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!


  1. ha, you really are the belted skirt queen

  2. These are such great tips! And I like every single outfit!

  3. I love these tips - you've given me a bunch more ideas on how to wear my belts!

  4. super great tips and you look amazing in all looks!

    C's Evolution of Style

  5. Every single piece and every single outfit is Perfect.

  6. Great tips! I have done the safety pin trick, and that seems to work the best. I've also used double-sided tape to anchor a skinny belt to a pencil skirt. That worked surprisingly well, too.

  7. Great tips! As a girl that owns a LOT of belts, this really helps!

  8. Obi belts can really help nip in a waist - or help create the effect of one, which I know from firsthand experience. I like the elastic belts that look real in the front but snap in the back for that little touch some dresses and skirts seem to need, with no slippage. Buying skinny belts a size up and then tying the cool trendy (well maybe now here to stay) knot/loop close to the buckle helps a slippery skinnier belt not move.

    If elastic waist skirts are for the retirement community crowd, when can I start? lol

  9. My body shape made bets tricky for me until I moved them up higher, above my natural waist. Now, they sit at a narrower part of my body and don't slide around as much because they aren't where I bend. For me, skinny belts are actually more stable than wide ones, but my waist is far from flat so YMMV.

  10. I loved seeing all of these skirt+belt posts. You have an enviable collection of both! And although I can't wear skirts right now to work, it's something I'm looking forward to in the future. I think my favorite outfit is the blue striped/pink skirt combo - or the last one!

  11. Great tips and belted looks! I have also found that looping skinny belts (if you have enough belt to do so, of course) can help keep them in place, as seen here at

    Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style

  12. Great tips! I love your style as well and these looks are very nice!!! I don't wear belts much but seeing this makes me want to pull of mine!!


  13. I love your tips for belts! I had never noticed how many belts you wore but my goodness, you wear them well! I need to take some of your advice!! :)


    A's Fashion Files
    Win a $40 Giftcard toward some BLING! $10 to anyone who enters! :)
    Shop Kawaii Kitsch by A on Etsy!

  14. You ARE clever, Gracey! Each and evy outfit is gorgeous, and you have wise advice to offer.
    I have a stack of wide belts but no skinny ones, mainly because they don't stay in place, but you have inspired me to try! xxx

  15. very good tips! i usually just wear mine extra tight and then by about 2:00, i start to feel sick from the stomach pain and i loosen it and stop caring what it lookss like. is that a good tip? ;)

  16. I love how many outfits you shared in this post Gracey. It was fun getting to look back at your fabulous outfit posts while brushing up on my belt tips!

  17. You look fabulous, Gracey! I've been pondering having another go at belts, and your tips are very helpful.

  18. I love the idea of using safety pins as belt loops! Definitely going to try this! Loving that leopard print skirt. Like, a lot.


  19. Wow, Gracey - so many fabulous looks and great ideas! The double dots, the little owl, the vivid colours and prints all together are spectacular. Thanks so much for the tips!

  20. Great tips and it's so much fun to see a mash-up of a bunch of looks from you.

  21. Wow you look fabulous with you different outfits. It's fun to dress up if you have many cool ideas. Thank you for the tips

  22. Well i personaly have mo more tricks but I wouldn't considere myself a fashion blogger if i didn't know how to handle belts.It's such a fashion blog thing.And they certainly make a great difference to the outfits.

  23. i love the belts, houndstooth shors, ankleboot with tights, the demin dress, you should be a model


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