Fashion: Belts for cinching sweaters

By Columbus Alive
From the October 20, 2011 edition

Chillier weather tends to bring on boxier styles. But we still want a little waist definition, don’t we, ladies?

Enter the belt-over-sweater combo. Done correctly, your outfit will have more polish and look more flattering.

One thing to keep in mind: Watch the length. Without belt loops to keep it secure, you want to make sure the belt you chose is either short or long enough to stay tucked out of the way.

Read on to find some easy options.

CONSIDER METALLIC

Gold snakeskin belt

Loft, $30

Think of your go-to black belt. Now imagine it in a shiny metallic shade. So much more fun, right? Gold, copper, pewter and glossy gray read as neutrals, so you can wear them with anything — while standing out.

KEEP IT SKINNY

Leopard calf-hair belt

Banana Republic, $50

A rule of thumb: The thinner the sweater, the skinnier the belt. Try to match the weight of your top to the width of your belt to keep one from overwhelming the other. The exaggerated horizontal buckle emphasizes how thin and trim the belt is, and the leopard print is a nice touch that will never go out of style.

GO BOLD

Red belt with tassel

Aldo, $18

Against a neutral (or even a striped neutral) top, a band of color can really pop. Experiment with including that color in at least one other element of your outfit — shoes or earrings, perhaps — to tie everything together. If nothing else, though, a belt with a little accessory of its own, like this one, is sure to draw eyes.

PILE ON THE TEXTURE

Braided leather belt

H&M, $20

This year’s nubby sweater is just begging to be cinched by an equally interesting belt. Try one that’s braided or features cutouts. If it’s long enough for the end to be wrapped around the back and tucked in, that’s even better.