Belts are an important part of any outfit. They keep your pants in place, ensuring that they aren’t too loose or tight, and they simply look great.
If you’re only looking at that aspect of your belt game, however, you’re pinched too tight on what a belt can be and need to loosen up!
Far too often we see belts in strictly utilitarian terms, looping it through the loops to serve its purpose. But what if you are wearing something that doesn’t have loops?
This is a dilemma that is especially potent for women.
It’s alright for men, whose jeans and slacks tend to have belt loops, but women’s dresses, skirts, overcoats, and all manner of formal and informal dresses are all too often left without loops through which to thread a belt.
However, that shouldn’t be an impediment to boasting a bigtime belt game, and with these tips on how to wear a belt without loops, it doesn’t have to be.
1 – Statement Belts
There’s something to be said for the way belts as a fashion item are making a comeback. Sure, belts are a way to keep your pants up (you certainly don’t want the alternative!), but they’re so much more than that.
Belts are a great way to make a statement, so much so that the Statement Belt has seen a revival.
A Statement Belt is a fashion accessory unto itself, and a great way for women to make a statement and express themselves stylistically while still looking professional and work-ready.
One of the good things about a statement belt is that it is large enough and shaped with enough of an inward curve that it hugs your body in such a way as to stay in place without needing loops.
What’s more, this bigness not only helps them stay in place but helps set them apart from any other belt.
Every belt needs to strike a balance between form and function, but statement belts take that to a whole new level by being way more into the former than your average belt without sacrificing the latter.
Statement belts come in every conceivable color, have big eye-catching belt buckles, and typically feature hooks on either ends or a similar method of connecting it and making sure it remains secure.
All of this makes statement belts an ideal way to wear a belt without the hassle of having to actually loop one through your pants’ loops, and a great alternative if you are wearing a skirt or pants which do not have pant loops.
2 – Rope Belts
The reason why these belts can and should be worn without belt loops should be self-explanatory.
Who needs a hook when you have a knot? All you have to do is tie these belts up properly and voila!
Of course, just because rope belts are comparatively easy to wear doesn’t mean they’re an easy fit fashionwise.
On the contrary, Rope Belts can be the pinnacle of style, but you need a lot of panache to pull them off, or you risk looking unkempt.
Make sure that your rope belt complements the rest of your style, and make sure that when tying it, it isn’t too loose or too tight, lest it cause discomfort.
3 – Skinny Belt
This category basically borrows from the first two mentioned above.
Like a Statement Belt, a Skinny Belt is often worn over a skirt or dress, and thus does not need pant loops. As with Rope Belts, they are typically skinny in their construction (hence the name) and need to be color coordinated carefully.
Skinny Belts also have an air of subtlety, so if you’re looking to “make a statement” fashionwise without being “too loud” about it, this is definitely a choice to consider.
4 – Sash Belt
Also known as a scarf belt, this is just what it sounds like, a long strip of fabric that you can tie up as a scarf or sash or wear as a belt.
Before you Sashay Away with your sash belt, however, you’ll want to give some thought as to how you plan on wearing it.
Unless you’re going for some truly high-end material, sash belts often appear far more makeshift and casual. That’s far more suited to strolling around town than through an office.
5 – Tips for Rocking Loopless Belts
There are plenty more types and subtypes of belts, of course, many of which can be worn without loops. Still, that’s enough to get the gist of how belts can be worn without looping through pants.
Of course, knowing that these belts exist and how to attach them is one thing. Actually wearing them to great effect is quite another.
You don’t want your loopless belt to become a fashion faux pas, which is why you’ll want to heed these do’s and don’ts for wearing belts without loops:
- Waist Versus Hips: One of the biggest choices you have to make when wearing any of these belts is whether you wear them around the waist or sling them across your hips. Between these two options, waist belts are generally seen as being more slimming, though hip belts can also be tucked in a bit at the sides for a similar effect. Pairing either with lower-rise jeans or jackets opened to show off your midsection like a Classical Hollywood Starlet or Power CEO are a perfect example of what “balancing form and function” are all about.
- To Match or Not to Match: Matching your belt to your shoes gives a more formal appearance, whereas not matching creates a more casually bohemian look. The latter especially benefits from Rope and Sash Belts tied casually around your waist.
- Knot the Right Answer: If you are wearing a Rope or Sash belt, make sure that it’s long enough that you can knot the end of it effectively. It should not stick out or dig into your waist uncomfortably. Ideally, knotting these belts should keep them in place with ease.
- Avoid Belt Loops with Skirts: While it’s definitely possible to wear certain belts without belt loops, as demonstrated here, it’s practically a must when it comes to modern accessorizing of skirts, especially for office, formal, and fashion forward wear. The belt loops are simply unnecessary, detract from your skirt/belt combo, and can actually make it harder to tuck the former in.
- Find the Right Skirt or Dress Combo: Different skirts pair better with different loop-less belts, so feel free to experiment. For example, pencil skirts and Skinny Belts are perfectly paired to each other. By contrast, larger dresses may pair better with bigger Statement Belts in more formal or fashion forward outfits or with Rope or Sash Belts if you’re looking for a Summer Hippie Queen look.
The key to all of these loopless belt options is to find a choice that fits you in terms of comfort as well as style.
You want to make sure that you feel confident when you step out the door, and that means ensuring that your belt is comfortable, that it’s firmly attached to your hips or waist, and that it keeps up your pants, skirt, or dress while being a fab fashion accessory unto itself.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.