How to Creatively Restyle Dress Belts

March 29th, 2009 § 15 comments

We are all big fans of wearing day dresses, and our combined closets boast quite a few dresses with tie belts. We have found that a great way to remix these dresses and to give them a different look is by adding a cardigan (also a good way to break up an all-over pattern).

The problem with putting a cardigan over a dress with a tie is that you can easily end up with an unwanted bulge around your waist. If you simply remove the tie, you loose the waist defining benefits it can provide. After some experimentation, we have found that one of our favorite looks is to wear the tie on the outside of that cardigan. Doing so maintains the figure-flattery of a belt and helps to pull a whole outfit together.

We have had a few reader questions about how we create this look — literally how we get the tie on the outside of the cardigan — and we’re happy to offer a handy photo tutorial.

If the tie is detachable (not sewn into place) you obviously just remove the tie and wrap it around the cardigan at whatever point of your waist you want to emphasize as S. did with this great geometric print dress. The added benefit of the detachable tie is that it can then be used with other outfits to add a pop of color or pattern or to simply add definition.

Now, if the belt is sewn into the dress itself, things get a bit more complicated!

The below step-by-step applies to dresses with ties attached to the back, front, or the sides.

Pull the ends of the tie towards the front of the dress:
Cross the tie in front:
Hold your cardigan in place and pull the ties around the outside of the cardigan:
Wrap ties around back:
Tie in place:

Smooth out the ties:
And you’re ready to go:
If the ties are longer you can tie in front or to the side. This method also applies to tunics or any other top with a tie that you want to layer with a cardigan.

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§ 15 Responses to How to Creatively Restyle Dress Belts"

  1. Diana says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! This makes much more sense now that I see the pictures.

  2. Sal says:

    What a fabulous idea! Thanks for the tutorial, ladies.

  3. Jane says:

    Ah so clever – I wish I’d seen this before I cut off the ties on my dresses.

  4. Kelly says:

    Such a good idea!

  5. OMG, THAT is how you do it! I never would have thought of that… thanks!!

  6. [...] a cue from the lovely academichic ladies, i tried “creatively restyling” my dress belt today. i THINK i like how it turned out, [...]

  7. Randa says:

    This is such a cute and creative idea! I never would have thought to do that, even though it seems simple.

    I thought it was so good that I had to post about it on my blog after trying it. I hope you don’t mind! I also used the last picture as an example but I credited it back to this site. Here’s a link []. If there’s any problems having it up, just let me know!

    Thanks for being such wonderful people and posting information such as this.

  8. [...] outfit with a cardi, since it is too chilly for short sleeves. I employed A.’s creative dress tie tutorial to tie the attached dress belt around the outside of the cardi:  [...]

  9. Chelsea says:

    I think this tutorial just changed my life. I must try this out soon!!! (Thanks to S. for pointing me to the tutorial, and A. for providing it!) Can you tell I’m excited?! ;)

  10. [...] on how you’re trying to style a given look. We’ve all become relatively adept at wrapping attached ties around a cardigan to avoid unwanted bumps, but sometimes I find that I want more definition — either in color or texture or width [...]

  11. Très bonne idée.
    J’aime bien.

  12. [...] outfit. Wrap them in the opposite direction from intended to prevent the outer layer from bunching. Take a peek a this post from the sadly dormant blog Academichic for a tutorial. (Image above is also from their blog, showing dress ties around a longer [...]

  13. [...]  Y’all, seriously, this feels like a nightgown, but it’s cute, right?  Thank you Academichic for the tutorial on wearing a tie back dress with a cardigan! Share this:PinterestLike this:Like [...]

  14. Neal says:

    read. I bless them with them with helium

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