Do you have a pear shaped body? In this article, updated for spring and summer (check the latest trends here), 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 our article on how to determine body shape we 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, which you can see at the end of this article.
What is a pear shaped body?
As a quick recap, you have a pear shaped body when:
- Your hips are wider than your shoulders
- 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
We are all different and you may like to highlight or downplay different parts of your body. You may like to emphasize your curves and your hips by wearing leggings or brighter colors around your bottom section.
However, many pear shaped women like to downplay their hips. The guidelines in this article will give you some pointers on how to achieve that.
In order to downplay your hips, you will accentuate the shoulders, draw attention to your upper body and waist and elongate the legs.
Again I like to emphasize that these are general guidelines as every body is different. Perhaps you want to celebrate your hips fully and that’s totally fine too.
Always experiment with your unique shape and see what works for you.
How to dress for your pear body shape?
Women with pear shaped bodies tend to store their weight on their thighs and their legs may be heavy.
Often they have a very well proportioned upper body which is why you will see that much of the emphasis in dressing for your pear body shape is on the upper side of the body.
Is a pear shaped body the same as a spoon body shape?
While you are likely to be more familiar with the term “pear shape”, the pear shaped body is also sometimes referred to as a spoon shape.
Think about this shape as if the bowl of the spoon is where your hips are, with the handle being your torso. A spoon is also often used to describe a pear-shape with a little bit of a tummy.
Tips for dressing the pear shaped body in spring
It can be easier to dress during winter and fall for any body shape, because you can use layers in a way you can’t during the warmer months.
However, there are still plenty of ways to dress the pear shape in a flattering way during spring and summer. Read on for lots of ideas as well as well as a capsule wardrobe created especially for the pear shaped body type for this season.
Mel @curvycartel above wears a jumpsuit that would flatter any bodyshape. For pears, the v-neck draws attention to the neckline and away from the hips.
Recreate her outfit with this similar jumpsuit (others options here, here and here), pumps and head wrap.
Famous pear shaped women
If you have a pear shaped body, you are in good company. The most famous pear shaped women include Kim Khardashian, Beyonce and Rihanna. Rather than downplaying their curvy hips, they usually highlight them!
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. Choose a top which emphasizes your waist like this top from Loveappella.
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.
You can see how the Boden top (below) for example draws the attention upwards and creates width at the shoulders.
3. Accessories are your friend
To draw the eye up away from your hips and thighs, choose colorful or print scarves, statement necklaces and hats.
Nordstrom Tissue Print Modal & Silk Scarf
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.
Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans
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. You can see that the Boden dress (below) adds volume at the shoulders, which will balance out the hips.
Boden Sweetheart Linen Midi Dress
Now, let’s move onto some specific ideas for each individual item of clothing.
Tops for a pear shape capsule wardrobe
- 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 and are on-trend right now. 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.
- 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
- Wider necks will also work, as will horizontal strips and tops with puffed sleeves.
- 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.
Below, you can see more styles that would work well for the pear shape. Look out for wrap styles, interesting necklines, structured shoulders and puff sleeves which will all draw attention upwards and balance out your hips.
Loveappella Faux Wrap Top – Boden Sweetheart Jersey Top – Loveappella Off the Shoulder Top – XÍRENA Melody Paisley Tie Waist Cotton Top
The outfit below emphasizes the waist.
XÍRENA Melody Paisley Tie Waist Cotton Top – COS Pleated Elasticated Pants – Anne Klein Zoey Wedge Sandal (Amazon/Zappos) – Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Cuir Leather Top Handle Bag – Luv AJ Amalfi Pavé Hoop Earrings
Best SWEATERS AND CARDIGANS for the pear shape
Even in spring and summer, you will still need some sweaters to keep you cozy on cool days. And you’ll definitely need some warm sweaters during the cooler months. Colorful styles will work very well, as will stripes, off-the-shoulder and boat or Bardot necklines.
Anything with a tie waist is also a good idea. Plus, you could take advantage of the current trend for voluminous sleeves and shoulders to create balance for your silhouette. You could also try a long cardigan to skim over your hips and create long lines.
Boden Brushed Wool Cropped Sweater – COS Wool and Cotton Half-Zip Sweater – & Other Stories Wrap Cardigan – Lunya Organic Pima Cotton Long Cardigan
You can see the outfit below draws attention to the top half while the skirt skims over the hips.
Anne Klein Faux Leather Moto Jacket – ANINE BING Verne Skirt – FLY London Open Toe Sandal – Tory Burch Mercer Pebbled Zip Crossbody Bag – Luv AJ Amalfi Pavé Hoop Earrings
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
- Look out for styles that give the illusion that your top half is wider, to add balance, or that 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.
Karen Millen Drape Detail Belted Soft Blazer – Anne Klein Faux Leather Moto Jacket – Mango Frayed Striped Cardigan – BCBGMAXAZRIA Gun Flap Double Breasted Belted Trench Coat
The flutter sleeves on the jumpsuit (below) help to make the shoulders look broader, therefore balancing the hips.
BCBGMAXAZRIA Gun Flap Double Breasted Belted Trench Coat – Maggy London Flutter Sleeve Wide Leg Jumpsuit – Sanctuary Admire Asymmetric Strappy Sandal – Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Cuir Leather Top Handle Bag – Luv AJ Amalfi Pavé Hoop Earrings
For more inspiration take a look at how to wear short jackets.
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. Bootleg trousers are very good for pear shaped bodies.
- 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.
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.
Some of my favorite brands for jeans include:
Also take a look at the best jeans for pear shaped women
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.
Good brands for A-line skirts:
Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans – KOBI HALPERIN Ryan Twill Wide Leg Pants – COS Pleated Elasticated Pants – ANINE BING Verne Skirt
Wearing a shoulderless top draws attention to the shoulders and makes the neckline look wider, which creates balance with the hips.
Loveappella Faux Wrap Top – KOBI HALPERIN Ryan Twill Wide Leg Pants – FLY London Open Toe Sandal – Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Cuir Leather Top Handle Bag – Karine Sultan Alice Statement Necklace
Best dresses & jumpsuits 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 which fit and flare will always look good on you. Dresses with defined shoulders and a good A-line are particularly good.
Below are some of my current favorite dresses and also jumpsuits at Nordstrom.
Fraiche by J Wrap Front Long Sleeve Dress – Halogen Spread Collar Long Sleeve Wrap Dress – Massimo Blended Print Dress – Maggy London Flutter Sleeve Wide Leg Jumpsuit
Wearing a paler jacket and print scarf will draw attention to your top half.
Anne Klein Faux Leather Moto Jacket Massimo Blended Print Dress –FLY London Open Toe Sandal – Tory Burch Mercer Pebbled Zip Crossbody Bag
Also, take a look at the best dresses for your body shape.
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.
- You may wish to avoid big bracelets as, when you have your arms by your sides, they will draw the eye to your hips.
Linea Paolo Nasya Pointed Toe Flat (Amazon/Zappos) – FLY London Open Toe Sandal – Anne Klein Zoey Wedge Sandal (Amazon/Zappos) – Sanctuary Admire Asymmetric Strappy Sandal
Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Cuir Leather Top Handle Bag – Tory Burch Mercer Pebbled Zip Crossbody Bag – Karine Sultan Alice Statement Necklace – Luv AJ Amalfi Pavé Hoop Earrings – Nordstrom Tissue Print Modal & Silk Scarf
Bright colors and wide necklines put the focus on your upper half.
Karen Millen Drape Detail Belted Soft Blazer – Boden Sweetheart Jersey Top – Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans – Linea Paolo Nasya Pointed Toe Flat (Amazon/Zappos) – Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Cuir Leather Top Handle Bag – Karine Sultan Alice Statement Necklace
General tips on how to dress for the pear shaped body
Let’s recap on some of the most flattering options for a pear shape:
- 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.
What not to wear?
You are always able to wear anything, but if your goal is to downplay your hips, you may want to avoid the following garments. Of course if you like to highlight your curves (as Kim Khardashian does), these are the items to choose.
- 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
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. All links to the items were share above in the relevant sections.
SHOP THE ITEMS ABOVE HERE:
More pear shape inspiration for you
Do you need inspiration for winter outfits or want to see lots of other examples of outfits for the pear shaped body?
Below are a few older capsules we created which should provide extra inspiration for you. Please note though, that these clothes are no longer available for purchase.
Want to know more about how to create your own unique capsule wardrobes? Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.
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 regularly updated with helpful videos and looks for the season you are in.
How do you prefer to dress your pear shaped body?
- How To Determine Your Body Shape
- Best Tops To Hide Your Belly
- How To Wear Wide Leg Pants
- How To Dress The Apple Body Shape
Like this article on how to dress the pear shaped body? Save it on Pinterest!
Feature image by Mel @curvycartel
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I am a slim pear or a teardrop shape and since doing the dressing your truth program I have learned what my type 2 style is and I also found that I don’t like wearing any trousers, Jean’s or shorts as they don’t make me feel feminine or womanly, I know only wear skirts and dresses and love my body and style.
Love your posts. I am a pear shape body, I’m 78 years old. I am also very short waisted.
So drawing attention to my waist, just doesn’t work for me. I need suggestions for dresses especially. What do you suggest?
We offer ideas for the best dresses for your body shape at https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-pick-a-summer-dress-to-suit-your-body-type/
I’m a 72 year old 5’9” pear shape. I like to call myself a “Big Bird” shape … basically extra frame (and now weight) from my waist to below my bottom with narrow shoulders and upper torso, and long slim legs and arms. A shirt/coat/jacket that fits my shoulders cannot button below the waist. Suggestions?
There are now a lot of jackets with elastic fabrics which may be an option for you. Or choose jackets without buttons that have a string or belt.
I absolutely love the looks you put together in your capsule wardrobe examples. I am really in love with the striped summer dress in the pear summer capsule. Do you still have the sources for this wardrobe or even just the dress?
Thanks so much!
Glad you like the capsule! If the link is no longer mentioned it means the dress has sold out. All the sources from the capsule that are still available are listed in the article.
Well its an excellent guide which any pear shaped woman must see
My only disappointement is about the aim mentioned .
I am a huge fan of my own shape and praise every inche of me so I do not dress to look more like a hourglass .I do not think that a good aim to start with.
I agree and I’ve updated it. At 40+style we celebrate all body types in their full glory. I’m glad to read that you found the guide helpful.
I love your tips. I am in the process of slowly refining my wardrobe so this is very timely.
I must say though that I was surprised to see kitten heels as a shoe to avoid for pear shaped women. It’s actually one of my favorite things to wear! Maybe because I can’t wear high heels. It’s a good option for me.
These are just general guidelines and don’t apply to all women as we are all different. If something works for you, use it!
Thank you again for these tips. So helpful and it makes you want to get dressed and meet a friend. I’ve asked my daughter to also sign up to your emails. She is so impressed. One question. I’m 70 but love to dress funky. Wear my hair shoulder length and curly messy!! Can I wear long earrings with a bulky necklace? I’m also wearing black frame glasses.
So happy to hear that you like my style tips and your daughter too! You can wear whatever you want Rita. Multiple accessories may be too much for some women but if it fits your style personality and YOU feel good in them, then own it and wear it all with confidence. In the end, that’s the only thing that really counts.
Loved your article and all the GREAT info & tips! I am 72, 5’2″ definitely a pear shape and struggling with what to wear for an All White office holiday party. Leaning on a pant suit but open to suggestions. Please help! Party is December 14th.
Thank you so much!
Hi Sylvia, these tips are great. I am a pear shape with a high hip shelf so I just wanted to add that all these tips work for me except the a-line shape. Straight skirts are more flattering and pencil is pretty good as long as there is a slight flare at the hem. Also, dresses with the waistline starting above the natural waist and falling softly straight to just above the knee are very flattering. Great blog!
It is very hot and humid there, but I followed your tips for my pear shaped body yesterday. I wore a simple pair of black shorts (appropriate length for my age!), a black and white tank top with stripes ( B and W is a good go-to combo when one is in a hurry!), a pair of black sandals like the ones you showcased, and something i would never have thought of to do before—an elongated black vest. I added a nice snake-skinned belt over the top (again, I would NEVER have thought to do this before!). It was such a simple outfit, but I felt like a million bucks in it. I am so glad I found your site. Thank -you so much!
Thanks for your kind feedback Stephanie. Great to hear that my tips helped you!
I have wide hips but thin thighs. When I find pants that fit in the hips the legs are too baggy except for a few brands. I am a short pear shape at 5′ 2″. I do prefer the boot cut style with a high rise. Thanks for the tips.
Hi I have a pear shape body …I wanna to know …how can I dress my official black shirt with black pant?
The best thing is to make sure that it fits properly. If you can choose your own top and pant in that color, follow some of the guidelines in this article to get the best shape for your body type.
Can I wear pleated trousers ? Is it will look good on pear shaped body with short height!
Pleated trousers usually add a bit more bulk about the belly / hips area so you need to be more careful with them. Of course there is a big difference between all kinds of pleated pants (1 pleat, 2 pleat etc) and it also depends on the shape.
This is a wonderful site! I’m so glad I found it! I wear mostly flats or low heel shoes because my husband is not very tall. I am a pear shape, 5’7″ about 150 lbs. I notice you suggest bootcut jeans which I feel look best with a higher heel…any suggestions for the best jeans for a pear shape that doesn’t wear heels?
These kind of jeans are still flattering on you if they fit well. Just make sure your tops are short enough so you can get a ratio of about 2/3 legs/ 1/3 top part.
Thanks for the guide Sylvia, it’s much appreciated!
This is a lovely guide! I like that there are so many examples of outfits with accessories included. Oftentimes, style guides only include one or two styles. That’s great—if these examples suit one’s personal style. It doesn’t really help, though, when one is still searching for a style–something that resonates. I’m a veterinary technician and wear scrubs all day, which I love because having a uniform is a no-brainer when it comes to work. The problem: What to wear the rest of the time? I have also lost about 55 pounds and have had to get rid of almost all of my clothing. I am trying to be careful with what I get now as I try to rebuild a wardrobe. So thank you for all you do, helping out with style ideas and inspirations.
I am a pear shape with skinny, shapeless calves. I hate wearing dresses and skirts because I’m so self conscious. I do wear them because I have to. I hate wearing long dresses and skirts especially when it hot weather.
Hi Muriel, Use the tips in the article above and make sure that you draw attention to your top half. So wear a brighter color or print at the top.
I am 44 and shaped like a pear. Is shorts a no no or what styles are good
It really depends on what kind of pear you ar and your personal preferences. If you are happy and proud of your hips then wear those colorful shorts. If you prefer to downplay you my want to got for a tighter knee high option. I have many more tips on wearing shorts at https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-wear-shorts-that-fit-and-flatter-the-40-woman-of-any-shape/
Hi. I am 5ft 3. I am a pear for sure. I Love to wear leggings with longer tops and poncho styles but I read this is not a good idea. Am I doing the wrong thing? I love clothes. I am an artist so I love to dress a little artsy with statement necklaces.
If you feel good in the clothes, then that’s the most important. And leggings with longer tops can still work for pear shapes, especially if you combine it with a fabulous statement necklace!
I love High-boots. Are you sure?.Do high boots fit pear shape?
I heard high-boots fits for tall people.
Pears can wear high boots but in general they look better on pear shapes when your boots are in the same color as your pants.
love this post. curious on your thoughts of ankle length or slightly cropped pants or cigarette pants for the pear shape. thanks!
Pears usually look better with longer pants but it also depends on your vertical body type https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-determine-your-vertical-body-shape/ Silhouette plays a key role too. All of these topics are discussed in much more detail in my style course https://40plusstyleclub.com/21stepscourse Another useful article is this one on wearing capris https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-wear-capris-and-cropped-pants/
I love the outfits you put together for us pear shaped women but can you post some less expensive examples? I can’t afford to pay $400 for a dress – looking for something less than $100. Thank you!
i want to know is there any content about apple body shape?
Yes it’s at https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-dress-the-apple-body-shape/
Thank you for that idea. I will start looking for scarves to go with my tops.
I would like to wear some v necked tops, but I am elderly and have a wattle and lined neck. Also, I cannot stand to wear turtlenecks, or mock turtlenecks. They are uncomfortable around my neck.
You can also use a scarf to create a similar effect. A colorful scarf will also bring the attention to your portrait area and draw the attention is which is always good 🙂
I have a classic pear shape 5’4″ with smaller shoulders and back but 34DDD bra. I wear a 10-12 on the bottom most of the time but usually an 8 on the top. I’ve read so much about how to dress myself and this article was very helpful. What I struggle with is actually finding the clothes that fit my body even when I know what I’m looking for. It feels like almost everything in stores is for a straight body type. I feel like I should have been born in a different era!
Yes it can be tough, but the clothes are out there. Don’t give up.
Being the owner of a pear shaped body, loved the tips and pics. I found the information you shared very helpful and will try to adhere and we shall see how it goes. Loved the outfits you chose
thanks Joyce. Great to read you found it useful.
Sylvia, thank you for your posts! How about pear shaped body with bowed legs, shorter than normal legs knee down, skinny calves and generous hips and legs above the knee, also very thin straight hair. What tricks could you recommend? I am desperate…
A great outfit is all about balance and silhouette Olga. It does not really matter what body you have. You may like to browse the articles at 40+ Style as I tackle these topics regularly. You may like to start with this one: https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-determine-your-vertical-body-shape/ Most of all, have fun!
Hi, I am in my 50’s and want some ideas about wearing cowboy boots with a skirt or dress. All i see in the fashion trends are the short minis that teenagers wear. What can I wear with my boots (I’m from Texas and we wear boots a lot!)
Hi Tonie, Cowboy boots look the best with a wide a-line skirt or dress. Knee height or longer. You will find that your options this season will increase as longer skirts are back in fashion!
Hi. It was very nicely put content. But I am very confused if I am a pear as my upper body is not small.
I am 168 cm tall
Shoulder 32 inch
Bust 36 inch
Waist 30 inch
Hips 38 inches
Could you please advice me as to what shape I am as all sites either tell me I am a rectangle or spoon.
It looks to me that you are more a rectangle. However, please bear in mind that we are never just one shape. All of us are different and we may be a combination of several. Use the articles that apply to you as guidance and then start experimenting which clothes give you your desired silhouette. Good luck!
Good morning Sylvia,
I’d love to know where to buy the pieces you show in the above outfits. Can you post them here or provide more details on all of the pieces on your Polyvore link?
Thanks very much!
Hi Jay. The collage is right here: http://www.polyvore.com/how_to_dress_pear_shaped/set?id=99184135 You can just click on the items there and see where they are from.
I know that pear shaped does not sound like the most beautiful comparison, but it is just easy to remember. (At least easier than explaining you have wide hips, a small chest and waist)
As I noticed myself how difficult it can be to dress a pear shape – I have one myself – I started to photograph my outfits and put them online. If you want some inspiration, check this site out:
Lovely photos Verena. Thanks for sharing.
I think that water color picture up top is terrible, I mean comparing women’s entire bodies to shapes of fruit, is ridiuculous, apple!?! seriously what woman would want to look like an apple, or pear, or upon looking in the mirror thinks to themselves, “Hey Rectangle, looking sexy today. MMHHMMM”. I think these body shape names are another tool that women can use to compare themselves to others, leading to negative body image and low self confidence.
Hi Carlee. I think that you are missing the point of what these names try to do. Of course they are in essence ridiculous and noone is a ‘pear’ or ‘rectangle’. They are just a simple way of describing shape. I don’t believe that they lead to negative body image. In fact I know that understanding body shape and knowing how to dress for it, can give women more confidence. They realise that they are not defined by their shapes and that clothes can emphasize those parts of their body that they like most about themselves. If you can look beyond the names, then understanding body type and looking how to enhance its best features can increase self-confidence.
Just wondering…how big of a difference do you think kitten heels really make? Those tend to be my favorite since the high heels are not always the most comfortable. Thanks!
Not a huge difference K. By all means keep wearing the shoe that you love!
Wow!!!! Thank you for the wealth of information. I am 47 yr old, 4 ft 9 inches, yes I know very short. I hate shopping and now I know why, it takes way too much thinking. According to your test I am a natural dominant style with sporty classic personality style. I have to say that pretty much “nailed me”. This is a pretty awesome website. It was an accidental findings but I look forward to visit it again. I am not sure where to begin. I am a Nurse Educator and I live in scrubs and don’t date much.
Thanks for the feedback Bienve and great you enjoy the site. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you get weekly updates. If you click on the category links above you can start browsing the archives. More than 600 articles for you to enjoy! Of course there is also my style course which would be a good way to take your style to the next level. Any time you’re out of your scrubs, you should have as much fun with fashion as possible!
I’m over 40, I’m 5’1, UK size 8-10 on top and 10-12 on the bottom. I have swimmers’ shoulders but otherwise I’m a classic pear.
I find 1940s styles work really well on me. Neat jackets with well defined shoulders and waist, slightly puffed sleeves, a-line skirts and dresses, wide leg trousers, shoes with a small heel, and accessories around the face area (detachable collars, capelets etc). I collect vintage sewing patterns from the 40s.
Great. Thanks for your tips Sarah!
I love these posts on body shape and your idea of doing new one’s to reflect the new fashionable shapes and styles. Personally I never know if I’m an hourglass or a pear but I see a lot of styles that would look good on me in the post, especially that short belted jacket. Love it! Wrap dresses and A-line skirts usually look good on me too. Love it and keep it up. I look forward to seeing hourglass shapes soon.
That is a clever idea Sylvia, to bring this post up to date and re-use it. There will be many women who have not found it yet. You kill two birds with one stone.
I await the “ruler” instructions haha.
It’s amazing how quickly fashion on these articles dates. It really needed a refresher, so yes expect more refreshing articles in the coming weeks.
Thank you for updating this, Sylvia!
As a short pear myself I’m always surprised when I see boot cut trousers on lists of items that should flatter my shape. On me, the fact that they usually narrow sharply at the knee and then flare out at the calf makes me feel like the shape of my hips and thighs are even more emphasized.
I like the wider legs on pears. But it also depends on the trousers and the particular pear shape that you have. As you know, not all pears are the same. If the pants are too tight and then go wide, it sometimes is not so nice. Straight cut pants can work well as well. In the end there aren’t really any rules that fit all pears. You are your own best judge, so just look in the mirror and see if you like the silhouette you are creating with your clothes.
Great tips Sylvia. Thank you for sharing.
Many greetings Sabine
What i have noticed about pear shaped body is that I actually love the extreme contrast between the top and the bottom. Pear shape usually has a small upper body. I find it really beautiful if the upper is fitted (belted, body con, or peplum) and the bottom is flared (as in A line skirt flare).
It goes against the grain to want to emphasize the wider bottom half but I personally find it very feminine and alluring. I know a lot of guys find it alluring the see a heavy bottom swoosh and swing inside an A line skirt.
Yes, I like that look too. These tips are just guidelines for creating the best balance but they are by no means the only way to dress this body type. In the end you have to do what pleases you and create a silhouette you like!
Love the ideas, thanks.
Before I found your website it was very difficult for me to dress my shape and feel happy with the result. Occasionally I got it right, but couldn’t figure out why, I just knew when things looked ‘right’. Now I understand my shape so I can dress myself with the knowledge of how to broaden my top half and camouflage the hip area.
I can wear skinny jeans as long as I have a top which comes down to well below the hip line, so anything with an A shape is brilliant and looks modern and stylish.
Thanks Sylvia, you made a huge difference to my shopping experience. It is so easy now I know what to look for in clothes.
Wow, that is great to hear Aileen. So happy I could help!
This is such an informative & interesting post Sylvia……that red leather beauty is definitely a winner in my book!
I know, it’s gorgeous!
I have a fairly classic pear shaped body. I find that wrap style dresses work well or anything with soft draped material and also trapeze style tops.
Yes, great tips!
I looked over many sites on the subject of fashion over 40, and this is the best one! Lots of pictures, and information to compliment them! Thank You!
Thanks Marlena for your find feedback.
I, too, will be 47 in just a short couple weeks (5’2″, also) and it is so refreshing to find your post! I hope is NOT lost, after all!
Very tired of leaving malls empty-handed, I decided to take up sewing again after a seven year hiatus. In sewing patterns, I’m a size 14 up top & an 18 on the bottom w/ a high waist. Learning your tips will help me better customized the pieces I spend the time and energy constructing to give me a total knock-out wardrobe!
Thanks so much for the inspiration.
Thanks for your feedback Karen. I’m happy you enjoy the site!
hi Sylvia,Im 47 next week and 5ft 2 and size 14 on bottom half.I like your pear shape tips,was feeling pretty browned off this morning with looking in mirror so treated myself to a few outfits,very similar to what you suggested so thank you and I feel good in my new items ,I must have chosen well! Cannot wait to wear one tomorrow.x
Hi Diana, thanks for letting me know that my article has been helpful to you and great to read that you feel great in your new outfits. Welcome to the site and feel free to upload photos of your outfits to our style forum!
Hi Sylvia, I’m confused. I like the WORDS in this Pear article…but so many of the models are definitely not pears. About half of them (via the pictures) have HUGE waists proportionally…definitely not a characteristic of a pear. I’m thinking that whoever put this article together TECHNICALLY was confused and inserted the wrong photos?
I understand your confusion. It’s not always easy to find women with exactly the right body shape wearing the outfits we recommend. So we tried to find examples of women wearing the kind of outfits we described (they don’t only work for pear women) and that would work for pear women too.