The Unnecessary Fall Accessory Trend I Will 100% Be Buying Into

unnecessary belt trend fall 2022, models wearing clothing with extra belts


Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli; Imaxtree/Rokh; Imaxtree/Blumarine

Fashion always walks the fine line between utilitarian and decorative. On the one hand, we all need to wear clothing (unless you're into the naked look). But on the other hand, we don't necessarily "need" the It item of the season. But despite lack of necessity, style for many plays a pivotal role in how they express themselves, how they cultivate joy, and even how they support communities of color. Frivolity may seem like a significant part of fashion, but in all honesty, what you choose to buy and how much you're buying is the easiest way you can, as a consumer, show off your values (quite literally).

So, it's imperative to shop intentionally and discern which trends are worth your time. And while the choice lies with you, I'd be remiss if I didn't share at least one recent trend that's worthwhile: "extra" belts. While belts have always been an essential part of any wardrobe, fall/winter 2022 runways took them from pragmatic to idealistic and back again. It wasn't just about wearing them to hold up a pair of low-rise trousers—it was all about using styling to elevate this staple.

Belts were able to fasten together function and fashion in a way no other basic has been able to do. And to prove that point, I've scoured the runway to show five ways belts were styled this season. Whether you're looking for inspiration on how to wear your belt in new ways or want to give your basics a little something extra, by the end of this story, I can guarantee you'll be fully buckled into this trend. 

1. Built-In Belts

Coperani fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing cropped blazer with belt



Any preconceived notions you may have about belts should be left at the door now because fall/winter 2022 runways were all about using this accessory in unexpected ways. We saw that through how built-in belts became a standout trend on the runway.

Rokh fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing blazer and skirt with belts attached



While most may think of adding a belt after a look is created, many designers incorporated this accessory directly into their garments to play with silhouettes, tailoring, and embellishments. Just look at how Coperani took cropped blazers and added belts at the ribcage. Or how pleated skirts and blazers were adorned with multiple micro belts as embellishments at Rokh. And you can even look at how designers like Calvin Luo played with waistlines using built-in belts at the chest. 


Imaxtree; Calvin Luo

No matter the designer or how garments incorporated built-in belts, this "unnecessary" element took each look to the next level. It made it clear that belts don't have just to be worn around the waist—they're meant to be worn everywhere. 

Shop the trend:

Leave it to Nordstrom to have the trendiest piece on sale right now. 

It's the buckle details that are doing it for me. 

Note the layered belt buckles on the side of this miniskirt. 

The belted cuffs at the bottom of these trousers is sending me. 

NGL, I audibly gasped the first time I spotted this dress.

2. Unorthodox Styling

Roberto Cavalli fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing coat, tube top, belt and pants


Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli

If adding built-in belts is seen as unnecessary, then the second prevalent styling trend on the runway leans even further into the theme. The fall/winter 2022 runways didn't just make belts a thing again—they made wearing them in unorthodox ways appealing. 

Bon Bom fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing crop top, two belts and skirt



From Milan to Seoul to New York City, there was no shortage of belts on the runway. But instead of a focus on functionality, these belts served no purpose other than ornamental value. Belts were placed over bare stomaches (see Roberto Cavalli and BonBom) or multiple belts layered together (look at Miu Miu or Peter Do's collections).  It was a departure from the old way of wearing belts to help with sizing and silhouette to really focus on the styling itself.

Peter Do fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing three belts over maxi skirt


Courtesy of Peter Do

And while these belts may not be serving a function per se, they're still serving a look nonetheless. Proving that belts don't have to be worn one way to do their job. 

Shop the trend:

Pair this with trousers and a crop top for an edgy date-night look.

Don't be afraid to stack on the belts. 

Pro tip: Opt for thin belts if you're going to layer them. 

The great thing about this belt is that it looks like three separate straps, but it's actually one. 

Throw this over your favorite button-down to spice it up. 

3. Hip Huggers

Blumarine fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing a belt over a leather mini skirt


Courtesy of Blumarine

While fall/winter 2022 collections championed interesting ways of styling belts, there were also more approachable takes too. See, for example, the return of low-slung belts that hug the hips. 

Diesel fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing a denim mini skirt and chain belt



While other belt styles may seem more challenging to adopt, this style is arguably the easiest to embrace this fall. In part, that's because this accessory is more relaxed in fit compared to other styles. But really, it all comes down to the fact that a hip-hugging belt is a perfect accessory to pair with the season's trendiest separates, and proof of that fact lies on the runway. 

Tod's fall 2022 runway look, Bella Hadid wearing leather maxi skirt and low belt


Courtesy Tod's

You can look at how low-slung belts adorned miniskirts at Blumarine and Diesel or how Tod's styled a leather maxi skirt with a belt too. Every instance this belt showed up on the runway reminded us that adding a belt can make the pieces we love most even better. 

Shop the trend:

Pair this with a tweed miniskirt to give off Chanel vibes. 

This belt is at the top of my wish list. 

The buckle on this belt is so beautiful. 

Imagine this belt over a miniskirt. Cute, right? 

Pro tip: Size up if you want a belt that will rest a little looser on your hips. 

4. Corset Belts

Altuzarra fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing sweater dress and belt


Courtesy Altuzarra

Anyone that's been following trends for the past few seasons is probably already aware of how corsets have managed to take over the runway and the street style scene. So it's only a natural progression that we'd begin to see corset belts make a comeback too. 

Dior fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing corset belt blazer



From built-in corset belts at Dior and Christian Siriano to waist corset belts at Altuzarra and Tory Burch, this style was a prevalent part of fall/winter 2022 collections. And frankly, I'm not mad about it. 

Christian Siriano fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing head-to-toe denim and corset


Courtesy of Christian Siriano 

There's no better accessory in my mind regarding fall fashion than this belt. It's not only the perfect evolution of the corset trend, but for anyone that's hoping to show off their figure this fall without actually showing skin, this accessory is the move. 

Shop the trend:

Zara always understands the assignment. 

Now, here's a belt worth saving for. 

Add this to a sweater to give it some shape this fall. 

Throw this over a dress or coat and watch how it makes your look 10 times better. 

The tie detail on this belt is so pretty. 

5. Back to The Basics

Stella McCartney fall 2022 runway look woman wearing denim top and belt


Courtesy of Stella McCartney

You've made it to the end of this story, and by now, it should be abundantly clear that belts are back and bigger than ever this fall. And while there are so many ways to embrace this accessory, possibly the easiest way is to revert back to the basics and embrace a high-waisted belt. 

Y/Project fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing button-down top, belt and skirt


Imaxtree/ Y/Project

Of course, the high-waisted belt is a staple, but that doesn't mean it has to be stale. If fall/winter 2022 runways tried to teach us anything, it's that the key to making belts feel fresh is to be unafraid to pair them with unexpected pieces. For example, you can take a cue from Stella McCartney and pair a belt with a head-to-toe denim look, or pair a thin statement belt with a printed button-down similar to how Y/Project did. Or you can draw inspiration from ACNE Studios and play with proportions by styling a pair of baggy high-waisted pants with a belt. 

Acne Studios fall 2022 runway look, woman wearing tank, high jeans and belt


Courtesy of Acne Studios 

Ultimately, it's all about leaning into exploration when it comes to embracing belts. If you're able to give yourself the freedom to play, you'll find that this accessory could become a necessary part of your fall wardrobe. 

Shop the trend:

You'd never guess this belt wasn't designer. 

Designer belts are the easiest way to make any outfit look more expensive. 

Trust me when I say you'll wear this all the time.