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I’m about to stick my toe in sacred fashion territory: the pencil skirt, ubiquitous for what, the past three years? And why, why, why when so blasted few of us can wear one?

Who should buck it

The fashion intelligentsia does such wonderful job on us, don’t they? Everyone loves the idea of a pencil skirt. Paired with a short cardigan or jacket, a pencil skirt is a classic vintage style. Only one thing has changed about them since they were introduced by Christian Dior as part of his new look just after World War II: the length, which varies with every incarnation.

A pencil skirt is best on slim, well-proportioned bodies, but a lot of women manage one with some careful adjustments for waist to hip ratios and height. Nevertheless, this slim, curve-hugging shape is anathema to one body type. If you’re pear shaped AND your widest dimension is the line across your thighs, you should drop the idea of a pencil skirt faster than a politician’s promise after Election Day. Their shape follows your shape, highlighting the very part you most want to conceal.

What to wear instead

For pear-shaped readers, I’m stealing a line from Bryan Adams: “Everything I do, I do it for you.” And me. I say that because I’m in the same boat. I’m constantly improvising around my ill-proportioned body. But who doesn’t?

Nothing good can come from hating your God-breathed body, friends. What right do you have to judge it? You’re just borrowing it for a short time. Work with it, respect it and you’ll never feel bad about your shape or size again.

Choose A-line and tulip skirts instead of a pencil skirt. To minimize the lower half of your body, put your darkest color on the bottom. (This is the reason I have so many dark slacks.) Put all the bells and whistles on your top to draw the eye upward. It doesn’t matter whether it’s light, bright, patterned, horizontally-striped, ruffled, scarved, trimmed, buttoned or jeweled, it’s all good.

So tell me, what’s your favorite figure-enhancing strategy?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.