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.
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 day or a drapey Grecian-inspired number for evening. You can also go the other way and wear an obi belt with a fitted top and pair of flared pants, or just slip one on over a pencil skirt worn with a dolman-style top for a look that’s sleek and fashion-forward.
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 Memoirs of a Geisha.
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