Note: Curvy describes a body shape and not a size. In other words, you have a small waist relative to the size of your hips and thighs. That’s the proportion that creates a curved line from waist to thigh – hence “curvy”. You can be curvy at ANY size. The opposite of curvy is straight, and that’s when there is a smaller difference between the size of your waist and hips. A relatively wider waist and narrower hip creates a more straight bottom half. 

All sorts of body type guidelines suggest that figures with curvy bottom halves like hourglasses and pear shapes should not wear patterned pants because it makes the bottom half look wider. Solid dark bottoms are best because they’re the most visually slimming, which balances out proportions.

Solid dark bottoms are visually slimming, but when the fit is right, patterned pants can look extremely good on curvy body types. I see this over and over again because most of my pear-shaped and very hourglass-y clients wear patterned pants and feel fabulous in them. For some, wearing patterns on the bottom half came easily. For others, it took a while to get used to drawing attention to an area of the body they were trying to conceal. 

Just last week, I dressed two pear-shaped clients in patterned pants from Banana Republic — and they looked sublime. The Avery Fit is tailored at the waist with more ease through the hips and thighs, making it work extremely well for curvier bottom halves. These clients usually take one, two or three sizes bigger on the bottom than on top, and were excited to be sporting patterned pants that fit so well. In fact, they both think that patterned pants are MORE forgiving and flattering on the hips and thighs than solid pants! How’s that for defying a body type dressing guideline. 

These are the exact styles of patterned pants from Banana Republic that took my breath away when my clients modeled them in stores. Beautiful proportions. One client is relatively short in the waist while the other has a regular length waist. Cropped two to three inches above the ankle bone, I could not stop saying how incredible they looked. 

Good fit and fabric drape goes a long way to making clothing look attractive on the body. In this case the subtlety of the pattern had little to do with it. The bold checks looked as fab as the tonal animal print. If you’re curvy on the bottom and feel that you can’t wear patterned pants because they make you look wider than you are – PLEASE THINK AGAIN. Get the fit and fabric right, and you’ll be amazed at how great they look.