Help a fat girl wear belts!
January 29, 2009 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Plus-size ladies, how do you wear your belts?

I am a big girl who has never worn belts, but I am interested in trying out the look. For an example, I think this is a super-cute look, but I'm not sure if/how it would work on me.


-I am on the tall side (5'9"), very long-waisted, and comparatively short-legged. The ideal belt placement I'd like to attain would make my sausage legs look longer without making me look like Grandpa Simpson.
-I am of pretty equal proportion on top and bottom, and quite busty (DD creeping toward E).
-I am, at least in Lane Bryant-sized clothing, anywhere from a 24 to a 28.
-I read and like fatshionista, but sometimes the advice is a little too young/gothy for my style aesthetic. (I do buy some accessories from Torrid, however.)

Savvy accessorizers, please help me navigate the jungle of belts!
posted by timetoevolve to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm similar in body shape, just a few sizes smaller and I don't wear them. My stomach is rather large and belts just accentuate the pudge. Wish I could help but every belt I get goes to good will.
posted by pearlybob at 12:06 PM on January 29, 2009

Grampa Simpson looks the way he does because he wears high waist pants, and if you wear low waist pants it will make your legs look shorter, so wear your belt high up over a dress or flowing longer length top like the girl in the picture - it tricks the eye so no one can really see where your legs start and your waist looks much higher.

Use the belt to define the narrow part around your ribcage under your boobs (I think this is especially good if you have big boobs and tops which are fitted on the chest aren't fitted underneath). Keep the rest of the outfit simple. The belt should be wide so it looks in proportion and doesn't cut in. I think a firm belt with some give (like leather) is better than a stiff belt that cuts into you, or a too stretchy one that clings and rolls up. It can also be really flattering to wear a darker colored belt over a lighter dress or top, it makes the belt part look even smaller. The girl you linked to looks really cute though, so wear whatever makes you happy.

/plate of belts.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:22 PM on January 29, 2009

What kind of belly shape do you have? I am very segmented (bifurcated, I think, is the word) and belt styles like that look 100% ridiculous on me.

I am a big fan of my metal stretch belt (similar to this one in style), which can be worn around both the waist and hips. That way, if you hate the look or discover that it's uncomfortable to wear a belt around the waist, you can still wear it around your hips like a traditional belt and it won't be too small or awkward.
posted by sian at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2009

I read Fatshionista too. Boy, do those girls like their belts. Whew.

I think if you have an hourglass type figure, I think belts look okay when around your waist to kind of nip it in a bit more than usual. Wide belts work better than narrow belts in my opinion.

I would just play around a bit - find a dress in a similar style (I also like that look) and pop a thick belt on there. Move it around until you find a good place where it's comfortable when you sit down and when it looks good on you.
posted by kerning at 12:26 PM on January 29, 2009

Oh about the picture - I think the proportion and placement are just right and should work great on you, the colors and business might not, especially if you are trying to avoid a really young look. Try the same items but in solid colors. If you are really scared you can wear a belt and dress the same color too, they don't have to contrast.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:26 PM on January 29, 2009

sian, I have a bifurcated belly shape too, but not extremely so. I have a little pudge above and below my natural waistline, but the waist itself is pretty defined. (My husband calls this "two tummies and the dent").
posted by timetoevolve at 1:26 PM on January 29, 2009

I've found that different belts work in different ways, and the best way to figure out how one works is to use a camera (video or still) to help me compare different looks. (I don't do it that often, but when I do, it can make all the difference.)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2009

One way (that crabintheocean mentioned) to wear a belt without it screaming "fashion!" "belt!" "ack!" is to wear a belt that is a similar color to the dress beneath it. So, try a brown dress with a brown belt, with a colorful jacket or a brightly hued shoe. Then you'll have the belt and can play around with it in other outfits. Since you're tall, you can get a pretty wide belt without looking corseted. It's all about proportion. I'm top heavy, so when I wear a belted dress I always try to wear a full skirt to add balance to my bottom half. You said you're about even on top and bottom, so calling attention to your center point will help reinforce that feeling of balance.

And most importantly, try things on in front of a full length mirror, while wearing the shoes you plan to wear. Always sit down, relax, and then stand up again and check how everything shifted. And remember, it is just a belt! You can always take it off.
posted by Mizu at 5:43 PM on January 29, 2009

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