Absolute frustration led me to a search for belt alternatives this year. Belts are a pain, but so is constantly pulling up my pants! And I wasn’t planning to go full out suspender-mode either. Once again, necessity proved to be the mother of invention.
The problem with belts
First of all, belts haven’t been a hot fashion lately. Not that I stay on trend. I wore a belt to preschool last year and had one of the kids tell me that only boys wear belts. Thanks for the education, kid.
Secondly, they can be uncomfortable. If a belt is cinched tight enough while I’m standing, it will inevitably be squeezing my guts out while I sit. And I do a lot of sit, stand, sit, stand at work. How do I choose where to buckle it?
Thirdly, buckles. They’re cute if your shirt is tucked in. If belts were in fashion. But when they are not, your options are shirt in and everyone sees your uncool belt, or shirt out, which also isn’t the style, and the buckle rubs a hole in your shirt.
The problem of skipping a belt
Well, I’m a curvy girl. Not super curvy like Marilyn Monroe. But curvy enough that pants fitting my hips will gap on my waistline. So the waistband is even less likely to stay where it should. Skipping the belt may look nice, but I will seriously be yanking my pants up all day long.
And I can’t afford to shorten my short legs even more by wearing my crotch as low as it settles when the wide waistband slips down near my hips.
But no need to tell you all this! I’m sure you are all nodding in assent.
What would be perfect
You know what would be perfect? A stretchy waistband that didn’t look like a stretchy waistband. Or a belt that didn’t look like a belt. Or somebody to make pants that fit me.
First Belt Alternative – elastic strip
So I tried something. One desperate day of frustration I had had enough. My waistband gap is always in the back. And my shirt always covers my waistband in the back because it’s more flattering for me to shirt tuck only in the front. Why couldn’t I just tie a strip of elastic through my belt loops and knot it?
So I grabbed a 20 inch piece of 3/8 inch elastic, fed it through my back belt loops, and knotted it.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe the solution was so simple! This worked perfectly for me! Now my pants stayed where they needed to while I was standing and expanded with me while I was sitting. And I can adjust the tightness to whatever I need for the specific pair of pants.
But, did I want to do this for every single pair of jeans and pants? Or did I want to keep changing the elastic from pants to pants? The knot could be very difficult to untie after being tugged so snuggly.
I quickly developed a method for more easily removing the stubbornly tightened, elastic knot. By slipping two curved bobby pins into the knot at specific points, I was able to simply pull on the bobby pins to release the knot.
It was a little bit of a pain to be untying the elastic every night, but worth it for the results. But because I wanted to share my wondrous discovery with all of you, I thought I’d better research other options, in case this seemed too complicated.
Other belt alternatives
Besides suspenders, there are a few new nifty gizmos out there to consider as belt alternatives. All just as dumb looking as a tied string of elastic, but I guess if it’s hidden…
One method is the Skinny Clip Waistband Tightener. You slip the clip down over the waistband and twist to make a fold. You slip the other side of the clip down to hold it in place. Which just makes the whole waistband smaller, you still don’t have give when you sit, and you probably have a weird fold of fabric below the waistline. There is no adjusting the size; the fold is simply the size of your clip.
One step better is the Jean Waist Tightener. This you attach in two places along the waist and clip together. Are these weirder looking than the Skinny Clip Waistband Tightener? Somehow I feel like they are even though I didn’t think that was possible. But it might get the job done.
And I think most people are familiar with the Adjustable Waist Cinch. This elastic strip will clip onto one belt loop go through the back loops and clip to another belt loop. A pretty similar solution to the one I created with my piece of elastic.
My favorite solution
But the best belt alternative that I found was the Invisible Belt. This snaps to my front belt loops that are still usually covered by the shirt I’m wearing. Then the elastic belt holds the back and doesn’t show in front. Since the elastic is wider than my tied string-of-elastic method it stays in place better as well. I ordered it in navy to match my jeans.
Tourzoo also has another Invisible Belt that is elastic and buckles flat. I might be purchasing one of these as well. They don’t look too bad, lie flat without a bulging buckle, and come in several colors.
My only regret with the Invisible Belt – I wish I could skip the front belt loops and only utilize the side and back loops like I do with my piece of elastic. Although, the Invisible Belt adjusts, it doesn’t get small enough for me to skip the front belt loops. Still a pretty great belt alternative.
I hope my pain was for your gain! Do any of these options look like they will help? Which one is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments and be sure to share your good finds with friends.