Friday, July 4, 2014

When In Doubt, Belt It Out

A while back, I read a post by a young fashion blogger who said that it is important for women to a have a "uniform." A uniform, she wrote, is an outfit you can turn to when you need to get out of the house in a hurry or just don't know what else to wear. The go-to outfit should consists of flattering pieces that make you look like a million. Well, at the time, it sounded like good advice, but I honestly couldn't think of an outfit or a way of styling my wardrobe in a way that I could call my "uniform." Boy, has that changed!

This spring I started wearing a belt to work over a sweater with a skirt or dress almost every day. In the morning, I would put together an outfit without a belt and assess the way it looked in front of my full length mirror. Then, I would add a belt and think: I like the outfit with a belt better. The belt added feminine shape to my over 50 figure, which seems to be losing its shape daily. Above, I've paired a thin belt with a Gap sundress and a LOFT lightweight, 3/4 sleeve sweater. It gives the illusion of being a little more hourglass-shaped. Needless to say, the look became my spring work uniform.

Although it’s July, I’m still wearing a lot of sweaters and belts to work. My office’s air conditioning is much too cold for me. While I’ve packed away my chunky winter sweaters, I wouldn't dream of reporting to office without a summer blazer or lightweight, three-quarter sleeve sweater to keep me warm.

Once again, I’m belting almost every sweater to give my figure a little more definition. Here are a couple of other variations on my summer work "uniform"...

So far, I have three guiding rules when putting together my summer sweater and belt uniform:
  1. The belt must be comfortable. Belt comfort is super important if you have a desk job, like I do. 

  2.  The belt must fit well. I tend to use belts that came with dresses because they are made to be worn around the waist. I've got lots of belts for wearing above the hips with pants, but they're too long to wear at the waist over sweaters.

  3. The belt and sweater should have a similar degree of either lightness or darkness. With my rather short torso, it's better not to interrupt a sweater's line by wearing a contrasting shade belt (ie, dark belt with a light sweater or vice versa). It cuts my torso in half, making me look shorter.

Of course, unless you are a super belt lover, you probably won't have a belt for every color of the rainbow. I certainly don't. So I choose a belt in the "vicinity" of the sweater's color. Take, for instance, the version of my summer work uniform below. I could have easily paired my black belt with this outfit, but I chose the beige belt because I think it blends better and doesn't interrupt my torso.

Do you have a summer work uniform? Please share it with Flattering50 readers. Thanks!