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When to Belt a Dress

Have a dress that you love, but you’re not sure how to make it define your waist? I’m sharing some simple tips on how and when to belt a dress. 

 

How and When to Belt a Dress

If you’ve been around a while, you know that I’m a big supporter of defining your waist in boxier clothing items. This includes dresses! I’m always asked how to belt a dress (and when) so today I’m breaking it all down for you.

 

Which dresses should you belt:

You definitely don’t always have to have a defined waist, but if you’re looking for a little more structure or a little more waist definitely, belting your dress is a great way to do that. Here are some dresses you should try belting.

  • Dresses with a swing shape (A-line or very full)
  • Dresses with a straight shape
  • Sweater dresses
  • Dresses with a waist tie (swap the tie for a structured belt)

 

My favorite belt for adding waist definition and outfit structure

I bought THIS BELT in black a few years ago and wore it so much that I had to buy it in more colors. I have it in dark brown and cream as well, and it’s great for any dress.

merrick white collection swing dress

When to belt a swing shaped dress

Swing dresses certainly don’t always have to be belted, but it’s a good option if you feel like the dress is too flowy and drowning you in fabric.

I especially recommend it with longer swing shape dresses because they show less of your leg. If there’s lots of fabric and very little or none of your leg is showing, you can easily look like you’re drowning in fabric.

Shorter dresses show your legs so you don’t get quite as lost under all the fabric.

DO NOT belt a dress that has a seam just above where your belt sits. This creates a fabric pooch right above the belt that you don’t want!

GRAY MERRICK WHITE COLLECTION DRESS | BLACK BELT | BLACK CHELSEA BOOTS(sold out) Similar Pair Here

belting a sweater dress

When to belt a straight dress

Again, you certainly don’t always have to belt straight cut dresses. But it’s a good idea if you feel like the dress is making you look shapeless.

Also I like belting them underneath a longer jacket or cardigan. If your jacket or cardigan do not provide shape, the whole outfit can feel boxy.

Lots of sweater dresses also have straight cuts, and they’re a great one to belt to give some shape. And I love the contrast of a leather belt against a soft sweater dress.

PURPLE LOFT DRESS | AMAZON BELT | SIMILAR TAN ANKLE BOOTS

when to belt a dress

When to belt a dress with a waist tie

Lots of dresses have waist ties, and while I often wear them with their own tie, you can swap them for a leather belt for a different look.

It gives them a little more structure, creates a nice contrast, and gives the dress a more sophisticated or dressy feel.

PETAL AND PUP DRESS | AMAZON BELT | SIMILAR BURGUNDY PUMPS

 

 

I’ll be sharing more examples of this on my Instagram stories today for Get Dressed With Merrick if you need more examples and tips!

 

 

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