discount shops and department stores and re-discover the magic of belts.
(Article sent to subscribers of ‘The Fashion Translator’ on 2 December 2010. Click here to sign up for the eZine .)