Members of my Club V personal styling club are awesome. And as their stylist who helps them find perfect things to wear, the questions they ask are often my barometer. Last week, I got this question:
“What kind of trousers should I go for with my curvy shape, and where the heck can I find ones that fit me properly?”
Good question, I thought, and off I went looking for the perfect trouser shapes for my curvy clients.
So if you’re curvy through the hips, how do you find a pair of trousers that actually fit you properly, look nice and you enjoy wearing?
Well firstly, I’m just going to put this out there. You don’t have to wear trousers at all. Not if you don’t want to. Or jeans.
Honestly, it’s not compulsory.
If you feel happier skipping down the street in a skirt or a dress, go ye ahead. Enjoy it. Add in a Yee-Haa to your skipping routine if it makes you happy, go all out. If trousers aren’t for you, leave 'em.
But, if you’re thinking that trousers might be a worthwhile addition to your wardrobe, or you’ve already got some and you’re not sure if they’re right, here’s the lowdown.
If you have more of a curvy frame, you might have balanced shoulders and hips or the shoulders can sometimes be slightly narrower. You’ve got a defined waist and are curvy across the hips and bottom.
Curvy shaped ladies might find they have a greater hip to waist ratio than most shops cut for. So, you might find that trousers that fit well on the hips usually have a huge and chilly gape at the back. Or to get a good fit around your waist, trousers might feel too tight across the hips and bottom. Or you might find that pockets cut across the hips gape like two grins either side of your hips. Or you might have decided ages ago that finding a good fitting pair of trousers is a bit like hunting for the holy grail, and you've given up on the idea altogether.
Understanding that your curvy frame doesn't react well to straight lines might help explain why trousers are tricky little devils on curvy ladies. You ideally need things with movement and stretch, and trousers that don't add any detail or extra fabric around the hips.
What you need are some flat fronted trousers that sit on or below waist. So, no pleats or gathers at the waist, and as little detail as possible across the hips and bottom.
For shapes, you could try a boot cut style, or a wide leg (as long as it’s not gathered or pleated), and a straight trouser with a side zip at the waist.
Don’t be tempted by tapered styles (ones that pleat at the waist and then narrow to a tight band near the ankle) and definitely avoid belts if you’re going to wear them slung low across the hips like some sort of Shakira music video.
Think about which shoes you want to wear with your trousers too. You might find you need a pair of trousers that you can wear with flat shoes and a pair you can wear with heels. With heels your trousers will need to be longer: ideally an inch from the ground when you’ve got your heels on.
Getting a good fit on trousers will be key – you don’t want them too baggy around the hips or too tight. If the crotch is too low it makes the legs look shorter; too high and it will be uncomfortable. Check the fit across the back of the waistband, try bending over, crouching down and sitting in them while you’re in the changing rooms to make sure you can move in them and that they don’t reveal more of your underwear than you’d care to show. As a curvy girl, finding trousers with a bit of elastane or stretch in the fabric is likely to be a good idea so that the fabric can move with your curves without cutting off your blood supply.
For colours, well, choosing a good pair of trousers that will go with everything will depend on your seasonal colour palette (see my blog on the magic of colour). For some that might be black, which tends to be easy to find. For others, you might prefer a navy, a charcoal grey, or maybe a brown. Just pick a colour that will go with lots of your tops or jackets so you’ve got lots of things to put with them. Thinking about shoes too, you might want to pick trousers in the same colours as your shoes/ boots (makes your legs look longer you know!)
If you’ve found the perfect pair of trousers for your curvy shape, please share! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us where you bought them so we can start sharing brands that other curvy ladies might like.