Inside: Style tips for how to wear a belt with a dress for those that need some help pairing accessories with some of our favorite pieces.

I’m very much a “more is more” kind of person, and I know I’m not alone in that. I love to add extra pieces like belts to my outfits for a various number of reasons.

However on the flip side, I have several minimalists that refuse to add anything more than necessary to any outfit. They adore style and being stylized, but just absolutely internally combust at the thought of too many pieces coming together to create an outfit.

I’m here to help you figure out the best way to style that dress and belt combo while also trying to make the distinction between whether the belt is necessary to create the flattering effect of the outfit or if you’re adding just to add. And both are good enough reasons to do so, but as you may fall in between the two aesthetics, you may want to know what accessories are necessary and which ones are just for fun!

So we’re going to take a look at different outfit ideas and figure out how to wear a belt with a dress so that you can tackle this style option and win the crowd over with some incredible accessorizing.

Let’s talk about it.

For women in dresses of different styles with belts

Why Add A Belt?

Belts can be considered a major accessory, especially within women’s fashion. But naturally, they were first introduced to our wardrobes as a practical and functional piece, used to keep any pair of pants held up at the right position at our waist. Whether it’s because they were too big, or they moved around too much throughout the day, belts always kept her pants in place. Now, even when pants fit us correctly, it is common and usually expected that we wear belts for a more polished look.

While dresses don’t need to be kept in place per se, belts can be used to change the structure of a dress. Dresses that are baggy, dresses that are slightly unflattering, and dresses that just need a little something extra can totally use a belt to change up the game. A belted dress look is always cute, it’s very chic, but also could come across as edgy, rocker, or indie. And if that’s the look you’re going for, then you’ve just changed everything with a simple accessory.

Dresses don’t have to be loose fitting to need to add a belt. I have some body conscious fitting dresses that I love to add belts to where the waist hits just to add a little extra waist accentuation, color, or aesthetic. Using a vintage belt can give the dress a very indie or classic look, and using a wide black belt can add a very polished and preppy look, all depending on the style of the dress.

This is where the difference comes in between adding a belt for function, and adding a belt for flare. Functional belts would likely be used when a dress needs to be more form fitting or flattering. Depending on your body type, it might be imperative that you always accentuate your waist for a flattering look. Adding for flair can be adding for the use of the belt buckle, the color of the belt, or the overall aesthetic of having a belt and more little accessory pieces with the outfit.

It’s all very case by case, so there aren’t specific types of dresses, or specific styles that you shouldn’t wear a belt with, as it all depends on how it fits, the style of the belt, and the occasion. However, avoid adding a belt to a dress where the belt feels randomly placed. If there’s a waist line or a cinched section of the dress that doesn’t hit where the belt will hit, ditch the belt idea and use it for another outfit!

It would need to feel organic, and like it’s part of the look to help everything flow and fit correctly. So if it feels a little off or unnecessary, maybe find other accessories to do up this look, if it was all for flare. We love a good belt, but executing well is the best way to wear one.

Elements To Consider

When picking a belt to go with your dress, there’s a few different factors.

You’ll want to consider elements like width of the belt, size of the buckle, overall aesthetic, aesthetic of the dress and other accessories. If you’re wearing a really loose fitted dress, a wider belt is usually the best move.

If you’re looking for something to be a little bit more edgy, grunge, indie, of vintage or western belt buckle is always going to be your best bet. as you’re looking at your belts in your closet, if you have any colored ones, those are always fun to add too. They look like more of an accessory rather than an add-on just to cinch the waist.

The more that I can look like a functional accessory, the better! Again, you’ll want to take note of where the dress hits you at your body curves, if the belt doesn’t hit you in the same place, or if it looks odd, where it’s placed on the dress, then this may not be the dress to add a belt to.

As you try on the different belts with the dress, take notes of which ones feel intentional, and which ones feel oddly placed. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly without much advice if the belt feels out of place, but if it just feels like it might be too much for you, don’t be afraid to step out! If it’s cohesive with the outfit, I always say go for it.

Two girls are wearing belted maxi dresses

How To Wear A Belt With A Dress

Wearing a belt with a dress becomes easier as you sift through examples of combinations that work. So enough talk, here are some ideas for how to wear a belt with a dress.

1. Tiny Belt To Cinch
2. Layered
3. Maxi
4. Indie Slip Dress

Chic mini dress


Accessorizing well is the best way to achieve a chic look, especially when it comes to dresses and pieces that don’t usually need much. Knowing what works and what’s just enough to add to it is the perfect look.

5. Elevated Mini
6. Chain Belt
7. Chic Body Con

Three girls wearing dresses perfect for different seasons

In Different Seasons

8. Winter Knits
9. Spring Button Down
10. Fall Tones
11. Summer Mesh

Style is less about what’s cool and trendy and more about the technicals of silhouettes, colors, aesthetics, and textures. When you play with all of these, you find yourself in a really cool sense of personal style and knowing how to have fun with what you already enjoy wearing. But just to another degree!

If you like the idea of maximalism and just haven’t crossed the line into using accessories boldly and with purpose, you’re going to love these tips. Over accessorizing isn’t just a good style move, it can take your outfit from good to great and make it stand out.

Maximalism is in, so jump on the train and get going with us. Colors and just adding all the little details will make all the difference when it comes to creating an outfit that will stand out.

However, if bold is what you’re looking for, go for some of these red outfits.

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