Belts and Impulse Buys

Belts and Impulse Buys

This is the second time in two weeks that this skirt has appeared on Mode & Methodology (and the second tiered skirt of the week – there’s something different coming on Friday, I promise). For those following along on Buy Diary, you’ll know that I spied this skirt, exercised my incredible self-control, and then went back and bought it a week later.  I could tell it was a good buy because I spent the week having daily flashes of panic that it would have sold out by the time I went back for it.  Although I am a big believer in buying things you need (witness my beloved Blak Luxe leather jacket and white shirt from RM Williams), I also believe that sometimes the impulse purchase skirt that sung to you is a great contender for Wardrobe Hero – and so it is with this skirt.

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I’ve had other experiences with this – the rainbow dress that I HAD to buy, but did think would have limited outings, is in constant rotation.  I’m wearing it as I write this post, on a train, with Converse, lugging a backpack out to the Blue Mountains to R.E.L.A.X.  I feel fancy and I note that it was in my suitcase for a week and didn’t need ironing.  True hero status!  Or the orange Carvela heels I bought, didn’t wear for a month because I was unclear on what to wear them with…once I cracked it (everything, the answer was wear them with everything), I wore them into the ground.  I was so sad when I had to admit they had gone over the rainbow bridge for shoes, and threw them away.  I should have done it about two months sooner, they were disgusting.   Of course, I’ve done the opposite too, buying sensible classics and never wearing them.  Witness my navy blazer, which I bought because I love my black one and I love navy – have legit worn this about twice in the past year.  Bummer!

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I’m wearing this skirt in a fairly obvious way here, with a white knit tank and some black mules.  The (definitely fake) Moschino belt that I picked up for $20 at Recycle Boutique here in Wellington and a red lip gives it some jazz.  I’ve been saying it for ages, but belts are on their way back up to the top of the fashion wheel of fortune.  I read it in Elle, and you know my heart sung with the joy that is Being Right.  I have an array of belts, collected over the years, and the belt rack is one of my first stops in any thrifting adventure.  In fact, in order, I do: shoes, bags and belts, [anything I’m particularly shopping for], then denim, dresses, jackets, skirts, shirts.

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There are two things I believe to be true when belt hunting: leather is best (duh) and statement belts are better.  Now, everyone needs at least one belt, for holding up their pants, but if you’re into belts for fashion then you can get a bit more excited.  I learnt in the mid-2000s (the last time belts were a bit trend) that it’s best to ignore the people who stupidly say “but what is that belt even doing?” – it’s cinching my dress, you genius – and instead just see them as an extension of jewellery or other decorative fashion.  I’d suggest the following in your “belt-drobe”:

  • A plain black matte leather belt that is the exact width of a belt loop on your jeans.  More on this below.
  • A stretch belt (I love my striped one from World but feel free to go plain).  This is perfect for cinching things in and for wearing with any pants you have that might be a big gapey at the back, since it will pull that fabric into your lower back for you.
  • A wide belt – I like approximately 3 inches but it will depend on your proportions and what’s comfy for you.  You can wear this over coats and dresses alike, so make sure it has holes that allow for both fits.  Belting your coat gives it a whole new vibe that might just cruise you past any impulse coat purchases this year. 
  • A metallic belt – I have a retro chain belt from Paloma Picasso that I fasten at my waist so I feel like I’m wearing a chatelaine.  This is 100% just for funsies, so you can skip this, but I love it with a midi-length dress or skirt instead of jewellery.
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That first belt is your workhorse belt, which you will slowly soften with excessive wear.  This hero will make a simple jeans and tshirt combo look put together – just half tuck that tshirt and chuck on some loafers and you are looking modern – but that belt will never go out of style.  I’ve had mine for over a decade and I’m not joking when I say that if there was a fire and I was permitted to bring back 10 items from the ash, this would be item number one.  Buy this belt a little long and have some extra holes punched in it – that way, when lower rise trou reappear in your life/you accidentally smash one too many plates of pancakes and find yourself with a few extra kilos, this belt will still fit and you won’t experience the devastation of having to retire your best belty bud.  

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I’ve rounded up ten belt options that I think are gorgeous, and if you want to know how to measure yourself for an online belt buying binge (man, I am feeling the alliteration today), check out this handy-dandy guide here.

Skirt: Seed Heritage. Shoes from Therapy.  Top is from Whistles rather a long time ago, an alternative is here.  Belt is a thrifted find - the real thing is here and I found an option on TradeMe too, here.  Sunglasses from Glassons (again, a long time ago) and the lippy is Pirate, from Chanel (aka my favourite red, and what I'm usually wearing here on the blog).