Obi Belt Trend Will Wrap You in Style!

You don’t have to know Kung fu to wear an Obi belt. Here’s how to wrap yourself up in this feminine, exotic accessory.

obi belts spring 2015 1. Use An Obi Belt to Shape Your Silhouette

Obi belts, wide strips of cloth wound around the waist, were first worn by Geishas in Japan to call attention to a woman’s curves and give the effect of a present waiting to be unwrapped. Today obi belts as just as subtly sexy and an ideal way to shape your silhouette.

If you want to fake an instant hourglass shape or break up a long torso, wear an obi belt to cinch in your waist and make your figure more shapely.

  • The taller you are, the thicker your obi can be (and vice-versa for Petites!)
  • The more boyish your shape, the more exaggerated you should tie your obi.
  • Curvier bodies look best in obis tied with a small, sleek knot.

2. Play With Volume

While we’re on the topic of silhouette, let’s talk about the shape of your outfit. Obis allow you to play with volume, so wear one over a flowing shirtdress for the day or a drapey Grecian-inspired number for the evening.  You can also go the other way and wear an obi belt with a fitted top and pair of flared pants, or slip one on over a pencil skirt worn with a dolman-style top for a look that’s sleek and fashion-forward.


obi belts with tee and jeans


3. Make Your Obi Belt the Focal Point of Your Outfit

If you want to look fabulous in an obi belt, it’s important to give it the spotlight. This means no busy prints, big accessories, or super-loud colors in the rest of your outfit. By letting your belt be your statement piece, you achieve a pulled-together, chic look with an artsy edge. Remember- less really is more, especially when you don’t want to look like an extra in a Geisha’s Memoirs.

4. Choose the Right Bag

You don’t want a cross-body bag cutting off your obi at an awkward angle or a shoulder bag, causing the fabric to bunch under your arm. The solution? Carry a bag from the crook of your arm (or, in evening situations, opt for a clutch). This way, you stow your essentials, but your bag won’t interfere with your outfit’s silhouette- which an obi belt highlights.

5. Wrap Tuck and Tie With Your Favorite Knot

Half of the fun of wearing an obi belt is finding the perfect way to tie it. There are dozens of choices. Check out this video to see all the ways to tie an obi belt, and get started on a fab new spring look today.

* Guest Contributor for this article- stylist Morgan Mullin

Join the Conversation

13 thoughts on “Obi Belt Trend Will Wrap You in Style!

  1. I want to make a long obi belt w/ a wide section that leads to 2 long, narrower sections to wrap & tie anywhere I wish, but I don’t know how long the 1 wide & the 2 narrow sections should be — approximately speaking. I just need an idea b4 I shop. I also need to know what some of the best faux leathers would be, or if I should invest a WHOLE lot of money for the real thing, & how thin can I go w/ the leather, so it doesn’t ad bulk. NONE of us need THAT, even when you’re too skinny like me, unfortunately. We just don’t WANT or NEED to add UNNECESSARY bulk.
    Any help you can offer will be GREATLY appreciated. I can’t afford a $100 & up obi!
    Dianne Acosta

  2. I LOVE the Obi belt! Discovered them in Italy while there 2 years ago and last summer when I returned, bought more! My favorite go to belt!!!!

  3. Love them ! Gives you a waist line when you dont really have one [boyish figure] When I wear it with a blazer the cinched waist gives the blazer the look of a peplem which is also flattering on my figure type.

  4. I like your articles – but why are you featuring skinny, teenaged/early twenties models who have no tummies or figure flaws unlike most of us over 40 women who’ve had a couple of kids and are fighting graviity. I like to see more realistic models and fashion suggestions for those of us who do not have perfect youthful figures.

    1. Hi Sunny,
      In these runway photos you see the women are young becasue that’s who designers hire to model their clothes. I don’t have any control over that, unfortunatley. Same with the clothing I show from online stores. Even though the slim young women are modeling them, most of these styles can be worn by women our age. I do also feature some plus size fashions on the site and I’m always scouting the internet looking for stores that feature mature models. So, if you come across any please let me know. In the meantime, check out my Styleblazers series that showcases the fashion of real life women. These are over 40 bloggers modeling clothes. I also welcome 40+ reader photos so long as they are good quality. It’s a frustrating problem for sure. When will the fashion industry wake up? Cheers, Deborah

  5. I love this belt style ,but I am not sure I would wear it because I doubt wether it feels comfortable or not .I have a problem with belts in general for this reason .

  6. Count me in, if I can find any. Haven’t seen in Stores or anyone wearing them yet. I assume they are best worn with smooth waisted pants? (No belt loops on pants)?

  7. Hi Deborah,
    I would absolutely wear an Obi belt. I’m not sure I’m a fan of how they are wearing it on the runway but the design is great.

    1. Hi Tina, You know I’ve had one in my closet for many years and almost threw it away but figured the kids may use it if they needed to make some asian type of costume for a play or Halloween. Suddenly I’m revisiting it and thinking maybe I could wear it with a cute top this spring. What goes around always comes around again.. Cheers, Deborah

      1. I also still have an obi belt. I have a shirt dress that has an obi belt. Shirt dresses are back in too.

  8. I love belts and think they can be an integral part of a wardrobe. I use larger ones to accentuate my waist and have fun ones with zebra accents and red as well. I agree these need to go around the waist and not the hip area. I like thinner ones to wear with jeans or around a looser dress to show a waist and/or get a pop of color in an otherwise neutral outfit.

  9. I haven’t worn a belt since the early 90’s. Seems no matter how much I spend on them, they always end up looking “cheap”. I stay away from them altogether!

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