Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recessionista Tip #2: Tightening Your Budget with Belts

Tightening your belt—albeit last season’s belt—doesn't have to mean fashion doom for you fellow Recessionistas. By investing a little thought, time, and creativity (instead of money) into your wardrobe, you can update and recreate new looks for just about every season. So, forget about shopping for new outfits every season, the easiest way to update your look every season is to invest in accessories. This could go easier on your wallet, prevent clutter in your wardrobe, and save you time shopping for new outfits. You can go to the mall and pick up some inexpensive scarves, hair accessories, jewelry and stuff to mix-and-match with what you have in your wardrobe. Or you can invest on 1 or 2 great investment accessory pieces — like a spacious leather tote, a great pair of tall leather boots, or a good belt.

I am a personal fan of accessories - especially belts. Belts can be literally worn over anything: plain t-shirt, blouse, cardigan, blazer, dress, and even a coat. The belt trend has gone back and forth from thick to thin, but nevertheless worn clinched at the natural waist or higher. These are some my current favorite belts in my private collection that I got in SS08 and FW08.

My Double-Buckle Belt
I have worn this with my sweater tunics,
long cardigans, trench coats and winter coats

BCBG Max Azria Double Buckle Belt (Brown)

My Thick Clinched-Waist Belt
I have worn this with my shirts,
suit jackets and long cardigans

BCBG Max Azria Croc-Embossed Belt (Black)

My Equestrian Belts
I have worn these with my shirts,
tweed jackets, suit jackets and winter coats

Banana Republic Round-Buckle Belt (Brown)

Banana Republic Round-Buckle Belt (Black)

My Ruffled Belt

I have worn this with my shirts, ruffle blouses,
silk tunics, sweater tunics, long cardigans,
trench coats and winter coats

Nikki Jaggs Ruffled Belt (Black)

My Jeans/Pants Belt
I have worn these with my Khakis, Cargos,
Rock & Republic, Joe's, Miss Sixty and
Seven for All Mankind Jeans.

D&G Rugged Buckle Belt (Bronze)

Juicy Couture Big Buckle Belt (Pink)

My Skinny Belt
I have worn this with my shirts
and suit jackets, and worn this with my suit pants.

Raoul Skinny Belt (Gunmetal Silver)

In my opinion, true style is in the details we add to the everyday outfits that we wear. So it doesn't matter if the trend now says skinny belt or thick belt, I would always go with the belt that best matches my outfit. Belts are investments to me because of their versatility, so I always try to stay with leather belts. I have made the mistake in the past by snapping up cheap pleather belts that don't last past 4 wears.

And in case you haven't noticed, we are in a belt renaissance right now. It isn't just Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) who is setting the trend, even First Lady Michelle Obama is making a statement these days with belts. So start tightening your belt today and start accentuating those curves!