Tag Archives: old navy

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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Outfit of the Day Pr0n: Sunday Brunch

Happy Friday, pr0n friends.  If you’re not reading this on Friday, I’m sorry.  I’m starting a new (somewhat) daily column I’m calling Outfit of the Day Pr0n!  Exciting name, no?  Each day or thereabouts I’ll show you how to put together an outfit for a particular style, occasion or body type.

Rebecca Beeson Bright Red Empire Waist Tunic at Bluefly

Rebecca Beeson Bright Red Empire Waist Tunic at Bluefly

I wanted to start with a style that’s easy to do, easy to work off of, and both men and women can wear.  So rather than reinvent the wheel, I pulled this tomato red cotton v-neck tunic from Rebecca Beeson that I used for spring colors in Color Pr0n.

This outfit is “nice casual”.  For me, it’s something to wear out to a Sunday Brunch, or a cool summer evening party on a patio.  Wear it someplace you want to look nice…but not too nice?

Sunday Brunch

I’ve taken the tunic and almost made a casual suit out of it.  I chose a pair houndstooth cuffed capris by Guess?, but you could also put them over a pair of long chino shorts, like these at J. Crew that go up to a size 16.  Over the top and pants I put a one button black suit jacket from Banana Republic’s Monogram Collection.  I’m normally hesitant to recommend one-button jackets, because they’re a harder style to pull off, but this is a nice fit as long as you’re not very busty.  This particular blazer has had a slightly relaxed, slouchy feel that I wanted so it would line up over the tunic and make it dressier, but still keep the whole thing somewhat casual.  You don’t want a really slim fitting or structured jacket here, unless you’ve got an equally structured top.

Next I chose Cocobelle Paloma flat sandals from Endless.com, which have some style and structure (No flip flops! Ever!).  You can see that I’m walking that line between casual and structured in each piece, and that’s kind of the trick.  Pick your occasion, decide how dressy or casual you need to be and go from there.  Exchange the sandals for a pair of flats, the capris for a pair of dark trouser jeans, or the suit jacket for a casual blazer and the outfit will have an entirely different style and feel.  What’s great is that these are mostly types of items you’d have in your closet anyway; you’re just using them in a new way.  Aren’t you clever!

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It’s hard to find really nice, unique men’s clothes.  I’ve been trolling some new blog friends so I hope to bring you more soon. Today’s outfit though, is one that men can totally wear, too.  Not androgynous, just adaptable. :)

A Men's Casual Primer

I’m so ridiculously pleased with how this turned out.  I took the women’s suit idea and used a men’s “geek chic” style.  Take a look at the jacket and shorts; they’re both patterns; the shorts are a tiny navy stripe from old faithful Banana Republic.  Since the shorts are a small stripe, and the blazer from Ben Sherman is a large check, you can mix the patterns.  When mixing patterns, keep use one large and one small, and stick to similar colors.

From there the rest was simple; I loved the pop of bright used in the Ben Sherman picture, so I found a cotton poplin button down shirt in Olive Butter from Old Navy.  The subject of a man-sandal, ie. a “mandal” is still controversial in the fashion world.  Unlike women, most men don’t go out of their way to get pedicures, making the idea of showing off their feet…unappealing.  Instead, try a nice slip on driving moccasin, like Calvin Klein’s Timmy from Piperlime.  Then throw on a messenger bag,  like the Jack Spade I showed you in Handbag/Manbag Pr0n.  Personally I’m pro-man jewelry, but since not everyone is, every man should have at least one really nice watch.  What I like about Nixon’s (the company, not the dead president) “24-20” chrono watch, is the contrast between the black and the bright silver, and the large face.  It’s available at Barney’s Co-op.

Just like the women’s outfit, mix it up: change the color of the shirt or use a nice colorful t-shirt; put it with jeans and a suit jacket and it’s appropriate for dinner out.  Once you’ve mastered the art of mixing and matching this kind of an outfit, call your blogger. She’s single!

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There you go! Your very first outfits of the day, for Friday March 6, 2009.

Until next time, it was good for me; tell me, was it good for you?

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Budget Pr0n!

Hi pr0nsters.  If there’s anything your blogger loves more than a sale, it’s a challenge.  Today I will be combining the two.  In this (first) edition of Dirt Cheap Pr0n, I will be putting together three pr0nish looks for $100-150.  Everyone knows the Fifth Rule of Shopping Pr0n:  A true pr0nista doesn’t depend on price.  You rarely have to pay full price, loveys.

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A sale is a tricky thing; you want the best price, but you don’t want the item to sell out in your size, particularly if you’re in the 10-14 range, which generally sells first.  So choose wisely – decide what an item of clothing is worth to you, sign up for email lists at favorite stores so you’ll get advance notice of sales, and special discounts, and when the time is right – pounce!  Sometimes that time is right away.  But rarely.


Outfit #1 is a work/date/dinner outfit..

I’m going to start with this fuchsia silk cami on final sale over at J. Crew.  It’s a final sale, so you have to know how this particular brand fits you, but I like it because it’s versatile – wear it under a suit, or with jeans or a pencil skirt.  They have it available in most sizes, and it’s in ivory, too.

The cami is fully lined, with a side zipper and it’s machine washable.  So this gets a thumbs up for me for $29.99, originally $75.00.

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Right now I’m thinking that I don’t like final sales – scary.  So I’m going to pair this with a classic pencil skirt on sale at Martin & Osa .

Because the cami has a slight A-Line I want something more fitted on bottom to balance it out.  This pencil skirt can go from work to evening, I like the above the knee length, and the slight sheen.

The skirt has a little stretch in it, and it’s fully lined.  Martin & Osa has free shipping and returns, and the skirt is still available in sizes 6-18.  So this skirt is a winner for only $19.99 on clearance from $69.99, and I’ve only spent half my budget.  Whoo!

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I’m kind of flexible with how I can finish the outfit on top depending on how much money I have left, but I know I need shoes so that’s what I’m after next.  

Endless.com has free overnight shipping on regular priced shoes, but these are clearance, so it’s standard shipping, which is 3-5 business days.  Still – free! Loving these cute Bongo peep toe Thora pumps for$26.10.

Thora has a 3.5 inch heel with a .25 inch platform, peep toe, and is available in sizes 6 to 8.5.  I can still spend $24.00 or so on accessories or a jacket if I’m really lucky.

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Overstock.com has $1.00 shipping, so I’m going to take advantage of that.  For $9.89 this pink ring matches the pink top, and will give the outfit another splash of color.

Finally I’m going to brighten the whole thing with a Sterling Silver Polished Flex Bangle Bracelet for $15.29.

Grand total, including shipping with J. Crew equals $110.76. *beams*  Throw in your own handbag and black tights, pls.

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Outfit #2 is an outfit that can be casual, work or date.  Almost anywhere.

I don’t know why finding an affordable, pr0nish dress was so difficult, but trust me: it was.  I found the dress I chose in an unlikely place: The Greenloop.  This is an organic cotton wrap dress; you may have heard that wrap dresses are nearly universally flattering, and it’s true.  Whether you’ve got a tummy or hips, a wrap dress can camouflage.

Again, this is organic cotton, with a deep v-neck (throw a cami under if there’s too much cleavage), 3/4 length sleeves, and an a-line skirt that hits right above the knee (too long? the tailor is your friend).  It’s available up to an XL (16) in Black, Cranberry, Midnight Blue and Truffle (shown).

Diane was originally $95, it’s on sale for $75; use code sale25 and the final price is $61.75 (including $5.00 shipping). It’s a simple dress, but that just means you can do a lot with it.

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I love it with boots, but thinking outside the box, I went over to Payless.  They’re following Target’s lead and teaming up with high fashion designers to produce pr0nish Payless lines.

These gray flats are Lela Rose for Target. Your dear blogger is all over gray tights right now, too. They go with everything and are such a cute change from black.  The flats $34, so this outfit is going to be more than the last.

Speaking of Target, while we’re running errands, we’ll swing into there.  Hayden-Harnett has a limited edition line there, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss out on that!

The website seems to feel this is a rectangular clutch with no straps; I beg to differ.  This is a brown rectangular PVC bag, with a fold-over flap (don’t know if the interior zips or not), with a square gold-tone detail on the front and a skinny strap.

The interior has the Hayden Harnett signature.

You can have your own Hayden Harnett for $29.99 (the clutch is $19.99).  We’re up to $125, so let’s throw in one more thing and call it a wrap.

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In fact, that’s a great idea.  I’m going to throw on this purple ruffle-knit acrylic wrap.  It’ll keep me warm and give the outfit a little contrast color, which will go with any of the colors the dress is in, and give a little contrast texture.  It’s $14.99 on clearance.

Our grand total is about $140, and we got a dress, shoes, handbag and a wrap.  Not shabby!  If we’d used our own shoes, and bought the clutch, we’d come in right at $100.

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Outfit #3 is for men, and I’m anticipating this is going to be easy.

Men, I’m going to teach you a very valuable skill: it’s called layering.  A few years ago, Scowley’s hubby came down for the weekend and I cleaned him up but good.  This is the kind of outfit we’re going to put together.

Here’s what you do: you take a button down shirt with a little personality, like this Project E pale green distressed ‘Rivington’ button down shirt from Bluefly.com.  Retail price: $84.99, Bluefly price $50, reduced to $44.99, Presidents Day sale price: $35.99.

Now you pair it with a nice t-shirt underneath.  A nice t-shirt.  A new t-shirt.  With some color and personality.  I like this coffee colored graphic-tee, also from Pr0ject E.  Yes, the top is green and the bottom is brown.  You can do that.  When in doubt, buy a color wheel.

(Okay, I’m being stereotypical here.  My guy friends are actually pretty hot and dress well.)  The t-shirt was blah blah, it’s now $16.79 when all is said and done.

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Whee.  We’re only up to about 5o bucks.  We need jeans.  I have to impress on both men and women that jeans shopping sucks.  You may have to try on more than one pair.  You may have to try on lots of pairs.  Suck it up.

Don’t overthink jeans.  Head over to Old Navy, and pick yourself up a pair of medium/dark rinse boot-cut jeans for $29.50.  (I know, I just contradicted myself, but for the sake of this post, my point is that jeans don’t need to cost $200.)

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We’re up to $80, and we need shoes.  I’m partial to a nice “sneaker” like this navy nylon “Kamikaze” from Gola at Bluefly.

As long as they’re not actual sneakers, and they’re neat and clean, you’re golden.

These are $39.99.  Bluefly shipping within the continental U.S. is a flat $7.95, bringing our fine gentleman’s grand total to $130.22.

Once you’ve got this type of dressing down, call your blogger! (Have I mentioned I’m single?)

There you have it!  Three complete outfits, which will stretch very far in your closet for under $150.  Yay!

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This was a pain in the butt, but the thing is that good sales are usually much easier to find in person.  Stores like Loehmann’s, TJMaxx, Marshalls and Filene’s Basement will save you money on good name brands right off the bat.  Sign up for their email lists, find out about sales, and get coupons via email and save even more!

Dress like a million bucks for just a hundred.  Now that’s pr0n. Thanks for reading, lumpkins.  I’m a bit under the weather, so I hope it was up to par.

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

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