It's A Cinch

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Could we be seeing the last of the belly button? Probably not, but with cooler weather upon us, there are other ways to highlight a flat tummy, such as cinching it with an obi, a thick sash worn snug over the waist with an overlapping wrap. Tom Ford's fall 2002 Gucci collection features obi belts, and Neiman Marcus carries a version by Suzi Roher of Toronto. "Obi belts are worn over dresses, feminine blouses or a fitted coat," says New York designer Rafe Totengco, whose lambskin RAFE New York obi belt was bought by Cameron Diaz. One caveat: while obis, traditionally used to hold Japanese kimonos in place, are a little more forgiving than low-rider jeans, they are still not a look for real women with curves.