Don’t Waste Your Money – A Shape


I always find that I want to make shopping a pleasant experience.  So with a little knowledge you can be prepared to assess a garment before you try it to see if it has a chance of flattering your figure.  If you have an A (pear) shaped body, which many women do, it’s that lovely female shape, there are a few garment details you need to be aware of that you will find won’t flatter your gorgeous figure.   There is no point in wasting your money on clothing with these features as you will unlikely ever be really happy with how you look in them.

  1. Beware of whiskers on jeans – that fading creates horizontal lines and detail on your crotch, and who wants your crotch to be the focus of others gaze?
  2. Cargo pants pockets on the hips and patch pockets on jeans, again, more unnecessary horiztonal lines.
  3. Hotpants – best left to Kylie Minogue.
  4. Tops that end at your thighs, you think if you pull down your top you’re covering and hiding your bum?  Actually you’re drawing attention to your thighs.
  5. Cardigans with pockets down low.
  6. Horizontal banding on the bottom of cardigans or jumpers that end on your thighs
  7. Jackets that end at the thigh, keep jackets ending at the high hip, or just above the knee, not inbetween.

If you pick up a garment and it has one of these details, just don’t even bother taking it into the changeroom, it’s a waste of your precious time and effort.

What other garment details do you avoid?


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  • ankaHi Imogen,
    As a pear-shape, I think twice before trying on these additional styles:
    >The very popular blouson-style summer tops (that have a gathered/shirred hem band). If that band sits anywhere below the waist, the pear shape waistline is lost and attention is drawn to the hips.
    > Likewise, for winter, any cotton sweater or hoodie in the style that has an elasticised band around the garment hem. This shape will always make the pearshape look overweight and hip-heavy. Woolley jumpers and cardigans with the same feature will also be unflattering, unless the band is very wide AND extends up above the waistline.
    > Also still hugely popular, drape-front and drop-point vests and cardigans. Most will obscure the pear shape's waist indent(and sometimes her bust outline too,if small/average); and the bulk of the folds being at hip level just emphasizes the hips. (Some versions ARE wearable -e.g. longer styles to mid-thigh or the knee:, but you have to be prepared to try on a lot of duds to find one that sits just so…)
    > drawstring waistlines that sit right on the waist, whether in pants, skirts, or jackets. Somehow, string-gathered fabric seems to be more flattering and less hip-heavy if the gathers start from somewhere lower below the waist.
    > tulip short skirts.(I don't mean gathered hem skirts, I've got one of these beauties myself, but the genuine inverted bowl shape). If a pencil skirt is a tough call for a pearshape, the genuine tulip skirt has to be seen on to be believed. Truly a shocker. A must to avoid!
    Thanks again Imogen for yet another really useful post!

  • So what's an A to wear? I live a casual lifestyle, with dogs and mud many months of the year.

    I guess one tip I have is to wear dresses. Mine usually need altering, for a shoulder adjustment, as they are quite narrow, though my best is relatively large.

    I still wish I had an option for playing with the dogs. I usually wear my sweats, which is not mood lifting.

    Another great post Imogen!

  • I love pencil skirts, but I have only found one skirt that fits my pear-shaped bum. This particular skirt is somehow a little more loose and drapes nicely, instead of clinging to my butt. So yes, I am forced to avoid most such skirts.

    The only kind of skirt I really can wear with confidence is an A-lined, flared skirt. Also hear I often encounter a problem: the skirt hugs my hips and flares too low, which makes my thighs and bum bulge out. I guess this is the tulip skirt mentioned in the previous post.

  • 1.Beware of whiskers on jeans – that fading creates horizontal lines and detail on your crotch, and who wants your crotch to be the focus of others gaze?

    Indeed. I have never liked whiskers for this very reason. Interestingly, when I mentioned this to two friends on separate occasions their response was, "Oh come on…who would ever think of that?" I'm glad you agree.

  • Thanks for this list – I'm not exactly a pear, I'm a bottom-heavy hourglass type i.e. a pear who has gained 20 lbs :)but,

    All of these style you've shown make me miserable. Somehow a list of what will absolutely never look good is more helpful than a list of what might or will.

  • I really appreciate this kind of advice, as trying things on is a pain! I'm not really a pear, but because I've a long torso, I don't want attention on the leg-break area, so much of this advice applies to me.

    – tall & slim anon

  • Sheath dresses. Absolutely love the way they look on the right person. Invariably they are too tight across the bottom and too large on top.

  • For pears Imogen, what do you think of the godet or gored skirt?

    The words sound rather 19th century but the inserts assure some fit over the hip and then width at the bottom. Just not too much width so the smaller bust is balanced. A pear in a full skirt can look like a tippee cup.

    • I would also like to know about gored skirts for the A shape, and I think Duchesse is on to something about needing them to be not too full at the hem. I am an A shape and I always think A line skirts are too wide so the rec about A line skirts has always puzzled me.

        • Oh! Light bulb moment! Thank you very much for pointing this out Imogen, it just explains everything. Suddenly why gored skirts look good and why the A line skirts I’ve tried don’t! Fabric drape.

  • Not one of these items that you featured would ever come into the dressing room with me.

  • Spot on, Imogen, with how whiskers draw attention to the crotch area. Exactly what I've been saying for years.

    Whiskers originated from hip hop designers who have succeeded in making the crotch a focal point.

    At the end of the day, they're just plain distracting!

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