Style Advice Q & A

Dress Belts – Keep Or Toss?

The other day,  a reader wrote to ask me a question about what to wear to an upcoming wedding. She mentioned that this was an evening summer wedding, and she wanted to be cool and comfortable but still look classy and fabulous after 40!

Classy summer wedding dress
Classy summer wedding dress

Here were choices:

  • A light yellow linen suit or a blue, sleeveless cotton pique dress (lined) with a self-belt. (bought on sale!)

I asked her to send photos. The yellow suit was too boxy looking and looked a little too casual for an evening wedding. The blue dress was beautiful, but there were 2 issues.

The thin belt that came with the dress was not flattering. She would need to buy a sweater to wear with it.

The first piece of advice I gave her was to try the dress on with NO belt. How many of us feel that just because a dress comes with a belt, we HAVE to wear it!

As we age, our middle thickens, and tiny pieces of fabric around our waist do not look so great on many of our middle-age bodies! So, we got rid of the belt, and the dress looked a million times better on her.

Next, she felt she needed a top or sweater to wear over the dress to hide her arms. I took one look at her arms and said, “Be proud of your arms! They look fine!” Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves!

However, she did want to get a sweater since the evenings are starting to get cool back east. The neckline on this dress is wider than normal, so not every sweater will work.

Here were her marching orders:

  • Find a sweater that is not too long, best if it is shorter.
  • Make sure to take the dress with you when you shop to try it with the sweater.
  • Make sure the sweater is a thin fabric and does not compete with the neckline.
  • Find a pair of nude shoes to go with the dress.
  • Do not try to wear a necklace with this type of dress. Instead, just wear earrings and a cuff-style bracelet.

It ended up finding a sweater and ended up with a new suit, instead of for the wedding.  The bottom line is, when buying a dress on sale, make sure you LOVE it!

If it comes with a self-belt, throw it away and use a leather one or not one at all!


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