Big Buckle Belts

Big Buckle Belts
Thursday, January, 19, 2012 As ladies who own more belts than we care to count, we immediately approved of today's large accessory idea: big buckle belts! Acting more as a statement piece than merely a waist-defining accent, belts with oversized buckles are officially taking center stage this season and becoming the much-deserved focal point of looks both on and off the runways. Fashionphiles like Byrdie Bell and Rooney Mara embrace anything-but-basic belts, using them to punctuate solid-colored frocks or break up architectural separates, and we think you should too! So buckle up, dear readers, because today's Accessory Report promises to be a very stylish ride!

Though an assortment of big buckles surfaced on the spring runways, we first took notice of this smart accessory trend while perusing the Celine Resort 12 collection. Designer Phoebe Philo showed the covetable Black Wide Buckle Large Belt ($940, 305.866.1888) in a number of notable looks, but we were particularly fond of how she used it to split up the color block design of the Jungle Plonge Medium Length Dress ($5800, 305.866.1888), shown above. The frock's streamlined silhouette allows the generously proportioned buckle to remain the focus of the outfit, resulting in a very contemporary, uptown-meets-downtown look.

As evidenced by today's style-minded set, big buckle belts are becoming quite popular off the runways too! The trend is popping up everywhere from fashion fetes to glamorous red carpets, and we're completely enamored with the way some of our favorite tastemakers are addressing it. Some ladies, like Byrdie Bell and British model Dani Smith, use these oversized accents to stylishly nip in their free-flowing frocks. For example, at an art bash in Miami last month, Bell cinched the waist of her vintage slip dress with Yves Saint Laurent's Patent Square Buckle Belt ($445). The shiny patent leather and considerable square buckle stand out against the frock's minimalist design and understated fabric, while perfectly complementing the leather jacket's tough-girl vibe. Smith also kept the attention on her big buckle at a cocktail party for BLK DNM back in November. We love how her white belt almost blends in with her white vintage shirtdress, ensuring the silver half-moon shaped buckle stays in the spotlight.

Of course, if you consider yourself more of a separates kind of girl, then we recommend looking to the uber-stylish Rooney Mara and Cara Delevingne for some exceptional how-to-wear guidance! At the 12th annual AFI Awards in Beverly Hills last week, Mara picked Lanvin's black matte and waxed leather belt from the Pre-Fall 12 collection to accompany her architectural top and skirt combo, specifically a beige and black satin duchesse top and neoprene skirt (also from Lanvin Pre-Fall 12). The big buckle perfectly accentuates the fashion-forward ensemble. Accolades are also in order for the way British model Delevingne incorporated Burberry's Caiman Detail Belt ($1295) into her outfit at the 20th anniversary party of Dazed and Confused magazine back in November. Worn with slim American Apparel leggings and a cropped AllSaints tuxedo blazer, the big belt lends definition to the overall look.

Now that we've given you a handful of inspirational outfit ideas to work with, we'd like to introduce you to some must-buy belt options to add to your wardrobe. First up is Banana Republic's Leather Contour Belt ($50), which comes in a beautiful chocolate brown hue, as well as black, and features a silver rectangular buckle. The belt itself is on the slimmer side, so it's perfect for a pair of high-waisted jeans! We also approve of Linea Pelle's Wide Waist Belt ($198), which not only features a large gunmetal buckle, but also offers some textural intrigue with inlaid chain detailing. Additionally, both Lauren by Ralph Lauren's Patent Stretch Belt ($38) and Cole Haan's Military Wide Belt ($98) are great picks, especially if you seek to define the waist of your dress.

If you can invest a little more, we have a feeling you're going to flip for our fabulous designer selections too! Yves Saint Laurent's Suede Belt ($425) in Red is sure to bring a nice pop of color to any look, as well as Ralph Lauren Collection's turquoise Suede Belt ($250) and Fausto Pugsli's lime green Silk Satin on Smooth Leather Belt ($430). However, if it's a neutral style you're after, please check out Donna Karen's Leather Icon Belt ($595) and Prada's Saffiano Waist Belt ($470) in Caramel. Finally, let's discuss the piece at the top of our wish list: Oscar de la Renta's Whipstitched Leather Belt ($850). In our opinion, the navy and white woven detail makes for one truly splurge-worthy big buckle belt, and would make anything you cinch look ultra chic!-Jessica Baker

Photos of Rooney Mara and Cara Delevingne, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Dani Smith, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency.
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