I'm a fashion editor and this is the one accessory I'm buying this winter

It's an instant outfit lifter

women's belts
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I will admit belts have always been a bit of an afterthought for me, never really bringing anything to my outfits. But I've come to see the error of my ways, because I just can't stop seeing women's belts on my social feeds and on the streets and I want in.

During fashion month, the accessory was everywhere, cinching coats and dresses in, and adding a finishing touch to skirts and trousers. 

On Instagram, they go beyond their practical use of holding up trousers, instead becoming the focal point of any look. Stylist and influencer Monikh recently jazzed up a plain sweatshirt and wide leg trousers combo with a statement silver belt from Khaite. 

women's belts

(Image credit: Monikh)

This season, we are seeing a fresh take on belts, thanks to designers like Max Mara, Schiaparelli and Alaia. Think BBE (that's big belt energy), with wide corset belts that will cinch any blazer or coat. 

Minimalists will love the classic thin black leather belt, embellished with logos (Loewe, Gucci and Valentino for timeless investment pieces) and silver buckles, to go with this season's love-in with silver jewellery.

On the maximalist side of things, chain belts aren't going anywhere, and they're a great way to zhuzh up a simple black dress or pencil skirt. 

Studded belts are having a bit of a moment at Khaite and Isabel Marant, beautifully toeing the line between 00s nostalgia and cowgirl chic. 

Shop my edit of women's belts for AW23

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.