You thought you had all your belt an­gles cov­ered, didn’t you? But belts have got sexy

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - THE CONVERSATION -

Belts used to be one of those highly re­sistible pur­chases that made you feel good about your self-con­trol. You could walk around an en­tire belt depart­ment, which, let’s face it, was more like a sin­gle belt hook, and leave hav­ing spent nada. You had all your belt an­gles cov­ered al­ready, didn’t you? A black one, a tan one, a me­tal­lic one and maybe one of those webbed things that were big in 2006. You were set for life.

But belts have got sexy. Match­es­fash­ calls them ‘an ac­ces­sory of func­tion’, which is just bril­liant. You can’t ar­gue with a func­tional ac­ces­sory. It ticks ev­ery box.

Azze­dine Alaïa’s leop­ard-print calf-hair belts and laser-cut, lacy-look­ing leather cum­mer­bunds, so stiff they stand up by them­selves, are the gold stan­dard – but only if you have £1,500 (not a mis­print) to spare.

Alexan­der McQueen, an­other la­bel known for hour­glass sil­hou­ettes, also does mag­nif­i­cent waist sculp­tures that are stud­ded, se­quinned, em­broi­dered – and also eye-wa­ter­ingly priced. Rok­sanda’s (from £350) are like jew­ellery and would make a chain-store dress look much more in­ter­est­ing. Max­Mara’s lizard-tex­tured cream or baby-blue leather belts (£220) will turn any trousers into a fashion item.

It’s al­ways good to have a belt with an un­der­stated gold or sil­ver buckle to make a pair of black trousers or plain dress evening­wor­thy. Tie belts that you can ad­just dur­ing the day are good in sum­mer, when the heat can make you ex­pand (noth­ing to do with that pizza). Two-tone colours, knots and weaves add play­ful­ness to out­fits – a good so­lu­tion if you can’t find pat­terns you like.

Belts never go out of style, so it’s worth trawl­ing the sales – and the high street. A skinny belt doesn’t take much leather, so there’s not much that can go wrong in a cheaper ver­sion. This re­ally isn’t a man­date to spend the cost of a sec­ond-hand car on a belt – al­though, come to think of it, the belt might last longer.

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