I had just turned 20 when the first Sex and the City movie came out. I forgot my driver’s license on the day I went to see it, and the ONE theater in the history of ever decided to card me due to an R-rating and my under-18 appearance.
Obviously I did what any self-respecting freshly-minted twenty-year-old would do and used my fake ID. Then, I vowed to absorb absolutely every fashion cue from Carrie Bradshaw & Co. in order to never again be mistaken for 17. My ultimate take away — other than that one should always wear a long strand of pearls to bed despite the very clear danger this presents — was that waist belts were to be worn with everything.
I belted my outfits all summer. Which is disgusting, considering the ring of sweat it inevitably left around the belly of all my tops and dresses. But I was dedicated. Sweaty, 20, and dedicated.
Then, much like I ruin every song I love or food I crave by repeating or eating it until I’m ready to barf on both accounts, I’d made myself sick of the dumb belts-or-else trend. Of the six or so I’d bought for my short-lived summer romance, none made it past age 21, and after that the concept of belting anything save for a pair of size-too-big shorts was gone from my realm of consciousness.
It wasn’t until last year that I started thinking about the constricting accessory again. I was browsing a sale at Phillip Lim when I came across a really beautiful belt, composed of two different colored straps of leather linked by a simple piece of hardware. One half was black, the other was chocolate brown, and it held me so captivated that I bit the financial bullet and bought it. Naturally, the belt sat untouched in my closet for the better half of 2013.
Then one day, perhaps out of wardrobe fatigue or a subconscious yearning to look slightly more feminine, I dug the thing out and belted my coat. Worlds really shattered right then, because belting your coat is R E V O L U T I O N A R Y. (I don’t know how I think of these things either, you guys. I just get a feeling and I go with it.)
But truthfully, the second I did it I couldn’t believe I hadn’t sooner. The belt made new shapes on everything I own. With a generous tug and a practiced knot, my blazers and jackets became something more. It was as if I’d just gone shopping: my wardrobe felt new again, I was excited to get dressed, and despite a winter of hoarding pie in my cheeks like a hampster, this whole belting thing managed to bring back my waist.
If you, like me, are wondering A) how I’ve managed to blather on this long about BELTS without smashing my own knee into concrete on purpose and B) exactly how many times I’ve just written the word “belt” (12 if you count its plural version and cousin Verb) then great, we’re on the same page.
But it seems that I’m also on the same page as some other women who were photographed on the street during men’s fashion week and spring couture, which could totally mean nothing at all…
Or, it is quite possible — and really, it’s just more fun to think this way — that maybe I am on to something.