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

Now it’s time to take that one step further and to see how to dress for your specific female body type.

Today 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 lots of ideas for clothes you can buy right now.

What is a pear shaped body?

As a quick recap you have a pear shaped body when:bodyshapesmini | 40plusstyle.com

  • 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

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.

How to dress for your pear body shape?

Pears tend to store their weight on their thigh and their legs may be heavy. Often they have a very good upper body which is why much of the emphasis in dressing is on the upper side of the body.

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.

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, like a short jacket. This will break up your elongated torso and give the illusion of longer legs.
  • 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
  • Wear a good bra.

tops for the pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com
Surplice topStripe long sleeves wrap topWrap peplum topSilk shirt

Cotton sweaterPuff sleeve floral blouse – Short sleeve wrap topLong sleeves wrap top

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 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

outerwears for the pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Double Breasted Trench CoatSoft Trench CoatTie Waist BlazerFaux Leather Jacket

Best pants 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. Higher rise is better.
  • You will look best if your trousers or skirt are the darkest part of your outfit.

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

Some of my favorite brands for jeans include:


Best skirts for pear shaped women

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.

Good brands for Aline skirts:


Best skirts for pear shaped women | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Blue Bootcut JeansItty Bitty Bootcut JeansBarbara Bootcut JeansItty Bitty Bootcut Jeans

Denim Midi SkirtFishtail Jean SkirtSkater Slit Midi Maxi SkirtBlack Linen Skirt

Best dresses for pear shaped body

Women like Kim Kardashian like the 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 for the pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Stripe crepe dressLinen blend dressSweater dressTie-shoulder dress

Lace ruched sleeve dressPleated dressSquare neck dressCrossover portrait collar dress

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.

accessories for the pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Open-toe bootieOpen-toe sandalCalf pumpHobo bagColorblock clutchBandana scarfWrapped hoop earrings – Chain link collar necklace

Famous pear shaped women

Pear-shaped celebrities | 40plusstyle.com

Image Source: Vogue

The most famous pear shaped women include Kim Khardashian, Beyonce and Rihanna. Rather than downplaying their 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 and a long vest can make your hips disappear as shown in the image below

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

  • She wears bold earrings to draw attention to the upper part of her body
  • She also uses a scarf to do that
  • Clear V-neck
  • She uses a column of color for a lengthening and slimming look
  • The outer long layer furthers emphasizes the vertical lines.
  • A small heels aids the lengthening
  • The end result is a very figure flattering looks in which the hips disappear

Similar yellow long vest

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 as shown above)
  • Pencil or straight skirts
  • Very short skirts
  • Tops with narrow shoulder lines
  • Pleats and pants with a lot of detailing
  • Shoes and booties with ankle straps, too 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!

Here are 9 looks featuring the pieces we used above.

Outfit 1:  Tie Waist Blouse –  Booty Cut Jeans- Calf Hair Pump – Hoop earrings – Navy bag

Outfit 2:  Fit & flare dress – Three Row Stone NecklaceSilver Heel Pump – Yellow Leather Clutch

Outfit 3:  Barbara Bootcut Jeans – Yellow Silk ScarfStripe Turtleneck Sweater – Burgundy booties

Outfit 4: Black and White Stripe Top –  Black Bootcut jeansBlack Leather jacketBurgundy hoop earringsBlack Peep Toe Booties

Outfit 5:  Striped ShirtDenim Midi Skirt –  Navy Bag – Burgundy hoop EarringsFly London Yellow Sandals

Outfit 6: Allison Wrap Top – White polka dot shirt – Blue Bootcut JeansNavy BagSilver Heel Pump

Outfit 7: Polka Dot Puff Sleeve Tee – Black Linen SkirtGray Belted CoatBlack Peep Toe BootiesYellow Leather Clutch

Outfit 8: Black Leather jacket  –  Black and White Stripe Top  – Yellow Silk ScarfBlack Bootcut jeansBlack Peep Toe BootiesBurgundy hoop earrings

Outfit 9: White polka dot shirt  – Stone Bead Pendant NecklaceDouble Breasted Trench Coat – Black Peep Toe Booties – Black Bootcut jeans

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 body types, you can discover your body type here.

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

All these articles will be updated over the coming weeks with helpful videos and looks for spring!

How do you prefer to dress your pear shaped body?

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