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Prediction: Corset Belts are Going to be a Huge Trend for Fall 2019

They're a fitting prelude to the upcoming season's obsession with historical dressing.

In the early 2000s, when I was growing up, the concept of belting was less of a piece of fashion advice than it was sartorial law. Shapeless shift dresses – even a baggy old t-shirt – could be transformed into a goddess-like gown thanks to the magic cinch provided a simple strip of leather. Belts could be low-slung (remember Avril Lavigne’s multi-studded version?) or accentuate the waist (like pre-waist trainer Kim Kardashian) but they were more or less ubiquitous. Remember that Portlandia sketch, “put a bird on it”? Replace “bird” with “belt” and you’ve got early 2000s fashion in a nutshell.

But after a near-decade of the belt’s reign of supremacy, the look began to feel dated. After 2008, to wear a waist-cincher telegraphed that one’s favourite store was ModCloth, one’s favourite band was Bright Eyes, and one’s preferred mode of accessorizing involved coloured tights with berets. In short, belts fell out of favour.

But lately, my spidey senses have been tingling in regards to an ever-so-subtle shift in attitudes towards belts. More specifically, corset belts. This newfound yen for heavy waist-cinchers is a fitting prelude to the upcoming season’s obsession with historical dressing.

It’s a look that can skew prim when worn on top of a crisp white dress shirt, alternative if paired with a faded band t-shirt, or downright risqué when worn with something less substantial. On the runways, corset belts were paired with prim ladylike dresses, razor-sharp pantsuits and ball gowns demonstrating that though the look may be physically restrictive, when it comes to styling they’re anything but.

At Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2019, double-stacked belts were one of the hallmarks of the collection. For Fall 2019, Christian Dior designed somewhat equestrian belts that incorporated the brand’s historic saddlebag shape into the design, and Saint Laurent showed super thick waist belts with oversized buckles.

The upcoming season’s belts have little to do with the anything goes days of the early 2000s. Instead, they cultivate a distinctly vampish vibe, imbued with gothic romance. Whether you’re more waist-trainer or Interview with the Vampire, we’ve found the corset belt for you.