Answer to a reader question...

Lovely summer combo! I'm having issues with belts. I've tried the open cardigan over a dress or top and belting it and adding a belt to tops like you have done with this one, but when I do it, my hips look a mile wide. I'm wondering if it's the positioning of the belt and if I should wear it a bit higher. What's your advice? I really like how belts can dress up an outfit or pull it together, but it makes my hips look so wide. Also how do you keep a belt from moving all around if you add one to a top or dress that doesn't have belt loops? Thanks!

Thank you for your kind comment!

Belts will accentuate your hips, but in so doing your waist will look itty bitty--that's a pretty good trade off in my opinion! However, if you're shy about showing off your hips, I would only belt a dress or skirt that is gathered and avoid belting cardigans over the tops.  Or, you could try belting a voluminous top that creates a peplum shape when belted. The peplum shape can sometimes camouflage the hips depending on your exact body shape. Also, if the cardigan or top hits higher on your hip, instead of the hem ending right at the largest part of your hips, you might see some improvement.  

image via stylelist.com - dress is Dolce & Gabana - $995 at Nordstrom

If you want to experiment more with belting tops, cardigans or jackets, try different size belts. Depending on the length of your torso, you may need to opt only for a skinny belt or a wide belt (nothing in between). Longer torsos can handle the wider belts and shorter look best with the skinny. 
 image via thebaglady.tv

To keep the belt in place you will have to wear the belt snug to your body. And then, lastly, yes, you need to wear your belt high. It should be at the smallest part of your waist, which on many women is two inches or more above the belly button. 

Good luck! And thanks for reading!