Plus-Size Belts That Will Instantly Transform Any Outfit

Our favorite plus size-friendly belt is the versatile Old Navy Faux-Leather Belt.

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Best Plus-Size Belts

Old Navy / Amazon

Everyone should have at least one belt in their wardrobe. It’s a staple that can be used as a fashionable statement piece or as a functional accessory to hold pants up. Not all belts work for everyone, though. If you’ve ever gone to a department store, pulled a belt around your waist, and realized it barely covered your stomach, you’re not alone. Plus-size babes are used to considering size for clothes, but for accessories like belts, socks, and jewelry, the size inclusion trend is often forgotten. Finding the right belt can be tricky, especially if buying online, and that’s where we step in.

InStyle spoke with personal stylist Bee Stuart, and sustainable stylist Hailey Petersen to get the lowdown on all things plus-size belts, and the technicalities involved with making the necessary purchase. “Like earrings or a necklace, a belt is an accessory — so you can style them with anything, and it will immediately add visual interest to your outfit,” says Stuart. No matter what’s in your wardrobe, the Old Navy Faux-Leather Belt can take your outfit to the next level.  

Below are our favorite plus-size belts and a few things to remember when picking the right one.

Best Overall

Old Navy Faux-Leather Belt

Old Navy Faux-Leather Belt

Old Navy

What We Love: The diverse sizing caters to those with up to a 54-inch waist.

What We Don’t Love: The synthetic leather flakes after long-time wear.

Often, when I’m staring at myself in the mirror before a workday, I think, “What is this look missing?” And every morning, I forget about this belt that quickly transforms my outfit for the day, making me look more put together and trendy. This Old Navy belt is true to size with large measurement ranges between sizes to work with varying body types. I picked up the cognac brown style in the largest size — it fits comfortably without folding into itself during movement, and the one-inch width is just big enough to be noticeable without twisting around in the belt loops. The biggest belt size fits up to a 54-inch waist with room to create extra holes if needed. Since this is synthetic leather, the material flakes after long-time wear, but I was able to fix that with a bit of clear nail polish and a marker, #DIY.  

Price at time of publish: $16

Size: XS–4X | Width: 1 inch | Material(s): Synthetic Leather | Colors: Black and brown

Best for Dresses

Ava & Viv Raffia Wrapped Centerbar Belt

Ava & Viv Raffia Wrapped Centerbar Belt


What We Love: It’s hole-less and is fully adjustable between sizes

What We Don’t Love: It can stain easily. 

Ava & Viv is a plus-size brand at Target devoted to size variety in their accessories and primary clothing collections. Their attention to detail is impeccable and is why their belts come in assorted sizes. Petersen says that you should consider wearing a belt anytime you want to add a pop of color or create a different shape to your outfit. We love that this belt is hole-less, making it easy to create a customized fit. The straw color is neutral enough to mix with whatever is in your wardrobe, and even though the circular buckle is a bit more vibrant, it still adds a nice splash of color to any dress. I tested this belt in-store to pair with my favorite flowy dress. The belt also helps create the illusion of a more pronounced waist when I wear any oversized dress. If you’re prone to making a mess doing everyday tasks like me, carry a Tide stick to remove any stains that can quickly transfer on this light material.

Price at time of publish: $18

Size: 1X-4X | Width: 1 inch | Material(s): Jute, Polyurethane, Leather | Colors: Beige

Best for Cinching

Grace Karin Lace-up Cinch Belt Tied Corset Elastic Waist Belt

Grace Karin Lace-up Cinch Belt Tied Corset Elastic Waist Belt


What We Love: The style comes in a variety of colors and materials for different fashion statements.

What We Don’t Love: The lace can be tricky to re-tie if taken out.

Waist cinching belts aren’t for everyone, but if you want to accentuate your waist and pull attention to your midsection, consider this corset style from Grace Karin. The Kardashians (at one point) were known for wearing waist trainers and cinch belts for their ability to create an hourglass shape. This specific design adds a sexy twist to any outfit with many options for those who are indecisive when it comes to color. 

Take your workwear to the next level with this stretchy belt that gives you the look of a corset without rib-breaking tightness. While the size range is on the lower end, the elastic stretch of the belt's banding fits over large stomachs without creating discomfort for those between sizes. The largest size is a 3XL, specifically for those with a 43 to 48-inch waist. With the stretch from the band and the lace-up system, those who fall outside the allotted size (like me) can make custom adjustments to fit it. Be careful when loosening the ties, though: It’s a bit time-consuming to re-lace and get them to the right fit. 

Price at time of publish: $9-$30

Size: S-3XL | Width: 7.5 inches | Material(s): Synthetic Leather | Colors: Black, Red, Navy Blue, and White

Best Belt Bag

Torrid Black Quilted Belt Bag

Torrid Black Quilted Belt Bag


What We Love: The bag is spacious without being too bulky.

What We Don’t Love: The tassel falls off easily when taking the belt off.

Fanny packs, sling bags, belt bags — whatever you call them, they’ve made their way back to the forefront of fashion trends over the past few years. Most belt bags come in one size/one size-fits-most, leaving plus-size bodies out of this range. Countless times I’ve tried on a belt bag in-store or ordered one online, only to have it barely go around my hips. Torrid offers a selection of belt bags that eliminate this problem with actual sizes available for larger bodies. Constructed like one of their standard belts, this quilted belt bag has an adjustable buckle for tighter or looser fits (depending on your preference). An added fringe tassel is looped through the belt to set the bag apart from other styles, however, I find it annoying as it often falls off when taking off the belt. Space-wise, this bag has a back zipper for money and your ID, and enough room inside for necessities like mascara, your phone, a portable charger, sunscreen, and a mini wallet.

Price at time of publish: $29 (originally $35)

Size: 00-5 | Width: 2 inches | Material(s): Synthetic Leather | Color: Black

Best Adjustable

Tights Up No Show Adjustable Stretch Belt

Tights Up No Show Adjustable Stretch Belt


What We Love: The flat buckle is strong enough to stay clipped, even when stretched wide.

What We Don’t Love: There aren't as many color options for plus sizes. 

Whenever in doubt about finding a good belt, just check Amazon. Since plus-size bodies are bigger in different areas, an adjustable belt is necessary for any wardrobe. I would order several of these stretch belts when I was a costume designer for my university's theater productions — the affordable price tag made it easy to buy multiple within my budget. At the same time, the wide range of sizes and adjustable fit worked for large and small bodies alike, making it possible to swap styles for different actors. The clasps slide into each other to create a secure fit; even with a lot of stretching and bending, the buckle stays clipped. Smaller sizes have more color varieties, whereas plus-size folks can only choose between black or a leopard print, so we do wish there were more color options available. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 16-28 | Width: 1.25 inches | Material(s): Synthetic Leather | Colors: Black and Leopard print

Best Statement Belt

Ashley Stewart Faux Diamond & Leather Fringe Belt

Ashley Stewart Faux Diamond & Leather Fringe Belt

Ashley Stewart

What We Love: It’s a true statement piece that adds flare to any outfit. 

What We Don’t Love: The leather fringe is very tedious to clean. 

This one is for the glamor gals and pals: The ones who want to turn heads when they enter the room and look good while doing it. Ashley Stewart is another plus-size favorite that has evolved over the years to offer even more fashionable pieces that are durable enough to last in your closet. Truthfully, I didn’t buy this belt. I “borrowed” it from my aunt and never returned it because the rhinestones distracted me, and I instantly needed it. The snap closures keep the style secured, and it won’t need belt loops to stay up. Black matte leather falls in strips from hip to mid-thigh, depending on your height. One way to guarantee your belt will last is properly cleaning and caring for it, even if it takes a while with the individual strands. Make sure to wipe the fringe with a warm cloth to keep it stain- and wrinkle-free. I like to wear this belt with jeans or over skirts for an added layer. If you pick this belt up, don’t forget to do a little twirl to see the fringe in action. This brand doesn’t skimp out on the embellishment either, with the thick diamond banding that enhances the overall look.

Price at time of publish: $28 (originally $40)

Size: XS – 4X | Width: 1 inch | Material(s): Synthetic Leather | Colors: Black

What to Keep in Mind


The ultimate rule of thumb for picking the correct belt size is to check the size guides and pick up a measuring tape. “When shopping for a belt, you can use the store's size chart to determine which belt size will fit you best, based on your measurements,” says Stuart. “If this is too technical, you can just add two inches to your pant size. For example, if you wear size 44 pants, your belt size will be 46.” If your pant size combines numbers and letters (ex: 22W, 24W, etc.), this is where it’s good to know your waist measurement to follow along with a brand’s respective charts. 


Both Petersen and Stuart agree that style is 100% dependent on your preferences. Maybe you don’t even want to wear a belt! If so, that’s okay, but a proper belt can take any outfit to the next level while offering a functional purpose. Petersen has been really into vintage chain belts to match her aesthetic. She looks at the accessory like any other piece of jewelry. “I love wearing color so I will try to add a red, yellow, or blue belt to any colorful outfit,” she says. “My biggest piece of advice: don't overthink it! Throw it on like you would a necklace or pair of earrings.”

“When you buy items that already have belts on them like jumpsuits and dresses, replace those belts with a waist-cinching belt (like the Grace Karin Lace-up Cinch Belt Tied Corset Elastic Waist Belt) to incorporate your style/taste to the outfit,” says Stuart. “If you prefer the utilitarian look or want to use a belt for work, use a belt to add dimension to your favorite work trousers,” suggests Stuart.


Fabric, rhinestones, and metal belts are available to fit any type of wardrobe. Almost every store that sells belts will offer a style in some kind of leather blend, like the Old Navy Faux-Leather Belt. However, there is more to this accessory than a (real or faux) leather option. Keep in mind the type of material you choose and compare it to your outfit to avoid clashing patterns or textures. Also, TSA-wise, if you’re wearing a belt to the airport, make sure you can easily take it on and off — no one wants to be the person that holds up the line.

Your Questions, Answered

When should I wear a belt?

If Miranda Priestly can pair a cerulean belt with a pink ombre-tiered chiffon dress, then you can wear a belt whenever you want. “A belt is a great way to make a statement and show your personal style as they come in many different styles and sizes,” says Stuart. Belts are the result of fashion and functionality. However, she argues that you shouldn’t always use one to hold up your bottoms. “If your pants are too big, the best solution is to get them tailored as a belt cannot replace a tailor. If you have a small waist gap or a little bit of space between your pants and body, then a belt will help with that.”

Can you punch holes in belts? 

Yes, you can absolutely punch holes in a belt; however, if your concern is ripping the material or ruining the leather, consider making a new purchase. Or, be like Stuart and think smarter, not harder, with double-sided adhesive. “Before punching a hole into your belt you can fix the belt by using TopStick,” she says. “All you have to do is place the Topstick on the belt in the section where you would like the belt to sit and place the belt strap right on top —  it will stick, and the belt will fit appropriately.” Genius! But also, when in doubt, get a professional belt hole puncher instead of any sharp objects that may cause a trip to the ER.

Why Shop With Us

Alexis Gaskin is a freelance writer passionate about beauty and plus-size fashion. For this story she took her expertise as a plus-size woman to select belts that she wears in her daily life. She also called on the expertise of stylists Bee Stuart and Hailey Petersen for tips on how to style belts. 

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