Wide, Tight Belts

All enlargeable

  Ildiků writes:

"Some interesting pictures from the 'Berlinale' Film Festival (8 – 18 February 2007, Germany). Wide belts seem to be
back! On the opening ceremony, moderator Charlotte Roche gave her outfit a special note with a brown leather wide belt:"


Giorgio writes:

"This week's fashion show (February 2007) in Milano
seems to confirm the assumption.
Here are two pictures from Dolce & Gabbana."

Ed: Good sign - they are as wide as corsets!

              (above L)  Italian singer Rihanna   (R) Jennifer Lopez

(above L) Janet Jackson (LC) Beyonce Knowles - 2007 Black Entertainment Awards  (R)  Keira Knightly in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

It seems to us that a company like Victoria's Secret could have
gotten a model whose waist was small enough to accommodate it!


Naomi Campbell wears a gown with the same very wide metal belt upon exiting her 'community service' duties on the fifth and final day of her term (In 2007 she was assigned such for throwing a cell phone at her maid). Click here for detail.


Seems the 2007 cincher fashion started earlier than we thought...

October 2005 Cover Girl (makeup) cover

Courtesy Sugarbarre


Michelle Yeoh in a padlocked metal corset/belt
at the 2007 Venice Film Festival.


Provided by Christian

Aarkey's blog page deals with this subject, featuring plenty of pictures

Articles about wide steel belts, a popular topic featured on LISA in 2008: #1    #2

(above left) Giselle BŁndchen (R)
FX Mode)

Japanese pop singer-songwriter

 Ayumi Hamasaki

in a 'locking' Dolce & Gabbana wide metal belt

Courtesy Aarkey


Dutch model Lara Stone wearing the one-time ubiquitous
Dolce & Gabbana 'locking' belt

Other model, on right, unidentified



Charles S.:

"I am intrigued by the lady's belt fastening ...
could it be made to lock, do you think?"



Roger K:

Here's how I interpret the unusual belt in the photo above:

"The slot in the free end was meant for a ring in the belt underneath it to be slipped through and flipped so it would act as a keeper. It could have been affixed to the belt with two small loops on its sides--that way its height would be the same as 
the other rings on the belt. One can see permanently attached rings on both sides of the free end, which would have made the keeper-ring 'fit in' as another, similar belt-decoration.

"Here's some background on belts in the Victorian era. I've inferred this from looking through a half-dozen Dover-reprint books on Victorian-era fashions, so I have probably made some wrong guesses, which I encourage readers here to correct.

"Belts were often used to hang things from, such as fans, purses, keys, watches, scissors, lorgnettes, muffs, artificial flowers, bunched-up ribbons, etc. Several small items were sometimes hung together from a 'chatelaine,' which was in turn hung from
a belt-hook.

"Add-on 'belt-hooks' were sometimes used--these either hooked over the belt or slid down onto it. Sometimes belts came equipped with one already, in a style matching the 'keeper' that held down the free end of the belt (after it passed through the buckle), which made them less conspicuous when they were not in use as hooks. I.e., they were at least decorative--and artistic, in balancing the keeper on the other side.

"One rarely sees drawings or paintings of Victorian women carrying purses--that's because they often hung them from their belts. (But belt-hung purses didn't look artistic, which (I suspect) is why most illustrations omitted them.)

"In order to handle such a load without distortion, belts needed to be wide and tight. And wide, tight belts are uncomfortable without a corset beneath them to prevent them from cutting into the body. If there is a corset revival, one of its practical advantages will be that women can free themselves from purse-carrying (or from using a belly-pack or fanny-pack) and return to using belt-hooks as carriers for purses (and other objects, via chatelaines)."

[later] "Just noticed some important details that I’d missed before. First, what I called the 'free end' of the belt (the portion in the light) is actually a metal mounting that is attached to the belt with a rivet near the tip of its oval end. Further, it continues unbroken into the shadow to its left (from the viewer’s vantage point) until it terminates in a matching oval-end-with-rivet. It is about five inches long and constitutes a 'false front' - the actual belt buckle must be hidden beneath it.

"The technique was employed back then. A belt with a hidden under-buckle and a large, elaborate false-front buckle is shown on page 42 of Victorian Fashion Accessories by Dover Books. (The implication of the false buckle’s long prongs was that the belt was pulled in an inch further in order to fasten it, hinting that the wearer could have worn a tighter belt if she wanted to show off!) "Other belts with 'hardware-appeal' can be found on page 15 of the same book (a pair of fetishy metal links and mountings interrupt the belt on both sides) and page 235 of Victorian Fashions & Costumes from Harper’s Bazar: 1867–1898.

"Second, there are three slots (not one) in the false front, the rightmost two empty.

"Third, there is a small watch hanging upside down from the leftmost slot. (I can’t see how it’s attached—maybe with a spring clasp on its back that slides into the slot.) A chain attached to its stem hangs down about a half-inch below the belt, then loops up and attaches somehow to the upper center of the metal front, just inside the shadow.

"All this “visual interest” gave a guy an excuse to stare at a gal’s waist—which may have been its real purpose!"

Richard M.:

"I enlarged the photo of the belt to 31meg pixels and lightened, and it appears to be a leather belt with Flexible band attached about 1" wide, the belt 2" wide; There appears to have a loop, like for a padlock. There is a ring through the loop like a
key ring, which is attached to the belt. The plate visible on the front has three positions, about 1"/1.25" apart.  If locked on would be hard to remove without destroying the belt."


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