How to Dress Professionally with a Bubble Butt

Are *any* curves appropriate in the office? Reader L worries about her self-described “bubble butt:”

You’ve covered dressing with curves at least twice before (how to dress professionally if you’re busty and whether curvy girls can wear sheath dresses), but I’d love to hear you and my fellow readers weigh in on a curve that wasn’t mentioned in either post: the curve from lower back to tush.

I’m a 4 top/ 8 bottom and have a small bust, but I have a significant bubble butt. My waist looks pretty straight from the front but very, very curved from the side. When I wear shirts tucked in, I’m afraid that the curve from my back to my butt looks too suggestive.

I’m tired of feeling obligated to always cover my waist with a jacket or cardigan. Am I just too paranoid?

Well. Of course, looking around the web, there is lots of advice on how to minimize a big butt — wear bootcut pants! wear dresses! wear tops that end at your hipbone instead of your natural waist! make your shoulders seem broader by wearing boatnecks!  Here on Corporette we’ve also given suggestions for how to dress professionally when your top and bottom are two very different sizes. I have a few opinions here, but I’m curious to hear what the readers say.  (And of course, sometimes curves are great — Tyra Banks considers the “booty tooch” up there with smizing.)

a) Women have curves. It’s OK to have curves because you’re, you know, a woman. (It’s also ok if you’re a woman who doesn’t have curves.) Some women (like myself) are large busted, and I would never think we have to wear minimizers or athletic bras to squash “the girls.” That said, am I going to avoid wearing push-up bra at the office, and am I going to be extra sensitive about dresses and tops that show a bit of skin on top? You bet. Similarly, I would draw the line for you there — don’t do anything to enhance your bum (such as this), and be wary of anything that shows any skin. In fact, I think it’s even more important for you to make sure that your clothes are tailored to avoid the gape at the back of your pants when your bum and waist are much different sizes. (I would beg of you to avoid too-small pants, but really that goes across the board for all women. If your pants or skirts are smiling (pulling taut against the front so the fabric creases up into a smile), then you need to go up a size.)

b) Do I think that you have to hide all evidence of your curves and always wear a jacket or cardigan to hide your curves? I don’t. I know this is easier said than done, though, because this is primarily a comfort level for you. If you take your jacket off to go get coffee and feel like everyone is staring at your bum, that can sap your confidence and distract you from other, more productive thoughts. So do what makes you comfortable. But ultimately: I think everyone else can handle it.

Readers, what do you think?  Should women with larger bums dress to hide them? Are pronounced curves unprofessional, even if they’re 100% natural?



  1. “wear bootcut pants! wear dresses! wear tops that end at your hipbone instead of your natural waist!”

    I am convinced that the people who write these have never actually styled anyone with a real “bubble butt.”

    Bootcut pants don’t help, because we aren’t trying to balance a width proportion. It’s about butt protrusion, not hip width. My hips could almost be described as narrow, but I still have a 39 inch hip measurement (and a 26 inch waist!).

    I can’t wear most tops that end at my hips, because anything that fits me in the torso is too tight at the hips. Or it makes me look kind of chunky, and totally obscures the fact that I have a nice, small waist. It’s unflattering.

    Most dresses don’t work, either, at least not without significant tailoring. Because my butt sticks out so much, shift and sheath dresses ride up my hips and pooch up above my butt. If I size up, I’m swimming in the dress. For pencil skirts to fit me right, I essentially have to ask the tailor to put in butt darts.

    My advice is to just get everything tailored like crazy.

    • I am a fan of the butt darts! My mother sewed them for me as a teen and the nice people at the alterations place continue it. Otherwise, there’s no pretty way to bend a little, let alone a lot.

    • Oh, and, I heartily recommend DL1961 jeans for bubble butt gals. They’re great-looking premium jeans that somehow magically have a huge amount of spandex in them without looking ridiculous. They’re amazing; super comfy and perfect fit.

    • Queen of the bubble butt speaking here:
      Nothing too tight or clingy. No jersey on the bottom at work please.
      Spanx, Assets, compression shorts, whatever. Jiggle isn’t too professional. Please don’t wear thongs. We can see them. No really, we can.
      Slips. Under wrap dresses, anything not structured.
      All bubble butts are not created equal, so find the cut of pants that works on you, and tailor, tailor, tailor. Depending on the rise of the pants and the size of the butt, you may not want to tuck (particularly with high rise pants).
      “The skirt” from Nordstrom is great IMO.
      I tend to buy things a size up and have the waist fitted, rather than be bootylicious at work.
      Wear pretty necklaces or pins to draw the eye up. Have a good haircut.
      Don’t worry about it too much. If they’re not ready for your jelly, that’s their problem! You are allowed to have curves at work!

  2. OT – I have this really difficult, been going on forever, divorce case and the client’s been very hot and cold to me because of some earlier problems from the firm (before I came on). So, I’ve been really nervous about telling him that I’m expecting (due late Dec). I’ve been trying desparately to get trial scheduled before the end of the year (scheduling is a nightmare in the case for several reasons), and I finally told him that I will not be available December and January, but specifically did not say why, just asked him how he wanted me to handle that in scheduling discussions. Since he didn’t respond the first time (like I said, difficult), I had to say this twice.

    He just sent me an email with a few things in it (though it does not answer the question about scheduling), and then added “I mean to congratuate you on your news!” I’m just so, so tempted to write back “What news?” That would be so wrong, wouldn’t it?

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      Any particular reason (legal, company code of conduct, other) why nobody’s had a “Come to Jesus” conversation with this client? Even if he’s been treated badly before, playing bullshit diva games isn’t going to endear him to the folks working with him now and will not get him better treatment.

      Along the lines of: Listen bucko, do you want to improve the way this trial is going or do you want this to drag and do you want to spend more $$ on legal fees? Because if you do want improvement, and you want this to move on, then get with the program, respond to questions promptly, etc.

      • Oh, yeah, we’ve had a number of those discussions with him. Sometimes it helps, and then sometimes he gets caught up on something that has to go a certain way or he gets all depressed about the status of the case so far, and things get difficult again.

        I do genuinely think that he was being nice there, which he is most of the time (like I said, he’s hot and cold). I mainly thought that it was funny, that here I was all nervous about saying anything, and that he would probably not catch that I was arranging that scheduling because of a pregnancy (he can be a little bit oblivious), but that his girlfriend, who’s highly involved, probably would and I’d probably hear about it all of his (her) concerns related to that, and here all I get is a bold (though correct) assumption and a congrats. And still no answer on the scheduling issue (he’s kind of flaky and avoids decisions, too).

    • I mean it would be awkward right? Someone at your firm told him I am assuming, and he seems to be making an attempt at being nice, so having a “what news” “that your expecting” “Who said I was expecting?” “oh I am so sorry, I thought you were” “well I am but I am controlling who gets to know that info” is just going to be an awkward way to go about it. I think you just say thank you in this situation.

    • Why don’t you respond to his email addressing everything but the “Congrats” part? Basically ignore it just like he did with your original scheduling one.

    • I think you should just reply and say something like “Thanks! I will make sure there is coverage when I’m out and let you knwo the details closer to the date” or similar.

      • Very Anon mom :

        Yes. Acknowledge it as the bump (haha) in the road that it is for the case, but not as a personal thing.

  3. Ada Doom Starkadder :

    (Reposting with asterisks to avoid moderation)

    Any particular reason (legal, company code of conduct, other) why nobody’s had a “Come to Jesus” conversation with this client? Even if he’s been treated badly before, playing bullsh33t diva games isn’t going to endear him to the folks working with him now and will not get him better treatment.

    Along the lines of: Listen bucko, do you want to improve the way this trial is going or do you want this to drag and do you want to spend more $$ on legal fees? Because if you do want improvement, and you want this to move on, then get with the program, respond to questions promptly, etc.

  4. Haven’t gotten measured in a while but even at my wedding skinny (but not skinniest), I was something like a 29 or 30 waist and a 39 hip, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart (unfortunately.) A-line dresses and skirts are your BEST friends. A low-ish rise bootcut pant can help, but wide leg pants are even better. The best pants that I’ve found are the Nordstrom Halogen Taylor bootcuts. I have them in every color- they fit very well at the waist and give you plenty of room in back. They also have a very flat waistband so you can wear a fitted top and show off your small waist. Dark colors on bottom, lighter colors on top- all the typical pear tips.

    What doesn’t work: skinny pants, side zip pants, most pencil skirts, sheath dresses. Sigh…

    • Agree on the wide-leg pants, or even straight leg. We have the built-in “structure”, ahem, to support the fabric. A straight line down from the farthest curve looks best, imo.

    • If the OP’s waist looks pretty straight from the front, then it may not actually be that small. I have a 29″ waist and 36″ lower hip due to butt, but my hipbone is 33″ and the “shape” of my hips pretty much follows that 33 from the front. Many jeans are hard to button in the front but still gap in the back.

      All this to say: bootcuts and widelegs aren’t necessarily going to minimize a bubble butt if your hips are otherwise narrow. Widelegs just make me look even straighter up-and-down from the front than I already am. Bubble butt != pear shape.

      For professional wear I would go with dresses and A-line skirts, pencil skirts with a blousy tucked top (look up the YouLookFab blog post on de-bombshelling the pencil skirt), and pants–whichever style you find most flattering in the mirror–with an untucked normal-length top. If the top is not fitted, just shaped to nip in a little at the waist, then the back view will be less clingy to the curve of your lower back.

    • DC Darling :

      Have to disagree. A line skirts and dresses just make my butt look even bigger when you see me from the side. If I find a nice fitting pencil skirt/sheath it evens me out a bit but for some reason when I wear an A line skirt the line of the skirt doesn’t fall straight down but out. I end up looking like I have a tiny waist and a circus tent for hips and butt.

      I do like trouser pants and as someone with almost no hips but a big butt (hello 27 waist and 38 hips) I like Ann Taylors Modern cut which still has enough room to accommodate my rear without the dreaded gap.

      • Different bodies, but I’m thinking of A-line skirts with some structure and lining to the skirt (almost a full circle skirt but without the extra fabric). On me–my butt is prominent but not extremely disproportionate–this kind of skirt falls down from the widest point in side profile.

        • DC Darling :

          I’ve tried every kind of A line skirt/sheath imaginable and far from minimizing, it just adds to the area. I wonder why that is since most of the women here are saying the exact opposite.

          I guess I’ll have to experiment and go shopping this weekend to settle this :)

          • I wonder if the difference is in how people define “bigger” in this context – for some people, A-line looks bigger because it falls straight from the widest point, whereas for others, it looks less big, because it doesn’t cut back under the butt and emphasize the roundness? So it’s not so much that the A-line makes you look smaller as much as it de-emphasizes the curves?

      • I also have about 28-29″ waist and 38-39″ hips, concentrated in the back! A-line skirts look terrible on me, too, I get the same circus tent effect. Flowy skirts, tulip skirts, also not so hot. I have to stick with pencil skirts sized up to fit my rear, taken in at the waist if necessary. Everyone’s shape is different.

  5. I’m currently a size 8-10 blouse and 12-14 pant, so there’s definitely a bit of extra junk in my trunk.

    Personally, I’ve found that while there are some pants that fit me well, they’re not my best choice professionally. Skirts and dresses tend to be more flattering. One of my favs is a wrap dress, because it accentuates my fit upper body without revealing anything while leaving room at the bottom.

    I also buy regular dresses sized for my bottom, and have the tops taken in, and them with cardigans. A-line and fuller-cut skirts are also helpful, again with a fitted top. The last thing I want to do is admit that I have extra baggage on the bottom, AND make it look like I’m also big on top.

  6. The name of this post is my favoritest ever.

  7. I don’t know what the answer is for how to dress, either. In my dreams, I rock a Mrs. Robinson look. IRL, just don’t put me in khakis. Evah.

    For a 30D-30-40 figure (due in part to two babies and too much of my youth in tennis and cycling), I can disguise the butt/hips at work by bringing the focus up to my teeny upper body (think: very narrow shoulders, so lots of structured jackets, things tailored to the waist but with some give below that, Wilma Flinstone pearls, scarves, bling; good shoes).

    Having the baby-induced tummy go away will only make the hips seem even larger, so I may keep the pooch for a while and enjoy me some yummy food.

    Jeans days have been problematic, but I have lucked out with Gap curvey fit jeans and then tailoring in the legs to be straight as opposed to flared (or whatever they are). Would have been too much trouble if they had not otherwise been PERFECT.

  8. Research, Not Law :

    I’m laughing because the “you might like” link is “Is curly hair professional?” I have a curvy figure and curly hair. I have no interest in straightening my hair to appease a certain standard and am unable to change my figure.

    You are who you are. Get clothes that fit, carry yourself with dignity, act appropriately, and you will look professional.

    • Mine is “Are Louboutins professional” which is funny for other reasons. And also “jump into the Plus Size trend of flowers and birds” (not this site) which…I don’t even know. Flowers AND birds. All in one outfit?

      I don’t want to click on it because I don’t want to encourage it. But this is what happens when I shop for other people on this site.

    • Amen. Life’s hard enough trying to find clothes that fit the junk in my trunk (and it got SO MUCH WORSE while I was pregnant. Thankfully things are calming back down now) that I can’t imagine trying to minimize the way it looks. My goal is to dress professionally and confidently and let the rest sort itself out.

      (Please ignore my current cobalt-blue toenails. That was a whim!)

    • thank you, research not law. seriously, thank you.

  9. Fitted between the small of your back and the biggest part of your butt = perfectly fine. Fitted between the underside of your butt and your thighs = not fine.

    • I went to like this but I have to comment instead. I avoid it clinging to the backside. You get to the edge and then rappel straight down.

      • Honey Pillows :

        The trouble with avoiding any clinging at all is that I would go from a 12 to a 16 with so much tailoring I could purchase a custom-made pair of pants for the price. And that’s just not in the budget. :-(

        I’m just sticking to skirts, I guess.

        • Oh I meant in skirts. Pants have to cup I think. They should just be a fabric and cut that doesn’t look painted on

    • No Problem :

      Agree. I’ve had a bubble butt my entire life (even as a child in dance class, we’d all line up and compare our shapes in the mirror and I had a pronounced bubble butt compared to everyone else; I was very jealous of the girls with flatter butts).

      • No no no! Butts are better than pancakes! Even bubble butts. (I’m not quite a bubble, but I get the gape in the back of my jeans waist and I wear a 10 in the hips but a 6 in the waist/jackets so I’m there.)

  10. Spot's mom :

    FYI Weight Watchers folks- I just clicked on the c-ret group link out of curiosity and found a red notice that the group has been closed. I guess that happened when the founder discontinued her membership.

  11. Does anyone know when j.crew updates its stock online? I’ve been stalking a swimsuit for a few weeks. Different sizes seem to pop up every few days. Today it was on my size, I put it in my cart and then I wandered off to check the sale …of course it disappeared. I am happy to keep checking the site compulsively every hour all day, but maybe i should limit it to once in the morning, if they only add sizes back at certain times? Any wisdom?

    • Anonsensical :

      Middle of the night, I think. I have the most luck checking when I first wake up and it’s all downhill from there.

    • Just call them. They can do a “Find it For Me” or whatever they call it. You give them the item number and size, and when they get it, they do a charge send and it magically arrives.

  12. Chronic lurker here but I had to say something.
    Sigh…I didn’t know that it was called bubble butt…I am 5’5″ and 10 on top and 14 in the bottom. My backside has been my nemesis since 7th grade when I was called “spongy backside”. I covered up my butt in my 20’s with longer tunic tops and pants and A line skirts. Now in my late 30’s, I have found some brands that work for me.
    Ann Taylor curvy trousers are the only ones that fit off the shelf (mostly). A stylist at Ann Taylor told me not to worry about my behind but to tuck in my shirt and work it anyway, but I do it only with a cardi or a blazer.
    Last December I worked with a stylist (at Nordstrom) who did not know what to do with my behind. However she worked with me and she convinced me that I should try out “the Halogen skirt” in black and blue- i got them but I have not worn them at all…
    For jeans, NYDJ and Lucky ( both bootcut) work.
    I think people do notice a bubble butt, whether we like it or not. Actually its what landed me my husband, not kidding…

    • SugarMagnolia :

      My husband landed me because of HIS bubble butt. :) I love a man with junk in the trunk and manage to love myself for my own JITT as well.

      • Anon in Canada :

        Agreed! Love me them hockey players for that exact reason… if you do a google image search for “Sidney Crosby butt” or “Jonathan Toews butt,” the results are spectacular.

  13. I’ve got a bubble butt too. Plus size in my pants but regular in my top. I also have thick thighs so that doesn’t help matters either.

    I get tailored pants (from Lane Bryant but those would be too big for the OP) where it’s made to not show the gap in the back. I usually do a boot cut because skinny pants are NOT working on me and wide legs make me feel huge (maybe they don’t look bad, but I don’t like them).

    As for tops, and I don’t work in law so my answer varies, I do like cardigan sets hitting just below my waist of my pants. My stomach is actually fairly flat, just the booty. I have found slightly longer tops at places like Kohl’s. I don’t spend too much on my wardrobe.

    I think the key is to not “accent” your assets. But don’t completely cover them either – I think that draws just as much; if not more attention.

  14. My measurements are 36-32-42 and am finally getting shopping for my shape figured out. I tend to dress modestly and love the halogen pants and have a no tucking in ever rule. Growing up my mom made me feel horrible about my body. She used to say my body was wh*rish and too suggestive. It embarrassed her. Then I met my husband who has always been very vocal about how perfect I am and I just finally decided to believe him and let go of all of my issues. It’s nice that after being together for 15 years he still loses his train of thought when I walk in a room with anything remotely s*xy on.

    • That’s terrible about your mom. It sounds like you realize it’s HER issue, not that there’s something wrong with your body.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Wow, your mom sounds really critical! I’m so sorry.

      But you have exactly the measurements I do! Suggestions on brands other than the Halogen pants?

  15. downstream :

    There is a big difference between having a “bubble butt” and just having a large tushy. I have the former, but from what it sounds like (specifically the tips on dressing) some people might be thinking of the latter.

    In my head, a bubble butt means you have narrow/proportionate hips but your butt sticks out in back. So straight-on, it is not obvious at all what’s going on in back, but from the side it is.

    It’s really hard to dress for this type of body because of what TBK said – clinging underneath your butt is not OK. But for people with bubble butts, it’s not really an option. It’s just how things fit. If I wore a skirt that went to the farthest-out point on my backside and then just hung straight down, I’d look like I was wearing a tent. Ditto with pants – with a 28″ waist and a 43″ hip, there is just no way I can wear pants that go straight down from the farthest point without looking like a clown. Now obviously I am not wearing a skin-tight skirt that slings to the back of my thighs all the way down to my knees, but I have come to accept that bottoms are going to cling a little bit underneath my backside before they go straight down. And that is with sizing up and taking the waist in. Clothes just aren’t made for people who have a size 6 waist and a size 12 hip.

    There is a lot – A LOT – that I cannot wear, that I would love to wear. DVF dresses. Most Theory skirts. Reiss. Basically any dress cut with a pencil skirt, because I can’t easily size up – the top the becomes too big.

    And it’s not fair – if you had large breasts, no one would think to tell you that your top had to go to the farthest point in front of you and then hang straight down. Instead, you’re told to belt and tuck and show off your waist. Why does the same thing not happen for butts??

    • Honey Pillows :

      It’s comforting to hear you’ve also given up on trying to make your pants fall straight down from the widest part of your bum. It’s unfortunate to be compared to Joan Holloway in office clothes (office kitten was the word used by my boyfriend when I didn’t bother to look at myself in the mirror one morning), but can you imagine Joan in loose-fitting clothes? She’d look terrible!

      Joans of the world, stand proud, rally to the toosh!

    • +1 to everything in your post.

    • Just FYI I am large of bust and def follow that rule. I don’t wear shirts that “cup” my bust. I tuck to show in the waist because there has to be somepoint below the protrude that comes back in. With a skirt, after your legs show it visually “comes back in” When you tuck in a shirt at the waist, its because its not “cupping” your b**bs so it needs to “come back in” I hope I explained that right.

      • Agreed, cfm. No one should be able to see the exact line of the underneath of your breasts or the underneath of your butt. (At least no one at work anyway.) Of course you tuck in your shirt (if you do that). But don’t wear something so skintight that it cups the underside of either.

        Yes, this may mean looking a little more “frumpy” that you’re used to. It may look more “old lady-ish.” But it also means people are listening to you when you’re talking.

        • WishfulSpirit :

          Why not buy a size up and have them tailored? I proper fit is possible no matter what your shape, but you may not be able to buy it off the rack if you don’t have an “off the rack” body.

    • I think of the bubble butt as protruding out the back to the point where pants that fit in the waist are pulling against the thighs (or if you have enough fabric to go around the seat/thighs, the the waist is way too large).

      Things with a “contour waist” label have tended to be better off the rack (curved and wider waistband that sits a bit lower). Many, many things on me have waists that shoot up to my armpits when I sit down (again: need of butt darts), crying out for sweaters to help hide this. I call them my grandpa pants.

    • Question submitter (L) :

      Yay for picking my question!!!

      I’m googling the suggested DL 1961 jeans now. Any other brand suggestions?

      @downstream- your post made me feel SO much better, and you’re completely right on all points- especially about “bubble butt” v big butt/ hips and accepting a certain (small) amount of cupping.

      An earlier poster was also right about the usual responses to my question being laughable. Wide-leg pants= enormous, sloppy tents. Most dresses have to be nearly reconstructed to fit me because the top part is so big when the bottom part fits me. Wrap dresses? Even more laughable. Even DVF’s sizes 10 and 12 completely cling to my butt (as in no part of the fabric is not touching it), and I have a 4-6 waist and an 8 bottom (in usual true sizes- in vanity sizing like Ann Taylor or lower- end dept stores, I go down one to two full sizes). Shirts that hit at the hip- see the earlier “tent” comment. The extra fabric required makes me look sloppy and wider (and I don’t faithfully avoid the bakeries in my office for nothing).

      Oh, and I did ballet, too, and had the exact same experience with my butt poking out way more than the other girls’.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It is common for professional women with large cup sizes to wear sweaters that do not hang straight down.

      25″ waist 41″ hips due to injury-related weight gain

  16. Pretzel_Logic :

    I am a 32D-26/27-39 and I’ve given up trying to hide my curves. I’m also 5’9″ so it’s not like i could hide anyway, ha. I try to be aware of the vavavoom factor but frankly I’m not going to burn a ton of energy trying to disguise my waist or try to minimize my booty, because then I’m uncomfortable and look self-conscious, which draws more attention. A-line skirts are excellent, as are fitted jackets…but i rock pencil skirts fairly often. They just look a zillion times better with suits than pants do…pant suits turn me into frump-a-saurus.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m sure there are some women out there who can wear A-line skirts and look perfectly polished and professional, but I’m not one of them. This is probably exacerbated by my love of cardigans, but cardigans with A-line seems like a one-way ticket to a frumpy 1st-grade teacher or an 11-year old girl look. (Note: this is not meant to be a judgement on 1st-grade teachers -some of them are pretty stylin! I’m mostly thinking of my 1st-grade teacher -sweetest woman you’ve ever met, but she looked like she wore tents.)

      Perhaps this has to do with the same reason dangly earrings aren’t as professional as stationary ones -the movement of the A-line skirt looks free and comfy and casual and distracting.

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        I have found i have to pick and choose a-lines pretty carefully, you’re right. The best ones fit close at the waist, at least in my experience.

  17. Quite a few women of color have this figure (massive generalization, I know). You just have to embrace it or you risk looking dowdy.

    I’m very slim and narrow-hipped, but my butt “rounds out” anyway. Nothing I can do. To the OP I would say – don’t wear lycra (you want stiffer fabrics that look more expensive), don’t wear sky-high stilletos, and don’t show tons of cleavage as well. Hiding the butt isn’t an option.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m frequently informed certain parts of my very pale anatomy seem like they should belong to a woman with a strong presence of melanin in her skin.

      I’ve paraphrased, of course.

      • Ha! When I lived in Miami and dated a guy that worked for an adult entertainment company (he airbrushed the pictures they used in spam), he told me I had a pretty good booty for a white girl.

    • downstream :

      I’m not a woman of color but I am constantly checking out similarly-endowed women of color to see what they are wearing. I think one problem is that most work/designer-ish clothes are made for non-curvy white women, not women (of any color) with butts.

      I have accepted that I have a sexy body, and there’s no much I can do about it. I’m not willing to look ugly/frumpy/silly/fat to make myself less sexy, and that is that.

  18. This is near and dear to my heart, because I have a rear end that my BFF nicknamed “The Trafficstopper.” I am definitely in the camp of Women Like FloJo, as the Bard once put it.

    The key for me, as others have said, is to look for the skirt that falls straight from the outer curver of the heinie, rather than curving back in.

    • “I am definitely in the camp of Women Like FloJo, as the Bard once put it.”

      This might be my favorite quote from this site, ever.

  19. I have to seriously recommend having custom skirts and pants made. I am also several sizes different from top to bottom. In sewing terms, a bubble but is also a swayback. I make my own skirts and pants and would never have a good fit on the bottom if I didn’t. There are a few alterations needed. But, I tell you, the day you put on pants that don’t gape at the back or a skirt that doesn’t dip is the day you will cry tears of happines.

    I know it sounds expensive, but you’ll get better quality that actually fit. That is priceless.

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      The paying more upfront for custom-made clothing (or learning how to make/alter your own clothes) is so right.

      I’ve just read Elizabeth Cline’s _Overdressed_ and it’s eye-opening the way many Americans (of which I am definitely one) overbuy lots of ill-fitting poor quality clothes. She also reveals that many of the expensive department store brands are just as hurriedly mass-produced, but just carry a higher price tag than what’s typically on a Target rack. It’s made me vow to stop binging on bad to mediocre clothes, and save up to get custom-made clothes…and buy a sewing machine!

  20. I’m going to go there…
    My 40+ yr old sag butt makes me look more professional than when it/I was a perky 20-something. Best news I’ve had all day!

  21. Another challenge that goes hand-in-hand with needing to have pants, skirts and dresses so heavily altered is finding a good tailor. Sounds easy enough, esp when going off of reccomendations, but a tailor that is fine for hemming something or taking in a waist a little isn’t necessarily going to be great at taking in a waist in a few INCHES. I wish I had found this article at Extra Petite so much sooner:

    I had a terrible experience with a pair of pants that were taken in a number of inches all from the seat. Not knowing much about pants or how they should be altered, I didn’t realize this was going to end poorly. I got the pants back and $34 later, I now looked like a kanagroo, all from a tailor that had been reccomended.

    • Call your local fabric store (a real one, not Joanne’s) for a good seamstress recommendation..

  22. I usually wear aline skirts. It tailors to your smaller waist and your larger wonderful butt. I say where what makes you feel comfortable and makes you feel like your best self.

  23. I have found that trying to cover up my butt makes me look very odd. For reference, I am a very petite and small lady, but am curvy. 4’10”, 34C-23-36. Eep.

    I have found that buying a size too big for my waist and then take it in, it works pretty well. I love sheath and pencil skirts. If it’s a bit snug, so be it. But I do think I can get away with snugness a bit more than taller, curvy women.

  24. Lucky you to have such a problem… My sister was the curvy one in our family and after a lot of trial and error offset this somewhat by wearing shapped tops that added more breadth to her shoulders and didn’t end on her behind. Flip skirts and soft pleats also did her well to tone down her shape, and she introduced me to that had a lot of suggestions to what best suits her body shape.

  25. OP, if you haven’t already seen it, you might want to check out the “Girl with Curves” blog. She definitely has side-to-side curvy hips, not just a bubble butt, but she might have some good suggestions or inspiration.

  26. Okay, I’m back again. I am passionate about this issue, it would seem.

    Just throwin’ it out there that sort of 30’s/40’s-inspired dresses look really great on bubble butt gals – avoids the circus tent effect of most A-line skirts, flatteringly skims curves, but doesn’t draw too much attention to one’s b0oty.

    This dress is more for weekends/weddings, IMO, but I have it and love it to pieces.

  27. I read on some blog (was it Jezebel?) that it helps to think of the decade in which your body type was in style. I am a true bubble butt (narrow hips, thin upper body) and I look best in 50’s-esque styles (full circle skirts from Anthropologie!!), high waisted A-line skirts (especially ones that fall right below the knee). And I always tuck. Eyes are naturally drawn to the line where the clothes meet, and if that’s at your widest part…

    • Excellent advice! Whatever was in style when your body shape was fashionable is going to suit you much better than any other. You don’t have to do real costume, just keep the main points in mind (soft fabrics and low waists for the 20s, structure for the 50s etc).

  28. I have both a bubble butt (practically a shelf) and hips with a 29 inch waist and 43 inches around the widest part. While I want to look fit, I’m also keep on keeping the va va voom tamed. My approach is to highlight the waist with a belt over a dress or a skirt with a tucked in blouse, then wear a jacket or cardigan over top to smooth the drastic change of size in the back. The “topper” can be a shorter structured jacket (just above the hip bone), a regular blazer, a short or long cardigan, anything really.

    I also get every skirt, pair of pants and dress tailored. Worth every penny.

  29. And please for the love of God no elastic waistbands.

  30. Interesting to hear the opinions on tucking in tops vs. not tucking in. I’m pretty sure that I look terrible with tops tucked in because my hips are wide (o top/4 bottom), but because I am very petite I also feel that I can look sloppy and even shorter with untucked tops that feel like they should be tucked in. Button down blouses are very neglected in my closet.

  31. Miami Girl :

    Move to Miami

  32. I think as long as it’s not too tight for you then it may help. Wearing dress, blazers and cardigans would be a good idea. Wear clothes that are comfortable for you. :)

  33. What a plrausee to meet someone who thinks so clearly

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  35. I do not have a big butt, just big boobs but I’ve never thought women with big butts looked unprofessional. WHBM has a curvy fit line, only for pants. In fact, having no butt in pants looks just bad and unprofessional too, I’m a 34D 37-27-37 but I’m mostly hippy, my hip bones jut out easily and my butt just fills my pants, and this is after years of “growing” it. Of course, you don’t want to look like you’re trying to draw attention to it but as long as your pants are properly fitting, you’re good.

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