For the Biba Burda Dress that I finished recently, I felt it really did need a belt. Although it is wearable without one, it is a bit slouchy:
And I've discovered I like wearing belts! They remind me that there is a waist hiding under those layers, and I instantly feel more pulled together. I am sure my new-found waist awareness has improved my posture too!
I admit that wearing a belt doesn't always work for me. It depends on what else I am wearing, and even my mood. I take the mirror test - if it feels good wear it, if it feels bad don't - as simple as that!
Which brings me to style rules, of which I have a love/hate relationship. Firstly, their primary emphasis seems to be on looking slimmer or disguising your true body shape, and I see a lot of people with fabulous bodies obsessing over what amounts to a minimal difference in appearance. Second, rules like this kinda make me yawn and my eyes glaze over - and my instinct is to try the opposite! I can see in some cases they are useful guidelines, but more often I see them being limiting and restrictive.
Take the case that my figure type should avoid belts. Well, exactly who is this stranger that said I should try to make my waist look narrower and lower on my torso than it is? In other words, try to be something I am not? Or worse - try to be somebody else! This is what I dislike most about style rules - the idea of sameness, ubiquity, clonesville. The idea of difference is far worthier of celebration. I believe in wearing what you love and what feels good, because that is your character and personality revealing itself. It is you.