Of Camel Toes and High Waisted Pants (HWP)

There. I said it. Camel toe. But the look I’m mainly talking about here is super-short high-waisted denim shorts (with or without rips; with or without camel-toe). The most disturbing part of this trend is that it generally comes with a side-serve of arse-cheek hanging out the back.

I’m sure we’ve all seen it – just head to any shopping mall around the country and look for the nearest group of teenagers. It’s one of the scariest looks ever. It’s generally seen on girls ranging from 13 – 18. Most of them travel in packs. Most of them don’t have long-lean super-model bodies (but really, who does?!). The thing is though, to be honest super-models are probably the only body-types who should consider wearing this look. Most of them are not wearing heels.  Most  team them with sloppy, over-sized tees, or heaven forbid, crop-tops. Some wear them with thongs, others with gladiators, and worse still, others with those hideous black sneakers…

But before I really get going, allow me to give you a glossary of terms and abbreviations:

HWP = High Waisted Pants

CT = Camel Toe.  That unfortunate optical illusion that occurs in a woman’s nether-regions when pants are worn too high and too tight. Think about it. I’m sure you’ll get what I am referring to here.

HWS = High Waisted Shorts

SSHWDS = Super-Short High Waisted Denim Shorts (pictured below):

The pockets are often seen dangling out the front. As I said, arse-cheeks are often seen dangling out the back. Why these young girls think this look works on them is beyond me…

Supporters of high-waisted pants (check out some of the worst ever, below) claim that they

a) Make their legs look longer,

b) hold in their tummy and,

c) avoid muffin-tops.

BUT what fans of high-waisted pants DON’T seem to realise is this:

  1.  They shorten your over-all appearance/waist making you look shorter and dumpier, even if you are neither. Think about it. When someone is conversing with you, their eyes are generally on the upper-body – your face, down to the chest/waist at most. If you elongate that section, by default you will appear at least on first impressions, longer and leaner
  2. They make your lower half appear by default, well…larger!
  3. High-waisted shorts defy point a) (above) because they are chopped off so high on the leg and with so little fabric, you may as well just be wearing your knickers! Unless you’re wearing heels or platforms your legs most definitely don’t look longer. And even then, unless you have super-skinny pins, don’t kid yourself that you are achieving that illusion either!
  4. The feature of your whole outfit becomes the pelvic area (or from behind, your butt!). You draw attention to the one body part that we women least like! Note: After many years of styling and client profiling I can categorically prove this is fact. 

If, after all of my ranting here, you really MUST, here’s the WRONG way to wear high-waisted pants:

Mischa Barton is stunning. But this outfit is SO NOT. Again, the ballet flats don’t work. The rock-chick tee doesn’t work. The hair (anything past nipple length is never good)

The lovely Katie Holmes is looking a little less than lovely in over-voluminous HWP with ballet flats. It makes the lower half look proportionally larger than it really is (let’s face it, she has very little to worry about in terms of body shape, right!?). If you really must wear HWP, make sure you wear shoes with a bit more substance than a ballet flat, which always look better with skinny, cropped capris than they do with wide-leg styles.

I love Jessica Simpson’s dark hair here. I even like her tee. What I don’t like is how the HWP do nothing for her wonderful figure. Oh, and ofcourse the optical illusion (or is it?) of the dreaded camel toe!

There are a few rules that apply (or at least should apply) when choosing to following this trend:

  1. ALWAYS wear heels with HWP (high waisted pants).
  2. If the leg is full/flared, wear a fitted top (tucked in).
  3. Don’t ever do camel-toe. Ever. That is all.
  4. If wearing high-waisted shorts (sniff) by day, elongate the leg with a wedge.
  5. If shopping at your local mall in high-waisted shorts by day, do NOT wear stilettos. Ever.  Actually, if shopping by day in any outfit (this doesn’t apply to lunch-hours in the city etc) sky-high heels really don’t fit the ocasion or location (the first rule of thumb for stylish people!).
  6. Do not team your HWS (high-waisted-shorts) with a crop-top. Ever. In fact, don’t wear crop-tops with anything. Again…that is all.
  7. How do you identify if pants are high-waisted or low-waisted before trying them on? Check out the length of the fly/zipper. The longer the zip, generally the higher the waist (that’s not a rule, just a stylist’s tip I thought I’d throw in as a reward for reading this far!
Here are some examples of wearing HWS well. With a few other examples thrown in for good measure!

Even though these pants are little OTT in the volume department, see how a belt worn lower on the waist can at least create some balance and lengthen the torso?

OK. So I admit it! Now I am cheating. These are NOT HWP. They are LWP. But see how many inches they shave off the rear-end? That is all.

I hope the tips above have helped in some way. But what do YOU think? Are you a fan of HWP? Don’t be scared…I’ll still speak to you if you are. I promise!!

 

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6 Responses to Of Camel Toes and High Waisted Pants (HWP)

  1. It would appear that I’m not as style-retarded as I thought. Those short denim shorts drive me nuts. Who wants to see someone’s butt cheeks hanging out of their pants? Really? The pockets hanging out of the front are almost as bad. Add a high wasit and they become even more pointless.

    As for the stilettos, I saw a woman at the supermarket recently dressed quite casually but in a pair of wedge sole stilettos. She looked ridiculous and I’m not quite sure how she managed to get enough traction to push her trolley in the right direction. Maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t have a collection of stilettos that I can wear to do the grocery shopping.

  2. I’m going to see if I can find the photo of me in my hwj without C.T from 1976. They look unattractive, are uncomfortable and very few people can wear them with flattering advantage.
    Definitely often cause camel toe – no good!
    please please keep the mid low waisties for those of us who are wide flat bottom challenged.

  3. I’m 17 and i wear high waisted shorts because i have a very small bum and hips due to my disease and they are the only things that make me look evened out, even if i risk looking fat. not all of them are bad just the girls who wear them to show off.

  4. […] Many of my clients have told me they don’t like low-rise jeans because they fear the dreaded muffin-top and they find high-rise jeans hold things in better. Well, while I admit that high-rise  might give you the “feeling” that your tummy is being held in more securely,  they can actually add more bulk to your silhouette (think of the button, zip, waistband underneath a long-line fitted top). And they also make your bum look bigger too girls! For tips on how to wear high-waisted jeans well and the many problems to watch out for, here’s a blog I wrote a while back…Of Camel Toes and High-Waisted Pants […]

  5. […] Many of my clients have told me they don’t like low-rise jeans because they fear the dreaded muffin-top and they find high-rise jeans hold things in better. Well, while I admit that high-rise  might give you the “feeling” that your tummy is being held in more securely,  they can actually add more bulk to your silhouette (think of the button, zip, waistband underneath a long-line fitted top). And they also make your bum look bigger too girls! For tips on how to wear high-waisted jeans well and the many problems to watch out for, here’s a blog I wrote a while back…Of Camel Toes and High-Waisted Pants […]

  6. Before you condemn this (denim) style ladies please ask the guys. As a rule we appreciate the high-waisted fit both from the front and behind. In fact, many of the styles and looks that women seem to universally condemn, like high, sculpted derrière, VPL, and cameltoe are looks that guys typically drool over. If you want to dress for yourselves go ahead and keep it ‘tame.’ If you’d rather garner appreciation from the guys then don’t be afraid to break the girl’s stodgy old rules. Oh, and while I’m on my soap box, can we please, please give all of that black and red underwear to the Goodwill. Let’s go for pastels and softer primaries and secondaries that accentuate your curves, encourage sculpted shadows and reveal mid tone shades. (Oh – and lots of satin too – lace is over-rated (and scratchy…)) Nothing more attractive than a nice curvy fit with gentle shadowing and mid tones to highlight the finer details of a woman’s heavenly form. Sorry for my Off Topic rambling.

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