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How Should You Wear a Belt With a Summer Dress?

Black dress studio background

Lightweight dresses and belts are such a natural fashion combination, the ancient Egyptians figured it out a few thousand years ago! Back then, fashion was a little bit simpler. After all, everyone pretty much wore the same thing. It’s not so hard to style a great look when there are two styles of dresses and one set of sandals to choose from, right? Nowadays, it’s much more difficult. How should you wear a belt with a summer dress? Which dresses can you wear with a belt and which should never be worn with a belt? Have you been doing it all wrong all along? It’s time to learn when to belt, when not to belt and how to wear a belt in a way that looks absolutely fabulous.

Types of Summer Dresses

Wearing a dress in a fantasy forest setting

Shop for summer dresses and you’ll end up going down a deep rabbit hole pretty quickly. There are many different styles to choose from and lots of different ways to wear dresses in the summer. It can all get very confusing, especially when you start looking for accessories and shoes and jewelry to match it all. Get to know which dresses work well for summer and which ones should be belted when you like…along with which dresses shouldn’t be belted at all.

Summer Dresses You Should Belt

If you’re looking specifically for a summer dress that will look beautiful with a belt, look no further than the dresses here. There are several summer dresses that work so perfectly with a belt, you should never miss an opportunity to slip into one when you’re going to wear one of these dresses. Try these different summer dress styles and see which ones you like wearing the best.

A Line

MEROKEETY Women's Flutter Short Sleeve Smocked Midi Dress Summer Casual Tiered A-Line Dress,Beige,M

The A-line silhouette is flattering on many different body types and in a lightweight fabric with a short hem, it’s perfect as summer wear. A-line dresses are more fitted up top, around the chest and through the waist. From here, they come out over the hips and form a wide skirt. The silhouette it creates is shaped like a letter A, so this is the A-line dress. You can add a belt to these dresses sometimes. However, A line dresses are sometimes designed in a way that means adding a belt just ruins the line of the dress. Try it with and without and see what works best for your shape and for the dress you want to wear. The wide skirt of the A line dress is flattering on almost all body types, so just about anyone can wear this style of dress.

Fit and Flare

50's Vintage Pin-up Dresses Fit and Flare Sleeveless Size M F-11

If there was ever a summer dress made for a belt, it’s the fit and flare. Stylists say that this dress is universally flattering on all body types. Like the name says, fit and flare dresses fit around the bodice. They hug the chest and waist to show off your curves. The skirt flares out from the waist over the hips and ends around the knees. This creates the look of an hourglass shape. It makes your waist look smaller while de-emphasizing the curves of your hips, rear end and thighs.

Adding a belt to a fit and flare dress is just a given. Do it to add a pop of color, to match another element you’ve decided to wear with the outfit and to emphasize your waist so that it looks even smaller.


PRETTYGARDEN Women's Causal Summer Dress Spaghetti Strap Sleeveless High Waist Beach Long Maxi Dresses (Rust Red, Medium)

Maxi dresses are made to be long and flowing and lightweight, which makes them perfect for summer wear. These dresses can be worn alone but you can add a skinny belt to the dress to add a little bit more color if you like. Maxi dresses are made to fit around the waist, so a belt won’t change the silhouette but it can be used to break up the line of the dress and give you a way to add more color.


GOBLES Women's Casual Summer Sleeveless Mini Sexy Bodycon Tank Club Dress Black

Mini dresses are defined by their short hemlines, which makes them perfect for summer wear. These dresses can have any style of neckline or sleeve but it’s common to find mini dresses in sleeveless and tank styles because they lend themselves so well to summer fashion.

Add a belt to any mini dress to help define your waist and introduce different colors into your overall outfit. Mini dresses are meant to be casual or semi-formal, which gives you a lot of room to get creative and play with different colors and textures when you’re styling your look.


BTFBM Women Casual Dress Crew Neck Ruched Summer Sleeveless Tank Bodycon Shirt Short Mini Dresses (106Stripe, Medium)

Sheath dresses are meant to fit close to the body, hugging the curves. These dresses hug the body from torso to hem, which ends at or just above the knee. Since sheath dresses are made to fit close to the body anyway, adding a belt can be a great little touch. This is a good way to add color to a shift dress, perhaps to pick up the color of the shoes or the jewelry that’s being worn with the dress. A belt can also break up the line of the dress a bit. This is useful for tall women who want to de-emphasize their height. It’s also a good way to make the waist look smaller and emphasize the curves of the bust and the hips.


ECOWISH Womens V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Bowknot Backless Sleeveless Lace Mini Swing Skater Dress Pink-1 Large

Skater dresses have a distinct silhouette with a tight-fitting bodice, cinched waist and a short, flaring skirt. The skirt flares out wide over the hips but has a short length, which makes the skater dress perfect as a summer garment. Because this dress is already made to cinch the waist, you can always add a belt to add another layer of interest to this dress.

T Shirt

BTFBM Women's V-Neck Short Sleeve Dresses Solid Color Casual Loose Fit T-Shirt Tunic Short Dress Pajamas Striped Print(Black, Small)

Styled to look like oversized T shirts, T shirt dresses are perfect candidates for being belted and they are great casual summer dresses. T shirt dresses look great with sandals or heels. Match your shoes to your belt to add a touch of glam to any T shirt dress. The dress will still be somewhat loose and baggy but you can still emphasize your waist. Your waist will look even smaller thanks to the loose fit of the T shirt dress. This dress style was truly made to be embellished with a belt.

Summer Dresses You Shouldn’t Belt

Some summer dresses are styled in a way that they can’t be worn with a belt. In fact, a belt would simply ruin them and destroy the overall design and look of these dresses. These are all great choices for summer wear but they are terrible choices for wearing with a belt. Wear these summer dresses as often as you like but when you do, don’t add a belt with them.


BTFBM Women Casual Dress Crew Neck Ruched Summer Sleeveless Tank Bodycon Shirt Short Mini Dresses (106Black, Medium)

Bodycon dresses are made to be tight all over, hugging your body from top to bottom. These dresses have to be short, usually no longer than knee length, because they are so tight. The tight fit and lightweight fabric used to make bodycon dresses is suited to hot summer weather. This is a great dress to choose for any semi-formal summer evening event. And because it’s meant to show off your figure, you definitely shouldn’t add a belt. Bodycon dresses are meant to be worn just as they are.


Wkior Short Sleeve Dress for Women V Neck Casual Loose Flowy Swing Shift Dresses Black XL

Shift dresses came to fame in the 1960s. These dresses are made to hang straight down the body, just skimming over the curves to fall in a clean sweep. Shift dresses are short, typically ending above the knee. These dresses are meant to fit loosely and obscure the figure. They have high necklines and no sleeves. Belting a shift dress won’t work. These dresses are designed to stay loose so belting the defeats the style completely.


SheIn Women's Sexy Tie Backless Sleeveless Leopard Satin Short Mini Cami Dress Mint Green X-Small

Slip dresses are thin and lightweight, usually made in silk or satin. They are made in a tank style or have spaghetti straps and fit close to the body, though not tight. Slip dresses are made to be just a little bit loose and they are made to stand alone, with no accessories. Because slip dresses are so delicate and because they’re designed to drape on the body a certain way, adding a belt will ruin the look of this dress completely.


ZESICA Women's Bohemian Floral Printed Wrap V Neck Short Sleeve Split Beach Party Maxi Dress

The simple wrap dress is a go-to choice for any season. In a lightweight material with a shorter hem, wrap dresses are perfect for daytime or evening summer wear. Wrap dresses are long pieces of fabric that you wrap around yourself. Because of the way these dresses are styled, they almost always have a belt included. If you add another belt on top of this, it will compromise the lines of the dress. Wrap dresses are made to be worn exactly as designed, so you don’t need to add a belt.

How Should You Wear a Belt with a Summer Dress?

There are tons of different options when it comes to picking out a belt to wear with your summer dress. First, what material of belt will you choose? Belts are made in every type of material there is, from metal and wood to fabric and leather to plastic and just about anything else you can think of. What about color, patterns and other belt style considerations?

Red dress plain background

It’s a lot to think about. So when you’re going to wear a belt with a summer dress, keep a few styling tips in mind and create a much better-looking outfit overall.


The material of your belt matters. If you’re wearing a delicate, sleek silk dress, slapping a thick denim belt on top of that might look a little weird. Match the material of the belt to the material of the dress. Lightweight silk and satin dresses should be worn with a metal or a fabric belt in the same or a very similar material to the dress. Coarser fabrics, such as cotton and polyester, can be worn with leather belts and belts made with tougher fabric, such as corduroy.


When considering a color for your belt, you have two options that both have a broad range of possibilities. You can always precisely match the color of your belt to your dress. If your dress is patterned and made up of more than one color, pick the dominant shade and wear a belt in this hue. You can also choose to wear a belt that contrasts with the dress. For example, finish off a black dress with a bright white belt or a yellow dress with a bold purple. This creates a visual disharmony that automatically draws the eye. Contrast can be used very effectively in fashion. Play around with it and see how you like it.

Belting Dresses

Get a lot of belts made in different materials and colors to play around with wearing belts with dresses. Stick to basic style tips to get some good ideas about how to wear a belt with a dress the right way. the more you play around with the combination, the more you will find looks that work well for you. How should you wear a belt with a summer dress? You know enough now to get started with creating looks that allow you to play around with this fashion combination.


There are lots of different styles of summer dresses and even more different types of belts to play around with when you’re feeling bold with your style. So if you still have questions bout how to pair these two items well, it’s no wonder. Lots of people have the same questions. Get the answers to the most commonly asked questions about pairing summer dresses with belts and you’ll get to know how to wear this combination like a true style expert.

Orange dress white background

Can you wear a summer dress in the winter?

Though it’s a bit difficult to pull off and can leave you feeling pretty cold if it’s not done the right way, you can wear a summer dress even in the winter. And when you do yes, you can also wear a belt with your summer dress even when you’re wearing it in the off season.

The trick to wearing summer dresses in the winter is by using them as layers. Wear thick leggings, tall boots, a long-sleeved undershirt and a jacket or long-sleeved shirt under or over the dress, along with your coat and other winter outerwear. You will need to use layers to give yourself warmth and insulation because summer dresses definitely aren’t made to take on the winter weather.

Where can you wear a summer dress?

Summer dresses are a great go-to item for any summer event or activity. Where you can wear a summer dress? Everywhere. Summer dresses are perfect for the beach, picnics, pool parties, evenings out with friends, days running errands and yes, even the office. When styled the right way, a summer dress can take you anywhere to do anything. And if you tule it well, you will certainly turn heads everywhere you go while you’re wearing it. Knowing when and when not to add a belt is the first step in styling your summer dresses like a true fashionista.

What shoes work best with a summer dress?

One of the great truths about wearing summer dresses is that they work beautifully with a variety of different shoe types. Summer dresses pair beautifully with sandals, high heels of all kinds, ballerina flats, flip flops and any shoes you have in your closet that are a little bit open and airy. You can also easily wear summer dresses with canvas shoes. In fact, some styles of summer dresses look absolutely fantastic with no show socks and canvas tennis shoes. This is a great finisher for T shirt dresses.

You can even style your summer dresses with combat boots, a look that was hugely popular in the 1900s. Many people gave this look a shot and it was seen quite often in urban cityscapes where people are constantly playing with different elements of fashion. The only thing you might not want to wear with your summer dresses is heavy winter boots. This will look a bit strange and it will also make your feet feel hot, which will just make you feel hot all over. This is not practical when you’re dressing for the summer heat. Stick to the lightweight, airy shoes instead and you won’t go wrong.

Should you wear a skinny belt or a wide belt?

What about the thickness of belts? Which type should you wear? This is one of the most common questions about wearing belts and that’s because it’s actually pretty difficult to know which thickness of belt is going to work best for you. When it comes to choosing the thickness of the belt, don’t go by the style of summer dress you’re wearing. Base the thickness of the belt on your body shape.

If you have a larger bust, go with a thinner belt. If your bust is not as large, a wide belt will suit you well. This will make your waist look even smaller so this helps to emphasize your bust. If you have slim hips, you can wear your belt a little lower to make your torso look longer. If you have wider hips, keep the belt around your natural waist.


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