Can I Wear a Black Cinch Belt With a Petite Black Dress?

Ali Larter rocks a petite black dress with a black belt on the red carpet.

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When you have a petite frame, one of the tricks to styling for your body type is using a belt or sash at your waist. Especially when you're wearing a monochrome outfit such as an all-black suit or dress, the belt defines your torso, showing where your waistline begins and your hips and bust stop. With a little black dress, you can add a belt to pull in your waistline for an hourglass silhouette or just as a pop of dimension.

Belt Choices

With your cinched black belt, you may feel limited in your options for what purpose the black belt will serve with your black dress. To give your petite dress style, opt for textured prints such as black with black paisley, or a different fabric. Choose a patent leather cinched belt, elastic belt or even a spandex blend. Look for belts such as a black snakeskin one with a contrast in texture and sheen even in black.

Dress Styles

Once you've picked out the perfect belt, match your petite frame dress. Choose a thin black belt with a fitted sheath cotton-blend dress. One that you're likely to wear to the office with cap sleeves or a cowl neck works well. A turtleneck knee-length pencil dress is figure-flattering; pair it with a medium-size belt such as a black animal print. For a flowy, flirty dress perhaps with a halter or strapless bodice, try a wide black cinched belt.

Where to Position the Belt

Position your belt slightly below your bustline for thin belts matched with high collars such as the cowl-neck or turtleneck styles of dresses. Wear wider belts right at your waist. If you have a little more weight in your midsection, adjust your belt 1/2 inch above your waistline to even out your torso and detract the attention off any problem area.

Other Considerations

Pair vibrant accessories with your all-black ensemble. Try black-and-white zebra-print stilettos or bold, colorful shoes in magenta or mustard. Pair your outfit with an oversize leather hobo bag either in multi-print or in a color that complements your shoe color. Pull your hair back into a high messy ponytail and add pewter studded earrings and a matching pewter ball necklace to complete your overall fashion-forward style.

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