Best Casual Summer Bottoms for Very Heavy Legs?
I always have problems finding flattering and summer-appropriate casual bottoms. I am slightly-overweight and have a pear-shaped body, a very narrow waist, extremely heavy legs, and cellulite. I never wear shorts or skirts, and I recently learned (thanks to you!) that I don't look my best in cropped pants. I also avoid light colors on my bottom half and find that structured fabrics are more flattering.
Dark, full-length bottoms seem out-of-place at a baseball game or a picnic and, I fear, draw attention to the fact that I am hiding my flaws. On top of these issues, summer-weight fabrics reveal the lumps and bumps in my butt and thighs.
Help! I'd love your advise on the style, length, fabric, color, etc. that would work best for casual summer bottoms for my body. I would especially appreciate any recommendations on specific styles, brands, and/or retailers.
You really don't need to worry about looking off wearing dark, full length bottoms. Just make sure you wear something light and airy on top. I personally wear them a lot during the summer and I'm average built. I think they look more classy and chic compared to the really light ones.
August 2011 Update: I also want to suggest medium to dark blue linen pants. It's light and versatile, and most of all it won't make your legs sweat out in the heat! Consider this as one of your best bottom options this summer - it makes it possible for you to disguise your legs and stay comfortable at the same time.
Black bottoms are a bit harsh-looking (and heats up your skin quite intensely when you're out in the sun), but dark blue to medium wash are perfect because they're appropriate for the summer but still dark enough to slim down your legs.
What's important here is to draw the eye away from your trouble-area by accentuating your best features and feel good doing so - let's take your narrow waist as an example. I really envy women with narrow waist (mine is average) because it is so pretty to look at. I suggest that you start enhancing it (but not slim it down because it will only make your bottom half look bigger) with a light colored belt or a belt with cute details like for example some gold hardware (nothing to flashy).
Examples of flattering bottoms for your pear body shape
and heavy legs:
Courtesy of 1, 2, 3
Note: Nordstrom offers a good range in simple and flattering shorts and pants.
Now here are some basic guidelines on what bottom styles look best on you:
Straight, bootcut, flare leg and boyfriend style (but without the horizontal distressed shreds). The subtle flared hem adds a nice balance to your body shape and minimizes your legs.
Mid-thigh and bermuda shorts (hit between right above and right below your knees. Also known as 'walk shorts') are also a good option for your trouble-area - they make your body look more proportionate and provide enough coverage to make you feel comfortable. The fit around your butt and hips needs to be a little fitted to give a flattering effect. Boxy and very loose bottoms only emphasize your bottom.
Anything that hits a few inches above
the widest part of your legs (calves). Bermuda shorts are ideal because of the reasons given above.
You can also pull off cropped pants as long
as the hem hits the above
part of your ankles and the hem is not
flared but rather straight.
Fabrics that slim are gabardines, silks, flat knits, lightweight flannels, silk crepe and jersey. Wool, linen, silk, cottons. Blends of natural and part synthetic - but make sure the higher percentage is in the natural fabric.
Avoid shiny, stiff or bulky fabrics as these add more volume to your legs.
Black, dark blue wash, medium blue, dark gray, dark brown, dark khaki. You can also pull off a lighter colored bottom but your top needs to be of similar color (eg. beige bottom, white top) to avoid high-contrasts (so-called 'split-up' effect) that only highlight the lightest part. Wearing light colors from top to toe (as well as dark color from top to toe) is called "Monochromatic" and creates an elongating and therefore slimming effect.
Vertical stripes and pleats elongate and slim your legs and so does side stitches (which you can find on many jeans styles). Other than that avoid heavy stitched and embellished pockets, large buttons, contrasting cuffs (they only add bulk and widen your figure) horizontal whiskers and distressed jeans effects.
The simpler your bottoms are, thus less attention will be drawn to your leg area.
You can also find more advice on what shorts look best on you here: How to Wear Shorts When You Have Short and Stumpy Legs?
I hope this helps!
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