A few months ago, I had this funny text exchange with a client of mine that I recalled while writing this post about belted dresses.

I had a good laugh because women see removing belt loops like they see removing tags from new mattresses, and it’s funny because not only are those little chain belts on dresses mere suggestions on belt placement, they’re not meant for actual use. Really, they’re just there to make sure the belt stays intact with the dress or top. Cut those loopy babies off.

This is a nice introduction to today’s post, belted dresses, a trend in dresses that is dominating at the moment. Yes, we’re belting again, and essentially what is happening at the moment is a shift in silhouette. For years, it was about a more shapeless look over narrow and now it’s all about the waist, and with the waist comes the belt.

Before we get to some looks, one last thing about belt loops. I understand that not all dresses come with those flimsy string loops and the loops are more substantial. If this is the case with one of your dresses, a tailor can reposition those loops right quick. You don’t have to fight an ill-placed belt.


Okay, if you are shopping for some belted dresses, check out how I styled these five styles and shop for more belted dresses at the end of this post.

In this look, I styled this belted utility dress from Theory with a pair of strappy croc-embossed sandals in cognac and tortoise hoop earrings from Vince Camuto.

Outfit #2

This is one of my favorite shirt dresses from BOSS Hugo Boss. It has the same faux placket and side-zip closure as their popular shirt, the Bashina, so you don’t have to worry about a gape at the bust. It’s sharp, springy, and easy. I styled this dress with a Karine Sultan layered necklace with a pearl pendant and light blue slingback pumps from Calvin Klein.

Outft #3

Do you know the term self-belt? It means when a belt is made from the same fabric as the garment. Just a little aside. Anyway, I styled this belted dress from Ann Taylor with a soft pink blazer from J. Crew and finished the outfit with teal Brahmin earrings and blush pumps from the comfort brand, Naturalizer.

Outfit #4

This belted dress from Ming Wang has a cascade drape detail down the front that gives it a feminine and soft finish. I styled the dress with beige pumps from Aera and the same necklace as used in outfit two.

Outfit #5

The belt used with this dress from Rebecca Vallance adds some structure to this soft style. I styled it with the same pumps from the third look and a station necklace from Christina Green.

And While We’re on the Topic of Belted Dresses

When a dress or top comes with a belt that isn’t a self-belt, often the belts are relatively cheap, fake leather styles that could be so much better. Like being a rebel by cutting off those chain belt loops, don’t feel beholden to the belt that comes with a dress you buy. Switching out a belt, even if it is a self-belt, can change up your look and give you more variety from one dress.

Shop for Belted Dresses

Still looking for the perfect belted dress? Check out these additional styles.