Wardrobe Wish List: AE Skinny Braided Waist Belt

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Yeah, it might not look like much but this little guy will transform your wardrobe.

The quintessential waist belt was not created to hold anything up. It doesn’t fit into loops, it offers no form of support, it’s not durable and it doesn’t save the world from your plumber’s crack. So what does this basic wardrobe staple do for you?

It works harder for you that you did for your A in Intro to Painting; it creates the illusion of a smokin’ waist.

Your closet (aka the storage bin under your bed) and your body are incomplete without this wardrobe essential.  Nothing gives you that perfect hourglass shape quite like a cinch at the waist. No matter if you have curves or none to claim, a braided belt like this one from American Eagle will not only create them, but let your wallet keep a fat curve of it’s own.

This belt is what saved the shirt-dress trend by mercifully adding some shape to an otherwise baggy and unflattering outfit. There are so many shirts and dresses in my own wardrobe that I won’t dare to wear unless I can find a suitable waist belt or I’m left feeling boxy and paunchy. Even if you don’t have a lot of this type of shirt, this belt is so versatile when worn right.

I love this belt because the braided detailing makes it a lot more interesting than any other belt I’ve got. And if I’m going to invest in a nice leather belt, it’s going to be black, so I appreciate that this cheapie option allows for some new color to enter my wardrobe that I don’t have to make above a twenty dollar commitment to.

The key to getting the most out of this belt is twofold, mainly because it will literally fold on top of itself since waists do not come equipped with belt loops. Hint number one: buy it large. It may sound contradictory, but if you can buy this belt large enough to fit your hips as a regular old belt, it will not only double its wearability, but a skinny belt on tailored pants or well fitting jeans also looks so chic. Essential and surprising hint number two you can find in your bookstore – yes, I said your bookstore: double-sided tape.

I’m serious. Since your waist is most likely a lot smaller than your hips, that belt is going to have a very saggy tail outside the buckle that has no loop to be tucked into, which can be a plus or could ruin your outfit. If you’re going for a casual look on your way to class with a baggy shirt or dress that you’re looking to bring some hobo fashion to, then by all means let the tail wag free. But if you’re looking for an added element to a tucked in fitted white blouse or button-up for a meeting with a professor (you need that extension) or a job interview (you need that horribly low-paying campus job), you’re going to need that double-sided tape to make the look professional and polished.

Just beware of a serious fashion don’t: I don’t care how loose your pants are after you join the crew team, if you’re wearing this fabulous waist belt, you will not be wearing another one on your hips. Not even if you convince yourself it’s hidden by that long shirt your wearing. No double belting!

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