10 Ways To Wear A Shoestring Waist

10 Ways To Wear A (Modified) Shoestring Belt

Skip the regular old belt and add a bit of vintage flair with the shoestring waist. Save money and add new layers to your wardrobe! This look likely originated with the working-class laborers who couldn't always afford a leather belt or needed a quick way to adjust a pair of oversized hand-me-down pants. It was more recently adopted by skaters who found the flexibility of the lace more comfortable. You'll definitely find these options more comfortable than a rigid belt and give more color and expression to your style. 

Traditional Shoestring
Buy a fancy shoestring or pull some from a pair of shoes you want to upcycle! 
Check out the Cute Shoelaces Shop on Etsy for the cutest laces you can find! You get a backup or share one with a friend. Cheaper than a belt, easy to pack and travel with. 

Modified Loops
Prevent your shoestring from riding the top of your belt loops with a 5-minute modification. Add whipstitches on your loops to hold your shoestring in the middle. 

You can find whatever random ribbons you have laying around or head to your local craft store. Pull it through several times to modify the look. 

I recommend a thin jute or twine for a fun summer look. You can even use jewelry rope.  Wrap it through the loops two or three times for support, especially if its thinner twine. This comes in any color you want and is super cheap. I recommend pairing it with vintage jeans or linen pants for contrast. 

Handkerchiefs and Scarves
This is my go-to. I rarely wear a belt, I have a whole collection of colored handkerchiefs I fold and pull through my belt loops. I buy then for $1 at the dollar store or the hair store. I tie them over dresses and shirts. I find them more comfortable and versatile than a belt. Use your favorite long scarf or just start stocking up on cheap and vintage options. This always adds extra character to your look. 


Another fun option I’ve pioneered is colored braiding hair. It’s a Jay|Franks specialty that pays homage to the bright colors and fun hairstyles of the 80s and 90’s, Save some from your next ‘do or buy a pack for a couple bucks for future projects. 


Thin chains from cheap jewelry are always a quick and easy option. Use a broach to secure it and you’ve got a flossy fit on your hands. 

A beaded string, shoe string or ribbon adds another layer of character to this look. You can find cheap beaded necklaces or make quick ones yourself with anytype of your favorite beads. 

You can use in similar ways to the other methods. A single loop, wrapped a few times or a braid. You can make the braids as thin or thick as you like for various fits. It’s a cheap and versatile way to add a little color and texture to your look. 

Scrap Cloth
I love upcycling old clothes, scarves and random scrap fabric. Cut a long piece from the bottom of an old skirt, tie some scraps together or make slices from sample fabric from your local craft store. I love this option because you can infuse a larger pattern structure, especially if you cut a wider sample.