Trouser Styles And Body Shapes

Thursday 8th of May 2014

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With all the fab colours and prints in the shops right now for tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets and all-in-ones, it seems the trousers in particular are out there in force – but which style will work with our body shapes?

There are so many styles such as jeans, shorts, jumpsuits, baggy – tapered at the ankle, cropped, turned up, straight leg, wide leg the list is endless, and that is just the style, there is also a huge selection of patterns and materials to choose from – so which ones do we pick?

Lean Column
(Narrow Shoulders, lean limbs, small non defined waist)
Trousers with a waistband help to draw attention to the waist, suggesting a break between waist and hips.  A belt also helps in the same way.  Trousers that create the illusion of curves where there are none are a great choice. Look for shaped, pleated, pocketed or cargo.  Any detail that will emphasise your hips and bottom and define your waist.
Best Patterns
Straight lines  such as squiggles, checks, geometrics, paisleys and spots.
Best Fabrics
Try heavier, textured fabrics like corduroy, tweed, wool as these create volume and give your frame shape.

Hourglass
(Defined waist, hips and shoulders in proportion)

Bootleg jeans are good, skinny jeans are fine but wear a longer top or longer boots to balance look. Try high and mid-rise trousers with a wider waistband.  A wider leg trouser will work, but make sure there are no pleats.  Your jeans will need to be cut higher at the back and straight, gently flared styles are the best.  You can try cropped trousers but only if you have long legs. Try to avoid very wide legs as this will unbalance your body shape, and also jeans that don’t offer flexibility and too many pockets.
Best Patterns
Curved patterns to go with your body shape – spots, floral, paisley, circles and squiggles.
Best Fabrics
Light to medium weight – make sure material has movement and only a little texture.

If you are a neat hourglass (more angular than round on shoulders and hips) most types of trouser will look good on you as long as there is a waistband.
Best Patterns
Most types.
Best Fabrics
Light to medium weight – cotton, linen, silk, jersey.

Pear shapes
(Defined waist, full hips and thighs, smaller top half)

Choose trousers that have a slight flare or a wider leg.  Trousers will look better in a plain fabric, save the pattern for the top half of your body to divert attention above your waist. Jeans are not great unless they have a lot of stretch in them otherwise they will fit your hips but not your waist.  Try to avoid too many pockets on trousers.  Other good styles are straight leg, drawstring waist, cropped trouser (as long as you have long legs).
Best Patterns
Curvy patterns, circles, squiggles, floral.
Best Fabrics
Soft and fluid that drape easily such as wool, jersey, knits.

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Inverted Triangle
(Wider shoulders than hips, no waist)

Wear trousers that highlight your hips and bottom, bring all the attention below your waist.  Medium to high rise trousers are good. Trouser Styles:- Jeans, narrow, straight leg, plain front, cargo pants.  Stay away from trousers that create volume around the waist area i.e. drawstring or pleats.
Best Patterns
Straight lines – stripes, checks, geometrics, squiggles and spots.
Best Fabrics
Constructed fabric, cottons, linens, wool, corduroy and tweed.

Rectangle
(Straight hips and bottom, shoulders and hips in line, little waist definition)

Trousers that have details at hips and bottom to create shape are a good look, avoid details at the waist such as gathers, belts or waistbands. Most trouser shapes will suit.
Best Patterns
Geometric patterns, stripes, checks, spots.
Best Fabrics
Wool, cottons, linens, jersey and lightweight tweeds.

Round Shape or Plus Size figures
(Attention needs to be kept above the bust line and below the waist)

Best trousers are ones with a wider leg.  Having a crease down the front will give a longer leg look, similarly light vertical pinstripes give the same effect. Try trousers that have drawstrings and no waist band.
Best Patterns
Subtle patterns, soft or faded stripes, squiggles, spots, floral or paisleys.
Best Fabrics
Soft fluid fabrics, soft cottons, linens, jersey and knits.

Petite Figures
Follow the rules of the above body shapes plus…

Look for a straight leg trouser or trousers with a pleat to give the illusion of a longer leg.  Stay away from cropped trousers or those with a big pattern.  Try to wear the same colour shoe as trouser or wear slightly longer trousers than normal with a pair of heels (in the same colour) again to give the illusion of longer limbs.

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