Monday, November 8, 2010

Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants

Why is it that finding a fine-fitting pair of pants is nearly impossible these days? They're either too tight in the thighs, too big in the waist, too low or too tight in the derriere. Magpie Style spoke with Designer Paris Gordon, who specializes in fitting the female form.

The first step is figuring out your body type. Paris designed her pant collection with the four most common body types in mind (although there are others as shown in the picture). Remember that you do not have to be thin to be any of these body types. And, you may not fit in any one category. Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to find the right fit. If you have a question for Paris, e-mail me and I'll get it answered!

1. Triangle/Pear shaped: If you've got a small upper body but wide hips, this is you!

2. Inverted Triangle/Top heavy: Have a big bust but narrow hips? This is you!

3. Rectangle/Straight: This body type typically has longer limbs and thicker middles with no real defined waist. This is me!

4. Hourglass: Supposedly the pinnacle of body perfection, this body type has a bust and hips that are proportionate (meaning about the same size) and a defined waist.

Here's a great post on determining body type.

Next, know the common mistakes, which Gordon says are the following:

1. Don't cover up your waist. "When people think they don’t have a waist, they think they have to cover it. But that’s not correct, you need to define it," she says. And, she says, wearing pants that fit correctly at your natural rise will accentuate the waist rather than make you look like you're wearing low riders or the dreaded Mom jeans. Remember that Saturday Night Live Skit?

2. Stick with what works. So, skinny jeans are in but that doesn't mean you have to wear them. "Once you find a style that suits your body type and fits right, stick with it and then each season update it," she says. For instance, slim is in so go narrow and go long, or keep your jeans at a mini flair instead of a wide leg. Paris has five styles of pants that she makes in a variety of fabrics to take you from summer to the holidays.

3. Watch the fit. "Often women buy pants too tight instead of tailoring them to fit their waist and wearing them a little looser at the hip so it doesn't squeeze their leg," she says. A good rule of thumb: buy for your hips/thighs rather than your waist. You can always get the waist taken in.

4. Careful of ill-fitting capris. Gordon doesn't dislike capris, she just doesn't like to see women wearing them incorrectly. And how is that you ask? "I see these women with cropped wide leg pants, and it’s the most inappropriate thing for any body. More often the pants end at the widest part of the calf and the opening of the leg is wider than the knee opening." So, what's a capri-lovin' gal to do? Gordon says to find capris that go straight down from the knee in a narrow leg (narrow doesn't have to mean tight!) And, don't end the capri in the middle of the calf, it should end at the ankle or just under the calf muscle; or 3 to 4 inches above the ankle for a crop.

5. Smooth the creases. "If you try something on and there are creases under your butt, forget it," says Gordon, who recommends you size up and have the item altered to fit in the areas where it runs larger. In addition, check the front. Is the rise too short (the distance between your crotch and waistband)? You'll be able to tell if you have the dreaded camel toe. Look at your hip area, does it seem wider in this style or proportioned?

In my next post, I'll talk about Gordon's five famous pant styles and which body type looks good in which.

Paris Gordon is a former celebrity stylist and current fashion designer who graduated from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Specializing in high-end designer fashion, Paris is expanding from Couture to Day Wear Basics with a twist, which consist of the hugging tee and convertible styles made of stretch jersey and knits--perfect for moms who want to be stylish, comfortable and want to get more wear out of classic, well-made items. 

1 comment:

  1. when I am inshape I have I guess an hour glass... but since my pregnancy... (4 years ago) I have alot of fat in the tummy area... so my jeans either fit my hips but give me a muffin top or are big enough to go around my fat but fall off me all day so I have a plumber situation... neither is I wear baggy tops and look frumpy Please help!
    frumpy mommy :(