Pierra Calasanz-Labrador is a freelance editor, writer, stylist, and columnist (her shopping column “Fifi’s Finds” appears in the Fashion section of Manila Bulletin every Friday). She also contributes fashion, travel and lifestyle finds on www.thehappylab.com.ph.
This week, she answers readers’ questions on jeans, heels, and one guy’s colorful wardrobe change.
Lara B writes: “When I buy jeans, they’re always too loose around my waist but snug around my behind. I’m a pear shape. What cut of jeans will fit my body type best?”
Pierra says: Ah jeans, if only there was a pair that magically fit every body type, à la The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Some jean brands still can’t get that many women actually have curves.
That being said, look for brands that have a wide range of styles, and look for key words like “Curvy” or “ladies’ fit,” which should fit just right around the waist (no gap in the small of your back), and nicely skims over the hips and butt. Choose fabric with a little stretch to follow your curves (“jeggings” may sound silly, but the fit can be quite flattering! Just make sure the material isn’t too flimsy).
As for what cut is most flattering for a pear-shape body type, a boot-cut is usually recommended—slim at the thighs, and gently flaring at the ankles to balance the hips and a full bottom. Try also straight cuts, with a slim hip and thigh.
However, if you’re tempted by this season’s pastel skimmers, don’t let style rules constrain you—take your cue from full-figured divas like J.Lo, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian who rock skinnies with confidence! (Tip: wear them with pumps or platform heels for a longer, slimmer silhouette). The one style you should always avoid is the loose, baggy cut—it will only make you look bulky (eek!).
Also check out Pierra's tips on where to score affordable designer dresses.
Mimi writes: “I want to buy heels but I don’t think I can handle stilettos. What kind of heels are comfortable to wear?”
Pierra says: Heels are great for elongating the legs and making you look taller. But if you’re not comfortable teetering on spindly stilettos (there’s a reason why they’re called killer heels), there are other options that are just as fab. Wedge heels give you height without feeling unstable, plus they’re usually comfortable enough to walk in all day. Abaca wedges are especially pretty this summer!
If you’re more the sporty type, you might want to try funky wedge sneakers that are so hot this season—they look and feel like sneakers, but with a wedge heel to give your look a lift! For pretty footwear perfect with dresses, try peep-toe or closed-toe pumps/court shoes with wider heels.
Platforms are popular statement shoes—these usually have a thick platform sole and a chunky heel (check out summer’s trendy strappy leather platforms). They also come in wedge heel styles (the platform sole in the front adds even more height), or platform stiletto booties (though the heel is a stiletto, the bootie shape gives you stability to move around more easily).
If you’re really uncomfortable in heels, there are platform sandals (a.k.a. “flatforms”), where your feet stay basically flat and ultra comfortable, yet the full platform sole adds inches to your regular height.
Miko G. writes: “My girlfriend wants me to put more color in my mostly blue and gray wardrobe. I agree with her, but I don’t want to completely turn my wardrobe around. Prints scare me and pinks and oranges just won’t work. What colors will appease my girlfriend’s demand of color but keep me comfortable, as well?”
Pierra says: Ooh, a guy who wants to look good for his girl: pogi points! It’s nice that you’re open to updating your style, but your instincts are right—unless you’re super comfortable in pinks and prints, you won’t be able to carry it off with confidence. So what’s the best compromise?
Let’s start with colors. This summer, try bright polos in popsicle hues like lime, lemon, lavender, and teal, paired with crisp khakis. Too bold? Start with darker hues like olive, forest green, rust, and aubergine, then work your way to the other end of the color spectrum.
Ease into color with striped or contrast-piping polos, playing it safe first with navy and bright green, then venturing into more playful combos like baby blue/mint/salmon (find some at Gap, Penguin or Fred Perry).
When you gain your confidence, try long-sleeved tops in preppy checks, or plaids in fresh colors (find cute ones in Uniqlo and Cotton On), or pair your plain tops with madras shorts (try Regatta) on casual days. If you’re the type that’s always in a plain white or gray tee and jeans, try wearing graphic designs to add a pop of color (find hip shirts at Superdry, or inexpensive statement tees at Bench, Human, Team Manila, or your ever reliable department store).