Let’s Get Waisted

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January 28, 2014

On belts, not happy hour.

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.

On Leandra: Max Mara coat, Acne denim jacket (I do also like this Topshop one, though), Paige Denim jeans, Armani sunglasses (these ones from Asos are pretty close), Christian Louboutin boots

On Amelia: Ralph Lauren blazer, J. Crew seamed motorcycle pants, 3.1 Phillip Lim beltblack sweater.

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    You are. :-) (and I need to give them a try, absolutely)

  • MISPAPELICOS

    To me a belt is like lipstick to other women, Inever leave home without.

  • Natali

    Camel coat has been on my wish list for a looong time! This one is absolutely perfect!

    http://lartoffashion.blogspot.com

  • pinkschmink

    ActuaLOL. But also, YES. I first learned of the mystical powers of belting my coat when I worked at COS in 2009 and I saw a visual merchandiser doing it to a mannequin. It went a bit like this: “You’re telling me I’ve been using the self-belt that came with my coat THIS WHOLE TIME when I could have been having at it with this beautiful leather number I just stole from the men’s department?!” Never looked back …

  • Dominique

    lovely post! And beautiful picture…

    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

  • Courtney Parker

    Belting your coat makes it look so chic, I love it. I really love your style of writing, I am definitely going to have to pick up your book.
    http://www.loveandclothing.com

  • Fashion Follows Her

    Nothing beats a cinching belt to update a look- and it makes the waist look tiny. http://fashionfollowsher.com/

  • ashleymaciejewski

    I don’t know what I enjoy more…”polar whoretex” or “let’s get waisted” …after all, in this terrible weather we totally should (greetings from chiberia)!

  • Liz

    Im definitely a fan of the belted coat but what do i do with the belt when i take my coat off? Should I just commit, leave the coat on, and sweat it out.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I put it in my coat pocket or my bag — wherever I stash gloves. Some coats have a label inside the neck that you can loop the belt through. Or just hand it to your friend and be like CAN YOU HOLD THIS PLZ?

      • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CDJ

        Or just put it around your head like Quailman. @pavoneec:disqus

    • Leandra Medine

      My suggestion is wear it around your neck like a choker because that’s a thing too. See: http://www.manrepeller.com/2013/04/chokey-chokey.html

      • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

        Omg I wore a belt around my neck to school once and this staunch feminist girl (I have a trouble with her SUPER STRICT definition, but that’s another story) came up to me, pointed at my neck and said “THAT is NOT okay!!!!!”

        She then lifted her chin in the air and walked away swiftly. When she was out of earshot I just broke down in laughter.

        BELT ON LADIES.

  • pia

    Great coats, I especially like the color of the first one!
    http://pialunja.blogspot.com

  • Caroline

    how did you tie that knot? I’m staring at my screen like an idiot, but I just can’t figure it out.

  • Quinn Halman

    I love my belted jacket! It’s a great marc jacobs black one with leather pockets and gold buttons. It’s made of Eloise’s childhood dreams. Also, Amelia, is that comfortable?!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Yea! And if I eat a burrito or something I just loosen it a notch.

  • Nat Way

    Leandra & Amelia, you both look so damn French in those photos. Beautiful!

    • Leandra Medine

      You sure know the way to a girl’s heart.

  • monkeyshines
  • Rachel

    I’m always nervous to do it because I’m not thin so I tend to look even bigger than I am. Is it all in the placement, or is there a trick ? Or should I just lose a couple inches?

    • Amelia Diamond

      I think the trick to not creating extra bulk (like a bunching sweater for example) is thin layers under the coat or blazer and a thicker belt to create more definition at the waist.

  • Bella

    Oh lord, no. I was alive during and vividly remember the 80’s when we belted EVERYTHING, and I am not going back there.

    • me

      BAHAHAAAHAHAH ! I feel ya, sis ! :D

  • http://www.fashionoverreason.com/ Fashion Over Reason

    Funny enough, I’ve always been ambivalent about belts too, going in and out of phases of liking or loathing them. But not because of an overkill period, though, just as a matter of “feeling it” as a part of my style (your story is gold). I adore that you went on this long about belts and never bored me once.

    You guys both look stupendous in your belted looks and those street style ensembles are certainly food for inspiration. All hail belts! (that’s a count of 4 for the use of the word belt, including plural versions and cousin verb, ha.)

    Hélène
    http://www.fashionoverreason.com

  • http://www.lezu.com/ L’ezu

    Love this! Belted jackets are so chic, plus they give you such good shape! http://www.LEZU.com

  • Bella

    This is so great. Made me want to belt my coat.

    bellasfashionstatements.blogspot.ca

  • Anna

    How about an article on how to belt your Northface coat?

  • leonorjr

    you are really pretty, sparkles.

  • Anna

    Can you guys do an article/style gallery on how to belt a Northface coat? I’ve got a situation on my hands…

    • Amelia Diamond

      A fleece? Hmm. In this case you gotta let the Northface be its own person. Work this with another type of outerwear!

  • Saakshi Kaushik

    I LOVE THIS POST OK JESUS GOD SHUT UP ALREADY

  • http://funkymonkynancy.tumblr.com/ Nancy S.
  • Pasia

    But what do you do when you wear a belt to actually hold up your pants? Do you forgo the waist belt for the hip belt? Wear both?

    • Amelia Diamond

      THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION. this look only works when whatever you’re wearing covers the pant’s belt-loop area. that way if you need an actual pants belt, you can wear one, but you don’t want to be able to see it. It would be too much!

  • me

    Yo, Sis: PLEASE post a “How To” guide to tying that damn origami knot in the first frame!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Ok will do!

      • me

        xoxo ! looking forward to it :D!

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic

    I love how the belt really accentuates the coat and makes it look so chic!!

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com

  • http://www.runway2street.com/ runway2street

    Belts are so versatile – great looks on both of you.

  • anon

    nothing fits amelia properly

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  • moon

    looks great. sadly, my pregnant belly would not let me do such a thing. there’s always next winter.

    http://brooklynbabymoon.blogspot.com/

  • leah

    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.

  • Nora T.

    I’m not a fan of belts but do appreciate the beauty of them! Maybe I should wear more belts in the future. They look cool!

    My Blog:
    https://incrediblyserious.squarespace.com/

  • sara

    check out this designer – just found her – she is amazing.
    http://www.mayabash.com

  • jual baju muslimah

    wowww…very inspiring

    yuphh we need a strong determination to realize the dream, for example, you have to change the appearance only for watch a movie,

    maybe your face is cute ahhahahaa

    kerudung

  • Amelia Diamond

    LOVE when you guys post pictures!!!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    The pockets on that coat are absolutely magnificent. Love, Love, Love vintage for this very reason.