Style advice for women with big hips

Style advice for women with big hips
The average British woman is a size 14-16. Yet fashion isn’t just reserved for supermodel-shaped bodies: those with a rounder figure can also dress with style.

The average British woman is a size 14-16. Yet fashion isn’t just reserved for supermodel-shaped bodies: those with a rounder figure can also dress with style. We’ve selected clothes that have a slimming effect on your figure.

Style icons who make the most of their hips

Kate Winslet

Kate shot to worldwide fame in Titanic when a young Leonardo DiCaprio drew her spectacular curves before drowning. Ever since this classic scene, she’s refused to slim down and she's become an ambassador for the full-figured woman. Thank you Kate!


The bootylicious R&B star refuses to starve herself and looks all the better for it. How does she do it? With her sexy diva poses and her muscular dancer's body. Beyoncé wears what she wants, including slim jeans and short skirts that hug her hips. Her figure is a far cry from the slender physique of legendary singer Diana Ross, but Beyoncé is even more glamorous.

Monica Bellucci

Since ending her career in modelling to turn to acting, the beautiful Italian actress has let her body do the talking. Gone are the days of hollow cheeks and skinny thighs: she now takes pride in her natural curves. Her secret? Her love of homemade pasta.

Jennifer Lopez

Since bursting onto the film and music scene, J.Lo has insisted on staying true to her roots. She says she's an ordinary Jenny from the Block, but her figure is anything but ordinary. Jennifer is proud of her curves and is confident wearing clothes that show off her sexy hips.

The right cuts
Your clothes should be close-fitting without being too tight. Get rid of XXL and oversized items for good, unless of course you like being mistaken for a sack of potatoes. And don't weigh your figure down with too many layers or colours.
The right colours
The following three colour types, although dark, flatter your figure:
Neutral: grey and taupe.
Deep: burgundy and dark green.
New blacks: deep purple, navy and anthracite grey.
Can you get away with prints? Definitely, provided they're not too loud.

Hide your hips
  • Long straight coats
    Straight coats structure the body. Wear long ones preferably and in colour to stand out. Big coats, ones that narrow at the knees or that end at the widest part of the hips are out as they will make you look bigger. For a fun look, why not team with wellies or patent leather shoes?
  • Babydoll dresses
    Retro dresses with a short, flared cut hide hints of bellies and thunderthighs. If you don’t feel comfortable enough with your legs, turn a dress into a tunic, as long as you wear a long coat with it so as not to break up your silhouette.
  • Long cardigans
    These should cover at least part, if not all, of your bum. A V-neck cut will lengthen your bust. To avoid the granny look, go for colours like brown or grey and not pastels. Wear with jeans and heels to elongate your legs.
Highlight your hips
  • Wrap dresses
    Versatile wrap dresses with belted waists can work for business occasions or cocktail parties. They emphasise the upper body and give your legs movement and flexibility. If the sleeves are short, cover up with a wool cardigan. Just be careful your dress doesn’t gape too much when you're sitting down!
  • Jeans
    Jeans shape the bum, but they're still a big-hipped girl’s best friend. Urban, chic or casual, the style is up to you. High waists reintroduce feminine curves that were so sought after in the 1960s, cling to the waist and emphasise your breasts. Low waisted jeans also suit larger bums too!
  • Trench coats
    Wear them like dresses. Ideally, leave just black or coloured opaque tights on show, as if you’re wearing nothing else! If you’re quite slim, wear a belt and opt for a classic beige colour. If you have a rounder figure, choose black. Wear a shirt or jersey dress underneath and go for heels.
Dare to bare your hips in…
  • Short skirts
    Above the knee but not too sure though. The aim is to draw attention to the legs and the hips of course. Avoid wearing with a plunging top so you’re not showing too much off at once. Equally, you can wear a short belted dress. In summer, wear with nothing on your legs and in winter, with opaque tights and boots.
  • Ball dresses
    For big occasions only. A ball dress follows the entire line of your body from top to toe. Add detail with heels or a pashmina.
Hip accessories
  • Belts
    There are two ways of wearing a belt for two different effects. Under the bust: choose quite a large belt, in patent leather for example. These are great for highlighting your bust and diverting attention away from large hips. At the waist: choose a thinner, printed belt and make sure it's not too tight. It will add a feminine touch if your waist is on the large side.
  • Heels
    Simply essential. They lengthen your figure and slim the leg. In addition, walking in heels tones your legs and gives you calves to die for. Try ankle boots or wedge heels too.
  • Small bags
    There's no need to overload yourself with an oversized bag. Minimise the size of your accessories and only carry essentials so they don’t get in the way of your outfit. Go for a small bag, a clutch or even a bright purse.
Published by editorial staff Fashion
15 Jan 2008
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