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 • Fashion  • Fall 2023  • The Era Of Unnecessary Belts Is Back
Unnecessary Belts

The Era Of Unnecessary Belts Is Back

Have you heard the joke circulating about the resurgence of low-rise fashion?

“Low-rises may be coming back, but at least random belts aren’t.”

Well, fashion reaches back into the archives embracing yet another Y2K style element. Enter the big, useless belt, another trend that takes us back to the early 2000s. Controversial as they may be, nothing defined the chaotic approach to accessorizing during that era like useless belts did.

And when we say vintage-inspired belt, we are not talking about the thick waist belts of the late 2000s and early 2010s, where you’d cinch a giant black or white stretchy belt over your long-sleeved tunic and skinny jeans to highlight your waist (Although looking at the trends we are seeing it coming). Instead, we’re talking about the low-slung, western-style belts usually crafted from substantial leather circles, which we would casually drape around prairie skirts.

How To Style It? 

Remember how Beyoncé, Hilary Duff, and Shakira used to rock it? Paired them with tank tops, sweeping prairie skirts, cargo pants (and heels, of course), super lowrise jeans, and gaucho pants. We’ll wear it the same way according to our favorite fashion houses. At Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and Blumarine, belts were slung low on the hips atop jersey dresses, knits, and miniskirts.

With that in mind, you can go the traditional route by pairing it with a low-slung skirt and a baby tee or a tube top. Alternatively, follow the lead of some designers and TikTokers who take things up a notch by adding useless belts and eye-catching buckles to hot pants, mini skirts, bra tops, or layering them over catsuits – they’ve even dared to replace the top entirely. For instance, Miu Miu boldly sent models down the runway with leather belts cinching their deconstructed crop tops. And if you’re feeling daring, you might even craft an outfit entirely composed of assorted belts. 

For a slightly less literal Y2K interpretation, consider wrapping the belt over a slip dress or a fitted off-the-shoulder T-shirt dress. If you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a castoff costume, skip any super trendy Y2K accessories, like baguette bags, trucker hats, or shield sunglasses in favor of more classic counterparts.

The Rule

Regardless of your personal style, all designers who have incorporated this trend into their collections have styled it in the same manner – hanging low over your belt loops, serving no practical purpose whatsoever. Irrespective of the ambiance you wish to convey, the oversized belt was the statement accessory of its time, effortlessly pairing with Converse sneakers as well as cowboy boots or slender Manolo Blahnik stilettos.