For some reason I have yet to uncover, stylists loooooove belts and would add one to every outfit if they could (and many do). Like most matters relating to style, I tend to vehemently disagree with my contemporaries, and nowhere is this more evident than on the belt issue. Here is why:
For starters, successfully incorporating a belt as an accessory (i.e. over your clothing instead of under) is very tricky business. Despite the popular opinion that a belt will accentuate the waistline, only certain body types can pull off this look. If you are remotely thicker through the middle, belting will only emphasize that feature. Assuming you have an enviable waistline, the issue then becomes where to belt; higher (right below your ribcage) middle (above your bellybutton) or lower (around the hips) all depends on the top you’re wearing and its proportions. Additionally, busty girls have to take extra caution with a higher placement, as it tends to comically accentuate your assets.
Another problem with this particular accessory is how it alters the balance of your outfit. A fabulous outfit can only contain so many working parts, all in balance. Too many accessories or pieces of jewelry or stylized details (such a rouching or draping, studs or fringe, embroidery or graphics) throw off this delicate symmetry and your look suffers as a result. Belts, as a fashion accessory, bring very little to the overall look for what you often need to sacrifice in exchange (like a scarf, a hat, or a great piece of jewelry). I would always rather see the latter in place of the former.
Finally, wearing a belt the traditional way (in pant loops) speaks to a level of rule-following that I encourage my clients (and you readers) to abandon. I’ll admit that this goes over better with some clients than others, but when they eventually try it my way, they do see that it’s not as necessary as previously deemed. However, if your outfit is lacking in accessories (turtleneck or cowlneck sweaters typically prohibit wearing a necklace or bracelet), a patent leathers skinny belt is the way to go. If you’re looking for a statement belt, Calleen Cordero is always my recommendation.
Postscript: Belts that come with clothing (jackets and dresses in particular) or, God forbid, match it, always need to be replaced. They are the cheapest part of the garment and the place the designer took the biggest shortcut.