+ Tips and Tricks

All About Belts, Part II: Size Matters

I was blessed with a tiny natural waist.  So tiny that XS belts are often too big, and I was clueless about how to solve this problem until Jean at Extra Petite showed me the light. 

This gnarly-looking contraption is a belt hole puncher.  It allows you to resize your belts yourself without damaging them.  This model is the one I own, it’s $23.  However, Jean at Extra Petite found hers at Michael’s Crafts for under $10.

When you resize your belt, you often end up with a long tail of unused belt.  You can take the belt to a cobbler or leather worker and they will trim and resize the belt for you.  I took mine to a cobbler near 17th and R, and he charged me $12 per belt. 

If you’re in a bind and need a quick fix, you can use tape.  That’s right, tape.  The two-sided tape used to hold v-neck dresses in place works best.  But if you don’t have any of the packing tape or masking tape works best, just make sure it’s either clear or the same color as the belt.

If none of these options appeal to you, you can also learn to tie the belt into different knots.  But that, ladies is another post.  So check back tomorrow to learn some cool ways to tie the tail of your belt.


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  1. KC says:

    Recently I've been buying adjustable skinny belts like this one: https://www.thelimited.com/detail/contrast-edge-skinny-belt/1008076, which adjust in the back so I can wear the same belt above my hips with pants, or at my natural waist over a sweater without having the long loose end problem. The belt adjusts in the back so it's always the perfect size, and the way it adjusts doesn't look bad if it's exposed.

    February 8, 2012/Reply
  2. Catherine says:

    cool. this visual is pretty nice too (in addition to extra petite's fabulous overview) https://www.thestylementors.com/blog/2011/11/22/4-ways-to-knot-a-belt.html

    February 8, 2012/Reply
  3. little b says:

    Holy. Moly. As someone with a tiny, belts-dont-fit waist, MY LIFE IS CHANGED. Thanks!

    February 8, 2012/Reply
  4. r says:

    If you buy belts at Nordstom, they will tailor them for free

    February 8, 2012/Reply
  5. Ms. C says:

    A few other options for extra long belts…

    I have a few belts that I wear at both my natural waist and with pants. To keep the long tail in check when worn at the natural waist, you can remove the leather strap (the leather loop that tames those long ends) from cheap target belts, use super glue to refasten them into the loop shape, and slide them on other belts. With the whole colorblocking trend going strong, this look is actually really appealing (think camel sweater, brown belt, and pink leather strap).

    Another trick in a pinch — i.e. if I want to wear a belt I've already punched a new hole in but have not yet taken to the tailor — is to use a small, clear hair elastics to keep the longer tail under wraps. Because they are clear and thin, the elastic is not at all noticeable. Not the most polished look but it works.

    February 8, 2012/Reply
  6. s-p-s says:

    Love using my belt hole puncher! I tend to buy black velcro to secure the tail to the belt. . . works well, and no one's the wiser beause the velcro is hidden inside.

    February 9, 2012/Reply
  7. Anon says:

    Oh my goodness, I had no idea such a thing existed! For over a decade, I have gone outside with a hammer, a nail, and heavy weights, to a seam in the sidewalk or driveway to hammer a new hole into my belt. (Position the belt over the seam, weight the sides of the belt, and hammer the nail down into the sidewalk seam.) My life is now made incredibly easier!

    February 9, 2012/Reply
  8. Maylon says:

    https://vimeo.com/17607723 <—-Sydney from the Daybook also has some cute belt-knotting/scarf-tying tutorials.

    February 9, 2012/Reply
  9. Emma says:

    Yay I love Jean! I love how she shows you exactly how to tie it with the step-by-step video. SO helpful. Kendi Everyday ties her belts in some pretty ways, too!

    February 9, 2012/Reply
  10. Lucille says:

    @Catherine I've seen that style mentor belt tutorial pinned more times than I can count! Love how they include pictures and a written description

    February 9, 2012/Reply