Can Curvy Girls Wear A Belt?

Q. I’ve got a bit of a style conundrum. Every style “guru” I’ve read recommends adding a belt to make a waist appear thinner or more shapely. How do I do that if I’m built like Jennifer Lopez? Without a full skirt, the belt just highlights the prominence of my bum, which is not something that I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m tired of always wearing a full top (babydolls, men’s oxfords, tunics) with wide leg jeans or capris. I’d like to be cute once in a while. Any ideas?

A. Belts may be a huge trend this season, but that doesn’t mean they are for everyone. Cinching your waist tends to accentuate your bust, hips and rear – something not all of us are interested in. Women that are thick in the middle or short-waisted may also have trouble finding a flattering way to wear a belt. There are a few tricks, however, to wear a belt without drawing too much attention to your JLo-esque assets:

  • A thick belt draws more attention to your waist and anything above or below it (your bust and hips/rear); try wearing a skinny belt worn at your natural waist instead. (#4 below)
  • Look for a belt that is a similar color to your clothing (#2 below)
  • Look for a top that provides balance to your bum: a blousy shirt with a wide open collar, a boat neck top, etc. Try belting the top and letting it drape over your hips instead of tucking in the top and belting your pants. (#1 and #2 below)
  • Wear a slim-fitting top with a belted full skirt to camouflage your rear (#6 below)
  • Look for drapey dresses belted slightly higher than your natural waist (#3 below)
  • Try wearing your belt hip-slung (#5 below)

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1. Lafayette 148 New York Stretch Cotton Geri Blouse, $328 at saks.com
2. Madison Marcus Silk Lunar Top, $245 at saks.com
3. Sleeveless silk ruched dress, $148 at bananarepublic.com
4. Ribbed shawl cardigan, $89 at bananarepublic.com
5. Ribbed cardigan & wide-leg jean at bananarepublic.com
6. Belted high-waist skirt, $48 at gap.com

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