Style Glossary: Help Your Self-Belt Esteem

The Rose Menagerie Dress.

It’s been one of your eternal questions for some time now, right up there with “What is the meaning of life?” and “Coke or Pepsi?” – what is this term “self-belt” that they sometimes use in product descriptions on ModCloth?

Well happily for you, this is one undying question that has an easy answer. A self-belt is a belt composed of the same material as that of the dress it comes with, and it’s a term that harks back to 1960, a time when dresses with matching belts had been de rigeur for several years. For a visual representation of this decorous detail, check out the Rose Menagerie Dress (seen above), I See a Coat of Blue, and the Avocado Orchard Dress. Ah, there, doesn’t your mind feel at ease now?

Do you like self-belts, or do you prefer to mix and match?


About Hannah

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  1. Avatar
    Sarah 10/14/2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I love self belts!!!

  2. Avatar
    Antoinette 10/14/2010 at 6:51 pm #

    i love self belts. you can always use it for other dresses!

  3. Avatar
    constance 10/14/2010 at 7:11 pm #

    I like to put the self belt of one dress on another — and then trade the next day 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Sydney 10/14/2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Love me a self-belt dress!

  5. Avatar
    Kelsey 10/14/2010 at 10:12 pm #

    I like BOTH

  6. Avatar
    CAROLYN 10/14/2010 at 10:29 pm #


  7. Avatar
    Lizzie 10/14/2010 at 11:05 pm #

    So I’m a fan of mixing and matching…
    I have a high waist so usually where the self-belts are placed doesn’t help my figure at all! I like to wear it just that little bit higher. >_>

  8. Avatar
    Kani 10/15/2010 at 1:41 am #

    i think self belts are cute! i have a couple of vintage dresses which came with self belts and a little cute clip in the middle. i also love how with dresses that come with self belts, you can wear them two ways! either with the self belt or with a contrasting belt 🙂

  9. Avatar
    Cazzo 10/15/2010 at 2:11 am #

    That’s so cute! Though I would probably swap it for a brown belt some times 🙂

  10. Avatar
    Jenna 10/15/2010 at 4:47 am #

    I like self belts insofar as I get a free belt out of it — as for actually wearing them, I prefer to mix and match.

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    Amanda 10/15/2010 at 8:59 am #

    I definitely prefer a belt that stands out – mix and match. If a dress comes with a self belt I usually remove it and use something else.

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    Victoria / Justice Pirate 10/15/2010 at 11:49 am #

    this dress is perfectly up my ally. i have owned a few vintage dresses with self belts and love them.

  13. Avatar
    Katie 10/15/2010 at 12:00 pm #

    I feel very strongly about not wearing self belts with vintage dresses. While they are cute, I think IRL they run the risk of looking costume-y. Wearing a more modern, contrasting belt helps bring vintage dresses into the now!

  14. Avatar
    Ashelle 10/15/2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Self belts can be super cute and slimming. I like them for sweet/50s style dresses. It’s also nice to mix it up once and a while. But I sometimes have trouble finding the right mix.

  15. Avatar
    Sarahnargle 10/15/2010 at 2:19 pm #

    <3 Super awesome self-belts.

  16. Avatar
    Roxanne 10/16/2010 at 9:39 am #

    I think self belts work best on coats, but when it comes to dresses, mix it up!

  17. Avatar
    Rachael 10/18/2010 at 11:04 am #

    I love both! I often make quickie self-belts for dresses that I alter. After chopping up and resewing an old ’80s ugly frock, I’ll just take a piece of the snipped-off fabric left over from shortening the dress and tie it around my waist! Bonus: Flowy fabrics = no hemming required 🙂
    <3 Modcloth and the blog!

  18. Avatar
    Emily 10/19/2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Depends on the dress, but I love self belts!

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