Belts for all, belts forever.

By | April 15, 2009

Someday, I hope in the near future, I will get back to reliably contributing thinky content to this blog, and not just mindless consumerism.

Until then, however, I’d like to talk about belts.

For EVER, I thought I could not wear belts. (There are, no doubt, folks who would argue that I still can’t/oughtn’t wear belts, but they don’t get to me.) My individual antibelt position was based on my decidedly apple-like shape – belts, I thought, were for folks who had defined waists, or at least curvier hips than mine, or at least folks who were less overtly BIG FAT in the middle than I. I felt like they drew unwanted attention to my waistlessness, or if not to that, to the belly-rolls under by nonexistent waistline. Sometime over the past year or so (click here for an early belting experiment from January 2008), I’ve changed my belt posture. I am now a positive fatties-in-belts evangelist. Here’s some seriously ridiculous proof:


1. Not so flashy today, 2. Damned Red Tights., 3. That’s a yawn, not a sneeze., 4. Ronald McDonald, 5. Wobble., 6. Representin’, 7. Stompy, 8. Cooler heads prevail, 9. My inner eggplant, 10. Delayed reaction, 11. Conquering the flash., 12. Hmm, 13. Ah-choo, 14. “So you think you can stone me / and spit in my eye”, 15. No costume., 16. Black capricorn day, 17. Oh, well., 18. Time, 19. Cookies are delicious., 20. Paging Mr. Herman

… and that ain’t even all of them.

Some of my favorite belt resources*:

1. Steel Toe Studios: I have three leather belts and four buckles from STS and cannot say enough good things about them. The proprietor is blacksmith/designer Erica Gordon and she has never been anything but fabulous about custom-sizing belts for me. Though the goods are not cheap, everything from STS is extraordinarily well made, wears like iron, and in my experience, worth every damn penny. STS also has an Etsy shop now, where they offer one-offs and sale items.

2. Speaking of Etsy, iamErica will cheerfully custom-size any of her gorgeous handmade obi-inspired sash belts for you. I’m particularly fond of this style of tie belt, since it’s easy to adjust for the best combination of fit and comfort.

3. A new source of belts I’ve just discovered is Viktor Sabo’s eBay shop (link goes to a search of all items identified as “plus size”). Viktor Sabo is located in Canada, and makes plus-sized leather wrap belts in a variety of lengths. The belts are lightweight and super-soft; I chose a 112″ belt to wrap twice around my 48″ waist and still have slack enough left to tie, and I’l glad I did, since the soft leather stretches quite a bit. This option is also quite the bargain – most belts start at US$9.99 – particularly so if you buy more than one, as the proprietors will ship up to four belts for the flat Canada-to-US shipping fee of US$10.

4. A belt-maker I’ve not yet tried, but who has responded in the affirmative when last I inquired about custom sizing, is RADCOW on Etsy. They’ve got some incredible hand-tooled options; the only thing holding me back at this point is deciding which one I like best.

Of course, those of you with access to a sewing machine (or a whole heap of patience) can also make your own sash belt, out of whatever fabric you like; this is a tremendously simple project that yields great results, and is perfect even for folks just learning to sew. You don’t even need a pattern to do it. There’s a solid tutorial on the subject here, though I am bound to mention that plus-sized bodies will need more fabric than specified in the tutorial – more still if you’d like to be able to wrap the belt around twice before tying it. I prefer my sash belts to be somewhat wider in proportion to my excellent fatness.

Got a great belt resource? Shout it out in comments below.


* I know this list is kind of leathercentric, but so am I. Sorry vegans!

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