Metal belts may have once been the providence of superheroes and wrestling champions, but in recent months, they've managed to find their way around the waists of some of fashion's most stylish ladies. It's not surprising, given the accessory's completely modern look and red carpet appeal, plus its figure-flattering capabilities go without saying. A little bit sci-fi, slightly rock 'n' roll, and very glamorous all at the same time, metal belts are not merely a statement piece, they're winter's new necessity too!
On the Runway
Before this accessory idea hit big on the red carpet, it made its striking debut on the fall runways. At the Calvin Klein Collection show, designer Francisco Costa directed his focus on the waist, nipping in thick woolly dresses and leather outerwear, like the Onyx Pebbled Plongee Double Breasted Coat ($4595) shown above, with the Hammered Silver Wide Belt (price upon request, 212.292.9000). The sleek belt mimics the collection's clean lines and tough fabrics, adding an extra dose of edge to each look.
On the Red Carpet and at Events
WHO: Bella Heathcote
WHAT: At the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund event in Los Angeles late last month.
WEAR: Prabal Gurung dress and belt from S/S 13; Salvatore Ferragamo clutch; Prada pumps.
WHY: A thick metal belt tempers the sweetness of a delicate ruffled frock for an unexpectedly chic result.
WHO: Leelee Sobieski
WHAT: Arriving at the Christian Dior S/S 13 show during Paris Fashion Week.
WEAR: Christian Dior Red Cashmere Bar Coat with Metal Belt (price upon request), and heels from Haute Couture F/W 12.
WHY: When cinching the waist of a hot-hued dress coat, a reflective belt takes center stage.
WHO: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
WHAT: Making a stylish appearance at a screening of Smashed in Los Angeles last month.
WEAR: Jonathan Saunders dress from Pre-Fall 12; vintage belt; Heather Bell Co. clutch; Camilla Skovgaard heels.
WHY: Edgy accents, such as an industrial-inspired metal belt and metallic leather heels, ground a ladylike silhouette.
WHO: Mandy Moore
WHAT: Walking the red carpet at the third annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles last month.
WEAR: Lela Rose Resort 13 dress; Nicholas Roxanne Silver Plate Belt ($120); Christian Louboutin heels.
WHY: A thin metal belt adds a touch of modern toughness to a lacy frock.
WHO: Olivia Palermo
WHAT: Posing for photos at the Montblanc L'Aubrac Collection luncheon in Paris last month.
WEAR: Armani Exchange jacket; Jolie top; Tibi Violette Baroque Lace Print Silk Pencil Skirt ($364); metal-plate belt; BCBGMaxazria clutch; Manolo Blahnik heels.
WHY: A metal belt breaks up a mix of prints, while bringing attention to the waist.
No stylish wardrobe should be without this accessory this winter, which is why we've gathered an assortment of styles to help you find the perfect one. Skinny When working with a flowy frock, go for a svelte belt, like Topshop's Skinny Clean Metal Belt ($36), Mango's Metal Plaque Belt ($30), or Free People's Heavy Metal Belt ($28). Not only will it give you a nice shape, the reflective sheen will add a contemporary touch to whatever you're wearing. Wide Heavy-duty wide versions are perfect for belting a coat or thicker material, like wool or leather. If that's what you're looking for, we recommend Matthew Williams' Metal Waist Belt ($825), Saint Laurent's Corset Metal Belt ($1550), or Nicholas' Roxanne Rose Gold Plate Belt ($180). Bow-Bedecked Finally, our vote for best holiday pick goes to ASOS' Metal Plate Bow Waist Belt ($26), which is sure to give any merry look a sweet finish.--Jessica Baker