Tag Archives: cole-haan

How to Shop For Your Body Type: The Pear

Pr0n pals, I’m really excited about today’s post.  One of my strengths is being able to see what clothing styles work on different body types; it’s something I’ve worked at, rather than springing from Pr0n Mom’s womb the fashionista I am today.  So I was thrilled when my friend Rebecca wrote to me and said she was fashion challenged for her body type.

Meet Rebecca

Meet Rebecca

Rebecca is pretty normal: average to plus size figure, young, married with a young child, and doesn’t have tons of money to spend but deserves to look her best.  She’s just a little style challenged.  Today’s post promises to be full of fashion tips, do’s and don’ts, and really down-to-earth advice about buying clothing and putting together outfits that you’ll enjoy.  Let’s meet Rebecca.

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If there was ever a pear shape, Rebecca’s it.  She’s 5’7″,  and according to her measurements wears about a 14 on top and an 18 on bottom. She doesn’t have a very defined waist and she carries a lot of her weight in her hips.  I doubt you’d call Rebecca plus sized if you met her; just curvy.

Rebecca Now

Rebecca Now

But  when Rebecca told me she didn’t know how to dress, she wasn’t kidding.  This is more or less the outfit she was wearing in the picture she sent me.

I don’t know very many people who can wear well horizontal stripes.  Her top was too long, shapeless, and made her look wider than she is.  Her jeans just didn’t fit well and didn’t flatter.

That’s just a bad dream from now on; what Rebecca or other pear shapes should achieve with her clothing is learning to minimize her hips, bringing the rest of her body into proportion, and creating a long, lean silhouette by using clothing shape and color to her advantage. Fashion is 50% architecture, 50% art.

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Pear Shape Dress

Pear Shape Dress

The first virtual outfit I used is so simple and perfect for pear shapes, you’ll wonder why you never tried it.  This is a scoop neck sheath dress in a solid color, with a wide waistband, and a hem that hits just above the knee.

Immediately, Rebecca looks four inches taller and 20 pounds thinner!  The open neckline on the dress helps to balance her hips and chest, while the monochrome color and sheath glide over her hips so your eye doesn’t focus there.  The really critical piece is the dress’ hemline.  If the hemline were much higher it wouldn’t look age appropriate, any lower and the dress will make her body look short and dumpy.

Nine West Short Sleeve Plus Size Dress, $83.40 at Macy's

Nine West Short Sleeve Plus Size Dress, $83.40 at Macy's

In real life I found this adorable Nine West dress at Macy’s.  If she buys a 1x she may need to have the top taken in a bit – such is life as a pear shape, because you need to fit the widest part of you – your bottom  half.  But what I like is that the dress is youthful, and it’s definitely going to fit because the skirt is an A-line – it has an A shape rather than going straigt down.  Pair the dress with heels and a fun colored bag.

I’ve shown virtually here a sweater option for pears to wear over a dress.  Notice how short the sweater is.  I’m stopping the cardigan at her smallest part (above the waist)in order to emphasize it. If you’re a pair shape and you wear a regular length cardigan over an outfit, make sure it’s fitted and stops at the top of the hip.
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Pear Shape Jeans Outfit

Pear Shape Jeans Outfit

Virtual Pear Shape Outfit #2 is a basic jeans and t-shirt look; I forgot to give her shoes. :(

What pears need to look for here are shirts that stop at the hip, that show your curves rather than hide it, jeans with a straight wider leg to balance your lower body and a waistband that stops at your widest part.

Any piece of clothing that goes over your hips will emphasize them; it may seem counter intuitive, but by stopping things at your widest part you trick the eye, which is exactly what you want as someone who is bottom heavy.

The same concept applies with jeans – if your widest part is your hips, that’s where your waistband should go; usually just below your belly button.  If you go with jeans that stop above your widest part, rather than emphasizing your small waist, it makes your hips look larger.

Most jeans styles have a “bootcut” or a “flare” leg.  Pear shapes should for a pair of jeans with “trouser” style or “wide leg” if you can.  If you can’t, look for a pair that have a minimum of tapering at the knee.  The more you taper, the more you emphasize what’s above and below.

Here are some reasonably priced real life options for this type of jean/t-shirt pear outfit.

Spring Casual for a Pear

Spring Casual for a Pear

Spring Casual for a Pear by din2quared featuring Old Navy jackets

Again, this is a really simple outfit to pull together, mix and match and add to with clothing from your closet.  It can be dressed up or down with a few changes, so it will take you from the grocery store out to dinner.

Both t-shirts are from the Gap – the one on top has a strong color and an open neckline to be the primary focus, and then I layered a plain gray long sleeve t with a slightly more open crew neck under it.  Crew necks that are right up against the neck will make you look bustier.

The jeans are a drawstring trouser from Old Navy.  Rebecca appeared to be in between sizes, so a drawstring jean could help avoid a tailoring charge (jeans can be tailored!).  Just be careful not to go for an elastic waistband on pants; it may seem like an easy fix, but elastic waistbands don’t flatter anyone.

These jeans are more lightweight; for a a dressier look, choose a heavier, darker trouser jean.

I’ve pulled together the outfit with an adorable tote bag on sale at Luna Boston, a trench coat from Old Navy and Cole Haan Wedges at Zappos. A tote bag, trench coat and comfy flats are three accessories that will take you everywhere

The Cole-Haan wedge shoes are the splurge item here at over $100, but as I’ve said before don’t skimp on shoes.  Cheap shoes won’t last, they won’t support your feet, ankles, hips or knees and you’ll wind up spending the same amount of money on several pairs versus one.  Cole Haan has an entire line that’s made with Nike Air technology.  Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker.

I created two more virtual pear style outfit variations: one good, one bad.  Look what happens if you pair dressy jeans and the tote with a cute blouse for casual Friday or dinner with friends here.  On the other hand, look what happens if you put a pear shape in an over-sized, too long top.

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Pear Shape Date Outfit

Pear Shape Date Outfit

This is one more outfit type option for Rebecca or any of you pear shapes out there.

What’s funny is that I put this outfit together right after I bought my dress, and the two dresses are very similar styles.  Several things are working together to slim and balance; if you look carefully you can see that there’s actually a wide waistband that starts just higher than her natural waist  – this draws the eye up, and the slightly rounded shape of the skirt hides the hips. But by wearing a dress, all one piece, the effect is not to break up the body, which is almost always slimming.

Continuing the monochromatic theme, she’s wearing black tights with black heels, and then I kept all her accessories within the same color family: (Ish. i didn’t have tons to work with.) A red wrap, a red necklace, and a burgundy clutch.

Donna Ricco Sleeveless Bubble Dress, $178 @Nordstrom

Donna Ricco Sleeveless Bubble Dress, $178 @Nordstrom

For a similar dress look, try this Donna Ricco bubble dress from Nordstrom.  It’s a little fancier than what I showed, but it’ll be a classic wardrobe addition.

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None of these styles are terribly complicated once you understand your body and its proportions.  Bring a digital camera with you shopping and take pictures of outfits, or do it when you get home.  Once you start working with some basic structure, you’ll understand what clothes do to your body, and gain more confidence.

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I’m always happy to answer questions, and I’m always happy to help if you’ve got a particular figure you have trouble dressing.  Drop me a comment, or an email: shoppingpr0n@gmail.com . :)  And don’t forget, if you’re looking for plus size clothes, Shopping Pr0n readers get 20% off at Simply Yours and Simply Be through this special sales code.

Please let me know if this helped you – I love feedback!

Until next time, my little pr0n pastrami.  It was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

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Outfits of the Day Pr0n: Michelle Obama & You

Welcome to the weekend, pr0n pineapples!  On Monday we had 6-8″ of snow here in Washington, DC; this weekend it may hit 75.  Change she is a coming.  Change is coming to the White House too, where First Lady Michelle Obama wore a black velvet pants suit to a White House dinner Wednesday!

Today in Shopping Pr0n we’ll look at that suit, and the fashion she wore to volunteer later in the week, and I’ll show you options for wearing both styles on your own.  Yay!

Michelle Obama Velvet Pantsuit & Flats

Michelle Obama Velvet Pantsuit & Flats

Okay, how cute are they?  Have you ever seen a happier First Couple?  Anyway, I give Michelle lots and lots of fashion points here (I can give fashion points to whomever I want. They’re my points.)  Even if I think the outfit is a touch boring, I applaud her for wearing something fashionable and comfortable.  Never let anyone tell you that looking stylish has to be uncomfortable, poppies!  It simply isn’t so.

I like the cut of the suit, and I think it fits her well although I’m not a huge fan of the skinny ankle/baggy thigh thing that’s going on here.  I like the 3/4 length sleeves, the cuff bracelet, and the brooch.  Where the outfit loses me is the black thing that’s underneath.  I really would have liked something else here, maybe a blouse  or a cami, but not more black.

What are your options for wearing this style?  Let’s look.

Doin' It Obama Style

Pant Suit Options - Based on Mrs. Obama's Black Velvet Pant Suit


Remember that velvet is usually a winter fabric, and it’s tough to wear.  It’s a testament to how fit the First Lady is that she makes this work.  What I’ve found are several well cut tuxedo jackets and pants, all available at Bluefly.com.  Most of these are in  “sateen”, which will look crisp and a little shiny.  A little shiny is okay for evening.

For underneath, the one piece of all black I chose is this incredible stretch satin black bustier from D&G by Dolce & Gabbana.  The pink and gold lace camisoles are both from Leigh Bantivoglio at Bluefly.com.  There’s a wide selection and they’re all stunning.

Also take a moment to see the Armani Collezioni Asian Print Camisole at Nordstrom.  We should all be so lucky to have one exquisite piece like this.  Finally I chose a super long double strand of grey pearls – but anything delicate and/or shiny would work- and a couple of fun brooches.

It’s actually a super easy look to put together according to your style preferences and price point.  Wear any delicate shoe: dressy sandals, flats or heels, preferably in black or a metallic.

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On Thursday, Mrs. Obama volunteered her time serving food at Miriam’s Kitchen, an invaluable resource in Washington that provides meals, case management services and housing support.   Michelle almost hit 100%, wearing a v-neck pink cardigan with a white ruffled shirt underneath, a pair of black pants, and a red and clear belt with brown pumps.

Michelle Obama's outfit at Miriam's Kitchen

Michelle Obama's outfit at Miriam's Kitchen

I love the look of this outfit.  She’s chic and casual and looks very much her. The cardigan is a great color for her, I like the contrast of the white shirt against her skin, and the pants (which you can see here) are a good style and fit.  But the belt.  OH the belt.  WHY???  What IS that???  It’s clear and it’s red and it’s awful!  I thought stuff like that went out in the ’80s!  I weep, pr0n stars. I weep.

Let’s look at how easy this outfit is to put together on your own.

Michelle Obama in Pink

Recreating First Lady's Outfit from Miriam's Kitchen

I found a bright pink plus-size v-neck cardigan from Calvin Klein at Bloomingdales, brown wool wide-leg pants at Bluefly from Susana Monaco, the white ruffle shirt is Banana Republic.  I have to talk about these shoes!  I want these shoes!  They’re from SimplySoles.com, and the designer is Chie Mihara.  “Saco” is $99, they’re 3.5″ heels, made in Spain and OMG they’re near my house! *squeals with delight*  Sorry, I digress.  The belt is Cole-Haan, from Nordstrom.  Cole-Haan knows leather.

Actually, everything in this set is under $100, except for the pants which are $101 and change, I think.  You could get every piece here for under $50 – piece of cake.  Try Target, try H&M, try the Limited, and stalk sales.

Just the other day I was at Loehmann’s and I got my very first piece of Lily Pulitzer: a sweater in the same pink as above which retailed for $158; I got it for $40.  Patience and persistence are virtues. :)

.Congratulations!  Now you look just like Michelle Obama!  Or…mostly.  Except for that whole First Lady thing.

Anyway!  I hope you enjoyed this “White House to Your House” edition of Outfit of the Day Pr0n.  Check out more First Lady Fashion in White House Portrait Pr0n, White House Pr0n and Inaugural Pr0n.

As always, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

Photos of Michelle Obama are courtesy of The Huffington Post,

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Handbag/Manbag Pr0n

Pr0n friends, I am one beat blogger.  But I always have energy for you, especially because I got to use my new toy for today’s post: Polyvore.com.  Using Polyvore means I get to show you lots more goodies, and who doesn’t like more goodies?  Today we’re going to talk about handbags and manbags: all colors, prices and styles.  Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Red Hobos

Red Hobos

Red Hobos – by dinsquared on Polyvore.com

This is a hobo*.  These are also hobos.  The hobo bag is a curious creature in the wild, in sizes ranging from just enough for a wallet, cell phone and keys, to “Excuse me, Ma’am.  Are you hiding an Olsen Twin in there?”

Hobos’ common thread is their slouchy appearance, which can also vary in degree of slouch.  The pro to a hobo bag is it’s comfy casualness.  It’s nearly always a shoulder bag, and comes in lots of variations.

The con to a hobo bag is that you risk looking like…a hobo.  Generally, the more structured a bag, the more “formal” its appearance is; the less structured, the more casual.

The other downside is that you wind up kind of throwing everything into one big smooshy lump.  Good luck finding anything in there.  Even an Olsen Twin.

All details and links are at the Polyvore link, but quickly starting in the middle and then going clockwise:

1) Kate Spade Northampton Charlie: $235.85 at Couture.Zappos.com; 2) Thugs and Kisses Oversized Hobo, $175 at LunaBoston.com; 3) Phoebe Canvas Tote, $19.80 at Forever21.com; 4) (bottom)Rebecca Minkoff red patent leather ‘Mini Nikki’ shoulder bag at Bluefly, $345; 5)Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Hobo Bag – Persimmons, $600 at TheHipChick.com; (top left); 6)  AE Large Textured Hobo, $39.50 at AE.com.

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Men's Messenger Bags

Men's Messenger Bags - Manbags, baby

Men’s Messenger Bags – by dinsquared on Polyvore.com

Folks, men have stuff just like women. They need to carry their stuff places, just like women.  Isn’t it time for a little bag equality among the sexes?

I’m proposing the Bag Equality Act of 2009, whereby all men making under $250,000/year will be given a Man Bag – free!

Until my movement gains momentum however, I urge all men to invest in one with their own funds.  Few things say “I’m a grown-up” like a nice bag.

Many of them come big enough for your laptop,  they come in all fabrics and styles, and you can collect them for all occasions: work, weekend, dinner – you decide!

Again, complete details available by making with the clicky, but starting with our friend the gray man, and this time going counter-clockwise (humor me): 1) Marc by Marc Jacobs Textured Patent Zip Messenger Bag, $219.99 at Bluefly.com; 2) Mark Nason Messenger Bag, $625 at EBags.com; 3) Ben Sherman Commuter Bag, $79.00 at Tobi.com; 4)Jack Spade Greene Street Canvas Nylon Field Bag, $154 at Zappos.com.

I saved this red bag for last on purpose.  I love this bag so much, because it’s actually a daddy diaper bag! Check out the link for all the information on this DadGear Courier Retro Stripe Bag, there’s plenty of it.  I found it for $59.95 at Bagsbuy.com, and it also comes in blue, green and orange. ♥

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Bowler Bags

Colored Bowlers

Bowler Bags – by dinsquared on Polyvore.com

Bowler Bags (named because of their similarity to actual bowling bags) are very trendy right now, and for the last few years.  It’s a fairly classic shape, so I’m expecting this style to stick around.  Remember the divine white bowler I showed you in Clearance Pr0n?

Generally a bowler is going to be a medium to large bag; they’re maybe 60% handbags bags, and 40% shoulder bags.  They frequently have shorter “drops”, but may look deceivingly long, so be sure to try them on.

Bowlers are also usually much wider at the bottom than at the top, making the bag somewhat bulky where it hits around your hip if you’re wearing it on your shoulder.  I’m not discouraging you from a bowler – I adore bowlers.  I’m just passing on my shopping pr0n knowledge. :)

Aren’t these bags adorable though?  It kind of makes you want one in every color.  Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, details at the Polyvore link; starting with the model and going clockwise: 1) Hayden-Harnett Trophy Bag in Blueberry, $678 at Haydenharnett.com; 2) Latico Leathers Candy Strip Bowler, $150.35 at ebags.com; 3) Vangi Front Pockets Grained Leather Bowler Bag, $261.71 at Forzieri.com; 4) Uptown Girl Bag by Big Buddha, $66 at Fredala.com; 5) Vera Bradley Black Microfiber Pleated Bowler, $50 at VeraBradley.com.

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Spring Green

Green Totes and Satchels

Spring Green – by dinsquared on Polyvore.com

Don’t tell the other sets, but this one’s really my favorite; it just came out so pretty with all the springy green bags, don’t you think?

This set is about smallish structured bags; as shoulder bags,  they may be called “satchels”; as handbags they may be called  “totes”.  I call them pr0n.

Advantages: these are structured bags that can go from work to weekend, and things will more or less stay where you put them.  They may have an inner pocket or pouch or two or four, and they frequently have a space just for your cell phone!  They may be expandable, or have an outer pocket, and they’re just ubiquitous and classic.

A tote or satchel will never go out of style, you can always find it with the latest color or trend (buckles, zippers), and they’re easy to find in every price range.  If you’re stranded on a desert island and can only bring one handbag (quélle horror!) , bring your satchel or tote.

I love all of these; I want to bring them all home with me, and I don’t usually like green!  Starting with our fine headless model and going clockwise: 1) Chloe Ande Small Expandable Canvas Tote, $1375 at Net-a-Porter.com; 2) Cole-Haan Small Village Box Tote, $170.82 at 6pm.com; 3) Merona Green Tote, $17.99 at Target; 4) Michael Kors Push Lock Shoulder Satchel, $378 at MichaelKors.com; 5) Kate Spade Noel Small Coal Tote (Green), $123.55 at Zappos.com; 5) Olivia Harris – Grey and Green Leather Tubular Satchel Tote, $495 at ShopKitson.com, and finally – 6) Tory Burch Patent Burch Tote, $395 at saksfifthavenue.com.

So there we are.  I’ll be using Polyvore more in the future to show you how to put together outfits, or examples within a category or just because I’m bored and you’re a semi-captive audience. :D Really, thanks for being here, poppies.

Over the weekend, I’ll be doing a post on…something.  But Monday is always the latest edition of Pr0n Plus!

As always, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

A couple quick notes my pr0n popsicles: *a hobo is  a term that’s not really used any more because it’s actually a homeless person.  Homelessness is a serious issue; please don’t throw things at me because I made a joke.
A huge pr0n shoutout (sh0ut0ut?) goes to thefind.com, which is this amazing website where you tell it what kind of product you’re looking for, and you can narrow it down by color and/or price and/or store if you want, and it pulls from more sites than you could possibly find in a lifetime.  There’s also like.com, but I find that I like thefind better.  (Get it? Yeah…Sorry.)
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