Dressing for your Shape – Pear Shape

The pear body shape is the most common female body shape with hips wider than shoulders. Pear shaped bodies typically have smaller busts and defined waists but depending on overall proportions bustier pears can be an hourglass figure. Curvy hips, sturdy thighs and a full rear are also key characteristics.


The main goal is to draw attention to the torso , away from the hips and thighs and there are lots of tricks to keep proportions more equal.

The style challenges include finding clothes which fit a smaller waist but a wider hips.


Show off your collarbone – play up this attractive part of the body to draw attention to the neck and face area and away from bottom half.

Choose wider necklines like bateau, squared, scoop or cowl necks. Bust enhancing necklines like sweetheart necks draw attention to the bust, making it look fuller.

Strapless tops and dresses can also make your shoulders look wider.

Wear strong shoulder shape with clean lines especially in jackets

Patterns, bold colours or light colours  – pear shapes look great with patterned tops paired with dark denim on the bottom



Pay attention to the fit which may be difficult to evaluate. Tops are best tight around the waist. If choosing a loose top wear a longer length which skims the hips extending the torso and hiding the widest part of the hips. In general the fit should aim to be to highlight your waist and shoulders.


Layer tops because bulking up with layers adds substance which evens out the body’s proportions. Use layers of tank tops, blouses and cardigans to create visual interest. Use a thin belt to cinch back a smaller waist if necessary.



Embellished tops are a great asset for creating interest on the top half. Shirts that have adornment near the neck elongate the shoulder and neckline – beading, bows and collars can be large or small as they all accomplish the task of drawing the eye up. A scarf can also be worn to the same effect.


Wide sleeves add volume to arms giving a more balanced look so keep an eye out for bell and kimono sleeves. Rolled or tagged back sleeves also help.


Trousers and skirts which are flat fronted or softly pleated will emphasize a smaller waistline.

Avoid short, tight skirts which highlight problematic areas along hips and thighs. Skirts should hit the knee or ankle as they draw the eye to the end point rather than lingering on problem areas. Ruffles or beading along the bottom hem add to this effect without adding bulk to the hips.


Keep hems wide.

Avoid clingy fabrics like Lycra which will define any lumps and bumps.

Choose trousers in grey, black, dark green, brown or navy give a visually slimming effect as the eye tends to skim over dark colours. Easy to match up with tops as well.


Straight leg or flared mid – rise dark wash jeans work best on pear shapes as they create volume all the way down. Trousers or jeans should have equal or wider width on calf and ankle area to draw attention away from mid-section.Skinny jeans accentuate wide hips especially in light colours.


Avoid details at the hip or rear of trousers and skirts, even seams and pockets. Beading, embroidery, buttons, gemstones, sequins all draw the eye to least flattering area. For this reason also avoid glitsy belts. Also keep away from cargo pants.


The right dress can accomplish all requirements – draw the eye up the torso while creating a tight waistline and covering up midsection.

Look for dresses that are A-line or have a tulip skirt and avoid those that are tight. Banding around the waist and covered up shoulders are flattering. Wrap dresses are good for curves as they skim without adding bulk.

Marks & Spencer Per Una Plum & Navy Floral Skater Sleeveless Dress Orig Price £55.jpeg

Dresses with some kind of embellishment at the top – ruffles, pattern or luxurious texture – will add volume to the bust.

Strapless dresses are ideal or choose a halter neck which is fitted on the top to show off the waist. Dresses with spaghetti straps will give shoulders a broader appearance and help balance out the outline.


Keep hems wide.

Dark colours on the bottom are the best bet with light colours on top.


Statement necklaces which are bold and bright and hang low draw the eye to the upper half making the bust look fuller. A collar style necklace adds width to the neck and shoulder which again highlights the upper body.


Bold earrings also have the same effect of drawing the eye up the body, chandelier or dangly ones are the best.


Throw on a scarf to add volume and dimension to the upper half preventing focus on lower half. Try a variety of scarves in different ways to see what looks best – circle scarves without tails prevent the eye from travelling down.


Pointed shoes elongate the legs and make your hips look more proportional. High heels are a good choice as they sculpt the muscles of the leg. Bold and bright shoes have the same effect as a large necklace drawing attention to a smaller part of the body.



Wear the correct undergarments – the right padded or push up bra can transform the upper body and accentuate a smaller waist. Look for a natural style which can be worn under casual and dress clothes.

A lightly padded plunge or balcony bra helps enhance natural cleavage while balancing proportions.



Dark well fitted bottoms flatter a curvy bottom and boy shorts minimise large hips.

Shapewear can help with a smooth outline especially if it has side panels and extra support in the rear.


Tops are best in bold, colourful patterns with halter neck tankini tops, bottoms in matching plain dark colours.



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