6 In Getting Dressed

Turning a belt into a necklace

Using a belt as a necklace

Taking my belt out for a ride around my neck


Here’s a question for you: What do you do with the belts that are no longer big enough to go around your waist? Let’s see, is there a different way to say this?

What do you do with a belt that you loved wearing but you don’t wear belts that much anymore (perhaps the non-usage has something to do with a new and different waistline)?

Do you purge them? Do you take them to a consignment store? Do you pass them down to a daughter?

Before you let them out of your sight, try them as a necklace. Yes, a necklace.


Is it a necklace? Now it is!


I bet when you look at this necklace on my client’s bed above, you’re thinking, ‘What a cool leather tassel necklace!’ It is, but it started out as a belt for a lovely dress. A few years back when this belt wasn’t fitting properly around my client’s waist she said, “Well, I guess it’s time to let go of this.”

“No,” I said. “Let’s try it as a necklace first.”

A belt makes a dynamic necklace

Loving the belt necklace on my client



It was fabulous! She had a new dynamic necklace in her accessories wardrobe. Last week I was making some winter outfits for her and wanted a necklace with some substance. “What about your belt necklace?” I said. We pulled it out, put it over a black Tippi sweater, added the brown wool Carlisle Collection vest with ribbed edges and it was only, well, PERFECT!! She planned to wear it that night.


Turning a belt into a necklace on BrendaKinsel.com

Wearing my belt as a necklace

More shrinking belts

I have another client who had a problem with a shrinking belt. It was a metal belt by Chrome Hearts. She was very attached to it because it was Chrome Hearts, a line she’d collected for years. It’s a company that makes things that look very rock and roll. Maybe Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones wear’s their bracelets or leather motorcycle jackets. I wanted to figure out a way for her to keep it because she loved it so much. I quickly saw it as a necklace. In this case she took it to her jeweler to have the belt closure taken off so it would be one continuous circle of cool metal pieces. It’s awesome!

I had a similar problem (and solution) with a belt that I wasn’t wearing anymore. I figured out the reason I wasn’t wearing it was because the padding I used to have on my butt shifted to the front of me and expanded my waistline.

Did I feel bad about that? Not for one second! I loved the way it wrapped gray leather and links together. I didn’t want to give it up. I took it and put it around my neck and said, “There, now you’re a necklace.” It was happy and I was happy.

Today I pulled it out to wear over my white Chico’s shirt and my black Trina Turk leather vest. To give it some company and kind of camouflage the belt, I added bracelets that were either leather or had gunmetal tones. One is a Calleen Cordero black leather cuff with metal patterns on it. On the other wrist I layered my Fitbit with a lovely horn gunmetal bracelet and an organic looking cuff with hematite beads on it. I added a gunmetal Calleen Cordero bag with metal detail. I added some great quartz dangling earrings courtesy of my friends the Sol Sisters to make the look a little softer and then I met a friend for a glass of wine in town at the Girl and the Fig.


Pairing other accessories with the belt-turned-necklace on BrendaKinsel.com

Adding more metal and leather to relate to the necklace/belt


Did my friend say, “Wow, why are you wearing a belt around your neck?” No, she did not.

And your friends won’t say that either when you try this in your hometown! With certain kinds of belts, it can be an easy transition. Have fun playing with this idea and let me know how it goes, okay?

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Your different ways of describing a “shrinking” belt had me laughing out loud. They also reminded me of a college professor who was trying to teach us the power of words. He asked us to explain the difference between “skulking behind the rocks” and “taking intelligent advantage of the terrain.”
    Belts as necklaces? Ties and scarves as belts? Why not? The necklaces you made made from belts are edgy, fun, beautiful. Your creativity is astonishing! So maybe we all need to shift our idea of the function or the nature of belts, jewelry, etc. into the over-arching category of accessories, with all the flexibility that implies.
    Traditional jewelry is my passion, but I will never forget the perfection of a photo of some young people of the Woodabe people of west Africa.
    The young men had grouped metal key chains (the kind that have charms attached to the end of the chain) on cords to wear as necklaces, and some young women had pushed thumb-tacks into flat tooled-leather sandals to make studs on the leather. The sandals were worn as part of their headgear. It sounds odd, but it looked exactly right for the clothes they were wearing!
    Thanks for a new perspective on using what we have to create more and different beauty.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Thanks, Liz for your rich comment. You’re very right about just putting all those things in the category of accessories. I’ve wrapped a small scarf around my wrist to make a bracelet. I’ve also taken a necklace and wrapped it round and round to make a bracelet. Right now I’m looking at a bracelet I haven’t worn in ages and I’m thinking of taking it apart and making a necklace or two or three or four out of the beautiful gemstones. I bet if we looked at pics of indigenous people we’d be inspired just like this memory of that photo has stayed with you. Great call!

  • Reply
    Jill Stanwick
    January 27, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Love this idea! Keep these coming Brenda!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks, Jill!!

  • Reply
    Britta Higgins
    January 29, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    What a fun and very clever idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      January 30, 2017 at 8:31 am

      You’re so welcome, Britta!

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