Accessories fall under one of two umbrellas: those that provide utility and those that lend embellishment. The waist belt trend — as in, belts that are being worn higher than the hips, and often on top of bare skin — falls confidently in the latter category. And while its duty is not to keep your pants from sliding down, this niche look is beginning to spread like wildfire among the fashion set. Designers are digging the accessory, too. Buzzy names like Christopher Esber have been creating dresses and matching sets that incorporate straps and ties that nod to this waist-centric look. And the Y2K revival of belly chains has played a part in the movement as well. It’s the kind of micro trend that starts off slow, and then suddenly takes hold of your Instagram feed.
This isn’t the waist belt’s first rodeo, though. Think back to Carrie Bradshaw’s controversial detached belt episode. And the low-rise denim look of the early aughts gave way to plenty of skin-baring accessory moments. This time around, though, the trend feels a bit more artisanal and better integrated into the rest of the outfit. It’s like a piece of jewelry, but instead of draping it around your neck, it’s meant to accentuate your midriff. Ahead, a few runway designers, trendsetters, and brands that are kicking off what’s sure to be a very interesting trend cycle.
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Clockwise From Left: Christopher Esber, Bevza, Jonathan Simkhai.
Designers like Christopher Esber have been championing the waistline for a few seasons now and if the recent New York Spring/Summer 2022 runways were any indication of the trend’s staying power, it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing more. Bevza, Jonathan Simkhai, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh all included this detail in their collections.
A Subtle Embellishment
If a crop top and waist chain pairing feels too bold, go the subtler route and accessorize your belt with a shirt, leaving the bottom buttons undone to let it peek out. This approach would also work with a cardigan once the weather turns cooler.
On the other side of the coin, styling this trend is an easy way to instantly embolden your outfit. If you’re wearing a bralette or crop top, add in this accessory to give your look a unique finish and help split the balance between your top and bottom.
The New Jewelry Staple
Give your statement earrings and layered necklaces a break and consider the waist belt your new go-to jewelry piece. Opt for one crafted in metal to lend a pop of texture.