How To: Create a Peplum (and curves) from a Straight Shirt

Top: Zara (0ld), Belt: Target (similar), Skirt + Bracelet: J.Crew, J.Crew, Shoes: Cole Haan (similar)

As a woman with curves I am always looking for ways to accentuate them. I purchase this Zara shirt online a few months back and was disappointed by the utter boxiness and lack of shape it gave when on. I have worn it a few times tucked into high waisted pants or skirts, but on this particular day, wearing a skirt that was just slightly too fitted to tuck anything in to, I found an alternative by creating a slight peplum using a simple skinny belt.

As you can see from these pictures, without a synching belt the shirt completely eliminates my curves. I look boxy on top and much heavier than I am. By adding a contrasting skinny belt at the smallest part of my waist I emphasize my curves and draw the eye to the smallest section. The nipping in of this shirt also created some blousiness at the bottom, almost like a faux peplum. This was great in camouflaging any problem areas around the stomach, making me feel more comfortable when sitting down in this bodycon skirt.

How to you “alter” clothing items that give you no shape?

How to Balance out a Hippy Figure

Top: Zara, Pants: Banana Republic, Shoes: Kelsi Dagger via Gilt, Bag: Dooney and Burke (moms), Earrings: Nordstrom Rack

This is one of my favorite outfits. The jeans are flattering, the wedges are so comfortable, and this new top with its bejeweled shoulders is becoming an instant favorite. But aside from the fun aspects of this outfit, it instantly proportions my body which is something I always appreciate in clothing.

This outfit helps me out in a number of ways:

1) The wider leg opening in these jeans helps to draw attention away from my hips and balance out my bottom half.

2) The dark wash also helps in camouflaging any body bumps.

3) This white top with its ruffled shoulder adds some interest and volume to my top half, helping to draw the eye upward and balance out my fuller bottom.

4) Finally, the low neckline helps elongate my neck and make me look taller overall.

I tied a fun scarf to this green carryall for some added interest. I thought it brought a nice punch of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.

How do you make clothing work for your body?

Pearshape Review: J.Crew Cafe Capri for Work

Top: Club Monaco (old) (similar & similar), Pants: J.Crew Cafe Capri, Shoes: Halogen via Nordstrom (old)

In this post I talk about my struggles finding a work pant that fits my pearshaped body. Structured pants simply do not fit my rounder frame and I always find either tightness in the thigh and butt areas, or gaping at the waist. For reference, my requirements for a work pant were: neutral color, full length, mid-rise, not too tight in the rear end or thigh, slight stretch, slimmer bottom opening. While these J.Crew Cafe Capri pants don’t fit all of those points, I am pleased with the fit and picked them up at 25% off as simply something to put on my body for work.

As a sizing guide: I am approximately 5’6′ tall, and typically wear a size 10 in pants. For these bottoms I was required to size up to a 12. For some women, generally those not as hippy as myself, J.Crew practices “vanity sizing.” However I feel that as a fuller woman, I often have to size up in their pants. This inconsistent sizing is a point of frustration for me.

A 31′ inseam is ideal for me for full length pants, and these capri’s measure a 27″ inseam. In the pictures above I have rolled the hem one inch.

Likes: First, I love the stretch cotton material these particular cafe capri’s are made of. J.Crew manufactures these pants in many other fabrics all of which had no stretch and were too tight on me. The cotton is breathable, light, and stretchy. The opening is a two hook closure with a 1.5inch waistband. This is ideal for keeping the tummy in check. Finally, I like the 27″ inseam and that I am able to roll the stiff fabric one full inch without the need for tailoring.

Dislikes: As you can see in the pictures above, this particular material is prone to wrinkles. This is after one day of wear at work and they already need an ironing. While the capri length is fun, it is not ideal for my conservative work environment so I will still be searching for my perfect pant. Finally, there is a bit of fraying at the pockets (intended to be opened), but I plan to have them professionally sewn shut to avoid the extra bulk at the hips.

I will be keeping these pants and have ordered the newly discovered full-length version online. Until then, I am still on the hunt for my perfect work pant!

Tutorial: Style a Coat to Flatter Your Pearshape Figure

Coats are the one Fall and Winter accessory I stock up on during those seasons. I love interesting coats, case and point with this LOFT coat I nabbed almost immediately, and have so much fun using them as focal points in my cooler weather outfits. However, I always feel slightly bulky and unshapely in most coats, and over the years have developed subtle ways of tying or wearing them to help flatter my figure.

When buying a peacoat or trench I tend to go for double breasted styles as they usually come with a sash that helps synch the waistline. This style also allows for different wear variations, like my favorite above. I fold back each side of the coat and button it to its respective button. This creates fun almost faux lepels and also a slim center opening which gives the illusion of a thinner waist and longer torso.

When I want to button my coat double breasted style, or wear it folded over as shown above, I like to play with the ties. My favorite way of creating some added interest to coats is to create a fun bow tied at the back. This brings the attention back to my narrow mid section and removes the bulk of the ties from the front of my body.

But when i’m in a rush, and want to wear the coat buttoned as intentioned, I always tie the excess material in a bow, and rarely let it flap along my body. The flapping draws attention to my lower half and generally looks less polished. I also rarely use the “fish” shape (though it is so cute!) that is common among many bloggers (see here), because as a pearshape woman I feel like it only adds bulk to the side of my frame and eliminates the synching affect that tying in the front creates. Tying excess material in a bow creates a “belt” feature that further defines my waist and gives a feminine, fun feel.

I am absolutely in love with this coat and cannot wait to pair the black and white stripes with rich colors and textures for Fall. If you have any more coat-wearing tips, please pass them along!

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