Dress for Your Body Shape: Pear Shape

The pear shape is the most common body shape for women. Here are the best styling tips and tricks for dressing in the right way and working with your proportions!

Magazines and websites ever so often repeat that you should dress for your body shape and work with your proportions, but what does it actually mean? How can you figure out your body shape and learn to dress accordingly? Well, I will start with this article a very easy and clear guide on how to dress for each body shape.

I will only cover the most common shapes because it would be almost impossible to classify all women into so few categories, so just take these styling tips as a reference and adapt them to your own shape!

Pear-shaped women

The pear-shaped woman, also called triangle body, has more weight in the lower part with the hips and the backside wider than the shoulders. It is actually the most common body shape and many celebrities such as J. Lo, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys are categorized as pear-shaped women.

The main goal of this type of woman is to emphasize the waistline, which is really small, and broaden the shoulders in order to balance out the proportions of the body. For this reason, belts worn on the waist and cap sleeves are always a great solution.

The key thing to really keep in mind all the time is that the attention has to be focused on the upper body rather than the lower body. So for the colors, always wear dark ones for the bottom part and bright ones for the top part. Never the other way round!

But let’s have a deeper look!

Dresses and skirts

A-line is the key-word when it comes to dresses and skirts. For a dress choose a cut that is tight just under the breast and accentuates the waistline and then flows down over the hips concealing their width. For this reason the perfect models are the 50s dresses, the ones you have seen in Grease, just to name an example.

Avoid fitted skirts and dresses unless they are slightly flared. Avoid also those that add volume on the hips and thighs with large pleats and ruffles for example.

The perfect length is at the knees, longer only if you are very tall and shorter just if you wear a pair of covering black tights underneath, since it is not a good idea to reveal the legs too much, which are the weak point of the pear-shaped woman.

Any color and print will be fine, but avoid bold prints and especially horizontal lines from the waistline downwards.

High-waist skirts are perfect to highlight your small waist but always choose them in dark colors and, again, avoid fitted ones like pencil skirts.

Dresses and Skirts for Pear-shaped women

  1. Issa London $592
  2. Shoshanna $432 
  3. Shoshanna $474
  4. Parker $237.60


Make sure to choose only wide-hemmed pants. No skinny jeans! Structured pants in a resistant fabric are also great in making you look slimmer by shaping and restraining your figure.

The pants have to absolutely be high-waist in order to wrap the hips and not cut through them. There is nothing worse than seeing does horrible fat “cushions” showing above the hem of your pants.

Avoid flashy embellishments that will draw the attention on the bottom part of your body, such as glitters, funky pockets or embroidery. Another tip is not to choose them with big front pockets for the same reason as above.

Go for dark colors such as grey, blue, black and dark denim.

Pants for Pear-shaped women

  1. Theory $318
  2. Theory $294 
  3. REISS $216
  4. Armani Collezioni $695 


Avoid tops, vests and jackets which stop on the hips as they will simply cut your figure and draw the attention on the largest part of your body. Avoid also oversize tops that hide your small waist.

A good idea is to layer the tops, for example by wearing a blazer over a t-shirt, in order to proportion the upper part with the larger lower part.

Peplum tops are also a great alternative as they will create an optical illusion and make the hips look narrower. Another good tip is to prefer tops with sleeves, especially reinforced and cap ones, that will add volume to the shoulders making them more proportional to the hips.

Go for bright colors, bold prints and embellishments to draw the attention on the upper part of the body.

Tops for Pear-shaped women

  1. Splendid $79.20
  2. Free People $81.60
  3. Theory $90
  4. Raoul $385 


Embellish the neckline with precious necklaces and go for big statement earrings and you will naturally bring the eye upward towards the slimmer part of your body. Colorful and bold scarves are also great for this purpose.

Accessories for Pear-shaped women

  1. Lanvin $1210
  2. Paige Novick $300
  3. Stephen Dweck $395
  4. Aqua Roses $48


Any high heel will do you super good as it will make your legs look slimmer and longer and therefore will immediately proportion the lower part of the body. Avoid ankle boots that cut the leg and hide its thinnest part and avoid also over-the-knee boots that will draw the attention on your thighs.

Shoes for Pear-shaped women

  1. Steve Madden $89.95 
  2. Steve Madden $129.95
  3. Steve Madden $99.95 
  4. Valentino $1295

It may seem difficult to keep in mind all these tips, but it’s just a matter of practice and understanding what flatters your body and what does not. Just stand in front of a mirror and try on different things, asking yourself in the meantime: does this take the attention off my not so slim thighs? Does this make my bottom half look more proportional to the top part?

To summarize everything in just one phrase, anything that brings the eye towards the top half of your body, shows off your small waist and conceals the width of your hips will look great!

Do you think you are a pear shape? What is your biggest concern in choosing the right clothes for you? What are your personal tips for dressing this body shape?

Cover photo: http://www.pinterest.com

About the author

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie has written for many online and printed magazines and she is now working as the editor of So Vain, which she founded, but also as a fashion consultant and stylist.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment