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The right belt can take your outfit from boring to WOW! This simple accessory can change the entire look of an outfit. Belts are an easy way to add a pop of color, change the silhouette of your clothing, and add a finishing touch to your look. Just by switching out belts, your outfit can look different. Let's discuss 23 types of belts and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.
The buckle belt is a traditional style of belt and what most people think of when you mention a belt. Typically a metal buckle is used to join the ends of a strap or belt. This type of belt is usually functional in keeping your pants held up, but can also be a fun accessory. Choosing a large buckle style will create a focal point, or you may select something understated. The width of the belt can vary. Wear a buckle belt with pants that have belt loops.
This traditional buckle belt would look great with jeans for a casual look.
Leather belts are another traditional style. These are usually a more casual and functional style; however, a high-quality leather belt is timeless. A leather belt will usually have a buckle style closure, but you may find other kinds of belts made from leather or leather-like material. If you'd like to know how much to expect to pay for a leather belt, click on this link to read more.
Horseshoe Buckle Belt
The horseshoe buckle belt is a casual buckle belt that is usually worn with pants. This belt is best for everyday occasions and pants with belt loops. The horseshoe belt would look great with a denim skirt as well as jeans.
A cummerbund is a wide sash-like belt usually worn under a tuxedo type jacket. A cummerbund can hide the bunching that sometimes happens when you tuck in your shirt. Cummerbunds are generally associated with a men's tuxedo, but women can also wear them. Black skinny pants and a white button-up shirt separated with a cummerbund is a classic style. For an extra touch, try matching a colored cummerbund with matching stiletto heels.
Metal belts are perfect for dressing up an outfit. They can range from a metal chain style to a broader metal belt, as shown below. The type of metal can vary from silver to gold or even mixed metals. Think of a metal belt as a piece of jewelry and coordinate with your other accessories.
A cinch belt is usually wide with a closure in the front. Cinch belts do not need belt loops to wear. The cinch belt can create a focal point and slim the waistline. This style of belt is excellent for someone with a long torso. It helps shorten the body and create proportion.
A military belt is usually made of webbing. The buckle on a military belt is unique in that it closes with a clasp rather than a pin mechanism. The military belt is a functional piece and worn through belt loops. The width of your belt should match the width of your belt loops. If your belt is too thin, it will slide around too much and need constant adjusting throughout the day.
The functional design of the yoke belt is to distribute weight between the back, shoulders, and waist. It has suspender like shoulder straps attached to a waistband.
The suspender belt is worn around the waist and has garter straps attached to hold up stockings. Suspender belts can be a slip-on stretch material or fasten with hook and eye closures.
The sash is a wide ribbon belt that is tied around the waist. A sash is not worn through belt loops but instead tied with a bow worn in the front or back. Sashes are most often worn with a formal style dress.
The obi is a Japanese style of belt. Traditionally worn with kimonos, the obi can be tied in various ways. The obi belt is wide and can be used to accentuate the waistline. Obi belts slim the waist and can shorten the torso.
Braided belts consist of material woven together in a braid pattern that makes up the strap portion of the belt. The braided belt is made out of many different materials - from leather to nylon.
The twist belt is another classic belt. It is available in various buckle and material styles. Twist belts may be reversible, which can make them even more versatile in your wardrobe.
Bow belts add a feminine touch of whimsy to any outfit. The bow belt can be wide or thin and accentuates the waist. No belt loops are necessary for the bow belt, as it is worn in the front as a focal point.
The peplum belt is a fun accessory. A skirted piece is attached to the belt. The peplum is a great way to accentuate the waist while minimizing the lower abdomen. It adds a feminine look to your outfit. The peplum looks great with either a pencil skirt or skinny pants.
D Ring Belt
The D ring belt is a specific style of closure. The strap is threaded through the rings to close the belt. D ring belts are often made of webbing material. This style of belt is functional and casual.
The elastic belt can be thick or thin. Elastic belts do not need belt loops and can be used to accentuate the waistline, similar to a cinch belt. Different closure styles can either make this belt dressy or casual, depending on the look you'd like to achieve.
The skinny belt is a wardrobe staple. It can add an instant pop of color to an outfit without being too distracting. Skinny belts work with both dresses and pants. If you are short-waisted, a skinny belt is a great accessory because it won't cut you in half visually.
This belt is an edgy look, where grommets are spaced out along the belt strap. This belt is usually a wider style and worn through belt loops.
The western belt is traditionally a leather belt with metal detailing. Buckles may be oversized. This belt is often worn with jeans, but would also look great with a denim skirt or casual pants.
Here's another edgy style. The studded belt has metal studs along the belt strap.
The chain belt can be simple with a single chain or contain multiple strands of chain. This belt will call attention to the waistline and hips.
The wide belt is a great way to create and define the waistline. It can be worn over a blouse or dress and change the shape of the outfit by cinching in the waist area.
As you can see, the options for belts are endless. Simply by adding a belt, you can take your outfit to the next level, create a waistline, or keep your pants up!
To see more ideas on incorporating belts into your wardrobe, check out this post on "How Many Belts Do You Need?".