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August 6, 2008

Today Feministe linked to a simply HILARIOUS rant by some guy claiming that jeans are a feminsit vehicle causing gender confusion. Or something. I wasn’t totally clear. But it was funny.

Anyway, this reminded me of my current dilemma, plus I am tired of reading about politics. So lets talk about Clothing!!!!

I don’t really feel confident in pants. In large part because I am INCREDIBLY pear shaped. I have great big thighs and muscular calves (because I don’t walk properly, I walk on my toes.) And tiny delicate ankles. So yeah… my whole body makes no sense. I guess in theory since I don’t want to show off my legs I should want to wear pants, right? But pants seem to just draw ridiculous amounts of attention to my gigantic ass belly and thighs.

I used to like the flare legged jeans that Lane Bryant sold, feeling that they tended to balance out my ample middle. But now they only have bootlegged jeans in the new style, and the waist always feels tight on me no matter how big the rest of them get.

In an ideal world I would wear mostly casual skirts. A few years ago I bought a great jersey knit skirt with a hankerchief hem. It’s casual, but can be dressy, and I wear it ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Also it fits. It isn’t trying to make my hips less curvy than they are, it doesn’t cling to my belly, and the waistline (elastic) fits.

Unfortunately it is beginning the end of its lifecycle.

I would really like a few more skirts like this, skirts that I could wear instead of shorts, (In Disney World!) and maybe to work, or whatever. But so far I have come up with Zilch. I have seen some broomsticky style skirts, but that’s very BoHo and BoHo is very not me. And everything that isn’t BoHo is Pencil. And Pencil is NO with a capital NO.

So yeah, any fellow pear shaped (or other shaped) ladies have any skirts they recommend? I am really looking for a replacement for Shorts or Jeans that would be comfy in warm weather. If not, anyone have any similar fashion issues?

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  1. Do you know how to sew? If you do, when your skirt finally does bite the dust, take it apart and use it for a pattern to make your own. You can take a part of it with you when you shop for fabric so that you get the appropriate fabric to recreate the skirt (the salesladies at most fabric stores are pretty good about helping you find the right fabric). If you don’t sew, maybe you can find a seamstress in your area that could do that for you.
    I sew, so that’s what I do when a favorite top is no longer suitable for wearing. I take it apart and use it for a pattern. That way, I get the fabric/print/color that I like and don’t have to rely on being able to find it in the stores again.

  2. Or if you don’t sew yourself, you can find a seamstress to do the same thing.

    As for myself, I hate jeans. They’re so uncomfortable. Especially because its so hard to find a pair of rigid denim jeans that fit right. With the stretch denim jeans, usually what happens is the waist is just too tight always, to the point of pain. Or they fit right at the start of the day, but by an hour or two later, I’m pulling my jeans up my ass every five minutes.

    I’d say, look for wrap skirts. I made some earlier this summer and I love them. Very easy to get the waist tight enough, then the hips are still the right size. A wrap skirt can also do a lot of looks- I’ve seen them look boho. I’ve seen them look preppy. Romantic. Just depends on the fabric and amount of drape.

  3. Talley permalink

    I have a skirt like this: stretch jersey with handkerchief hem and I got it at J Jill a few years ago…a wearever skirt I believe it was called- they have some on their website up to 4x. This year it looks like there’s no handkerchief hem but it would still be a good dress up or down skirt, and they have a couple of different styles/ colors Or try ebay for the older handerchief hem model…

  4. La di Da permalink

    I hate pants too for the same reason. Uncomfortable, poor fit, look stupid, etc. And I can sew well and have even made custom-measured pants for myself and all. They still didn’t work.

    I liked the skirts I got from B & Lu. Casual, classy, have lasted quite a while with solid wear. Hmm, looks like they don’t have a lot of the flowy stuff in stock at the moment. And eBay. There’s skirts galore there.

    Zaftique‘s got a few promising ones too. (Zaftique is weird. They have a bizarre mix of nice stuff and ugly mother-of-the-bride old-school plus size garments.)

  5. JENE permalink

    Hi I haven’t commented before, but I read your blog pretty often, and figured I’d throw in my two cents here: I don’t know about skirts, but for nice flare jeans with lots of room for big ass, thighs and calves, try the Avenue, if you’ve got one in your area. I buy their wide-leg jeans because they stretch and give me a nice line from my thighs down to my ankles. However, I think it might depend on your height (I’m 5’4″, and too wide and short for most jeans.) Also, if you’ve got a lot of ass like I do, the waist actually curves up and around my ass, instead of sticking out and becoming indecent every time I sit/squat/bend over. I also got shorts there (after years of refusing to wear them because I thought fat girls couldn’t wear shorts. HA! Yes we CAN!!)
    They do have cute skirts as well, but I tend not to wear them as often, because I’m rarely in the mood for leggings or stockings, and I walk too much to wear a skirt all day without some sort of chafe-guard. Heh. Any suggestions for this would be appreciated, though!

  6. Kate permalink

    I work in a no-jeans office, and my apple-y self can’t really stand to wear trousers every day, so I wear long wrap skirts from Tznius. (No affiliation, yadda yadda.)

    I bought four of them about two years ago, and they’ve stood up to my washing machine and everyday wear really nicely.

  7. nuckingfutz permalink

    Personally, I love jeans – but then, I’m more of an hourglass shape (except with a big-ish belly – thanks kids!).

    But I did have a suggestion. Try an A-line skirt? If the picture in my head is anything like what your favorite skirt is in real life, I’m thinking it’s an A-line skirt, but with the handkerchief hem instead of a straight one. If that’s the case, then any A-line skirt would probably be good for you.

    Although I have to say, I like the handkerchief hem look. I bought a dress back in 2001 to wear to my aunt’s wedding that had one, and I loved that thing to death. 🙂

  8. Rhiannon permalink

    I have a friend I go shopping with quite frequently who has a similar figure to yours. She’s a 6-8 on top and a 14 on the bottom. She really likes tulip shaped skirts and skirts with a waistband that are cut quite full from the band down. These styles both end at the knee, and they both look really good on her. I can’t tell you wear to buy them however, as I’m in Canada, and we don’t have the same stores at all.

  9. Kallipygia permalink

    I’m built similar to your description, with huge hips/thighs/butt and big calf/small ankle. (I never knew that was from walking on the toes instead of the heel – I learn something new every day in the fatosphere!) I figure there’s no way I can hide the curves, so I like wearing trumpet skirts bottom-of-calf length to show them off. Light to medium cotton is comfy, and the flare at the bottom helps balance my rump width and draw attention to my pretty ankles and cute shoes. They’re also dead easy to make if you sew.

    I also like a slightly tapered (to ease along my thigh curve) straight skirt, cut to just above the knee with a pleated flounce to just at the knee. This uses the skirt movement to bring attention to my adorably dimpled knees instead of the amazonian thighs just above them. 😉

  10. Thanks for the input guys! I am now armed and ready to shop… joy…

  11. I have the big butt, thighs, and tummy, with slender ankles and upper abs. I used to wear boxy loose clothing in an attempt to camouflage my bumpy middle section. That just made me look shapeless though, not attractive at all. What I’ve found is that fairly fitted clothing looks best on me — it just has to have an A-line shape. So for my “sexy” look, I do a top that is fitted all over, and an A-line skirt ideally cut on the bias. More comfortable but still nice-looking is a top that is fitting in the shoulders and flares toward the bottom, and a flared skirt. Beware though the skirts that are basically just a tube that is cinched in at the waist with elastic. You want a true flare, which means the skirt is constructed of panels that are smaller at the top and wider at the bottom.

    I don’t do pants at all anymore, which people find odd, and I find it odd that they find it odd. It’s like skirts are considered somewhat unprogressive and backward. I don’t care. It’s more comfortable. I even do my gardening in a skirt — I gather it up around me and squat.

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