Spring Belted Outfits for Short-Waisted Women

Belts are making a come back this year, after being on the back burner for quite some time. I love how they finish off an outfit, but they can be tricky to wear when you’re short-waisted. I get a lot of questions about how to style belts and requests for outfit inspiration, so here are some of the belted outfits I’ve worn this spring.

KUT from the Kloth jacket (S) // Madewell tee (S) // PAIGE denim (29) (similar for less) // Sam Edelman slides (8) // similar belt // straw clutch

I talked about how to style a belt a few weeks ago, so definitely check that out, if you missed it. This post is primarily intended for outfit inspiration, but I’ll try to explain the choices I made, and of course I’ll link everything up!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Tips for Styling A Belt with Jeans

This first outfit is very neutral and low contrast, and I wanted the belt to be seen but not stand out in a dramatic way, so I chose a neutral tone that complements my shoes. And since thinner belts tend to look dressier than thicker belts, I went with a thinner belt with elegant hardware, which is in keeping with the business casual look.

Sanctuary blouse (S) // LOFT pants (6) // similar pumps // similar belt

This is another monochromatic neutral look, but this time I did want the belt to create some contrast, so I chose a wider belt in a medium brown shade that’s more casual than the one above but still a classic style.

SHORT-WAISTED STYLING TIP: In both of these cases, I did a front tuck with the blouse, and let some hang out on the sides. This is intentional. I have a very high natural waist that is only getting thicker with age, and my belts sit an in inch or two below that, so it is not a place I want to highlight with a long horizontal line. By blousing out the top on the sides, I make that horizontal line shorter, thus making the appearance of a smaller waist.

Here’s a similar look, with olive pants instead of white.

stripe blouse (S) // KUT from the Kloth Meg (6) // Vince Camuto sandals (8) // Dragon Diffusion tote // similar belt

This is another monochromatic outfit that’s broken up by the brown belt. Again, I did a front tuck with the top, and allowed the sides to hang out over the belt. It both shortens the line of the belt, and creates the appearance of curves, rather than a boxy silhouette.

Treasure & Bond sweater (S) // Wit & Wisdom pants (6) // Vionic sandals (7.5) // similar belt

This outfit is a similar idea, but with a skirt. A lot of women would do a full tuck with this outfit, and I love that look on those who have more balanced proportions, but it doesn’t work well for me, so this is my work-around.

stripe tee (M) // denim skirt (29) // Sam Edelman slides // Dragon Diffusion tote // exact belt (M)

Here, I have a simple white t-shirt and denim outfit. I almost always belt a simple outfit like this because I feel like it needs that extra point of interest. Again, a front tuck with the tee hanging down on the sides creates curves and defines the waist (or where the waistband of my jeans is located) while also making it look smaller by shortening that horizontal line.

The addition of rattan earrings, rattan slides, and straw bag adds interest and texture, and keeps the look summery and light. I chose a skinny belt in a color that coordinates with all of those accessories.

By the way, the FRAME Le Mid Rise V-Neck T-Shirt is on sale at Saks! It’s my favorite. I actually have two because I wear it so much, and I always travel with both, in case one gets stained. I recommend sizing down, if in between.

FRAME tee (XS) // KUT from the Kloth jeans (6) // Sam Edelman slides (8) // straw clutch // exact belt (90) (similar belt)

I would describe the formality of this next outfit as dressy-casual, so I chose a medium brown leather belt that coordinates with my bag and shoes. They’re all different shades of brown, so they aren’t too matchy-matchy, but I like how the create a cohesive look. I like how the brown creates a contrast against the white on white look, and the denim jacket tops it off.

Wearing the jacket on top of the belt is a similar strategy to the one above, with the front tuck. The coat covers up and thus shortens that horizontal line created by the belt, which gi evs the appearance of a smaller waist.

AG denim jacket (S) (similar for less) // similar white tee (S) // PAIGE Leenah Trouser Jeans (29) // Vince Camuto Clarissa (8) // Dragon Diffusion tote // similar belt

I did the same thing here, but with a sweater jacket. I feel like in this case, a narrower belt would look better. This one looks rather heavy to me.

ribbed tee (M) // sweater jacket (S) // similar jeans (29) // Vince Camuto sandals (8) // Dragon Diffusion tote // exact belt (M)

You can achieve the same effect with a longer cardigan. I didn’t match my belt to the shoes in this outfit, but it’s a similar color to my handbag. (I wish I’d realized how loose my belt was. I don’t like it when my belts feel tight, so sometimes they end up sagging a bit when I start moving around. It definitely should have been on a tighter setting.)

Caslon cardigan (S) // FRAME tee (XS) // FRAME Le Easy Flare Jeans (29) (similar for less) // Marc Fisher booties (8) // similar belt

These outfits are starting to get redundant, but here’s another version of the white on white outfit with the denim jacket above. I like how the kick flares show off the shoes.

AG denim jacket (S) (similar for less) // FRAME tee (XS) // PAIGE Claudine (29) // Vionic sandals // Dragon Diffusion tote // similar belt

And here’s a similar look with olive wide leg ankle jeans and clogs, for those with chilly spring weather.

AG denim jacket (S) (similar for less) // Treasure & Bond sweater (S) // KUT from the Kloth Meg (6) // Kork-Ease clogs (8) // exact belt (90) (similar for less)

And this is a similar outfit I wore to travel a few weeks ago.

Gap utility jacket (S) // FRAME tee (XS) // PAIGE denim (29) (similar for less) // P448 sneakers (39) // exact belt (90) (similar for less)

This is an outfit from last summer, but I feel like a skinnier belt would look more proportional to my body; and it would also be a better match to the level of formality, since it’s somewhat of a dressier look.

Varley jacket (S) // Z Supply top (S) // MOTHER jeans (29) (similar for less) // VEJA Esplar (39) // exact belt (M)

Finally, this outfit shows how the belt finishes the look, even though it doesn’t create much contrast between the black belt and the black jeans and top. And as an aside, this is a great little jacket for the in-between weather so many of us are experiencing right now. I highly recommend it for a casual topper!

Varley jacket (S) // Z Supply top (S) // MOTHER jeans (29) (similar for less) // VEJA Esplar (39) // exact belt (M)

I hope this post gives you some outfit inspiration for wearing belts this spring! Here are some dos and don’ts for wearing belts if you’re short-waisted, as I am.

Short Waisted Women: Dos & Don’ts for Wearing Belts

  1. Do choose a narrower belt; a narrower belt takes up less vertical space and doesn’t draw as much attention to the waist area.
  2. Do belt under a jacket rather than over top, to shorten the horizontal line created by the belt.
  3. Don’t place a belt over dresses right on your natural waist. Play around with placing the belt slightly below the natural waist, and try a rope belt tied loosely, allowing it to dip a bit in the front to enhance your curves.
  4. Do use contrast wisely. A belt in a high contrast color will bring more attention to the waist, and a lower contrast will still help define the waist without drawing undue attention to the area.
  5. Do wear a properly fitting bra. This may not sound like a belting tip, but short-waisted women have very little space between the bra and the waist, so you want the girls well-supported so they aren’t sitting on top of the belt.

Shop Belts for Spring Looks

Shop Belts HERE

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35 Responses

  1. A few years ago I fell coming down the stairs and had a very similar injury. I was convinced there was “more” going on bc it took so darn long to heal! I rented a medical scooter (your knee rests on it) and it really helped get me around. Might be something to look into, especially if you’re going on vacation. Feel better!

    1. Thanks, Lynn. Several people have suggested that. I am allowed to be weight bearing in the boot. Does it help you get around any faster than hobbling on the boot, lol?

          1. When I broke my ankle, I ordered a knee scooter on amazon, it was like $100, totally worth it!

  2. Thanks, Jo-Lynne! Happy for your good news about your ankle. Phew!

    Would you please give a quick review of the Vionic sandals? TTS? Slightly narrow? Some reviews say top strap is too wide. Thanks!

    1. I find them pretty TTS. I did notice the strap closest to the ankle standing up off my foot a bit, but that is pretty typical for slides b/c I have such flat, bony feet. (Which is a liability with ankle injuries, evidently! But I digress…) The arch support helps them mold to the bottom of the foot and I did not find them difficult at all to walk in. I sized down a half size, which I often do with slides. Hope that helps!

  3. So glad to hear the good news about your injury! Yay! You’ll get there and be as good as new before you know it! 💜

  4. I’m so happy for you that you don’t have to wear a cast or have surgery. I would look into that scooter especially going on vacation. When my grandkids had foot surgery they had a boot and those scooters. They got around fast. Thanks for all the tips. So many cute outfits. The sweater jacket with the jeans reminded me of what I wore Sunday to church. I used a cognac belt too. Praying for you to heal fast.

  5. Yay! Prayers answered! You’ll be forced to slow down and really rest during your trip next week! I love belts and have many from years past. Had to buy another leather black and ivory one. Also love to wear one with a straight dress or one with elastic waist. Finishes them off well. Great post!

  6. Jo-Lynne, since you were distracted by Savannah’s poop on the rug, I think you can legit blame it on her😉. I have had 2 dachshunds and they were so low to the ground, I was sure I would trip and break something, but that never happened. I did have bad sprains twice doing exactly what you did. Thank for the outfit inspiration. I am high waisted too, so it’s very helpful.

  7. FIRST…..I’m so happy you don’t have a break or have to have surgery or a cast. Answered prayers for sure. I’m also glad you have so much help at home with your kids all home and it will be even better once Paul arrives back. I hope all is well with Caroline. I was wondering when you kept mentioning 3 kids at home, but figured she had a longer Spring break. I actually only have 2 belts and they don’t go with much. I still haven’t switched over to wearing them. It looks like you’d need many colors with both silver and gold hardware. At least I like to match. LOL Now that belts are “in”, I do feel less dressed without one, but they aren’t really comfortable for me. Plus, lets be honest, at my age, after 3 kids, with a belt, you can’t wait until the last minute to go use the restroom. LOL I love ALL the outfits here you’ve featured. You really have nailed down your style.

    1. I do, I explained why under one of those first photos. It’s still a current look, but I usually see it done more with voluminous tops, and the full tuck done with more traditional tees, but that doesn’t work well for me.

  8. I love the AG denim jacket but I’m not sure if I’d wear it enough to justify the price. The links to the similar for less don’t work. I’d like to see what you found if possible. Thanks.

  9. Great posts this week as usual from you & very much appreciated considering what you’re dealing with. So pleased you’re on the mend & had good news about your ankle.

  10. I did the exact same thing, years ago – tore all the ligaments in my ankle. It seemed to take forever to heal, but the boot, ice – just what you are doing, finally healed the ankle. I was lucky in that it was my left foot so I could drive, and it was during Christmas break so I was off from classes for a couple of weeks.
    I have so many belts, and I wear none of them. I am very high waisted, and really I don’t have much of a waist at all – no matter my weight. I wore one the other day (with the “Jo-Lynne” inspired outfit I wore), and my husband said it looked great. Maybe I should experiment more. I will have to order some belts since most of mine are long out of fashion.
    Take care and rest the ankle.

    1. I know what you mean, my waist is super high too. I have gotten used to the belted look, tho. I mostly just like them when I have a jacket to cover the outsides, though.

  11. Take care and rest your ankle! I like the belt styling and I actually bought one but haven’t worn it yet — I’m chicken! I have a short waist and not much of one at that so we’ll see. I dipped my toe in the water, so to speak, buying one. I’ll get there — LOL!

  12. I’m so glad your ankle news was good! Be sure to take it easy and rest while you’re away!! That might be a blessing in disguise to have a trip planned!

  13. I’m so glad you’re not facing surgery with your ankle! I skipped a couple of garage steps down to concrete one time and couldn’t believe it was just a sprain.
    I love the longer length of that AG jacket. The price notsomuch, lol. It’s not in stock near me. Is it stretchy with the little bit of elastane? Is it boxy? Sorry if I missed a review somewhere else!
    Happy spring break!

  14. Love all these looks! I agree a belt does make an outfit look more polished. I’ve never worn belts much (I grew up in the no belt era so now when I wear them it feels like they’re choking me – kinda like a turtleneck). But these outfits definitely make me want to give them another try! So happy to hear good news about your ankle, hope you are able to go on your trip and have a great time!

  15. How do you keep your white sneakers so clean? It’s my struggle! My Vejas especially seem to look so yellowed around the sides and the padding inside too. Yesterday I wore my P448s and they looked so beat up too.
    PS- So glad you didn’t end up braking your ankle. I agree with others about getting a scooter. My principal did the same thing to her ankle a few years ago and she got around with a scooter; so much easier then the crutches. Just a thought.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know. They don’t really get dirty very fast, but when they do, I don’t do anything to them. My first pair of VEJAs did eventually bite the dust. I felt like they looked worn so I just donated.

  16. good news on the ankle!
    I noticed that all but one of your photos shows brown/tan belts, bags, etc. Do you ever wear navy blue belts or carry navy bags or where navy shoes? I know this may sound silly, but I’m wondering about all the browns. Thanks.

    1. I don’t usually use navy, but I don’t always wear brown either. I have a lot of black and some taupe shades as well as shades of brown. I just seem to be wearing a lot of brown lately.

      1. Thanks. Navy (and black) is my go-to neutral, and I don’t wear brown. Some of the taupe/brown shades, though, seem more spring-to-summer to me, so I wondered if it was more seasonal. I like your look and am thinking I should diversify a little.

  17. I’m a fellow short-waisted gal – I love your blog and appreciate the tips in this post. Really, all stuff I’ve learned over the years, but it’s nice to see it listed all in one place.

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