Tips for shorter legs: to belt or not to belt

What a question, of course BELT!!

Belts are one of my most reached-for accessories and I wholeheartedly recommend them to everyone who has a pronounced waist, for three reasons:

- Cinching in tops and dresses gives a wholly new look to them, multiplying their wearability. [Some days you may feel like wearing them loose, some days streamlined with a belt.]

- The choice of belt can completely transform a look. [I often use 'tougher' belts to give clothes that may otherwise look too feminine, preppy, or just 'blah', the desired rock'n'roll touch. Playing with colours can also make a big difference.]

- Belts on the waist draw the eye upwards, magically elongating legs. [Oh yes thank you!]

The basic rules are as follows:

- If you have a long torso, belt freely all outfits where your leg break does not show: [not too tight] skirts, dresses, and looser, longer tops over trousers. Be more careful when your leg break does show.

- Belt on the waist, never on the hips, but make sure it is not too high [otherwise the distance between belt and bum/hips will be highlighted].

- For a long torso, medium or wide belts are best. Obi belts are worth exploring. If you are petite, very wide belts may be over the top, experiment with how much your frame can take. Wrapping skinny belts around the waist more than once, or wearing more than one skinny belt at the same time [yes - experiment! can look amazing] counts as medium wide.

- If you are petite like me, avoid big buckles. Asymmetric belts and belts with unusual features [bows, studs, knots etc] can work well as they immediately capture the eye.

Some examples from celebrities with a similar body type [and note how a smaller buckle would suit Keira better, though she just about gets away with it because of her height]:


I personally love skinny belts that are long enough to wrap around more than once (three times is my Holy Grail) as this adds texture, asymmetry, interest and creativity to outfits:

Black on black often looks amazing, so do not discount it, especially when working with highly clashing textures such as leather on silk or patent on knitwear:

Although I go for a rock'n'roll vibe, studded belts can look over the top and even downright cheap, so choose carefully:

I prefer wearing them over not too tight clothes, such as non-fitted dresses and loose tops, as this means the way the surplus fabric gets gathered below the belt cleverly disguises where my legs begin:

And finally, here come two belt examples from our shorter legged celebrity muses - one to avoid and one to copy. I think they speak for themselves [apologies, beautiful Olivia!]: