Wearing Belts to Look Slimmer

Woman wearing a belt on top of a long buttoned shirt
Q: Belts worn on top of a sweater, blouse, dress or jacket are a great fashion accessory. Is it a good choice for any woman? Will it make her look heavier or can it have a slimming effect? At what height should she wear it?
A: As long as you know one basic rule for wearing a belt, you can select belted looks with ALMOST any body type. That rule is: Proportion, proportion, proportion. In other words, it’s important to make sure that your belt is not too wide or too narrow for your body type.
For many women, wearing a belt over another garment is a great way to enhance the shape of the body, or camouflage a part of the body you wish to downplay. Many thin women enjoy pairing bulky sweaters with belts cinched at the waist in order to create the curves they feel are lacking in their natural shape. Of course if the garment is shapeless and baggy, it may do more harm than good to the overall look.
Likewise, with some heavy builds, a long shirt worn with a loosely-draped belt secured around the hips can create a look that slims the body and reinforces a vertical focus. Even a bulky sweater paired with a belt worn draped to create an asymmetry to the look can help make the look more flattering.
As said earlier, most ANY woman can wear a belted look, but the one group for whom it is generally considered a bad choice is the woman with a heavy build and what is called an ‘apple figure’ where the major portion of her mass is carried in the upper parts of her torso and midsection. Such women are called thusly because they often look like apples with stick legs.
Height is generally not a consideration as long as you keep the rule of proportion in mind. Obviously those who are very tall should avoid very thin belts, and those who are very short should avoid very wide belts. To do otherwise risks looking very disproportioned.
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Photo: Red Umbrella and Donkey/Shutterstock
See also:
How to wear a belt
The different types of waistlines