Tips on Wearing Vests for Pearshapes: Banana Republic Faux-Fur Vest + Playing in the Fields of Minnesota

Vest + Jeans+ Boots (old, similar): Banana Republic, Sweater: Unknown, Necklace: Poshlocket

These pictures pretty much represent my ideal afternoon: wearing fun Fall clothing, running through golden fields of corn at dusk. On our drive back from Minneapolis my boyfriend and I kept seeing these beautiful, vast farms and eventually decided to stop and run around in one of them. Every 10 miles or so we would see a field like this with a small farm at one end of it, with fun tractors and pathways all around. It was one of the highlights of our trip and such a fun way to spend a bit of time.

This faux-fur vest was a piece I picked up during my shopping trip at Mall of America. Banana Republic was having a 40% off sale on outerwear and when I saw this vest on a mannequin (it was the last one in my size), I grabbed it and absolutely loved it on. I had visions of pairing it with jeans and boots like I did here, or with skirts and wedges during the warmer Spring and Fall months.

While incredibly warm, the vest doesn’t add too much bulk and offers a plethora of styling options. Here I have it open and simply tied in the front but I love the look of it zipped all the way up or completely open with the belt tied in the back. When worn with slimmer bottoms like skinny jeans or a shorter skirt, vests can work wonderfully for the pearshaped woman.

The one thing I am always sure of when buying a vest is the length. I opt for ones that, ironically, hit at the widest part of my hip. Because there are no sleeves to balance out the item, I feel like anything shorter would make me look short-torso’d and squat on top. A longer length makes my upper body look longer and slims my hips.

With its gold hardware and army green color, I am so excited to make this piece a wardrobe staple.

What do you think of vests for pearshapes? Are there any vest styles you stay away from?

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!

Review: H&M Forest Green Cotton Blazer

Blazer: H&M (recent) (sized up to a 12), Jeans: Levi’s, Necklace: H&M (recent)

I snapped these photos at my parent’s house while home for the weekend after spending some time shopping at our local H&M. Unlike most bloggers, I have a hard time finding items that fit and flatter my figure at H&M. I argue their cuts are not pearshape friendly, and I often have to size up one or two sizes to get things to fit right. This forest green heavy cotton blazer was a rare gem that I’m absolutely in love with.

First and foremost let me say that I did have to size up a few sizes to make this blazer work. Normally I wear an 8 in tops but here I am wearing a size 12 US. Aside from the sizing discrepancy, this blazer is a gorgeous deep forest green, is fully lined with stunning burgundy piping along the inside, and is made of a heavyweight cotton material. It has a two button closure in the front and the top button hits me perfectly just below my bust.

The sleeve length is also spot on. Though the sleeves only have an awkward two buttons instead of 3 or 4, the length is perfect and it falls nicely over my arm without being too big or pulling along my underarm. Because I am a sucker for details, I also loved the seaming along the front and back giving this blazer an even more ladylike shape. Also as you can see, the blazer falls lower in the back and curves up in the front, a unique cut that I think flatters a rear end without truncating the front leg-line.

With its open slit in the back, fully lined pockets and stunning color for Fall, I have decided to keep this blazer. Check out H&M for the other colors as well as this cut comes in 7-8 other vibrant options!

(Favorite photog/boyfriend/bestie)

Have you shopped H&M recently? Do you find their sizing and cuts difficult to make work?

Pearshape (uncommon) Staple #4: Fitted Tank

Tank: Banana Republic, Jeans: Levi’s, Jacket: Ann Taylor (old), Wedges: Steve Madden (old), Bracelets: J.Crew + Odette

This week’s final pearshape essential is rather uncommon but is a necessity in my wardrobe: the fitted tank top. As a pearshape my goal when dressing myself is to minimize volume. I attempt to minimize the volume on my bottom half and balance the top half without making myself look larger in certain areas. When wearing jeans I like to pair a more fitted top to accentuate my curves, or when wearing high-waisted pants or skirts, keep the top part tighter with a tank or shirt to keep my curves front and center. Enter: the  fitted tank. This one, specifically, from Banana Republic is my go-to (I have about 15 in my closet), and is usually on sale.

They are thin enough to tuck into jeans but thick enough to be worn as a shirt on hotter days. The thick straps cover bra straps and the material is stretchy but holds its shape beautifully.

This is how I typically wear these tanks: with jeans and some sort of sweater or jacket. Simple outfits that layer for warmth, show my curves, and don’t create bulk.

This jacket was a find from Ann Taylor a few years back. I popped into the store during a sale and ended up walking out with this moto-inspired jacket. It has faux-leather trim and is a rich olive green lined wool that is great for spring and fall. I love how it looks against jeans for a casual day outfit.

Interestingly enough this jacket is a size 8 petite as that was all they had in store. The sleeves are just a smidge too short but I like them rolled up better anyway. It is a little shorter in the back but I like the semi-cropped look with a white tank or shirt peeking out beneath.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

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