Aamina Siddiqi discusses the difficulty of achieving the perfect look perpetuated by the celebrity-focused media, especially for women of colour, as the makeup industry caters for lighter skin tones and pushes up prices for all.Written by Redbrick on 28th March 2015
It’s All Gone Pear-Shaped! The Pears’ Guide to Summer Style
My sister and I have always struggled with our body shape – both being rather ‘bootylicious’ (as our mum, so sweetly, puts it) in the bottom department and rather non-existen...
My sister and I have always struggled with our body shape – both being rather ‘bootylicious’ (as our mum, so sweetly, puts it) in the bottom department and rather non-existent on top, it’s often a struggle to find clothes to fit us. After a recent near-meltdown situation staged by my sister as she struggled into some skinny jeans in the River Island changing rooms, I decided it was time for us juicy pears to embrace our protruding rear-ends and listen to the wise words of Freddie Mercury: ‘fat-bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round’. Yes, we pears may suffer from saddle bags and cellulite, but at least we have (relatively) flat stomachs and toned arms. We fall under the same category as hotties like Kim Kardashian and Mischa Barton – who could complain about that?
The trick to making the most of your pear-shaped figure is all in the style of clothes you wear and so, my big-bottomed beauties, here’s a guide to the most figure-flattering summer items (and a few styles to avoid) to help you showcase your curves…
High-waisted floaty skirts are our best friend and lucky for us, they’re everywhere this season. They’ll pull you in at the waist, accentuating your best feature, whilst skimming over your wider hips and thighs. Don’t be afraid of colour BUT avoid fussy patterns on your bottom half.
This flippy skirt is £30 from Topshop and comes in other colours:
Peg-leg trousers are a great shape for pear-shaped girls and a brilliant alternative to skinny jeans. This shape can cinch in your waist and skim over hips – the tapered ankle-grazer will balance out your lower half, drawing attention to the smallest part of your leg and putting your figure into proportion.
Longer-length tops are a good way to skim over your hips. This swing shirt is a brilliant shape because it avoids any tightness around your lower half and, if paired with skinny jeans or leggings, disguises the hips and bum to show off the lower, slimmer part of your leg.
River Island Floral Print Swing Shirt – £20.
Go for a halter-neck top to draw attention to your shoulders and balance out your hips. With swimwear, make sure you draw attention to your top half with a bikini top that has heavy detail and keep the pants simple.
This River Island top (£15) will do the job nicely:
Avoid tops that fall slightly above the widest part of your hips - a top that sits above this point will merely draw attention to your hips and make you look out of proportion. This season short tops are everywhere but don’t be tempted to buy one! Crop-tops are an option (don’t be afraid to show off your waist or midriff) BUT compensate by keeping your bottom half floaty.
This crop-tee from Topshop is £8 and would look really cute with a high waisted skater skirt like the one above:
Be wary of cropped jackets – a jacket that finishes above your hips will cut you in an unflattering place. Cropped denim jackets will work with floaty skirts or dresses but not with skinny trousers – instead, try a light boyfriend blazer in a summery shade which finishes mid-thigh.
This long-line blazer from Warehouse is £60:
Avoid body-con styles unless you’re super-toned – tight clothes can be the enemy of even the skinniest of girls but if you do have any wobbly bits, body-con will be your worst nightmare. Instead, try the skater dress which is bang-on-trend this season – the tighter top and cinched in waist will accentuate your tiny top half and the floaty skirt of the dress will disguise your bum and hips, transforming your figure.
This Miss Selfridge number is the ideal dress for pear shaped girls – the pleat bodice and cut out detail draws the eye to the smaller half of your body:
Once you know the styles that suit you it can be really easy to find clothes to flatter your figure. The most important thing is to not get too hung up on sizes – you might feel like some sort of mutant buying a size eight top and a size twelve jeans but nobody will be able to tell if you buy the styles that give the illusion of an in-proportion figure. It’s normal to have moments when you detest your pear-figure but when you’re at crisis point just remember… no one can do the Beyonce booty-shake quite like you!
Written by Sophie Hay