Kristina GrishEver buy a pair of pants that looked pretty good in the dressing room mirror but hang in the back of your closet because they don't fit quite right? Here's what to look for to assure a flattering fit.
Where Exactly Should My Pant Hem Hit?
- To create the longest possible line, pants should be an inch from the floor, with the hem breaking over the instep.
- One option is to buy two pairs of the same pants and hem one for heels and the other for flats, but you can fudge a happy medium by wearing the same pair of pants with flats and up to a two-inch kitten heel―but no higher, suggests Allison Berlin, founder of the New York fashion-consulting firm Style Made Simple.
- When switching from heels to flats, a quick fix is Zakkerz ($27), which secure rolled-up cuffs using magnets. The hem should graze the tops of your shoes.
My Pants Fit Everywhere but at the Waist, Where They Gape. How Can I Fix This?
- Because gaping usually results from having fuller hips and a slim waist, the key is to find low-rise pants that start at the hips (so you don't have to worry about fitting both waist and hips) or that have a "contoured waistband that is slightly higher in the back than in the front," says Lisa Converse, vice president of design for White House Black Market.
- Go to a tailor. "He should be able to make affordable adjustments," says Gregg Andrews, a fashion director with Nordstrom.
- Another trick: Isabelt ($17 to $20), which cinches the waist the way a regular belt does but lies flat and undetectable under tops.
I Have Wide Hips and a Belly. Which Type of Pants Will Flatter Me?
- Try bootcut pants (to balance your hips) paired with a two-inch waistband (to contain your stomach), says June Ambrose, author of Effortless Style.
- Forgo low-rise pants in favor of a rise that hits an inch or two below the navel. Gap's Curvy Fit meets these criteria, says Berlin. Another option: New York & Company's City Knit pants, which offer generous stretch in the hips.
- Steer clear of tab closures and belts, which add bulk, and slanted (diagonal) pockets, which accentuate hips. For more advice on shopping for your body type, click here.
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