Pant fit has come a long way in recent years, but we still need some awareness in creating balance. As with our Capri discussion, we want to create a balanced whole. We will focus on fit here, but we need to remember that color is a key factor. If you waist down is disproportionately larger than above the waist, a darker color, or a distracting pattern is very helpful is minimizing that fact. Now onto fit tips:
- Too much hips/thigh? Look for curvy fits that accommodate your proportions; many designers now offer curvy fits (Yay!). Try a mid-to low rise, slightly fitted or straight upper leg, with some flare at the bottom. A little stretch in the fabric helps smooth out small imperfections and helps prevent bagging, as does a slightly firmer fabric. Sorry – tapered or skinny legs (to the ankle) make hips look wider and do not balance your frame. Side pockets also add width at the wrong place. If you have short legs, opt for a refined heel (at least a couple inches), and go for longer pants using height as an offset to width.
- Wish you had curvier hips? – look for regular or slim fitting styles to fit your overall body type. Narrow leg pants with a slight flare suggest curves and add balance without overwhelming slim legs. A large flare works if the pants are proportioned well and you have wider shoulder (back to that balance thing).
- Have a bit of a stomach bulge, or more than you would like in the rear? We can talk about crunches all day long, and sure they would likely help. However, what is – IS – right now; and some of us will always have this tendency regardless of weight. So, let’s consider how best to de-emphasize our excess, and look our best now. To start: Stick with higher waist pants. They tend to get over the bulge, and many current styles have slimming panels built in. Waistbands that cross at your widest part, or are too tight in the waist, create an additional roll that draw attention to the very thing you want to minimize. So snug tummy panels – yay! Too tight waistband – nay! Tricky you say – I know – added options include firmware – more on this another day – or alterations (worth it for professional wardrobe). Look for pants that give shape – if they cover your stomach and leave a bunch of excess fabric drooping in the seat or upper thighs, leave them in the store. A little stretch in the fabric, or a slightly firmer fabric will help hug curves and smooth out bumps. As with most pants, a slight flare, or smooth palazzo pant (fluid drape) adds balance in the lower leg. Once again, if you are short in the leg, even a small heel with added pant length elongates and adds balance.
- 2 fashion trends that flatter almost no one: 1.) Front pleats (and excessive gathers) are not your friend– they add bulk that doesn’t help anyone. They emphasize, not de-emphasize. 2.) Skin-tight or fully tapered pant legs are rarely flattering. If you have wide hips, they just look wider – same with excess tummy or rear. If you are small, they frequently making you even skinnier (not the same as slimmer).