I`m off to Cuba for 2 weeks in January. I always have trouble with my holiday wardrobe, my size is 34-29-47 so I`m a very extreme pear shape, 5ft 7 inches tall with a long body and an inside leg of 30 inches. I do look in proportion and my top half is a size 12-14 and my bottom half is a size 16.
I can never seem to find a style that suits me and I always feel I look a bit mismatched and frumpy. On holiday our days will be spent on the beach or by the pool and during the evenings in and around the complex. Any ideas on how I can look a bit more stylish this year, your assistance will be much appreciated.
From your description it seems like you have a curvaceous body shape. Curves are womanly and you should try to accentuate them. However, in your case the hips are larger than the rest of the body, so, to look at your best you will need to restore the balance.
The golden rule when choosing your clothes is to add volume on the top, drawing attention to the upper body while choosing items that slim the hips and bottom area.
Colour plays a very important role. Choose medium to dark colours in matt fabrics for the lower body and leave patterns for the top only. Don`t limit yourself to black, as there is plenty of choice out there. Opt for warm colours like chocolate and khaki for the day. Navy, dark grey and purple can also be a nice alternative for the evenings.
With jackets, tops and shirts always make sure that the bottom ends either above or below the widest point of the hips. This is fundamental and although sometimes it might seem time-consuming choosing your garments based on this rule but you will see that it really makes a difference.
Go liberally on pleats and darts and choose soft fabrics that drape well. Avoid materials that are too stiff, bulky or shiny. Also, avoid big belts and pockets at waist level as they will only draw attention to hips.
Some advice regarding your holiday wardrobe
On the beach or by the pool, you will spend most of your time wearing a swimming costume. Remember the colour rule. If you want you can wear bright patterns on top but match them with plain dark bottoms.
Don`t forget that lying on the beach is not an excuse for not being chic. Make sure you have at least a couple of great kaftans with you. Melissa Odabash does some really beautiful ones that will make you feel sexy and will show off your long figure.
Wear long necklaces or bulky bracelets and pay attention to your footwear. Thong flip-flops and Wedges are ok for the beach as you want to be comfortable, but rubber and plastic are a definite no. Why not choose leather instead, the more embellished, the better and preferably in colours that go with most of your beachwear.
Finally, for your evenings in the complex or around town I would suggest you take with you many different dresses. Dresses are the easiest way to be effortlessly elegant, they are comfortable and easy to wear and you won`t have to worry about putting pieces together to create your look.
Shirt dresses should be on your top list. Both Diane Von Furstenberg and Anne Klein do some fantastic ones, in lightweight silk (see below). Alternatively look at By Malene Birger for gorgeous embroidered tunics. Maxi dresses are also a good option, but make sure that they are long enough to cover your ankles.
Be confident and always wear a smile… you will be the belle of Cuba!
Enjoy and best wishes,