Accessorising is no longer about adding a necklace or bracelet, it is now about finishing or even starting an outfit with a key accessory. Elliot Rhodes was founded with this idea in mind and with a particular focus on belts, and has been a driving force in changing the perception of belts from useful commodity to focal point in the style stakes. Belts can cinch a waist, create a curve, flatter and add height…simply put they can transform an outfit to make it right for your shape and your style.
But there is an art to buying and choosing the right belt. Elliot Rhodes, have a 13 year history as designer belt specialists and as an expert luxury belt brand and help women of all shapes and sizes find their perfect stylish belt. So read on to discover Elliot Rhodes' tips and inside knowledge to help you make the right choice and ensure that your belt works for you and your wardrobe.
Belts and curvaceous figures
First things first, we hear this statement on an almost daily basis “I don’t have the figure for belts”; and this is where we will always disagree. Every figure is worthy of a belt. Your waist might not be your best bit but we can assure you that the right width and colour of belt will change your relationship with your middle.
It might be surprising to learn that if you add a high quality belt in a similar tone to other colours that you are wearing, you can actually make the waist appear smaller. It is worth erring away from the narrower widths and instead look at the 35mm and 40mm widths to work with jeans or even 50mm styles with coats and dresses. Also, always make sure that you choose a slightly larger buckle so that the width of leather either side of it looks sufficiently balanced.
Similarly, if you have a narrow waist but larger hips, it is great to accentuate your waist with wider belts but keep your buckle choice streamlined so that you keep things in proportion from your waist to your hips. Start with the 40mm width and even consider 50mm or 60mm depending on your waist size and your style preferences!
Belts and height
There is a myth that suggests you should not wear belts if you are petite in stature.! We believe that this strange belief perpetuated from an inability to find belts small enough belts to actually fit, so traditional guidance was simply not to bother! Because we custom-fit all our belts, we can make them as small as they need to be, and we genuinely encourage our smaller customers to experiment with belts as they can actually create an illusion of height, particularly when paired with higher waisted trousers or skirts. We recommend that you look at the 25mm and 30mm widths so that your belt has substance but does not overwhelm a little waist.
Belts for the evening
Because of its humble origin as the keeper of the trousers, a belt is often considered an accessory for “daywear”. We have challenged this perception since we opened our first store in Covent Garden 13 years ago. Dressing for the evening now has no set format and ladies wear trousers and jeans with as much as frequency as dresses and skirts on a night out so there is even greater opportunity to accessorize with a stylish and unique belt. A simple pair of jeans with a high-end belt and lovely blouse is as much part of evening dressing as the LBD in the modern woman’s wardrobe.
These are also occasions where you can really make a statement with your belt by choosing a funky buckle or adding a bit of a glamorous twist with textured and printed leather straps. A simple dress can move right up the style stakes when paired with a really on-trend belt.
Belts and outerwear
A little trick that we also recommend to many of our customers is using a belt to update a winter coat. A coat is an investment piece and if you are very fond of it but would love to give it a new season update then try adding a brooch or using a belt. If you have a black coat, adding a belt with a bit of colour and texture such as a warm burgundy in a mock croc finish can really revamp it and add some much-needed warmth and interest.
Equally if you have a lighter coloured coat you can really play around with the rich jewel tones of leathers and create a very smart new look at a fraction of the price of a new coat. Just make sure that you stick to a belt in a 25-40mm width so that you don’t create unnecessary bulk.