Pants for pear shapes?
July 29, 2004 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Pants for pear shapes? [more inside]

I'm size 12/14, pear shaped (heavier in the hips and thighs than in the waist) and looking for any style of pants (jeans, casual,dress, etc.) and/or shorts that fit well. For far too long I've put up with crotch sag from pants made for apple shapes (heavier around the middle). My ideal would be something that sits just below the belly button, is slightly larger in the thighs but not baggy, and that has a close but not tight fit. I'm in the Boston area but will happily shop online.
posted by initapplette to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have the same shape and I'm also low waisted, so I hear ya about the crotch sag. I'm assuming you are a woman (based on the sizing) so that's what my recommendation is based on.

If you are looking for casual or semi-casual, I have always great luck with Gap and Old Navy low rise bootcut jeans (not the ultra low rise, they showcase backfat and make your arse look disproportionately huge) and any dressier pants at the Gap in Classic Fit cut (as opposed to Modern Fit, which are made for 12 year old boys I think). I have been everything from a size 16 to an 8, but always the same general shape, and I've always had luck at Gap and Old Navy. Calvin Klein bootcut jeans aren't too bad, but do have a noticeably higher waist on them than the Gap and Old Navy jeans, so there may be some bagginess around the upper thighs and waist.

Most of my other suggestions are for Canadian stores where you can't shop online, unfortunately.

Generally, pants identified as low rise, have a flat front (ie, no pleats) and with very little fussiness around the waist (pockets, buttons, waistband) tend to be the most flattering. Ditto for pants with a slight flare below the knee or have a straight-from-the-waist cut - I avoid tapered pants at all costs. A less fussy waist on a pant allows me to leave a slightly fitted shirt untucked to fall to my hip line and not the waist, which also looks best. These are pretty much the only kind of pants I end up buying, regardless of brand name.
posted by Cyrie at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, Cyrie! I'll try your suggestions.

Please post the Canadian stores too if you wouldn't mind; there might be others who could benefit from that info. And if there are any in Toronto, I do get there once in a while.
posted by initapplette at 11:17 AM on July 29, 2004

Ditto everything Cyrie said. I'll add that Limited's "Cassidy" pants are excellent, also. I bought a pair as half of a suit, and they are very flattering.

I don't know how young you are, but if you are under 35(?) and/or wear a youthful style, you might have success with Lucky brand jeans. They fit me perfectly, and are extremely flattering. Unfortunately they are also expensive. If you have a Buckle store near you, their BKE store brand fits almost identically to Lucky, but they are half the price.
posted by gatorae at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2004

I've bought pants that have that lovely waist gap where you could fit a 27" tv, but they fit fine around the hips. Then I've taken them to those "pants hemmed while you wait" tailoring places, and for an extra $10 or so they'll take in the waist so it fits. Comes in handy when all the 70%-off racks are for those damn apples.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:34 AM on July 29, 2004

I'm smaller, but I have the same kind of shape and the same problem. I've had the most success at thrift stores where you can't even try on the stuff, believe it or not. Maybe older styles are more pear-shaped. I've never bought pants there, but I always liked the Garment District in Cambridge (where you can try on stuff) when I lived there. I've also heard very good things about Silver brand jeans from a similarly shaped friend.
posted by transona5 at 1:30 PM on July 29, 2004

Best answer: As requested, Canadian stores: Reitmans and Smart Set are both inexpensive options, but the pants are hit and miss - both stores to shop at if you have a lot of time to try stuff on. In addition to being pear shaped, my arse sticks out quite a bit, so I have to be careful with some cheaper fabrics since they have the right shape, but my butt pulls the hips too tight, or make me look a bit too hoochie. Reitmans and Smart Sets often have good deals in the business casual or cute, casual range of clothes.

For higher end stuff, J. Michaels. Suits are really good and tend to come in a variety of styles,and most are three piece suits - pants, skirt and jacket. Classic styling, good fabrics, good sales staff and appropriate sizing- generously cut without being baggy, and slim flitting enough to look smart. With a pear shape, I find when I'm buying a suit that the pants are the easy part - it's the jackets that are a bitch. I can shop hours through a whole mall and find nothing, then walk into J. Michaels and find a smart looking suit in under 20 minutes. Braemar isn't bad either in terms of quality, but a bit stodgy for my taste (not enough tailoring, too many flowery prints and lace collars). Although more expensive, when either of these stores have sales, they are blow out the door sales. $400 suits down to $150 kind of thing.

I agree with transona on thrift stores, especially for skirts. I was never so happy as when 40s styles were back in, minus the huge shoulder pads. Pants and skirts were easy to buy.

Just to emphasize: fabrics are key. With a quality fabric, a cut that would stretch and pull and gape and look too tight in a cheap polyester looks flattering and slim fitting enough to look put together. Same with pants that are too loose - they always seem to look sloppy and baggy (as opposed to loose and flowing) in a cheap fabric. 1% spandex in a pair of casual pants is enough to make a huge difference making the pants look like they fit a pear just right without being too tight.
posted by Cyrie at 1:56 PM on July 29, 2004

I'm the same size and same shape, and I definitely second the recommendation for pants from The Limited and would also recommend some pants from Banana Republic. Also, there's a brand called KikGirl (I think?) that's offered at that's lowrise and fits really well, but it's casual/rave stuff, not for work.

Also, A-line skirts and ones that flare a little bit at the knee are often much easier to find and deal with. Avoid short stuff. Oh, and wrap dresses and skirts, or other styles where you can manually cinch in the waist so that they don't gap/billow, are good stuff.

Thanks for the Lucky jeans recommendation--will try that.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:31 PM on July 29, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the recommendations! So far, the "Martin fit" pants at Banana Republic are a success; I'll hit the other stores as time and budget permit.
posted by initapplette at 8:26 AM on July 30, 2004

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