Dressing Well Without Chanel; Accessories Join The Fun

Image courtesy The Daily Prep

Let us today imagine our off-duty moments. Our retired, weekend, working from home moments. Or vacations.

In that light, consider the virtues of a fabric belt.

Long appreciated by traditionalists, I believe this accessory deserves more time on the field. (And yes, I have been watching all the episodes of Friday Night Lights in one fell swoop.) The other day I was reading The Daily Prep, as one does, following the voyages of Muffy Aldrich. She lives in Maine, and blogs about the New England way of life, and the small businesses that still, well, do business out her way. Most recently, she took us to Eliza B.

As is often true of prep-style retail goods, styled with a little rumple they indulge our inner Artsy Cousin. For example, Eliza’s Design Your Own belts.

Here’s a finished model.

Eliza B. Fabric Belt

Quite traditional prep, what with the bamboo buckle, bright colors, et. alia. One could imagine the Grande Dame wearing this with white jeans, on an island in the Swedish Archipelago.

The Sturdy Gal would pull together something like this for Christmas, or Thanksgiving. She believes wide wale cords are underrated.

But if you want, as I do, to indulge your inner Artsy Cousin, drift sideways just a bit. For example.

Sturdy Gals will throw on khakis and a white tee, come the weekend, come hell or high water. Nowt to be done about that.

How about this combination? Sturdy Gals wear boyfriend jeans with or without a boyfriend anywhere in sight.

I have never been able to wear scarves with aplomb. Something about too much color and pattern close to my face. Belt experiments seem safer. After all, that which holds up our pants must be Sturdy to the core, thus especially ready for a little whimsy now and then.

Images, except the Eliza B. fabrics and buckles:
Dark green cords
L.L. Bean white long-sleeve polo

Pale blue tee
Current Elliot boyfriend jeans

J. Crew Waverly chinos
Madewell white tee

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  • I *really* like that last combination, even though it’s been awhile since I’ve felt comfortable wearing something belted.

  • When I first saw that photo from The Daily Prep I thought it was you in the picture!
    I favour the last combo myself. I really like what The Sturdy Girl likes…

  • Oh my Eliza B ~ Have belts and flip flops in many patterns. Of course from Martha’s Vineyard, where one doesn’t see much leather anything. I always feel odd wearing any of them in LA though……

  • Eliza B is hugely popular in our town! I wear her adorable flip flops in the summer!

  • I would personally love to see you wear scarves! You could pull it off beautifully, 100% guaranteed. I am hoping the belts will be a gateway :)

  • looks like a great store! thanks for sharing.

  • Not bad. In fact I wear a fabric belt with my cargos every day, a recycled one.
    But seriously, fabric belts in warm climates sound sensible : )

  • You are so funny! I love the part about wearing boyfriend jeans without a boyfriend anywhere in sight.

  • If my boyfriend wore jeans like that I would break up with him.

    Actually, if I could fit into my boyfriend’s jeans I would never leave the house.

    Though, if I had a boyfriend, my husband would be peeved.

  • I started reading the Daily Prep about a year ago, and that’s the first place I heard about Eliza B. Not only do I want some of those belts, I want some shoes as well! I love the “inner Artsy Cousin” look here in particular…

  • Practical, clean lines, but don’t any of the stereotypes miss femininity? Something more womanly?

    Thanks for listening.

  • Quite a long time since I wore a fabric belt, or any one for that matter. I like these!

  • As an enormous Privilege fan, huge Muffy Aldrich fan and big Eliza B fan, you can guess how much I loved this post. Not to mention the pink bag with the orange handles.

  • Lovely belts.

    I have a question: Are any of these belts worn beyond the warm weather months? Where I live (horse country of Virginia), one only sees this type of belt April through September.

  • Scarves are too hot in the summer so a patterned belt would be a good substitute. I like the Maya patterns or Bandana Spice – which is downright fallish looking.

  • I think you’d look lovely in a scarf! Speaking of Chanel, they’ve just opened a Chanel shoppe where I live and people are lined up outside in 32 degree heat waiting to get inside!!! Crazy. You wouldn’t think that these were Troubled Economic Times.!! xxx

  • the belt is so lovely!

  • Like the idea of having buckles to make your own belts great scope for individualism.

    Would enjoy a day browsing Eliza B….these shops are favoured by the County set here in the UK.

    I would have bought the brown croc; leather bracelets in a flash…just what I need for daily wear.

    Off to browse the 2 posts mentioned. Ida

  • This post is waisted on me I’m afraid ;)

  • I’ve been thinking about Eliza B belts ever since Muffy’s post. Glad to see I’m not the only one!

  • Same problems with scarfs! I love the colours and the patterns but i don`t feel wearing them. Too well behaved, teacheresque, so i rarely use one except with sore throat.. .

  • Jan – I love it when I find something you like.

    Hostess – I hadn’t realized that, but you’re right. Muffy does look like someone from my family:).

    kathy – I know, we don’t usually do fabric belts out here, but done with a particular style they’re kind of hip!

    quintessence – Those are quite the flip flops!

    Dawn – A gateway color drug:). We shall see!

  • Whitney – My pleasure.

    Mette – Also such an easy way to change one’s outfit without a lot of money of effort.

    Susan – Hehe. Sturdy can still be funny:).

    Patsy – Surely hubby would understand that you needed some new jeans? That the boyfriend was just a stepping stone?

    priscilla – I am trying to coax my inner Artsy Cousin out:).

  • Christine – Thanks for saying hello. You have put your finger on the nose of this. High WASP women aren’t supposed to be womanly. It goes against our culture. Kind of a silly culture, but, still, there it is.

    Duchesse – Oh good! I find them fun.

    TPP – You are our Princess:).

    Jen – Thanks. I’m in California, and we dress pretty much the same all seasons, just more layers when it gets cold. I imagine any place with cold weather is different.

    RoseAG – I like those patterns too.

  • Faux Fuchsia – Maybe some day I will Muster Up My Courage for a scarf;).

    Krimly – So glad you like it!

    Ida – It’s very much something of the County set here in the US too. Perhaps that’s a very good name for High WASPs. And something like those wrap bracelets can be found made by Chan Lu. Not quite as nice, however:).

    Rose – Hehehe.

    Raynette – I think we should all exercise our inner Artsy Cousins!

    crissa – I wear a long wool one when it’s cold.

  • I just went through all my belts and put them in two separate piles — made in the USA and made somewhere else. I only have a couple of fabric belts, and both were made in the USA. It’s an easy way to buy local!

  • I have also fallen into the “Friday Night Lights” vortex recently, quite happily so. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose – and a colorful belt can’t hurt (particularly that top one).

  • Thank you Lisa, Chan Lu is not for me.

    I have found out that Eliza B has an online shop…those beautiful wraps only cost 22 dollars!!

    Could not justify ordering only 1 item….so STILL my beating heart (sigh) Ida

  • BF apparel without a BF in sight… funny sturdy girl.:)

  • Just a correction – Muffy does not live in Maine. She lives in coastal Connecticut, although it seems her extended family has a place in or near Round Pond, Maine, so she sometimes writes about that.

    New England is such a small geographic area that you can daytrip from pretty much any part of it to any other part of it, as Muffy does frequently for her blog.