While belts have been documented for men since the Bronze Age, there have been periods in history when you wouldn’t find a woman wearing a belt – well, maybe in the Middles Ages. Women used to attach items to their belts—such as a purse and a fan—obviously because the handbag hadn’t been invented then, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the belt started to become a wardrobe regular. Women in Western Europe wore blouses and skirts during that period, and the belt became a way of linking the two parts of the outfit. Men too started wearing belts daily in the 1920s, as trouser waists fell to a lower line.
In wasn’t until the latter part of the 19th Century, and until the first world war, that the belt was a decorative as well as a utilitarian part of the uniform, it was common for officers to wear extremely tight, wide belts around the waist, served to draw in the waist and give a trim physique, emphasizing wide shoulders and a pouting chest often seen in old cartoons from the day.
Today, it’s amazing how a simple belt can totally modify an outfit. With times a-changing, here’s 5 tips in how you can wear your belt today!
- With the quick closing of a buckle, almost anything you wear is instantly pulled together and you suddenly look trimmer and tidy. Simply wear a basic brown or black belt over jeans and chinos. Simples!
- For an overlay look – clinch over a bulky sweater, a slouchy tee, or bollowing Tee. You can even try it over your coat for a more tailored look.
- Clinch it at the right place – wearing it on your true waist will create a feminine hourglass look. A low-slung belt over jeans or a dress can also cut a casual and cool look.
- If you pick a piece in colour, print or one with studs and buckles, you can add a touch of style without changing your whole outfit!
- Why not substitute your belt for jewellery, you can easily add a touch of glitz in an understated way.