How to Wear a Belt Over a Cardigan or Jacket

Q: I love the look of a belt over a cardigan or jacket, but how do you wear it so it looks nonchalantly cool, not contrived? —Anika

Cashmere-blend cardigan, $70, Uniqlo, 877-486-4756. Stretch skinny belt, $30, loft.com

A:   Dear Anika,
Tellingly, no fashion editor chose to address the “jacket” portion of this question. “A thin belt! With a cardigan!” exclaimed executive fashion director Alexis Bryan Morgan. “The belt literally and metaphorically pulls your look together—and you can use it for an extra pop of color.”

People think that fashion is utterly subjective, but it is not: The fashion editors spoke with one voice. “A belt is cute with a cardigan,” mused online fashion editor Ray Siegel. “I like a thin belt. A thin belt in a fun color, like neon. A pop of color!”

Color is part of the making-it-cool equation; fit is the other half. If you belt a sweater that’s too short, you create an awkward-looking peplum. And be sure not to belt it too tight, which is strangely tempting for some people hoping to create a tiny little waistline. That just ends up looking uncomfortable­—the most un-chic thing in the world.

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