The cinched waist is slowly marking its way back under the spotlight in a fall 2015 season that sees the trend expand and gain ground way into menswear territory. And we’re not just talking suiting, but more of the man’s casual wardrobe as well, which begs the question: can you wear it?

After the break, we’re talking the pro’s and cons of giving the cinched waist trend a go, complete with a guide on how to easily pull it off for fall / winter 2015.

Cinched waists: the look for fall 2015.

Nipped-in, defined waists that give the appearance of a V-shaped torso: they were everywhere on the fall 2015 runways, signaling the fact that a gentleman’s casual wardrobe, much like its suiting, is now focused on highlighting the midriff. The trend may sound easy in theory, but can you actually wear it?

It all depends on your body type, on your personal aesthetic and level of confidence, on your desire to push the boundaries. It takes wanting to go that extra mile when it comes to this whole on-trend styling to even consider cinching your waist. However:

  • you could definitely do it if your frame is thin, keeping in mind that drawing attention to the narrowest part of the body just emphasizes the width of the rest of it;
  • you could also try it for its slimming effect, particularly on the bulkier, boxier of silhouettes. Here is where you should consider the fact that a belt hanging too low could easily make you look short, while one sitting to high may lead to creating some undesired, unaesthetic lumps.
  • you should keep away from the trend if your frame is significantly broader, wider or thicker, all the more if you feel that a cinched waist wouldn’t flatter your figure in any way.

How to achieve the look.

If you decide to give the trend a go, know there is more than one way to achieve the cinched waist look for fall 2015. Taking cues from the runway, here’s what you could try:

  • using a belt, knowing it works just as perfect with chunky sweaters, blazers and boxy coats;
  • making use of the belt band that’s already incorporated in many pieces of outerwear;

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
The cinched waist look at Salvatore Ferragamo and Songzio, F/W ’15

  • going for a crop bomber jacket featuring an elastic band that automatically draws the eyes towards the waist, thus giving the impression of a slimmer midriff;
  • choosing a solid jacket that features an adjustable nipped-in waist that you can easily alter.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cinched waists at Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton, F/W ’15

How to pull it off.

The look in itself is quite effortless and no-fuss, its impact rather big and often dismissed, even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. So, when it comes to pulling off the cinched waist trend, you should get rid of any misconceptions and start off with a fresh attitude.

Belt it.

The belt is a cinched waist’s best friend, even when talking menswear, and it takes having a single look at the fall runways to understand why. Whether they are slim, mimicking a rock climbing D-ring, cut in casual canvas or classic leather, the belts can be made to work with:

  • tailored suits, particularly if the tailoring is on the slouchy side and the blazer is enough oversized to call for a belt;
  • chic jackets, even ones with zippers and large pockets, a belt will tie all the elements together;
  • classic coats, worn buttoned up or unbuttoned, best when their silhouette fits rather impeccably.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cinched waist at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni, F/W ’15

Cinched waist made easy.

If you want the trend to be made even easier, do opt to use the belt bands already incorporated in your favorite pieces of outerwear. Aside from defining your waist, these will save you the trouble of trying to find the perfect belt for both your coat and your frame. Don’t fear to mix things up by knotting the belt in various ways, or by keeping your jacket fully unbuttoned even when belted at the waist.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cinched waists at Fendi and Canali, F/W ’15

Subtle definition.

The fall 2015 runways introduced many jumpsuits and one-piece suits that called for a bit of definition at the waist. If you think about jumping on the opportunity to rock one come autumn, think of a belt as the subtle way to define the midriff, and leave it to the same belt to put a fresh spin on this new wardrobe staple.

Same thing goes for the oversized sweaters and cardigans, which can get a complete makeover come fall if styled with a belt that’s tied loosely around the waist.

Mens cinched waist fall fashion
Cinched waists at Agnes B and Louis Vuitton, F/W ’15

Basic layering.

Fall is the season that invites you to get creative in the layering department, and that often means juxtaposing various silhouettes that when fitted together lead to some serious bulky results. This fall, you could try breaking the pattern by using a belt on your under-layers, rather than the over-tops whenever:

  • layering two pieces of outerwear (a trench + a coat; two coats of different weights and proportions; a jacket + a coat);
  • layering a suit underneath a vest, coat, or a jacket, where even a hint of definition is sure to revamp the entire look.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cinched waists at Prada and 3.1 Phillip Lim, F/W ’15

Styling the cinched waist.

If you plan on using a belt to style your cinched waist this upcoming fall, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • choose a slim, luxe, leather belt to pair with coats that feature a classic silhouette (be them single-breasted, or double-breasted);
  • choose a belt that matches your coat if you aim for a subtle take on the trend, just make sure to break the colour scheme with complementary hues;
  • choose a double belt to edge up a classic coat, to which look you can further add with leather pants and a pair of fingerless gloves.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cinched waists at Brioni and John Varvatos, F/W ’15

When it comes to teaming the cinched waist with some of the upcoming fall’s other key trends and accessories, go for:

  • oversized scarves & shawls, for both your casual and the more sophisticated of fall looks;
  • statement bags, the kind that are roomy enough but are still looking plenty chic;

Furthermore, you could also try pairing the cinched waist trend with this fall’s military influences, with its furry overcoats, its grunge elements, or its newly risen sartorial-casual aesthetic.

Mens cinched waists fall fashion
Cicnhed waists at Salvatore Ferragamo and Wooyoungmi, F/W ’15

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