It’s time to switch your closet to cooler temperature colors and fabrics. I’m excited to finally wear the tweed jackets, plaid pants (I bought three!!) and luxury knits that fashion-week tempted me with months ago.

A great way to finish these on-trend looks is with a peek-a-boo belt. Try your hand at color popping: if you’re wearing denim and a cozy Shetland sweater, add a bold colored belt. It will only be seen as you move through-out the day.  The same idea goes for black pants and red top, grab a plaid belt for the holidays or zebra print for the weekend. For summer consider wearing white pants and a blue pin stripe or nautical top, then add your Flair by grabbing a red belt and red sandals.

Tricks to cinch your waist:

  • Cinch your slimmest area. If you are thicker at the waist, wear the belt slightly above the natural waist line (aka slightly above the belly button), elongating your legs.
  • Thick and thin belts look fantastic worn on your natural waist – i.e.: with a crisp button-down shirt and a pencil skirt, or with jeans and a t-shirt.
  • Create a tiny waist with a wide belt. Wear it on your waist over a maxi dress or a flowy top and skinny pants.
  • Belts worn on the empire waist line (just under the bust line) draw the view upward, bringing emphasis to the chest and neck, but also providing a smoother line over the waist to the hips, which will camouflage lower sections.
  • Create a slimmer, longer torso by belts worn low, from the waist diagonally down the hip.

My Grandma Clementine’s rule: “Buy Cheap – Pay Double” applies to belts (as well as shoes, handbags and watches). I’m not just talking logo embellished LV straps or stand-out Hermes H clasps, more so about focusing on quality leather with non-tarnishing hardware, in a length that you comfortably fit on the middle holes. You will probably need to buy longer belt lengths if you want to wear around your hips with lower rise pants.

Another trend-to-try this season is the cropped sweaters. I mention it because I’ve gotten many questions of how to wear it into the colder temperatures without getting a frost bit mid-section or flashing of the dreaded “skin belt!” Two ideas: wear a matching color camisole underneath, or deflate your muffin top by wearing a higher rise pant (that you can tuck-in the extra skin) or the next size larger pant, so that has more give in the waistband and less apt to push your lower skin above the waist band.

If the cinch-it and tuck-in suggestions sound like smoke and mirrors, rethink it as your accessories working for you! Belts can be your ally and will help finish your look.

As a certified image consultant, I help women look and feel fantastic by finding clothes that best fit their body, lifestyle and wallet – without looking like everyone else. I understand most women don’t enjoy or have time to shop, yet corporate executives, community leaders and stylish women-on-the-go desire to dress uniquely and polished with some Flair.  Our styles range from gorgeous work dresses and suits to separates that take your outfits from board room to casual life or a vacation café!  If you are looking for some unique pieces to add to your closet rotation, shop here or schedule a private showing by emailing me at [email protected]