Consider the waist. For much of history, it’s been the focus of fashionable attention. Whether corseted in Victorian times or set off by Dior’s New Look crinolines in the 1950s, a trim midsection has been much admired. It’s a style, incidentally, that has its roots in biology: Studies show that men are most attracted to women who have a waist to hip ratio of 0.7, one that’s shared by Kate Moss, Marilyn Monroe and every Miss America. But sex aside, we just like the way a clearly defined waist looks—polished and pulled together and very, very chic. It’s a sentiment that’s shared by the British shoe designer Chrissie Morris, who’s just created her first belt, a refined and sculptural swathe of stingray that sits snugly around the middle. “Waists have been celebrated for centuries in all forms of popular culture,” she says. “Here's an opportunity for women to celebrate their individual form themselves, for themselves.”
Tough—Samurai used it as armor—but very tactile, stingray is an exceptionally luxurious skin, a quality that Morris and her Italian factory have preserved by keeping the belt very simple: It wraps around the waist, narrow end over wide, and fastens via two discreet hooks that are completely invisible from the outside. Every last detail has been thought of, down to the beautifully finished edges and the beige suede lining. Available in black, brown and tan and 4.5 inches/11.5 cm at its widest point, it’s substantial enough to be extremely flattering, but still comfortable enough to keep on all day. And considering that we’re planning on wearing this with everything from coats to jeans, we’re very glad about that.