Q: I have noticed pictures in a lot of magazines where garments are being belted, like coats, sweaters and dresses. These garments do not come with a belt or belt loops. I would like to do this but I am not sure what size and type of belt I should use?
- Find a belt that compliments your body shape and wear it in the right position:
- Hourglass figures need a wide to medium belt worn at the middle of the waist. A dark color works best, or match the color to the garment.
- Pencil figures should very wide belts. Wear it at your true waist and create a slight blouson effect that will give you some soft curves.
- Pear figures should avoid both skinny and wide belts; stay in the mid-size range. Do not contrast the color with the top of your outfit, but stick in the same color family so that it does not make you look wider and shorter.
- Strawberry figures also want a mid-width belt. Wear it lower on your waist or at the top of your hips. You want to wear a light color belt with a dark color top. Create some drape at the bottom of your belt to add fullness to the hem of your top.
- Apple figured should stay away from belts as they will not flatter your figure.
- Make sure the belt compliments the garment you are belting.
- Keep the rest of you accessories simple, as the belt will now be the focal point of your outfit.
- Use different textures of black. Mix leather with velvet, matte with shine, or a thick chunky knit with a sheer chiffon. By creating dimensional interest, your outfit will look modern and chic at the same time.
- Using shades of black or grey, you can still get the elongation of a monochromatic black look. This creates visual interest with out losing any of the slimming benefits.
- Make sure some of your accessories are in bright jewel tones that pop. A red shoe or bag can make all the difference. Metallics like gold, bronze and pewter can elevate your outfit for the evening, and adding accessories in playful animal or geometric prints can add whimsy to your outfit.
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- The fit of your shoes is really important in being able to wear them. Find a pair that fits properly in the toes. Have your feet measured, as your shoe size changes just as every part of your body does, and pay attention to the width. Some times an open toe works better as you have more wiggle room.
- Find the right height of heel for you. Try a platform, or a stiletto with a platform in the front, as this will minimize the pitch of your foot. To determine the correct heel height, stand in your high heel shoes on a hard floor with your knees straight and raise your self 1” on your toes. If you can do this comfortably, then your shoes are the right heel height. Start at that height and you can slowly work your way up to higher heels.
- Use products to customize the fit of your shoe. There are products to add arch support, add cushioning, add ball of foot support, and prevent rubbing at the back of your heel. Most drug stores carry these products. This can make all the difference!
- Use a device to stretch your shoes, and when you are not wearing them, keep the device in them so that they always feel broken in.
- Walk correctly in your heels. It should always be heel-toe, heel-toe. Hold your head high with your shoulders back. Try to sit down every 20 minutes for at least 7 minutes, but do not take your shoes off or your feet can swell and it will be difficult to get your feet back in your shoes. Take small steps, making sure you do not bend your knees when stepping. If you are bending your knees, your steps are too long. Practice at home to learn to turn in your heels.
- Stretch before you wear heels. Work hard on developing a strong core. Yoga and Pilates are best for this.
- Do pamper your feet after you wear heels by soaking them in warm water for 20 minutes and massaging them with a foot cream.