One of the joys of a Chicago winter is the fantastic opportunity for an overcoat. Undoubtedly the purchase of a new season coat is a joyous moment; the investment into a new shape, fabric or color can immediately refresh a tired wardrobe. However if tight funds do not allow such a luxury, there is a way in which one's overcoat can be instantly updated with a simple addition: a belt.
The first way in which this is done is by altering the silhouette of a coat. Simply synching a belt at the waist gives both shape to the torso and flare to the skirt, perfect for this season's ladylike 1940's trend. For a more dramatic and feminine shape, use a wider belt.
The secondary benefit of a belt is the addition of color and texture. A paint box sash adds pop to a classic trench or a studded one adds an edgy toughness to last seasons’ trench. Use embellishment to take an overcoat from day into evening or pair down a favorite dress coat with a worn tan leather belt remembering to knot instead of buckle for extra panache.