Belted Beauties - How to Choose the Right Belt

Tooled leather, rodeo buckles, status and fashion in one, oh my! The belts in cowgirl fashion have a bit of a different meaning than your run-off-the-mill belts of trendy outfits. Today, I'm looking into ways of combining the status with style to show off not just your rodeo accomplishments but also your fashion sense.

Barrel racer photo by Christine Benton

Whether you've won a bunch of rodeo events and want to show off or you simply like big buckles, you may be disappointed to hear that not every outfit calls for a big honking belt and buckle. Cowgirl or not, there are some fashion rules that govern the world of belts, so here's the scoop.

  1. Match buckle to the belt. Big buckles look ridiculous on thin belts, and so do small buckles on wide belts. Make sure to always match the width of your belt to the size of your buckle. Generally, buckles shouldn't be more than 1.5 inch wider than the belt itself (3/4 inch on each side of the belt).
  2. Width matters. Your body features determine the width of your belt. Thick belts look great on women with longer torsos because they make them look proportional. On the other hand, if you're short-waisted, you should wear thinner belts so your already short mid-section is not completely covered making you look like you've got no waist.
  3. Match your metals. Think of your belt like you think of jewelry. If you're wearing a lot of silver jewelry, you're best off with a silver buckle on your belt. If you prefer gold for your jewelry, gold tone buckle would be the one to go with. You don't want the metal color of the buckle to clash with the metal of the jewelry you're wearing.
  4. Match your leather... or not. This one depends mostly on the occasion and the type of outfit you're wearing. If the occasion calls for a more elegant outfit, you should try to match the leather color of your belt to the color of your boots: brown belt with brown boots, black belt with black boots. On the other hand, if your outfit is casual, almost anything goes.
  5. Not too long and not too short. When deciding on the length of your belt, you don't want it either too long or too short. Ideally, you should be able to buckle it using the middle hole. Shorter than that, and it looks stubby; longer, and it's very impractical. You don't want it sticking out and getting knocked every time you move your arm.

Overly long belts and mismatched colors may look good in model shots (see photos below), but they're not really appropriate for everyday life... unless breaking the rules is your style to begin with. In that case, you don't need my tips. Just go ahead with what feels right to you.

Photos by Sinitta Leunen and Kailey Sniffin

Already have a belt and a hard won buckle but need some jewelry to round out your look? Boy, have I got something for you! Turquoise and leather fringe bling from Buckaroo Bling comes in two different metals: sterling silver and copper. Plus, there are four different leather colors to choose from. Check it our by clicking the orange button below.

Earrings by Buckaroo Bling     Bracelets by Buckaroo Bling     Necklaces by Buckaroo Bling

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