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Choosing The Right-fitted Pants

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JeansLet’s face it - shopping for a pair of well-fitting pants doesn’t exactly rank high on the favorite-things-to-do list. But what if you knew nabbing the perfect pair would not only boost your mood, but change the appearance of your lower half? Impossible you say? Think again. The secret lies in knowing your body and what looks best on it.

Body type: long legs

Your challenge: Making the most of your height

The best pants for you: From slim cuts to wide-leg versions, you can wear almost any style of pant you like. Length is your biggest concern – keep hems a half inch off the ground for maximum impact. When you find a well-fitting pair you like, inspect the inner hem to see if there’s enough fabric turned in that could be let down by a tailor. Specialty shops for taller gals are always a good shopping bet.

Dress them up: Balance your proportions with contrasting shapes. If you’re wearing slim-cut pants, pair them with a boxy jacket; if you’re going with wide-leg pants, try a fitted top.

Body type: Wide bottom, hips or legs

Your challenge: Evenly distributing your proportions

The best pants for you: Slightly flared or wide-leg pants (in dark colors) are most flattering since they create a long line from hip to toe. A snug fit around the butt and thighs is crucial, and the fabric should skim over these areas and flow away from the body at the hips. If you find a pair that fits properly everywhere but at the waist, have them taken in by a tailor.

Handing over a few extra sum is a small price to pay for a custom fit.

Dress them up: Look for structured jackets to balance your shoulders and hips. Brightly colored shirts and bold jewelry will also draw attention to your upper half.

Body type: Short legs

Your challenge: Looking taller

The best pants for you: A creased-front pant helps create a strong vertical line, boosting the illusion of longer legs. Stick to a straight-leg cut or a slight flare and avoid pants with large prints or a cuff – both will overwhelm you and make you look shorter.

Dress them up: A bit of height goes a long way in helping a short frame. Pointed-toe shoes will give you a boost and make legs look longer – even 1-1/2″ heels help. If you prefer flats, stick with pointed-toes – round- or square-toe shoes tend to emphasize a small frame.

Body type: Boyish figure

Your challenge: Creating curves

The best pants for you: Heavier, textured fabrics like tweed, wool and corduroy are your best bet for adding much-needed volume. Look for traditional boot-cut styles to help create length and try options with a slightly lower rise to draw attention to hips. Choosing pants with well-placed pockets is a great way to add attention to certain areas, as is adding a low slung belt. Look for colorful stitching or a flap pocket on your bottom to create the illusion of an hourglass shape.

Dress them up: Play up a small waistline with fitted tops and jackets. Lightweight layers will also add dimension to your shape without adding too much bulk.

Body type: Hourglass figure

Your challenge: Making your legs look long and lean

The best pants for you: Slightly flared or wide straight-leg styles are ideal, as are cropped pants that are hemmed at mid-calf. If you go for the latter, keep the color of your boot or shoe in the same family as the pant for maximum leg length. Lastly, avoid overly skinny pants as they can create a pear-shaped look, and skip wide-leg options which can overwhelm this body type.

Dress them up: Accentuate your curves with sleek tops, like a knit turtleneck or a fitted cap-sleeve top.

Body type: Large mid-section

Your challenge: Minimizing your waistline

The best pants for you: Pants with a medium rise and a slightly wider leg will lengthen your body and smooth the appearance of any bumps or bulges. Look for dark, solid colors to flatter your figure and draw the eye downward. Also, beware of all low-rise styles – they’ll only make your belly appear bigger.

Dress them up: Empire waist tops are perfect for hiding extra weight around your mid-section. A deep V neckline, on any style of top, will also make your face and shoulders a focal point and help to elongate your shape.


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