Sunday, 30 November 2008

Flattery, thy name is 'trouser'.

Or perhaps not. For many years I didn't worn any trousers - not even jeans... especially not jeans. The fact is that if you seek to diminish the appearance of the size of your bum, your tummy or your thighs, skirts and dresses offer greater potential. On the other hand trousers are warm, practical and can be flattering in other ways. Drawing attention to the bum or waist can be desirable if it draws the focus from elsewhere, and most trousers give the illusion of lengthening the legs.

My friend Davi, an NYC-dwelling dancer and actor, has asked for my help. She's in phenomenal yoga-toned shape but struggles with trousers because, despite a trim waist and fab booty, she doesn't like her thighs. She's also only 5'2", and this is a problem because the usual recommendation to balance out heavy thighs with a wide parallel leg can make the legs look shorter. These jeans are from US brand Newport ($39) - and I'm fishing in the dark with American stores, but they are a gorgeous cut, and the high waist (shown in the smaller picture) will visually elongate the legs. They come in regular or long lengths - which I hope would be OK for Davi, because jeans can be hard to take up. For UK readers, this pair of lighter weight trousers from M&S cost £35 and fit the same bill.

To wear high-waisters, and benefit from that elongating illusion, you need to feel confident about a close fit on the waist, tummy, and almost certainly the bum (depending on the cut). If you prefer to cover those areas with a loose-fitting top, and you still want to elongate the look of your legs, I'd advise against wide leg trousers. What you want, in that case, is the bootcut.

Bootcut trousers fit close to the leg, but then kick out a little below the knee. The reason they are flattering to heavier thighs is that they visually balance the width above the knee with the width below. Meanwhile, because the overall profile is leaner than the wide leg trousers, they are more adept at elongating over a shorter distance. For maximum flattering effect, match shoes to trousers and trousers to top. British girls, I'm again recommending M&S again, purely because I happen to be wearing a pair of their black bootcut cords at the moment, and who can beat a personal recommendation? Only £15 too. For Davi, this pair by Gloria Vanderbilt at Amazon are also a bargain at $28, but cord bootcuts seem to be a transatlantic fashion staple and plenty of other stores will stock them. Wear bootcuts long. They should just about reach the ground at the back.

My last recommendation for trousers which flatter this shape is a little contentious, but it works for me. I like to wear three-quarter length trousers. The hot pink pair below ($75) are not for the faint-hearted (more sober colours are available at the US-based website but will flatter a heavier thigh, assuming that the calf on show is paler than the trouser above. It balances out by making the calf seem larger - which isn't the safest strategy, but it's sassy and fun. Cropped trousers needn't be so tight or short to have this effect. Cropped linen trousers in summer, or jeans (worn with long boots underneath) in winter will work. Keep the colour below the trouser uninterrupted - tan coloured sandals, plain boots - if you want to maximize the appearance of length. Cropped trousers are hard to find in winter. Try rockabilly websites and dress up with heels or even better, high wedges for evening.

British readers might like to take a chance on Peacocks. They have a pair on their website for £14 with some interesting design detail. Great for making a feature of the waist - but of course I can't vouch for the quality.

1 comment:

  1. oooh! thank you darling. I am off to investigate the options you've provided.

    And, as it happens, I love my thighs. I just don't like the way most trousers fit them.



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