A few years ago, it seemed like all you needed to be a cool kid was a huge, low-slung belt over your jeans. It was a good time for lazy shoppers—no need to get a changing room, just buy a bunch of crazy belts and rotate them with your old clothes day after day. Every hip boy, especially the shaggy-haired types, had a white one. And then, as quickly as it had come, it was over. A period of skinny belts followed, a trend that felt forced, like something that had been decided from above and pushed on us because they had made more than they could sell.
Many of us have been going beltless for a while now—with shirts so long, the dilemma of how to define your top from your bottom has faded like the line itself. But that’s coming to an end. This spring, shirts will stay long but belts will return, this time over tunics or dresses. Your old punk-rock belts might not work for this bohemian look. The best is a Moroccan belt, preferably vintage if you can find one. They are made up of several large leather discs with brass or silver studs, and the clasp is usually a metal disc. On eBay there are many, especially from London, with hysterical titles like “Must-have Moroccan belt for spring! So Sienna! So Kate!” Those references are to Sienna Miller, Jude Law’s fiancée, and Kate Moss, the now-mom model who is still setting trends.
But you can have the real thing, or an adequate rendition, at stores like Fab 208 ($39) and even Urban Outfitters ($48). At vintage stores, look for any belt that has a combination of brown leather and hardware and that’s long enough to be worn low, around the hips, with enough slack to hang down (off center, please). We also love the many different belts from Jocasi ($105 to $165) at Cantaloup, especially the ones with brass studs and big buckles.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 15, 2005