Nikki’s Inbox: Are Prints and Patterns Off-Limits If You’re Bottom-Heavy?

I honestly love reading your answers especially since it helps so much with the ones I have!

My style is honestly like a cartoon character, meaning that I’ll wear the same high-waist black pants and shoes and only switch out the tops and I’ve wanted to know how to add something new or mix up my style!

Recently I’ve been loving the streetwear and elegant trends that have been going around and would love trying out more prints or patterns but I do feel that by being bottom-heavy, it wouldn’t suit me as well as it would on thinner people. My measurements are 96-90-112cm and my shoulder width is 45cm. Thank you.

Kimberly, 19/ United Kingdom

I’m so glad that Ask Nikki is proving helpful for you, Kimberly. And thank you for introducing me to the concept of “cartoon character fashion!” There’s always something new to learn, isn’t it?

So, fellow pear, you feel you can’t rock prints and patterns simply because you’re so extra at the bottom, eh? Quite the opposite. Just because you’re curvy doesn’t mean you have to stick to plain colors and outfits all the time. Of course, there are some things you’ve to be careful about, like fabrics that have a tendency to cling, and figuring out what kind of prints should flatter your shape. But that only means putting your creativity and style smarts into play to create a new style for yourself that will turn heads!

Stay On Top of Things

If you want to minimize attention on your lower body, it’s best to draw your audience’s eyes always to your top half. You can wear bright colors as well as pastels, with tasteful prints and patterns taking the foreground. Just make sure that these design elements aren’t too big to avoid overwhelming your frame. Small patterns and prints are ideal, as are bigger ones but with plenty of space in between to avoid making it look too busy. The goal is to provide a stylish and pleasing distraction, but sensory overload isn’t the way to go about it.

Your other options for eye-catching tops are off-shoulder and cold-shoulder tops, one-sleeve pieces, bias-cut flounces that cut across the bodice, mock two-piece styles such as those with illusion fishnet layers, and asymmetric hemlines. With these elements, the results are more angular and offer a change of perspective.

Waste Not Your Waist

Don’t forget that you still have a waistline, Kimberly! If a top or outerwear is hip-length, you can always use a pretty belt at the waist to give you a shapelier silhouette. The same goes for dresses that have no defined waist. When there’s none, create one!

Keep Jeans & Pants Simple

Since we want to put all the eye candy on your upper half, it only makes sense to keep your bottoms on the side of simple. That means your jeans and trousers should skip the pleats, embellishments, saggy cargo pockets, drawcords, prints or appliqués. Make sure that the length fits your inseam because saggy cuffs will make you look more bottom-heavy. Bootcut, flared and skinny jeans suit pear shapes, and they look best in dark rinses (no bleaching or whiskering), a hint of stretch in the fabrication, and with a medium to high rise at the waist to avoid gaping. Pair these with shoes that have a little bit of heel for added height and to make your legs look longer.

Skirts Go With the Flow

Pleated skirts are having their fun in the sun so now’s a good time to get yourself a few! A nice flowy skirt with an A-line silhouette at a midi or maxi length will visually lengthen you and conceal your curves. They look beautiful with heels, boots, sandals, flats and even sneakers. Keep toaccordion, mushroom or knife pleats and avoid box pleats to minimize the bulk. Since it’s still winter, richly textured fabrics like suede and velvet add dimension. Skip the knits because they’ll cling instead of flow.

Non-matching earrings, hairbands, statement necklaces, boldly colored booties or furry handbags should be part of your game plan, too. They not only look different — they make your OOTD totally unique!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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