Do you have a pear shaped body? In this update article learn how to dress for your pear shaped body type and get a complete capsule for this body shape that you can shop online!

Why it’s important to dress for your pear shaped body type

In my article on how to determine body shape I discuss several general body types.

Knowing which body type you have will help you choose more flattering outfits that will make you feel and look better.

Today, let’s see how to dress for your specific female body type – the pear shaped body.

I’ll be sharing my updated tips for the pear shaped body type, also called the triangle shaped body, with lots of tips on how to create the most flattering shapes for your body shape and ideas for clothes you can buy right now.

We also created a special capsule wardrobe for the pear body shape.

What is a pear shaped body?

different body shapes | 40plusstyle.com

As a quick recap, you have a pear shaped body when:

  • Your hips are wider than your shoulder
  • Fat tends to accumulate on your thighs and sometimes the buttocks
  • You tend to have an elongated waist and the legs tend to be shorter in comparison to the rest of your body
  • You have a defined waist

Your aim when dressing your pear shaped body

The aim of dressing for your body type is to achieve a flattering look that accentuates your strengths.

In general, you will want to achieve a nice hourglass shape.

In order to achieve that you will accentuate the shoulders, draw attention to your upper body and waist and elongate the legs.

Please note that these are general guidelines as every body is different.

Always experiment with your unique shape and see what works for you.

achieving a hourglass look if you have a pear shape body | 40plusstyle.com

Jona (above) wears a hip-skimming pleated skirt.

Get this similar blouse and pleated skirt to recreate her look.

How to dress for your pear body shape?

Pears tend to store their weight on their thighs and their legs may be heavy.

Often they have a very good upper body which is why much of the emphasis in dressing here is on the upper side of the body.

Tips for dressing the pear shaped body in winter and fall

Winter and fall are always great seasons for any body shape, because you can use layers in a way you can’t during the warmer months, as well as accessories such as scarves, which may leave you feeling too warm during summer.

For the pear shape, you could use a colorful scarf to draw the eye upwards, or you can use long cardigans to create long, lean lines.

Oxana (below) wears a stylish wrap which draws the attention to her face.

Check out this similar coat, scarf and boots.

How to dress the pear shaped body in winter and fall | 40plusstyle.com

You can also wear casual outfits such as a pair of bootcut jeans to balance your hips, worn with a brighter sweater to draw the eye to your top half.

Flared dresses, which you can wear with opaque tights, are another good option, making winter a great season for the pear shape.

Which garments are good for the pear shaped body?

If your goal is to downplay your hips we have some recommendations for you on the best clothing for the pear body shape.

Further on, you’ll find some specific tops, coats, dresses, skirts, pants, shoes and accessories which will work for the pear shape.

But, first, here are some top tips.

1. Draw attention to your upper body

The idea is to detract from your bottom half and draw the attention to your slim, upper body.

Choose bright colors on your top half and darker shades on your bottom half.

2. Think about your neckline

Several types of neckline can work for you, but to create width across your shoulders to balance out your hips, look out for boat necks and Bardot styles.

Jacqueline (above) has chosen a fit & flare dress with a boat neckline.

Check out this similar dress and layered necklace to recreate her look.

3. Accessories are your friend

To draw the eye up away from your hips and thighs, choose colorful scarves, statement necklaces and hats.

4. Go for darker shades of denim

When choosing your jeans, opt for a dark wash as these will be most flattering. Choose bootcut rather than tapered.

5. You will look fabulous in dresses

Pear shapes often look beautiful in a fit and flare style dress which nips in at your waist and then skims over your hips.

Sandra (below) chooses a stylish animal print dress, cinched at the waist.

You can try these fit & flare dress option from Amazon and J.Crew.

pears will look fabulous in dresses | 40plusstyle.com

Best tops for the pear shape

  • Since your hips are a lot wider than your shoulders you want to emphasize the shoulders and widen them. So it’s actually good for pears when shoulder pads are back in fashion!  Puffy shoulders will work too. Always make sure that the shoulders are properly fitted.
  • To give the impression of longer legs and a shorter torso you can wear a few layered tops with one very short layer, like a short jacket. This will break up your elongated torso and give the illusion of longer legs.

For more inspiration take a look at how to wear short jackets.

More tips for pear shape tops

  • Wear something catchy on top. Either a catchy color or some nice detail on your top. Breast pockets, big collars or a pattern are also good. Horizontal stripes help to widen your upper body to bring it more into balance with your hips as do (subtle) shoulder pads.
  • It’s best that your tops and jackets end either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom
  • V-line tops will draw further attention to your upper half
  • But good necklines for you are also the boat neck and the Bardot style as these will make your shoulders look wider.
  • Wear a good bra.

Tops for a pear shape capsule wardrobe

When choosing tops, look for flattering v-neck styles. A wrap top with a tie-waist will be particularly flattering.

Wider necks will also work, as will horizontal strips and tops with puffed sleeves.

Best tops for the pear shape | 40plusstyle.com

Chelsea28 wrap topBobeau puff sleeve teeEnglish Factory puff sleeve sweaterEileen Fisher bateau neck tee

Best sweaters for the pear shape

As we are heading into fall, you will need some sweaters to keep you cozy. Again, colorful wrap styles will work very well, as will stripes and boat or Bardot necklines.

Best sweaters for the pear shape | 40plusstyle.com

Halogen off the shoulder sweaterNic + Zoe colorblock sweaterTreasure & Bond dyed sweaterHalogen wrap cardigan

Midi skirts for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Elke (above) breaks the ‘rules’ somewhat here if you looking for pear-shape inspiration as she wears a darker top and light skirt. But, the skirt style itself is very flattering for pear shapes as it skims the hips and thighs without clinging.

You can check out this skirt from Halogen, which has the same cut as the one Elke’s wearing, and pair it with this similar sweater, loafers, and belt.

Best jackets and coats for the pear shape

  • Wear structured A-shaped coats of knee length. A great coat for you is the trench. Make sure you get one with lots of details on top (like lapels on shoulders) and that it is plain from the waist down.
  • Belted blazers are also a good option for the pear shape because they draw attention to the waist. Choose one in a vibrant or paler color to your bottom half.
  • You can also use a longer top and then add a shorter jacket to give the illusion that your legs are longer than they are.
  • Long cardigans and jackets that end well below the hip can work really well too

Choosing coats and jackets for fall

Look out for styles that give the illusion that your top half is wider, to add balance, or which accentuate your waist.

If you want to, you can also think about wearing a longer layer under a shorter jacket. For instance, if you wore a long darker layer under a short jacket, the attention would be on the point the jacket ends rather than your hips.

Best jackets and coats for the pear shape body | 40plusstyle.com

Leith plaid crop jacketLauren Ralph Lauren fringe wrap coatKenneth Cole belted coatBlank NYC moto jacket

Choosing coats and jackets for fall | 40plusstyle.com

Jaye (above) wears a jumpsuit and a bold moto that draws the eye to her top half.

Get this similar moto jacket and jumpsuit from Nordstrom.

Best pants and skirts for the pear body type

Here are a few tips and some examples of good pants for this body shape.

  • Wear trousers that are not too tight or light. Boot leg trousers are very good for pears.
  • Avoid pants that are too low on your hips. A higher rise is better.
  • You will look best if your trousers or skirt are the darkest part of your outfit.

Finding a pair of jeans for the pear shape can be tricky because of your lovely curves.

If you find a pair that fits at the hips and thighs, they can gape at the waist, and if you find a pair that fits at the waist, they can be too tight on the thighs.

Boot leg trousers are perfect for pears | 40plusstyle.com

Carelia (above) chooses a fantastic outfit if you are pear shaped. The bootcut jeans balance the figure while the red blazer skims the hips and draws the eye upwards.

Recreate her look with this similar red blazer and bootcut jeans.

It can be best to look for a pair of jeans specifically designed for a woman with curves so that they are tapered in from the hips to the waist.

The most flattering style for a pear shape is a dark wash, bootcut with a high waist.

Also take a look at the best fitting jeans for women over 40.

Some of my favorite brands for jeans include:

Bootleg jeans are the most flattering jeans for pears, especially when you combine them with a bit of a heel to lengthen your legs.

When choosing skirts, A-line skirts are a pear-shaped woman’s best friend.

When you wear a well-structured A-line skirt that emphasizes your waist, people will not even notice your wider hips.

wear a-line skirts to emphasize your waist | 40plusstyle.com

Kim (above) shows off another great option for pear shapes. The flared skirt skims the hips while the stripes of the top add balance.

Steal her look with this similar blouse and chambray skirt.

Good brands for A-line skirts:

Best pants and skirts for the pear body type | 40plusstyle.com

Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans (dark wash)Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans (black)Nic + Zoe straight leg pantsGibson a-line skirt

Best dresses for pear shaped body

Women like Kim Kardashian like to emphasize their pear shape with form-fitting dresses and skirts, but most women prefer to downplay their hips and A-line dresses are perfect for doing that.

A-line dresses will always look good on you. Dresses with defined shoulders and a good a-line are particularly good.

Two brands to look out for at Nordstrom for A-line and fit-and-flare dresses are Eliza J and Gal Meets Glam. Here are some of my current favorite dresses at Nordstrom.

Dresses that are perfect for pear shape bodies | 40plusstyle.com

Harper Rose fit & flare dressMsLure belted blazer dressModCloth off the shoulder fit & flare dressBB Dakota leopard wrap dress

Justine (below) chooses a lovely polka dot midi dress.

Check out these polka dot wrap dress options from Fraiche by J and Maison Tara.

There are more of my favorite midi styles in the best midi dresses for women over 40.

Also, take a look at the best dresses for your body shape.

polka dots for women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Best shoes and accessories for the pear shaped body

  • Use accessories to further emphasize the top part like necklaces and scarves.
  • Waist belts may look good on you as they emphasize your small waist.
  • High boots are very flattering for your legs
  • Be careful with high shoes or shoes with ankle straps as they will shorten your legs
  • Wear medium to chunky heels with a bit of height to further elongate the legs.
  • Avoid handbags that sit on the hips.
Best shoes for the pear shaped body | 40plusstye.com

Kurt Geiger knee high bootDavid Tate v-cut zip bootieEcco sneakerEtienne Aigner square toe pump

Best shoes and accessories for the pear shaped body | 40plusstyle.com

Sarka (above) chooses a scarf and a pair of bold red tights to wear with her fall outfit.

Recreate her look with this similar dress, moto jacket, silk scarf, tights and booties.

Accessories to wear if you have a pear shaped body | 40plusstyle.com

Béis toteTed Baker London leather hoboKate Spade New York scarfTreasure & Bond panama hatBP. linear earringsStella + Ruby statement necklaceRachel Parcell belt

Famous pear shaped women

If you have a pear shaped body, you are in good company.

Pear-shaped celebrities | 40plusstyle.com

The most famous pear shaped women include Kim Khardashian, Beyonce and Rihanna.

Rather than downplaying their curvy hips, they usually highlight them!

General tips on how to dress for the pear shaped body

  • Belted jackets and bootcut jeans are the perfect combination.
  • Put a lot of emphasis on your top part with colorful jackets, stripes and bold accessories.
  • The A-line skirt and dress is your best friend!
  • Put emphasis on the waist if you are a pear shape.
  • Create a column of color. A long vest worn over the top of this column. can make your hips disappear.

In the picture below you can see how Annette puts a few of these tips put into practice:

  • She wears bold earrings to draw attention to the upper part of her body (similar earrings)
  • She also uses a scarf to do that (similar scarf)
  • A dark-colored v-neck dress (similar dress)
  • She uses a column of color for a lengthening and slimming look
  • The outer long layer furthers emphasizes the vertical lines (similar item yellow long cardigan)
  • Small heels aid the lengthening effect (similar pumps)
  • The end result is a very figure-flattering look in which the hips disappear.
How to style a pear shape body | 40plusstyle.com

What not to wear?

You are always able to wear anything (as the celebrity examples of pear shaped women show above) but if your goal is to downplay your hips, you may want to avoid the following garments:

  • Skinny jeans (however these can be worn with some tunics, A-line long tops or long cardigans).
  • Pencil or straight skirts
  • Very short skirts
  • Tops with narrow shoulder lines
  • Pleats and pants with a lot of details
  • Shoes and booties with ankle straps, very delicate footwear and kitten heels

Please note that the guidelines above are for general guidance only. Everyone is different and you certainly don’t have to stick to the above guidelines to dress well. 

If you have anything further to add, let me know in the comments’ section below!

Here are 9 looks featuring the pieces we used above.

You can combine the clothes, shoes and accessories in myriad ways, but here are 9 ideas to get your started.

A capsule wardrobe on how to dress a pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Video: How to dress your pear shaped body type

Want to know more check out this short video on how for your pear shaped body from our style expert Ruth Essex.

Need to discover your body type?

Want to know more about women’s body types, you can discover your body type here.

From there you can browse all the other body types: apple, rectangle, hourglass, and inverted triangle

All these articles are constantly updated with helpful videos and looks for the season you are in.

How do you prefer to dress your pear shaped body?

Continue reading:

  1. How To Determine Your Body Shape
  2. How To Dress The Apple Body Shape
  3. How To Dress The Rectangle Body Shape

Like this article on how to dress the pear shaped body? Save it on Pinterest!

How to dress the pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Sandra

Celebrities image source: Vogue

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