A Guide to Dressing a Pear Shaped Body

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. One of the key principles to dressing for a pair shape is to draw the eye upwards.
  2. Ensuring you keep brighter colours to the top half of your outfit is a great way do to this.
  3. Jackets that cut off either above or below your hips can help to deemphasise the area.
  4. Showing off your shoulders is a great idea, especially in the context of a dress that comes in at the waist, such as an empire line cut.
  5. A thin belt worn above the hips is another good way to make more of your slim waist.
  6. Deeper necklines can have an elongating effect. Low hanging necklaces can be used to provide the same kind of lines to an outfit.
  7. Pants and jeans that flair can provide a good way to balance out your hips.
  8. A-line skirts will look flattering for the same reason.

If you’ve got a classic feminine figure, there are a number of simple tricks you can use to make sure your wardrobe is working with your body shape to devastating effect. Here we look at a few of the looks that might work best for you.

Draw The Eye Upward

If you’ve got a pear shape, you’ll typically have narrow shoulders and a slim upper half. Balancing your shoulders against your wider hips is key to making the most of your curves without looking bottom heavy. Directing attention to your top half will help achieve this and there’s a whole load of ways you can go about doing just that:

Colour Contrasts: Go for a brighter pallet up top and something darker (a classic sliming black, for example) on your bottom half. This doesn’t mean that you have to be perpetually wearing colourless jeans, skirts and slacks. It’s all relative. As long as your tops are brighter by contrast and you use block colours rather than patterns on your bottom half, the effect will work the same.

Tailoring: Drawing the eye upward is all about bringing attention away from your hips. When it comes to jackets, those that cut off above or noticeably below the hip line will be the most flattering. A longer jacket that covers the hips will give a lean line that can elongate your shape and make you seem taller, whilst those that end above your hips will accentuate your slim waist.

Love Your Shoulders: Embellishments such as pretty straps can be used to draw attention to your shoulders, or you can go the whole hog and show them off in a shoulder-less dresses. Alternatively, you can balance your shoulder and hip lines using shoulder pads. Sleeves with eye catching details will do the same.

Necklines: A deeper neckline is another way to simultaneously create an elongating effect whilst bringing the eye upward. A longer necklace can be a good idea as it will supply your outfit with the same set of lines.

Work Your Waist

With wider hips and slimmer waists, pear shapes can benefit from garments that emphasis the later and the expense of the former. Here are some ways you can make the most of your waist.

Thin Belts: Using a thinner belt that sits above the hips and runs across the slimmest section of the waist adds a nice touch of definition.

Accentuating Fits: Empire line dresses, which hug the waist, circle skirts that create an ‘A’ shape and tops that gather around the stomach are all great options. Avoid anything with a hemline that finishes on the hips.

Elongating Lines

Elongating lines are a great way to ensure you don’t look bottom heavy. As far as jeans go, bootleg cuts are great for this, as are skirts with front pleats. Light vertical details, such as a minimal pin stripe can be slimming without distracting from the top half our you outfit, where you’re looking to retain focus.

Skirts that feature embellishments at the bottom hem offer a way to keep things interesting without adding bulk to the hips, as can be the case with noisy pockets or buttons. Likewise, a flared leg can balance out your hips. In general, materials that hold their own shape rather than clinging to you are more likely to lend the flattering lines you are looking for.


As discussed above, drawing attention to your defined waist looks great. Support underwear can really help pull in your waist quite dramatically if you want to smooth out your figure. As pear shaped women tend to have smaller busts, you could get a boost from a balconette, push up or padded bra.

Further Reading


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