Friday, April 22, 2016

Your Perfect Pants

In March, I introduced a new series where I will be featuring other women with different body types & talking about how to dress for your shape (here).  The response was overwhelmingly positive & I cannot thank you all enough for the wonderful comments & suggestions.  I'm excited to introduce you to two new women today who are friends of mine - I purposely selected them because they both have a different body type than I do and I knew they would be perfect for this feature.  After last month's post, the majority of you wrote in stating that the item you have the hardest time finding is great-fitting pants.  And I can't say that I'm surprised because it's the garment I have the least of in my wardrobe for the very same reason.  So today we are highlighting 3 different styles of pants that we found from LOFT, sharing why they work for our shapes and what to look for when you're out searching for your perfect pair.


Jennifer is a work-from-home mom of two with a thriving Beachbody Coaching business.  She is 5'5" with a curvy shape and told me that her problem with pants is that they either fit in the waist and are too tight through the hips or she has to size up for the hips, which inevitably makes the waist too large.  Because of this, I knew we would need to search for a fit that was labeled "Curvy".  The Julie pants at LOFT are specifically designed for women with this type of body shape and they fit Jennifer perfectly.  She did go down one from her usual size because the fabric stretches a bit with wear.  

Other pants she tried on & loved were these relaxed chinos (which she purchased in a size 10).  And a pair she liked on the hanger but didn't work on her body type were these trousers, which would best fit someone with a straight up & down figure.  Other brands with curvy pant offerings are Talbots (here & here), The Limited & White House Black Market. Styling tip: If you are larger on bottom than on top, wearing a brightly colored blouse like Jennifer's helps draw the eye up and visually balances out your proportions. 

On Jennifer:
LOFT Tie-Neck Shell (wearing Medium), LOFT Julie Fit Riviera Crop Pants (wearing size 8), 
Tieks Flats (similar), LOFT Bracelet, Similar Earrings


Sheri is a mom of four who also teaches preschool part-time.  She is 5' 2" with a petite figure and also has a hard time with pants because she is short-waisted & if the cut isn't exactly right, they end up overwhelming her small frame.  She wanted a durable pair that she could move around easily in that would be appropriate while teaching & on the weekend with her family.  These classic chinos only have a slight give to them, so they are a more structured fabric than Jennifer's pants & won't stretch as much with wear - she loved the kick crop shape, which give them a modern update.  Sheri bought her usual size, but if you want a more tailored fit, we recommend sizing down.  

Other styles she tried on that fit her well were these cropped pants & these classic trousers.  Because I'm not petite, I haven't paid much attention to that section of stores in the past, but shopping with Sheri made me realize how frustrating it is!  We went into 3 different stores that are known for having petite lines & even then, the selection of clothes to choose from was very small.  Other retailers with good options for petites are J. Crew, Ann Taylor & Banana Republic - just keep in mind that in many cases, there will be far more options online, so you may need to order that way and return any items that don't work to your local store.

On Sheri:
I'm just over 5'8" and, even though I'm pear-shaped, there is only a small difference in inches between my low waist and my hips, which means that a straight cut actually fits me best.  The Marisa pants at LOFT are specifically designed for women with hips that are proportionate to their waist.  Other pants that are cut similarly and fit me well are the J. Crew Martie Pants & the Banana Republic Sloan-Fit Pants (here & here).  Once you find a pair of pants that fits you perfectly, take careful measurements of the waist to hip ratio, the inseam and the rise.  This will help serve as a guide in the future so you can find more options that work for you & it's especially helpful when you're ordering online & can't try on before you buy.

A note on pockets: I very rarely purchase pants with side pockets because I'm curvier and they tend to pucker and bunch in an unflattering way.  The pants I'm wearing here actually do have pockets that are sewn shut - normally you would snip that thread after buying them, but I chose to keep them as is so they wouldn't create a problem for me.  If you do buy pants with pockets that you don't want open, you can have your tailor remove them completely to eliminate any bulkiness they may create and sew the seam shut for you (or do it yourself if you're handy with a sewing machine).

What I'm wearing:
a.n.a Top (wearing XS), LOFT Marisa Fit Skinny Ankle Pants (wearing size 2), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins Flats (similar here or here), Forever 21 Necklace (similar), 
BaubleBar Ring (similar), Forever 21 Bracelets

A special thank you to Sheri & Jennifer for being willing to participate & shoot photos 
with me in the chilly weather.  Please let me know in the comments below what item 
you'd like to see featured next month and share what body type you have so I can 
make sure that everyone gets represented in this series!


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