Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Belt Help, Please...

I've been reading Kristen's blog, Low Fat Dressing, for a while now and I have to say that I'm intrigued by how she pulls a lot of her outfits together with belts - she is the queen of accessorizing! I'm trying to move beyond just a top/bottom combo, but I'm not quite sure about the looks I've tried. So please, if you are so inclined, let me know what you think of these three outfit/belt combos. I have the receipts for the skinny black one and the silver "chain" one, so they can be returned, no feelings hurt.

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO SEE THE BELT DETAILS (and please ignore the mirror that needs cleaning).
OK, first up was something I did on a whim - I had the shirt and cardigan on, and just before I left for work threw on the only belt that I owned (at the time). I think I like the look but not the belt with the patterned top. (Paco was checking himself out in the mirror, too).
Same shot, I just had to include it because Paco was looking at me and I know he was thinking "what the heck are you doing, lady?"

Now we get to the skirt that I bought at Target on Friday night, along with the next two belts. BTW, the skirt is part of their Fit Solutions line - it has a pair of Spandex bike shorts built in to keep the jiggling down - cool, eh?
First I paired it with a skinny black belt over a blouse (note: the white square is the tag). I like it; Jeff wasn't too impressed. He thought I should wear a wide belt, and I tried one at the store but it felt like I was wearing a WWE prize belt - no thanks!
This belt was Jeff's pick. While I like it, I think it emphasizes my belly roll. Plus I wasn't sure about the dangling chain. I even tried on a bigger sized belt, but the only difference was that the chain was even longer.
Same belt, turned so the chain is on the side.

So what do you think? Am I on the right track? Keep the last two belts or return them? I gotta say, it's been about a year since I've been fitting into "normal" (read: NOT Lane Bryant) clothes, and I'm still unsure of how to pull an outfit together. The one nice thing about a store like LB was that they had all the components there - you chose the top and bottom and badda bing - done! Now I'm shopping all over, trying to buy pieces that will go with lots of things, but it's confusing. Still, I'd rather have this problem than weigh 100 pounds more, that's for sure!


  1. Girl, I love you enough NOT to proffer any sartorial advice.

    at all.


  2. Out of the 2 choices I prefer the silver one. But if the black one was wider I'd chosen that one.

    Good luck on making your choice.

  3. Out of the two outfits I like the top one best and out of the blue jean skirt pics I like the one with the new belt best. Hope this helps.

  4. Ooooh, look at you go! First off, I LOVE the first outfit, belt and no belt. That top is so pretty, and the combo with the cardigan is fantastic on you!

    Now, onto the belt advice: I think you are wearing it too low. Angie at YouLookFab talks about finding your "sweet spot" on your waist for belts, I think yours should be a bit higher. It feels strange at first, but I always wear my belt higher than directly on my waist. There is also a ton of other good advice about belt-wearing in that link. So, higher with the first combo and you are good to go!

    I agree with Jeff about a wider belt with the blue blouse; you just didn't find the right one this time, but don't discount wider ones out of hand! Again, wear it higher, and experiment. I have about a dozen belts in a variety of sizes, and it takes trying about half of them on every morning to figure out which works best -- it's actually a lot harder when I'm heavier than when I am leaner. (SIGH.)

    I'm adding a bunch of other links too about body shape and finding the right styles and fits for those shapes. I think -- and I am pretty bad at discerning shapes so I could be wrong -- that you are a "racy rectangle" or an H shape. Both Angie and Imogen Lampert have lots of great suggestions about dressing in flattering ways. I've learned so much from reading their posts on pear shapes (me).

    How to Dress the Racy Rectangle

    Body Proportions Explained

    Sometimes the advice is conflicting, but you will figure out what works best for you. And you CAN wear a belt, promise!

  5. I'm pro-wide belt myself, but that may come from years as a cowgirl. So feel free to discount that advice. I prefer the black belt with the blue shirt/black skirt combo.

    And now for conflicting advice, I think it's just the fashionable few who can wear a belt "higher". To me, it casts the proportions off. If anything, I prefer belts lower and looser.

    Have a Happy Tuesday!

  6. I'm with Roxie on the lower, looser belt - particularly with the blue top. I think maybe a belt that hangs low with some kind of tail to add interest would be fun.

    The first picture I love - you look young and youthful and fun. I think I even like it without the belt.

  7. I don't like belts so i can't help you however I will say this, you are beautiful!

  8. Helen reads all the comments then steals from Miz. Ditto.

  9. Belts...tricky uncharted territory for many of us! (Come to think of it, I just bought my first belt in about 5 years - wow!)

    I think I'm more partial to the solid belts rather than the chain one on you...more about definition of your mid-section or something. The chain sort of looks lost (maybe because of the shade of your shirt?)?

    Anyway, I say congrats on wearing ANY belts! It really is a shift in mindset to want to tuck in shirts/wear belts/show legs, etc.

    Somehow that skirt at Target escaped my watchful eye (I am a HUGE fan of Target)...Looks VERY nice on you.

  10. I want to see a wider one too. I kind of like the black one your husband rejected. Isn't that the purpose of an opinion, to complicate things further? I love both outfits and I also like your hair. Wish I had more to contribute on belts. I'm going to check out Kristin's blog.

  11. My personal opinion -- Outfit #1, I couldn't even TELL that you had a belt on. With a print that "loud" you need to wear a really BIG, thick chunky belt. See this photo for a general idea: http://www.dramastyle.com/images/products/image.yesstyle.com/assets/72/017/l_p1020601772.jpg

    I think you look absolutely adorable in Outfit #2. My personal favorite is the black belt option in photo #1.

    Congrats on wearing "normal" (not Lane Bryant) clothing! You look great!

  12. I can not offer much advise on belts because I have not waist yet. But I personally like the first outfit it looks really good on you.

  13. I'm with Helen.

    And how do you know Paco wasn't checking you out in the mirror? ("There's two of them now? Does that mean twice as many treats/walks/belly rubs?")

  14. OK-baby's about to wake up, so I'll be brief. :)
    Yes, ALL those outifts look better with a belt.
    Yes, your hubs is right, a belt about twice as wide as the "rejected" black one would look HOT (I know it feels wierd at first, but like heels, you get used to it)
    And YES-you look awesome! Even the dog can see that!
    Love your blog :)

  15. I'm terrified of belts. But I agree, a wider black belt is the key. I don't care for the silver one, but that's just me.

  16. I am fashion challenged :) So I am of no help! I think you look really cute in all the pics :)

  17. Sorry. I can't help you there. I almost never accessorize. I've never really figured it out so when I do try I just feel silly. Currently, I'm nor wearing any accessory not even my wedding rings.
    But you look cute with the black belt.

  18. Belts with patterns don't seem to work, they get lost in the pattern and don't stand out. So ixnay on the first. LOVE the black belt on the blue shirt. Not so much with the chain belt, but the chain belt could look uber cool with a black shirt or even a shift dress, no other accessories. I have a vintage gold Ann Klein chain belt that I scored at a thrift store. Big, chunky and outrageous. But it didn't work with anything other than black. Hope that helps.

    You look fab, as always, by the way.

  19. I don't think that the first outfit needed the belt. :-)

    I liked the black belt......although the silver belt with the chain hanging on the SIDE I also liked!

    I will so be checking out those skirts!!!!

  20. I like both outfits. First outfit doesn't really need the belt. Second outfit, I agree needs a bit wider belt and I think a shoe instead of a sandal. maybe a peep-toe shoe with a higher heel to elongate your legs, and I also think you need a scarf or a jacket...it seems a little unfinished with just a button down shirt. One more thing you look great!

  21. I never thought of using a belt for anything other than holding my baggy pants on.

  22. Good grief. That's a lot of belt advice. And if I was you I'd be more confused than ever. I'm just gonna say I agree with the other Debbie--not a lot of belt experience here for the last umm 25 years. And, my main bit of advice that I've learned about myself is that it doesn't really matter what anyone else tells me looks good, or what they tell me I should wear. If I don't think it looks good I am going to be extremely uncomfortable. So basically, I don't ask anyone's advice anymore.

    You are a fabulous dresser. Go with your gut instinct. (I just realized what that means. When I don't like something I am wearing, I feel sick to my stomach. Its been that way since I was a little girl and sometimes had to wear something that was not my choice.)

    BTW, totally laughed at the WWF belt reference, and just last week I looked kind of fondly at a Lane Bryant store, and my friend said, 'you'll never have to shop there again.' And it kinda made me sad...

  23. I like the skinny black belt with the blue blouse the best. You look absolutely tiny in that outfit!

  24. I think that Kristin has hit the nail exactly on the head. It looks like you are placing the belt at you "pants waist" rather than your "natural waist". Your natural waist will be the slimmest part of your torso and will the best location for a purely decorative belt (as opposed to one holding your pants up). It will make you look slimmer and will make your legs look longer - both good things in my book! Plus, it creates a nice hourglass shape.

    As far as the belts themselves go, I really like both of the black ones with both of those outfits. I think that the silver chain belt is getting lost against the blue of the shirt, but I think I would like it against a darker color. And I think we need a pic of you with a wide belt on too!

    Good for you for trying new things and for putting it out there for the world to see. You look lovely!

  25. I am no fashion expert and will have to do a similar post once I buy a new wardrobe. Having said that, I think Jeff is right. I think a wider, black belt would look best. Take it for what it is, advice from someone who has no fashion sense at all!

    By the way, you look so skinny! You are hot!

  26. I don't know about the belt, but I love Low Fat Dressing. I wish I couold it all together too. I am getting better. Hell, at least I do my hair everyday and put some thought into what I wear. Used to be neither thing was done!

    Love you in the pants....your hair looked A.Dor.Able!

  27. Shelley! You look so beautiful and confident, friend!

    Let me say as a 5'4" gal w/ a short waist, I struggle with the whole belt thing anyway. That said, I love the first outfit - with or without the belt. Paco cracks me up, too! :)

    I think I'd want a belt that's slightly wider than the second one, but I'm w/ you: wide one kind of cuts you off at our height. And the boobs sit RIGHT THERE. Well, they do on me! LOL

    Not feeling the last one at all. I agree - looks snug.

    Like the skirt w/ the built-in. Clever.

    Have you tried Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft Petites? Classic lines. Fits well. Accessories. Moderately priced, good sales. I like to shop there for foundation pieces that will last for years: cardigans, trousers, crisp, tailored blouses, etc..

  28. First outfit, thumbs up, doesn't need a belt. (VERY CUTE!) Second outfit and third outfit, belt needs to scooch up, should be wider in width, and needs to be a different color (maybe striped, or something that provides a pop of color). The chain belt would work with something silky, flowing, less-tailored.

  29. Wow! What a great response! I too live a life that is belt-impaired. Also, it never entered my braincells that I would be without a built-in accessorizer once I undergrow Lane Bryant. Guess I should enjoy it while it lasts! I like the black belt because of its contrast. The silver belt is more my style, but as some have mentioned, it disappears and would work better on a solid dark shirt. I hope that helps. As the rest of your peeps proclaimed, "YOU LOOK AWESOME!" Woot!

  30. Had to let you know I posted about my blogging snafu. Come by for a read and help me laugh at myself. ;) Hugs, Kirsten

    p.s. My word verification is "AERSE". Coincidence? Ha!

  31. Good luck. I am soooo not one to give belt advice. I NEVER EVER wear one unless my pants are falling down.

  32. I am with MizFit - I have no fashion sense at all! Wish I could help - I'll have Hannah look tonight though - she is the queen of making outfits look great!

    You look great by the way!!

  33. I like the black belt because I think it looks good with the blue shirt.

    I like the silver belt too but not with a tailored blouse/skirt. I'd wear that with a dress.

  34. Shelley - can I just tell you how much I adore this post? Wearing a belt is one of those things that I haven't been able to do in years. Like since high school, maybe? And it's one of those things that I always WANT to be able to do. It's on my list of goals and I can't wait for the day when a belt will look 'good' on me. I always thought I was kinda silly for having that as a goal, but now after reading this I don't feel so silly anymore! Congratulations on being able to don a belt! (even if it wasn't one of your goals, I understand the achievement involved!)

    I like the look of the black belt. Maybe one like this?

    Except, it doesn't have to be leather, of course. Whatever you choose, you look FABULOUS in all poses. <3

  35. I like the black one, I thought it made you look thinner. The silver one faded you out and didn't emphasize your cute waist. I totally want the skirt that cuts the jiggle.

  36. I like the black one, and LOVE that outfit. You look GREAT! Rock it out!!


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