You call yourself pear-shaped when you have a heavier and broader lower body when compared to the upper body – i.e., narrow shoulders, small bust, slender neck, and somewhat shapely waist vs. full thighs and broad hips. It is that simple. But dressing this shape is anything but simple.
So what is the problem? Well, finding clothes that fit the big curvy hips and broad thighs, while getting it slim enough to be fitting at the narrower waist and shoulders and bust.
It is difficult to get pants/ jeans which fit the so-called thunder thighs without the waist gaping. With dresses, when the hips fit, the bodice is baggy and loose and when the bodice is perfect you cannot move. Does this sound familiar?
One comfort in all this is that A LOT OF women in this world belong to this category – bottom heavy; the list of celebrities with this body shape reads like a who is who in the glamour world – Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Christina Aguilera, Eva Longoria, and Rihanna.
And it is considered the healthiest (You don’t believe me -read the article here). The most important characteristic shared by all pear shaped girls, the wide hip is considered an indicator of a fertile body – though I do not think it is much of a comfort in these times.
Finding clothes that suit Pear shaped body
If you are buying or making clothes, you will need to know what clothes best suit your pear-shaped body (or a triangle shaped body which is one and the same as the pear shape) – this involves finding out how we can broaden the shoulder, slenderize the hip, and elongate the legs. In short, create an illusion of slimness along the lower part of the body with the clothes we wear. Some simple tips can make you forget about your big thighs and hips.
4 Do’s in dressing a pear shaped body
The first and foremost thing you can do is to take away attention from the lower part of your body. SHOW OFF YOUR UPPER BODY. This can be achieved by adding additional details on the upper body clothes. You need to keep eyes on the more slender top part of your body with Embroidery, patches, pockets, frills, ruching, beadwork, and the works
Listen to what the famous Designer Betsey Johnson said ” I used to design for my body, which was flat-chested with big hips. That’s why my clothes were tight on top with full skirts”. This is very sound advice.
Next is to create an impression of length there, down under. Wearing vertical lines along the body on the lower bottom part of the body can help. In the same vein, avoid horizontal lines.
On the lower part of the body, wear a dark color, as dark color causes an illusion of slimness. Using the same color for the bodice and for the skirt/ pants is best for creating length, but this may not always be possible and can be so boring, so wear a light color on top and a darker color on the bottom.
Do wear tall boots or stilettos so that the legs look longer, even if it kills you (just joking); this is especially useful for girls with short legs.
4 Dont’s for choosing clothes for pear-shaped body
Do not choose clingy fabric for garments you wear on the lower part of the body. For pants and skirts, choose nice structured fabrics rather than slinky, or shiny fabrics
Do not wear too baggy clothes or too tight clothes ; both can make you look broad and odd. Loose baggy, ill fitting clothes do not help to hide anything, so do not try.
Do not wear accessories anywhere near the hips like a hip belt, or bags that hang near the hips.
Do not wear anything that brings attention to the hip area. This includes embellishments, interesting details, bright colors.
Choose clothes with sweetheart neckline, scoop neckline or square neckline; all these necklines broaden the upper body. A neckline with some (or a lot of) embroidery can do wonders for this figure. A V-neck generally slims – so avoid this for a triangle shaped body. But a plunging V neckline can still be good. Learn more about choosing necklines here.
Collars are also good – embellished ones even better. Check out the different types of collars you can try to wear.
Cowl neck creates volume in the upper body. Add a scarf around the neckline in a cowl type style, if you have on a simple neckline. Check out some easy scarf tying styles here.
Choosing blouses/tops for the triangle shaped body
Ensure that attention stays on the top part of the body by wearing blouses/ tops with embellishments, interesting colors, collars; preferably wear light coloured tops. Lucky you, you can wear all kinds of interesting details on your tops and it will all look good.
You can choose either short tops ending near the waist or long tops skimming past the hips. Do not choose hip length tops as the eye is drawn to this area. If it is a long top, the hem of the sleeves should not end at the same place as the hem of the top – this will widen the look of the area.
Shoulder pads on tops /jackets can broaden the shoulder and make the hip look less broad. So does cold shoulder sleeves, puffed sleeves, tulip sleeves and other embellished sleeves.
Stripes and checks and prints on the tops can visually broaden your upper body. This can balance big hips and derriere with the rest of your body
If you are wearing a simple top, layer with a short jacket – this will add to the area.
If you have a small bust size with broad hips, you can wear close fitting tops that will hug your curves and emphasize your shape – choose tops with some embellishments or details on this area like pretty pockets, gathered bodice, smocked bodice, ruffles on the neck, embellished collars etc. Cowl neckline can suit you. Drapes on the bodice, ruching etc can also look good.
If you want to, you can even try a padded bra or push up bra, just for balance and nothing else.
Choosing Pants & Jeans for a pear shape
The challenge is to select jeans that will contour the hips and thighs and at the same time will not gape in the waistband
Choose pants with a good enough ease; go for a wide leg with the trouser cut. You need to find pants/jeans that are cut generously but still hug your body in just the right places – For eg. well fitting cargo pants or Original Levis 501 straight cut jeans or trouser style jeans.
Don’t select too tight pants that will bring all the eyes there. A flowing fabric is good.
Avoid too heavy weight too bulky fabric. But stiff denim pants are all right especially in a dark color. They will hold everything in and create a look of slimness.
Ensure that your pants do not have any embellishment or eye lingering details. Pockets in contrasting colors, ruffles, pleats, gathers etc , as already said, should be on the top of the body, not the bottom half. Say an emphatic no to cargo pockets and other fancy pockets on your pants.
Avoid the heavily distressed / ripped jeans that will bring all the attention to your hips and legs.
Choose dark colors and avoid prints on your pants and shorts – anything which will make the hip and thighs less prominent than the upper body.
A knee length shorts is better for a pear shape than a shorter version.
Do not choose jeans and pants that taper down. Instead, go for slightly flared legged pants or straight pants. The thin cigarette pant style, which tapers down, will make the hip look wider. The straight or flared shape will balance the hips/thighs.
But if you find that pants and jeans make you look bottom heavy, opt for comfortable, not too tight or too see-through leggings under tops as they stretch and accommodate your larger hips all the while hugging your small waist. If you must wear tights, at least let them have vertical stripes; they can elongate your legs.
More on selecting the right kind of jeans can be read here.
Skirts, Gowns and Dresses for pear shaped
An A line skirt is the preferred choice for a bottom heavy figure. A tight fitting pencil skirt will cling to the hip and make it look wider.
Choose a style of dress which will closely fit the upper body but allow the skirt to freely fall over your hips. A fit and flare dress is a good choice; it fits this criterion.
Empire waist dress is also perfect for a pear-shaped person, as is a wrap dress. It hugs the upper portion and creates curves and skims the lower part of the body, without bringing the eye to that part.
Strapless dresses can look good if you have shapely shoulders.
Look out for dresses that have details in the bust area, such as ruffles, tucks, and pockets.
Avoid dresses which are very short. A dress or gown with a softy gathered waistline can emphasize the waist.
Related posts :
7 Different body shapes; 13 different body types; 6 types of Hips sizes ; How to dress for your body shape; Inverted Triangle body shape – dressing tips ; Rectangular bodyshape – dressing tips.; Best outfits for a round body shape
Updated on July 27, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
Thank you Donna. Glad you found it helpful
What a wonderful article! Easy to understand. Showed examples. Gave many options. Before this article I had my body shape all wrong. Now to shop with greater confidence.