I love belts—I wear them as waist-cinchers, pant-securers, and, of course, as functionless style statements. Each one of them is neatly organized in my designated belt bin, which, to the naked eye, might appear to be a junk drawer, due to the fact that it’s not populated just by belts, but also by belt-like things, such as a tan suede shoelace I recently rescued from a pair of boots that have since been laid to rest.
But the suede shoe lace isn’t misplaced, I would like to inform you. It’s there because it’s one of my go-to waist-cinchers when I wear a blazer, tied in a bow right at the center. Using unconventional things to add interest to what might otherwise be an any-other-Wednesday look is truly one of my favorite things to do.
So, below I’m sharing a few of my suggestions for unconventional items that were definitely not intended to be threaded through belt loops BUT, I have to ask: Who’s stopping you?
Rope With Nail Polish-Dipped Ends
You’ll want to open a window before embarking on this little belt project! To put it together, I ordered a plain twisted rope on Amazon, cut it to my desired length, then taped the ends with scotch tape. The fun part (and the reason for the open window suggestion) is when I dipped the ends in nail polish. I’d recommend using enamel paint instead of nail polish, but the look you should go for is a shiny glossy tip that will prevent the ends from fraying.
Repeller SS19 Charm Shoe Lace
The Repeller SS19 collection is so fun it makes me want to dance around in circles. One of my favorite pieces is this $5 shoe lace which you can clip three earrings onto. (I recommend these Repeller earrings because they’re so irresistibly cute). Two weeks ago, we were on set taking photos of the whole Repeller collection and I thought to put this shoelace — which you can also wear as a necklace (choker or not), wrap bracelet, anklet, dog collar, or, or, or… — through the belt loops of the model’s jeans. We all ogled in delight. I love the idea of putting this through the belt loops of work trousers to make a professional look more interesting!
This one was a favorite at the MR office. (Perhaps because the vibe is a bit Off-White?) Either way, I think it’s really fun as a sporty take on a waist belt. To make it, I ordered rock-climbing rope on Amazon. It arrived extremely long (not surprising because it’s intended for rescue climbing) so I cut the rope to fit my waist and then wrapped the ends, yet again, with scotch tape. I connected the ends with a glossy black adherence tape that blended in well with my dark blazer. Finally, I removed one of the locks, and then I was done with the whole thing in three minutes! So much easier than rock climbing.
Ring-Ring: Telephone Cord!
I don’t know if this look is for everyone, but it’s my absolute favorite new concept for belts. It also took no time to make and is extremely self-explanatory in assemblage. Do you remember your land line’s cord knotting up and being scared to tell your mom she needed to come to the rescue (yet again) to fix it? This is really just a way to overcome stressful memories of phone cord knottage. The truly fun part is choosing your cord color!
Ladylike Pearl Strand
If you have 10 seconds to put together a belt, might I suggest a spool of pearls (which you can also use as a necklace) and a little key ring? Any key ring will do — I just loved the color contrast of the blue on this one. If I’d tied the ends in a bow that would have been really glamorous. Next time!
This idea came from the aforementioned suede shoe lace that I wear quite often. I think the silver and red twisted together is a bit more festive and fun, but the color combinations are endless! (Purple and green would be cool and Barney-like, if that’s your thing.) Surprisingly, if you make the knot secure enough, this method actually DOES hold up your pants.
I know there are so. many. more. possibilities here. So I beg you from the bottom of my belt to share yours in the comments below. (Can someone please use a dog leash?)