Best Brands for…Small Waists and Big Hips

November 24, 2019


We’re coming up on Black Friday and we all know what that means — it’s time to shop. Now I already love shopping, obviously, having made the decision to start this blog for you all to try to figure out ways to improve the experience for women who deal with clothing fit issues (i.e. all of us…).

But I really love Black Friday. Not just because if you’re willing to put in the effort you can find some amazing deals, but my mom and I also have a tradition where we stay up late after Thanksgiving, push through the food coma, and go to an outlet mall nearby at midnight to kickoff the shopping season personally. I understand this may make us sound absolutely insane to some of you, but we started the tradition years ago when we realized that we never had any time to hang out just the two of us over the holidays, and this idea was born. It really just started out as a way for us to get some much-needed alone time to catch up with each other, but over the years it has evolved into a serious shopping holiday for us. We still make sure to leave time to sit in the mall’s food court and just hang together, but Black Friday has slowly evolved over the years into our shopping Super Bowl.

We now strategize ahead of time what stores we want to hit and in what order, what key items we’re looking to buy either for ourselves or as gifts for someone else. So now with the big game just around the corner — and thus the start of the most frantic shopping season of the year — I’ve been thinking about how to make this blog more helpful to all of you who find it frustrating to find clothes that actually fit. So we’re going to try something new.

I’m going to start creating recommendations for you all based on specific body types that might have difficulty finding clothes for their unique shapes. We’re going to kick this off with some recommendations for women who have narrower waists with big hips. Some might call this shape an ‘hourglass’ figure, although I’m loathe to use these labels, so I created the image above to illustrate an example of the beautiful body shape I’m describing. 

So to get this started, I’ll be highlighting some specific brands and items that I would personally suggest for someone with this body shape. See below for the first set of recommendations — and let me know what you think in the comments! Agree? Disagree? We want to know! 

01 The Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

The first thing I think of when I imagine this body shape is the iconic DVF wrap dress. It was designed by Diane with the beautiful female form in mind, and I think it is particularly flattering for women with smaller waists but wider hips, as the way the dress falls elegantly across the body really emphasizes the curves of a woman with this shape. 

In general, I would recommend dresses from this brand to women with this body shape, and overall the brand is very flattering to the female figure. That being said, I’ve found that DVF’s pants are cut to flatter a shape with a more straight waist-to-hip ratio, so have not had as much success in this particular category. 

Here is one of this season’s wrap dresses that I particularly like — note that the price and availability is as of this writing (as for all garments in this post). 

Diane von Furstenberg

New Jeanne Two Silk Jersey Wrap Dress, $498

02 AG Jeans, particularly the Farrah Skinny

Jeans are the bane of every woman’s shopping experience, and women with small waists are no exception. High-waisted jeans in particular are difficult for this body shape, because the difference in their waist size vs hip size makes it hard to find a pair that truly flatters the entire leg. 

I have found consistent success with AG’s jeans, and specifically have become a loyal purchaser of their Farrah Skinny cut (I have more washes and colors in my closet than I’d care to admit…). I personally have a preference for jeans with a slight stretch to them, so keep that in mind if you differ, but I’ve found that the stretch helps a lot when trying to make sure something will cinch at a smaller waist but still slide easily over larger thighs or hips. 

I’ve also found myself liking their Mila cut, but my loyalty lies with the Farrah. 

AG Adriano Goldschmied

The Farrah Skinny Jean, $198

03 Elie Tahari for shape-flattering workwear

I still remember the horror of shopping for my first true ‘professional’ attire when I graduated college and started work at a bank (i.e. suits were necessary). Every pair of slacks I tried on either perfectly accentuated my muffin top or made it somehow appear like I was wearing a pair of bell bottoms. It wasn’t until I found Elie Tahari that I realized it was possible to look both professional and feminine at the same time. 

Even as my career has evolved into more and more casual office environments, I still find myself turning back to Elie Tahari when I’m in need of a more tailored, put-together outfit that makes me feel like the #bossbabe that I am. I highly recommend their skirt suits for those working with true ‘business professional’ dress codes, and their sheath dresses for anyone who just wants to feel feminine and elegant. 

As a side note, Elie Tahari always has some great Black Friday deals and it looks like they’re already live on their site, so go check it out!

Elie Tahari

Wendy Jacket, $398

04 Naadam cropped cashmere

I recently discovered this brand through a favorite fashion influencer (hi, Danielle!), and I’ll admit when I first saw it I quickly overlooked it. Cashmere sweaters are a massive staple for me, and you’ll find that I consistently wear them a few times a week now that we’ve kicked off fall and all throughout winter. Because it was already such a ubiquitous part of my closet, I wasn’t looking for a new brand to try at the time. But after seeing a particular image of their cropped cashmere paired with high waisted leggings, I was overcome with an image of myself in my (above) skinny jeans and a cute cropped sweater. 

I’m so glad I decided to give it them try, because not only does Naadam have a great set of cropped options for my skinny-jeans-pairing needs, but the quality of their cashmere is incredible, and I find myself awkwardly petting my sleeves more often than I’d care to admit. 


Balloon Sleeve Cropped Turtleneck, $185

05 Ted Baker party dresses

Ted Baker is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of their unique bold prints that you can find on some of their most basic silhouettes, a contrast I absolutely love and was super excited to try out. I fell in love with their loud sheaths in quiet shapes, and their stretchy fabric hugs my curves in all the right places. 

Since becoming addicted to their dresses, I’ve found myself consistently turning to the brand when I’m looking for a party look that couldn’t also double as a club look, if you know what I mean. Ted Baker is what I wear when I’m attending a party that someone’s parents might show up at, and I want to look flirty and fun while still leaving plenty to the imagination. 

Ted Baker’s sale is also already live — just in time for your holiday party planning needs! 

Ted Baker

Gabia One Shoulder Midi Dress, $244

What do you think about having more specific recommendations for different body shapes? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below! 

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