This post was inspired by an email from a reader with a curvy body shape questioning why an hourglass was included in the pear shape category on the ilovejeans.com body shape tool. She felt that her hourglass body shape had nothing to do with a pear shape.
Pear or Hourglass?
Right, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the two body shapes…
Pear (left): Your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders with a slim upper body, smaller bust, broadening to a fullness in the hip, bottom & thigh area. A high percentage of women in the UK fall into this body shape. Pears can be all sizes, petite to plus size.
Hourglass (right): Your hips & bust are about the same size with your waist being approx 10″ smaller, with a fuller bottom. The interesting factor with an hourglass is that an overweight pear can fall into this body shape ( putting weight on the top half as well on the bottom).
You can see in the body shapes above the top half is the difference in a pear & hourglass. Gok Wan often mentions that clothing manufacturers and dressmakers still design to an hourglass mannequin shape. When it comes to dressing the bottom half of a pear or hourglass in jeans, the formula is the same.
As a stylist with 20 years experience, I have dressed many women with different body shapes and the constant challenge is to get them fitted into jeans suitable for their shape.
What’s the problem?:
Finding a style that fits on the waist and on the hips is the difficulty. Often a pair of jeans in a bigger size is purchased to house the hips & bottom but the waist is too big and gapes at the small of the back. This is a common problem for both pear & hourglass and the only answer to get around the gape is to follow the rules….
5 Curvy Girl Rules To Follow:
#1: Choose a higher rise jean. The rise is the measurement from the top of the waistband down to the bottom of the crotch seam. A higher rise jean sits comfortably below your belly button covering your bottom & hip area.
b: Find the best rise for you: With your jeans on, take a tape measure and measure from the crotch seam up to two fingers below your belly button. This will give you the measurement of the rise that will be comfortable for you. Or if you don’t have a tape measure use a ribbon or a piece of string. Take this shopping with you and use it as a guide when picking out jeans to try on.
#2: Always choose a style with at least 1% Lycra mix in the fabric content ( you can check the label inside the jean). This is important for comfort and for keeping the shape. Lycra & Elastane do the same job. I have found jeans with a Cotton, Polyester & Lycra mix keep the best shape.
#3: Choose a wider waistband. Perfect for sitting on the hip & the smallest part of your waist. Often a wider waistband sits higher on the back, so no knickers showing.
#4: Look to balance out your curves. When choosing a leg shape opt for a boot cut, wide leg or kick flare to balance out your curves. If you’re hankering for a skinny style then keep the rise high! A Straight leg, again with a higher waist can be perfect for a smart work style
#5: Do your homework. There is a handful of denim brands & retailers that specifically have styles for ladies with curves. Check them out as they were created for you…
Denim Brands Specialising in Curves
PZI JEANS have come into their own as one of the best affordable Curvy Denim Brands that promise to banish the gape at the back of the jean, so many curvy girls suffer. Named by Oprah Magazine as “The world’s best jeans” it’s worth taking a peek.
GOOD AMERICAN Launched in 2017 and have hit the floor running with jeans for the curviest bodies sizes 00 to 24, click here to find out about the brand.
CENIA CONVI JEANS One of the latest designers to create a jean for curvy women. Cenia’s collections always have the curvy women in mind. Click here to read about the brand & get 15% discount code.
Watch Cenia ConVi Jean at Work:
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Image: – Good Legs lace up /Good American