How to Style a Belt Bag Without Looking Like a Camp Counselor

Fanny packs are fancy now.

Leonie Hanne shows how to wear a belt bag by wearing a belt bag over a green silk pencil skirt and sheer shirt.

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If you hate carrying a purse, or simply like your accessories to be hands-free (where my Pisces at?), you're going to want to learn how to style a belt bag ASAP. Belt bags have the range. You can wear a belt bag over your shoulder, strapped across your chest, or, you know, around your waist. While the list of types of belt bags is long, there are three styles that are really speaking to us this summer.

The chain strap belt bag is the style most often worn by fashion girlies going to and fro Fashion Week events. Frequently, these belt bags are dainty, very luxe, and paired with larger, more practical handbags. The second style, the accessory lovechild of a crossbody messenger bag and a '90s fanny pack, is great for active folks on the go and you've likely seen your fave celeb wearing one on the way to the gym.

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag over-the-shoulder with a green shirt and purple blazer.
Fanny pack, but make it fashion.

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Last, but not least, there's the structural belt bag, a.k.a. what would happen if your dad's embarrassing faux leather phone case ran away to the big city and got a job at a fashion magazine. These pouch-style belt bags are worn like traditional belts, and feature more structured, architectural details. Ahead, we break down how to wear a belt bag by sharing our 13 fave looks starring this hands-free accessory.

Over Your Shoulder

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag over one shoulder and with a floral dress

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Shop Similar: Coach Sprint Belt Bag In Signature Leather, $105.
You'll often catch celebs wearing a belt bag over one of their shoulders. This approach is a great way to wear a belt bag on the way to the gym, but the over-the-shoulder styling approach also works beautifully with more dressed-up looks.

Accentuate Your Waist

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag to cinch the waist of a red jumpsuit

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A belt bag isn't just a trendy accessory, it's also a great way to cinch your waist — after all, it is part belt — in a pair of loose-fitting union-alls or a baggy jumpsuit.

As a Backup Bag

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag with a second bag.

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Shop Similar: Chanel Belt Bag, $1,850.
If you're an accessories fanatic, you're going to love this way to wear a belt bag. Instead of choosing between a belt bag and your favorite purse, just wear both. This look works best when there's visual cohesion between your bags. They could share a brand logo, color, treatments like quilting, or even a pattern.

Across Your Chest

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag on your torso.

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Shop Similar: Wunderlust Belt Bag 1.8L, $58.
Absolutely effortless, this crossbody way to wear a belt bag is distinguished from the over-the-shoulder style by virtue of where on the body it's worn. Rather than resting on the hip or under the arm, this approach places the body of the bag more prominently on your torso.

With a Crop Top

A woman wears a belt bag in Paris

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You know Carrie Bradshaw’s famous outfit featuring a belt over bare abs? The same can be done with a belt bag and low-rise pants. We can’t speak to its comfortability, but it sure looks cool.

Over a Maxi Dress

Krysten Ritter shows how to wear a belt bag with a maxi dress.

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Shop Similar: rag & bone Commuter Fanny Pack, $325.
Add some structure to your favorite slinky maxi by wearing it with a belt bag slung low on your hips. Not only will it not add bulk, but it won't catch or tug on even the thinnest of jersey or cotton fabrics.

With a Skirt Set

Paola Alberdi wears a belt bag to add a pop of color to a skirt set.

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Skirt sets give off a polished, elevated air, which makes them a great outfit to pair with a hands-free, designer belt bag.

With High-Waisted Pants

Chau Bui shows how to wear a belt bag with high-waisted pants

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Shop Similar: Saint Laurent Lou Belt Bag in Quilted Leather, $1,090.
If you're celebrating your figure with a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg pants, keep the party going by wearing a belt bag looped through your belt loop.

Add an Edge

Simone S. Oliver shows how to wear a belt bag with a white, floral outfit.

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Shop Similar: Rebecca Minkoff Edie Chevron-Quilted Leather Chain Belt Bag, $248.
Give your fave floral 'fit or summer whites a bit of punk rock energy, not to mention visual contrast, by adding a deep-toned or dark belt bag.

Brighten Up a Monochromatic Look

Neva Leoni wears a belt bag with a black midi dress.

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Do you have a sleek midi dress that needs a bit of flair? A belt bag works just as well as a pair of vibrant heels and offers more function and comfort.

Over a Blazer

Mara Brock Akil shows how to wear a belt bag over a blazer.

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Shop Similar: Clare V. Grande Fanny, $325.
Break up a long-line blazer by wearing a belt bag high on your natural waist. Rather than matching, this way to wear a belt bag benefits from contrast in both texture and color, like a leather belt bag in a vibrant shade of orange with a sandy linen suit.

With Loose-Fitting Layers

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag with shorts and a loose long-sleeve shirt.

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Jumpsuits and overalls aren't the only clothes that get a waist-cinching boost from a belt bag. If you have baggy tops and loose-fitting paper-bag or denim shorts, you can bring a bit of shape in by adding a belt bag at your waist or hips.

Show-off Your Half-Tuck

A woman shows how to wear a belt bag with a sweater tucked into jeans.

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Shop Similar: See by Chloe Saddie Belt Bag, $435.
Tucking a shirt into jeans is an art form, but the admittedly complicated geometry behind the effortless style is simplified if you tuck your shirt around a belt bag set at an angle on your hip.

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