Belts continue to be a popular look. Rodriquez estimates that 40 to 50 percent of brides at Claire’s will wear a belt with their gown. They might go for a belt that matches the color of the gown, or they might choose a neutral color belt in soft shades like champagne, silver, gold, tea rose or some other pastel. Belts are usually highly adorned with pearls, rhinestones or flowers. A brooch worn on the side of the belt is also popular.
“We have a good deal of brides who put belts on plainer dresses, but even with more ornate dresses, brides like a belt to define their waist more,” notes Kaitlin Cordingley, a bridal consultant at Claire’s.
When the gown has an empire waistline, the belt is worn right under the bust, notes Julia Cornell-Ferris, owner of Candlelight Bridal Shop in Millsboro. If the dress has a natural waistline, the belt is worn there.
“Belts are even more popular than they were when they started seven years ago,” Mitchell says. “There are so many belts to choose from. They come in satin, luxury silk, grosgrain ribbon, fully jeweled out or with lace. When you wear a belt, it makes your dress uniquely your own.”
As an alternative to a belt, some brides choose to make a statement with a brooch at the waistline, on the strap of a single-shoulder gown or holding the bustle. “A brooch gives the gown a little pop, where a belt lends more bling,” Barnes says.