Working the statement belt look
The luxe accessory will bring a refined touch to even the most basic outfits
Nowadays, most of us rarely need a belt. With the huge range of stores and styles on offer, it's easy enough to get a pair of trousers or skirt that fits properly and won't have you worrying about it slipping down. But while there may be less demand for the practical uses of a belt, the humble accessory has undergone a renaissance to become a covetable statement piece.
We've had enormous chandelier earrings, bejewelled sunglasses and opulent bib necklaces, but as we enter the awkward transitional season, the focus is on belts.
On the catwalks, Gucci has been championing super-blingy belts as part of creative director Alessandro Michele's mismatched maximalist vision for several seasons, from luxe bum bags to the signature double-G buckle belt.
The latter has been a hit in the street style stakes, and every blogger worth their weight in 'likes' has been wrapping them around check blazers, printed dresses and jazzy trouser suits.
The Gucci belt has become an off-duty favourite among the A-list too, with Jennifer Aniston (right), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr frequently turning to the logo belt to amp up a simple T-shirt and jeans.
A statement belt offers a one-step solution to pull a basic outfit together and add that bit of extra polish. At €350, the Gucci version is really an investment piece, and while you're guaranteed to wear it forever, the high street offers a range of similarly versatile belts for a fraction of the cost, or try scouring vintage shops for an old Hermes H-buckle.
For a chic casual look, pair River Island's tan double-ring belt with a Breton stripe top and jeans, or tuck an oversized T-shirt into Mango's embossed buckle belt - it makes a statement without being shouty about it.
If you prefer a bit of flash, try a textured patent leather waist belt over a bold blouse or blazer. Zara has them in black and red too, but the navy looks more modern and is a smart choice to avoid veering into 80s costume party territory.
Looking ahead, all eyes are on the waistline for autumn-winter - as well as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors showcased cinching belts in their collections - and Isabel Marant's wide leather version is particularly flattering.
It gives loose-fitting print dresses or tops an edge, or you can use it to bring new life to outerwear, from oversized blazers to bomber jackets and wool coats.