I’m writing this article because I know I can’t be the only one who wishes they had wider hips, not smaller hips. Many Asians have this issue: our narrow hips make us have a very boyish figure. I know I don’t want to look like a boy! I want womanly curves. You’ll probably find many more apple-shaped Asians than pear-shaped Asians, and I definitely fit into the apple shaped category when I gain weight. Plus, I have wide shoulders and I think that wider hips balance out my body, bringing me closer to the coveted ideal of having an hourglass figure. Wider hips also create the illusion of a smaller waist. These are the styles that I wear to give me the appearance of wider hips, or rather a wider pelvic area.
1. Anything that has a wide panel of color or horizontal stripes right in the pelvic area:
I bought these two pants at Target a couple of months ago. They’re made by Mossimo. I love how the horizontal stripes fall right where I want to create the illusion of wider hips. I bought them in a peachy/pink shade and a navy blue shade. The important thing is that the stripes or color panel should not sit on your waist, but below your waist, in your pelvic region.
When you wear a top that matches these pants, the horizontal stripes break up the monochromatic line and you create a focal point in the hip area, giving the illusion of a more womanly figure:
Since these pants kind of fall in the “work out clothes” category, here’s another work out piece that illustrates the use of a wide color panel in the hip/pelvic region that creates the appearance of wider hips. These are Nike’s Perfect Fit Women’s Pants:
Just make sure that the color paneling is the lighter or brighter shade compared to the fabric color of the pants. The farther down the color panel goes, the better. I actually like this pair from Victoria’s Secret better because the color panel folds over the pants so you can adjust it lower:
They also let you choose the color combination you want and you can change the colors on the model!
2. Pencil or asymmetrical skirts with horizontal stripes
Beware of the A-line skirt or the flare skirt. For the most part, these two styles are great for most women, but if your goal is to give the appearance of wider hips, you need to be wary of the kind of flare skirt or A-line skirt you choose. The example below is a flare skirt done right:
Notice how the skirt still manages to curve around the hips because it tapers in at the knees and then flares out? This is what you want. Below is an example of what you don’t want:
Any curves you had prior to wearing this skirt will be completely flattened out. Notice how the skirt just falls straight down. It does not curve at the hips; it does not taper when it reaches the knees. In order for you to choose a well fitting flare skirt, you have to choose one that looks like a well-fitting pencil skirt if you removed the flare at the bottom. It is a tricky thing to do. A-line skirts can also get confusing. The most important thing with an A-line skirt or a full skirt is to find one where the waist sits below your actual waist. Here’s what not to wear:
It really is painful for me to look at this picture! I mean, the model even looks frumpy and she’s tiny! Wherever you put extra details like buttons, that’s where it’s going to look bigger.
Here’s one from J. Crew where the buttons are in the right place:
Notice how the skirt sits comfortably below her waist and the buttons are in her pelvic area!
Another example of exactly what not to wear:
Just like the first A-line skirt above, these buttons also frame the abdominal area, so unless your goal is to make your stomach look wider, avoid this at all costs! (It would have worked if the buttons were in the hip/pelvic area like the second skirt with buttons) The waist should actually have started where the second row of buttons are.
Befriend the pencil skirt, but make sure it sits comfortably (elastic waists are good!) below your waist and not directly on your waist. You don’t want any material bunching up at the waist, adding extra padding. That’s the most important thing to remember if you want to give the appearance of wider hips and a smaller waist. Avoid waists that sit on the waist! It must sit comfortably below, around the pelvic area. You want the fabric to gather around your hips.
Finally, here’s an example of what to wear: a pencil skirt with horizontal stripes. I got this skirt at a flea market in San Antonio. It’s comfy, sits right below the waist and the material is stretchy. I also like how it hugs my curves and tapers at the knees without looking too tight:
This next picture is a skirt that also has horizontal stripes but it’s not a pencil skirt. It does have the wide horizontal stripe paneling that falls on the pelvic area, but the bottom flares out in asymmetric points. It’s also great for creating wider hips:
Asymmetrical stripe skirts like this give the appearance of wider hips. Here is one from the Buckle (but I like mine better!):
Floral or printed skirts with the top paneling (covering the pelvic area) also work, even if they’re not asymmetrical. Here’s one from Esprit:
Even though the panel is the same print as the skirt, it still makes a huge difference because it forces the gathering of the fabric to start right at the hip/pelvic area, creating the illusion of wider hips.
3. Jeans with distressed fade “whiskers” in the pelvic area
When we’re dealing with jeans, the more horizontal lines we can place in the pelvic area, the better. This can come in the form of distressed fading lines, I call “whiskers,” or pockets that have horizontal lines. I also like a lighter washed denim because lighter colors make things look wider! Here is a pair from Abercrombie and Fitch:
Notice the white arrows pointing to the pockets that create horizontal lines. The distressed “whisker” fade marks are circled in red. Here’s one that’s almost identical but with more holes from American Eagle:
These jeans will create the appearance of slimmer hips, not wider hips. These principles can apply to denim skirts, shorts, and capris/bermuda pants as well!
Important points to remember:
1. Choose bottoms where the waist sits below the waist
2. Horizontal stripes in your pelvic region are you friend!
3. Keep details like buttons away from the waist and in the area you want to widen
4. Printed/floral/colored paneling in the pelvic region is also good.
5. Choose jeans with as many possible horizontal lines in the pelvic region (distressed fade marks, pockets)