This spring, designers found inspiration from the east. Obi belts were seen around the waists of models at Dior, Celine, Alexander Wang, Marni, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and more. An Obi, which translates directly to “sash” in Japanese, is the belt typically seen around kimonos and karate gis. Think of artfully tied ribbons around your vests, coats, dresses, and tops. Not only is the obi belt a super interesting accessory, it also flatters your waistline giving you the appearance of an hourglass figure. See for yourself why Vogue calls these belts the “ultimate power dressing for spring.“
1. For the Beginners
If you’re not already sold on this trend, start with the basics. A shirt dress with a tied belt is a great piece for spring, able to go from work to a date night with a change of accessories. I’m loving this cuddly cardigan from my new favorite brand, MM.LaFleur. Wear a long sleeve tee under it now, then pair it with a dress for the air conditioned office in the summer. Yes, even your “office sweater” can be chic! Another easy, modern update is this simple sleeveless vest. Try it with a basic tank, a statement necklace and a pair of jeans for brunch, or a silk tank, soft a-line skirt and heels for work.
Theory Nieto Vest in Debut, $375
MM.LaFleur Morandi Wrap Cardigan, $230
2. Taking The Next Step
If you already have a basic belted shirt dress, maybe you’re interested in the architectural styles from the runway. Try something asymmetrical or with interesting colorblocking. A jumpsuit is a great piece for a tied belt, further elongating your legs.
The Row Sleeveless Tie-Waist Crepe Dress, $1,250
RED Valentino Tie-Front Suede Vest, $426.59
3.1 Phillip Lim Draped Colorblock Jumpsuit with Judo Belt, $775
3. Expert Belting
Deciding which dresses and cardigans would pair well with a belt is a challenge that even I face sometimes. For dresses, try looser-fitting styles that are able to blouse out over the belt. Larger cardigans and vests that can wrap around your body will also look chic with a ribbon tied around the waist. Play with what you already own first to see if there is a particular belt or clothing silhouette you are missing. Most importantly, have fun!
Enza Costa Boucle Sweater Coat, $261
with Dolce & Gabbana Sash Belt, $75
Alice + Olivia Zoe Mini Collar Button Down Dress, $297
with J.Crew Tassel Rope Belt, $19.50
Vince Drape Sweater Vest, $345