Baggy jeans and crop tops, puddle pants and sweater vests—many of your go-to looks could likely be taken up a notch with one of the best belts. You probably forgot all about this sensible accent piece during quarantine, and we can’t blame you: The amount of fussing required to style a belt makes it easy to discard the accessory in lieu of other sartorial eye candy. (Tiny shearling bag, we see you.)
But belts are coming into their own this season, and you can thank brands like Bottega Veneta and Loewe for bringing the humble accessory back into the style zeitgeist—and mass retailers including Mango and Zara for helping it go mainstream as a must-have piece.
Influencers and A-listers are also wearing belts in ways that make even the most basic outfit feel on trend—and aren’t at all intimidating to copy if you want to get out of an existing style rut. Take, for instance, the mini logo belt, which looks on point with straight-leg denim or a long winter dress. A thicker silhouette, on the other hand, instantly adds structure to an oversized blazer or voluminous winter coat, allowing you to get more mileage out of your fall and winter essentials.
From thin leather designs to colorful woven options, belts are seemingly cooler and more versatile than ever—and there’s no denying the power they have to tie a look together (or simply solve a tricky outfit dilemma). To help you streamline your getting-dressed process, we pulled together seven no-fuss outfit formulas for styling the best belts this fall, along with our top picks to shop now.
Leather Belt + Straight-Leg Jeans
To start out on a familiar note, let’s begin with belts and jeans. This classic outfit pairing is a no-brainer to elevate one of the most hardworking pieces in your wardrobe. Opt for a semithick leather belt with hardware to keep things visually interesting. (ICYMI, the western trend is still going strong.) But there’s practicality involved here too: A belt is a solid alternative for wearing an otherwise too-loose vintage pair without requiring a trip to the tailor.