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Monday, 24 February 2014

Top tips on how to choose skirts for ladies with curves - Cos and Jigsaw are my favourites right now

A few posts ago now, I was asked to advise on which style skirts suit those with curvier hips. To my way of thinking, there are two way of looking at this: First, there's the Kim Kardashian way, which involves wearing body con skirts to show off those curves. I like this approach for its full on, two fingers in the air gesture to the "traditional" way of styling curvy hips - and in her case a curvy bottom too. It works really well for those who want to make the most of their assets and who have the attitude to carry it off. The only thing to make sure of is that you create the smoothest silhouette possible with the right underwear.

The second way, the more "traditional" way, for those who are less inclined to want their assets papped, is to use styling tricks to re-balance the proportions.

I'm not being prescriptive here, as it's always a matter of trial and error with these things, but rather I'm just putting tips out there so that your radar can pick them up, or not, as the case may be. In all honesty these type of posts scare the life out of me as I would hate for anyone to think that I am being critical/bossy so my advice is to take what you like and leave what you don't....

The theory is that to balance wider hips, a skirt needs to have some volume in it. The best way of establishing this is to look at the circumference of the hem. If it's teeny tiny and tube like, it's probably not for you - unless adopting the KK approach that is.

It's not quite as simple as that though because ideally you don't want the width to start from the waistband - as per skater skirts which just add further volume, or as per those with lots of tiny pleats/gathers which can just add bulk over the tummy as well as the hips. I think that it's best that I try and talk you through a few!

Cos is my favourite brand for a good selection of skirts which are made for those who have some decent hippage! The Cos photos aren't that great either in terms of size or styling, so I suggest that you follow the links and then click on the image to enlarge it.

This one is probably my favourite of all. This pleated skirt (£59) sits flat over the hips and tummy and then flares subtley further down to balance out the hips. Delicate fabrics are better than rigid ones as they skim. It's lined and has a laser cut hem - all of which I had a good look at today.  It's a really versatile skirt in that it could be worn with a chunky jumper, tights and ankle boots during the day, or really dressed up for the evening with sparkles and heels.


The panels in this panelled A-line skirt (£59) give it the width at the hem but it's still quite neat over the tummy and hips. The flat shoe styling never really helps though! It's a good price and also a versatile option too - it just need a bit of imagination in styling the top half. Dark colours can work really well on the bottom half for those with curvier hips, so one option is to play with texture, print and colour on the top half.


This flared panel skirt  (£69) is again neat over the tummy and hips with the flare starting from beneath the seam which is part way down the skirt. For some the flare may be too wide, for others it will work well. I would always recommend trying a skirt like this with dark tights and a heeled shoe or boot - not necessarily high ones but enough to give some lift - or else the danger is that the proportions won't look right and it will be taken straight off again.


This printed jacquard skirt (£69) has subtle A-line shape and the print too is fairly subtle. It would work well with navy, grey, black, purples or lilacs so it too is versatile in its own way. Those that are just above the knee work well on petite frames who don't want to be drowned by too much length.


For a more spring like option, this A-line skirt (£69) (which comes in cornflower blue and midnight blue) could be a real winner. Another tip for those with curvy hips - and who may also have heavier legs - is to tone the colour of hosiery to the colour of your shoes, rather than the skirt. In the spring however this could be worn with a bare leg and nude or tan shoes, to continue the lines which creates a slimming effect.


This wool cashmere skirt (£59) would suit those with a small frame. You can see that it has a slight A-line to it - just enough to re-balance the proportions.


For a splash of colour this orange skirt with front pleats (£55) is a bit quirky and unlike some colours, would still look OK with black tights and shoes or boots for now...


I also liked this lightweight melton skirt (£69) which I saw when shopping today. Sometimes you have to watch the pockets on A-line skirts - it just depends how they sit and they can always be stitched down. The vertical centre line is a good detail though as it draws the eye up and down creating an elongating effect.


Predictably I also loved the melton skirt (£69) in pink. This one is a different fabric to the one above - slightly heavier and a bit fluffy but again great with black, navy or grey so a versatile option despite being brighter.


I could go on but I think that you get the picture. The things to bear in mind when shopping for a skirt with a little more volume in it are:

Floaty fabrics are better than rigid ones, the use of panelling can work a treat, look for A-line shaped skirts, or for those that flip out half way down, tone tights to shoes rather than the skirt, wear heels if possible - substantial ones are better than delicate ones and direct shimmer, colour, print, horizontal stripes and texture to your top half. Phew, hope that helps! x


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