What is a Pear Body Shape?
The pear body shape is also called a triangle body shape or low balance body shape. Using the term pear body shape simply indicates that the measurement of your hips is greater than that of your bust or shoulders. To drop some math on you, the hips are more than 5% bigger than the bust or shoulder measurements.
Don’t like math? it’s okay! Use this calculator to figure out exactly which body shape you are!
When looking at someone with your body type, the hip area will most likely draw attention first. If you are not careful, you will appear “bottom-heavy.”
The goal when shopping for clothes for your pear body shape will be to balance out your body visually.
You achieve balance by choosing clothing that gives your shoulders a wider appearance while drawing attention away from your hips and butt.
I know it’s fabulous–who doesn’t want to have some junk in the trunk? You just don’t want to look like you’re all trunk.
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Celebrities Who Have a Pear Body Shape
Kim Kardashian West
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Clothes for the Pear Body Shape
There are a few methods that a woman with a pear body shape like you can use to balance her figure. You can make your body appear to be more of an hourglass body shape by using a few simple methods. You will either:
Make your shoulders appear to be wider than they are or
Make your hips look slimmer,
Another way to accomplish balance is to give the appearance of extra weight to your upper body while being careful not to add any extra visual weight to the hips, thighs or butt.
Adding weight to the upper body can be accomplished, for example, by wearing structured garments that might emphasize the bust and make you look more shapely. You may wear clothing made of fabrics with more texture, such as velvet or knits, or add a light extra layer, like a cardigan.
To make the bottom half appear more sleek and slim, pocket placement, fabric weights, colors, and even patterns have to be considered.
There are some cuts of clothing that look the best on your pear figure. For example, dresses and tops with scoop-necks look great on this body type, as do straight leg jeans or even boot cut jeans.
However, there are some subtle differences in dressing the pear body shape when you take height and weight into consideration, which we will do here. There are even some differences in the sizes and types of accessories that compliment you the most.
If you first need to determine your body type, you might like one of the earlier posts, “What body type am I?” to help you start your journey on the right foot.
Clothes For the Short Pear Body Type (up to about 5’2”)
Besides balancing out the difference in width between your bust and hips, you may want to use visual “tricks” to make your body appear to be taller.
Tops and dresses that have wide-set straps, cap sleeves, or are off-the-shoulder, make your narrow shoulders look wider than they are. This is good!
It’s important to scale everything to your size, since you are short, from the prints on your clothing to any accessories. Huge bags will swallow up your small frame and make you look like you should be in the bag instead of carrying the bag.
Prints should be small and accessories like clutches or handbags should be proportional.
Dressing the Short Petite Pear Body Type
Sweaters with texture, like mohair or cable knit, are the best types of sweaters to wear if you have a pear body shape. Clothing with texture adds the appearance of weight to your top half, which will help with drawing the eyes upward from your hips.
As mentioned before, you want your shoulders to appear to be wider than they are in reality.
You can accomplish this by wearing these types of tops:
Tops with wide-set straps
Wide scoop necks
Cap sleeve tops
Dressing the Short Medium Build Pear Body
The types of dresses that help create the width in your shoulder area include:
Buy these dresses in flowing fabrics so that they skim your hips (not too tight!).
The most flattering skirts for your pear shape are knee-length or a bit above.
More legs showing = the illusion of height!
Try these types of skirts:
Gored: this is a type of A-line skirt that has triangular patterns sewn together, resulting in a soft fit around the hips and a bell shape at the hem.
Godet: this type of skirt also uses triangular fabric to give it more movement. There is a fitted upper part and the panels at the bottom give this skirt more swing.
A-line skirt with either no waistband or a small waistband
These skirt styles help define your waist.
Skirts with side slits are great on the medium build pear because it make legs seem longer, which makes you look taller!
You can also wear high-waisted pants with a straight leg to make yourself look taller.
You need awesome pants and jeans in DARK colors because this will downplay your hips.
Coats and jackets for the pear body shape should have strong or distinctive features, like puff-sleeves, or even shoulder pads to add structure to your shoulder area.
Go for jackets in fabrics like denim, suede, tweed or velvet. Remember that these types of textured fabrics give visual weight to your top half so that you can balance with your bottom half.
Accessories for your pear body shape should be used to draw attention to your lovely face. Chunky necklaces will do this, as will nice drop earrings or hoops.
Use your shoes to make your legs look supermodel long! Wearing peep toe, d’Orsay, or pointy-toe pumps cut low on the foot to show a little foot cleavage will accomplish this.
Which shoe type will you rock?
Dressing the Short Full-Figured Pear Body Type
If you are a full-figured pear body type, opt for dresses and tops that are off-the-shoulder or have a sweetheart neckline, because this will broaden your shoulders.
Tailored button-down dress shirts and dresses with princess seams produce clean vertical lines that make you look a little more slender.
If you have a smaller bust, shirts with shirring or ruching at the bust are great to add volume where you may need it.
V-neck and U-neck tops that hit at the top of your hip look great on you. You can even add a light sweater over the shirt to help blend your curves.
Puff-sleeve blazers, bolero jackets, or cropped jackets are excellent for adding visual weight to your top half. Go wild with bright colors or patterns! This helps bring the eye upwards, away from your hip area.
Pants should have a flat-front so as not to add weight at your hips.
You look best in boot cut or straight leg jeans (not too tight through the hips and thighs) in dark colors and rinses.
Dark skirts, again, are best because they deemphasize your hips and butt. With skirts, you want them to taper around your hips, but not to cling or squeeze too tightly.
Use long necklaces, and delicate dangling earrings, like chandelier earrings, to draw the eye up to your beautiful face!
Dressing the Short Plus Sized Pear Body Type
Because you’re short, weight can make you look even shorter, so it’s especially important to get as much mileage out of your clothing as you can, in terms of cut and fabric.
Flutter or fluted sleeved tops add volume and widen shoulders, while sweetheart necklines add curves to your chest and result in more balanced hips.
Try semi-fitted cowl neck sweaters in fine gauge knits to widen shoulders as well.
There are some clothing you can wear that will not only make you appear to have a higher waist but will also make your legs look longer. These styles include:
Dresses with empire waists
Detailing at the bust or neck
Details like belts just below the bust
Choose tops in U-neck, V-neck, or scoop neck, as opposed to crew neck. These are more flattering to your pear body shape.
Button-down or tailored dress shirts give you clean vertical lines. A shirt with a rounded shirttail will help to balance your top and bottom.
Get dark-colored, knee-length gored skirts, A-line skirts, or pencil skirts with wide waistbands.
Straight leg jeans are the best for your pear shape, and should ideally have big back pockets.
Flat-front slacks look beautiful on your body type, as do wide legs.
Pants with vertical detailing or contrasting stitching work to make you appear somewhat taller.
Use puff-sleeve blazers or jackets with shoulder pads to widen the look of your shoulders.
Single-breasted, low-stance blazers are great for drawing more attention to your neck. Also, consider a Chanel-style jacket worn open.
Don’t you just love a classic Chanel type jacket? Me, too!
Remember to keep accessories proportional. Purses and clutches can be a little larger than other builds. Use your accessories like necklaces and dangling earrings to bring attention back up to your neck.
Clothes For Pear Body Shapes of Average Height (5’3” to 5’7”)
Dressing the Average Height Pear Body Shape with a Slender Build
Boat necks and wide scoop neck tops are great for widening the shoulders.
Show off your slender arms with puff sleeve or sleeveless tops and blazers, as well as strapless dresses. This will, in effect, widen the look of your shoulders. Blazers with wide lapels will accomplish this goal as well.
It is also important to wear textured tops, like cable-knit or mohair, and even lightweight turtle necks to draw the eye upward from your hips.
Empire waist and halter dresses are a good option for your pear body to add volume to the bust area and pull the eye upward.
Wear skirts, such as wrap and trumpet skirts, that emphasize the waist and fall gently over your hips and thighs.
The best cuts of jeans and slacks for your pear body are straight leg (not tight through the hips and thighs) and boot cut in dark colors.
Slacks with a front crease are also fantastic on you. The vertical line made by the seam works to produce a visual line through the length of your body, making you appear to be taller.
Wear dainty jewelry that falls at your collarbone to draw the eye without overpowering your slim neck.
Dressing the Average Height Pear Body Shape with a Medium Build
Wrap tops and surplice tops are great for showing off your narrow torso.
Tops with fluted, flutter or puffed sleeves are great for pear shaped women to add volume to your shoulders.
Choose empire dresses, halter dresses, wrap dresses and sheath dresses in delicate patterns.
Skirts and dresses should be knee-length or above for the appearance of longer legs and smaller hips. Opt for A-line, pencil or gored styles of skirts and dresses.
Dark slacks and jeans are also the key to dressing your pear-shaped body type. The best cut in jeans are straight leg or boot cut jeans. If you are on the slimmer size, stovepipe pants will slim you down even more.
Puff sleeve blazers and jackets, as well as Chanel style and A-line coat, are very complementary to this subset of the pear body type.
You can add awesome details like scarves, dangling earrings, short necklaces, and brooches, that not only accentuate your outfit but add volume to your top half.
What types of accessories do you love the most?
Dressing the Average Height Pear Body Shape with a Full Figure
Choose tops and dresses that are off the shoulder, have a sweetheart neckline, or empire waist, as these flatter pear shaped women the most.
Ruffles, ruching, and pockets at the bust can add some extra volume if you have a smaller bust.
V-neck, wide scoop, boatneck, and off the shoulder tops and sweaters in fitted fabrics add invisible weight where you need it.
Horizontal details, like stripes, patterns and bright colors are great for drawing more attention to your top half.
Dark skirts in flared silhouettes, like gored, godet, or wrap skirts look great on your body shape and help balance your hips.
Make sure these skirts are not clinging. They should be skimming your hips without constricting! The hem should also be just at or just above the knee.
Straight leg or boot cut pants and jeans in mid-rise styles are the best for your pear shape.
Corseted blazers with a narrow ribcage are great for your pear body type. Puff sleeve, small shoulder pads, and wide lapels result in widened shoulders to balance the width of your hips.
Likewise, try a dress with princess seams or a blazer with a high one-button closure.
Bold is the rule for accessories: Long necklaces, large pendants, and chandelier earrings.
Clothes for the Tall Pear Body Shape (5’8” and up)
Dressing the Tall Pear Body Shape with a Slender Figure
Several types of tops and dresses help to give your shoulders the illusion of increased width to balance out your hips. These include:
Empire dresses are great for making your bust appear fuller.
Shirts with cap sleeves or three-quarter sleeves can add a little bit of visual weight on the top where you need it.
Shirts with flutter sleeves, fluted sleeves or kimono sleeves are very complimentary.
Choose A-line skirts without a clear waistband or straight skirts with buttons down the front to draw attention back to your center.
Knee-length skirts or skirts that hit at the widest point on your calf will make your legs look curvier if you are very tall.
You look great in straight leg and boot cut pants and jeans because they balance the width of your hips.
Creased slacks that have a flat front and no pockets are great for making your hips look slimmer and more balanced.
Opt for jackets and coats that have wide lapels, cap sleeves or puff sleeves to widen your shoulders. Your waist just automatically looks slimmer because of this!
Furthermore, go for jackets in heavier weight fabrics like jeans, corduroy or velvet to balance the appearance of your hips.
Load up on chain necklaces or necklaces with pendants that end just at the top of your cleavage to draw attention to your slimmer upper body.
Wear brightly colored shoes or shoes with details like bows, peep toes or cutaways. This also draws the eye away from the hip area, in this case, downward.
Dressing the Tall Pear Body Shape with a Full Figure
Shirts with flutter sleeves, puffed sleeves or kimono sleeves are very complementary, as they add a little extra width to your shoulders.
Try a tailored button-down dress shirt for a clean vertical lines that make you look slimmer and a bit taller.
V-neck, and U-neck, boatneck tops look great on you, too, because they give the appearance of wider shoulders, which when paired with your naturally curvy hips, create fantastic balance!
Try a solid color dark dress to create a long vertical line from top to bottom. This helps bring attention in from your hips and gives the illusion of one elongated body shape.
Or, you can try a dress with a cropped jacket or a bolero jacket if you have thicker arms. This will both disguise your arms and give more structure to your shoulders, which may otherwise appear a little sloped downward.
Go for skirts in dark colors to downplay the width of your hips in styles like flared, gored, godet or A-line. All of these choices look amazing on you.
Choose slacks with a flat-front and a straight leg. Make sure they are not too tight through the hips and thighs because this will have the opposite effect that you want.
Boot cut or even baby boot cut jeans are great, especially in dark rinses. Jeans with a mid-rise are the best option for your shape.
Try coats and jackets with princess seams, shawl collars or wider lapels. Peplum jackets also look hot on you. Add a jacket to your dress to balance your bottom–very flattering!
An A-line coat in a fun, bright color and/or a flared hem is also a nice option.
Wear colorful, bold necklaces and earrings to attract attention to your top half.
You can pull off a pump with a thicker heel. Wedges also work well with your pear body shape (besides being quite comfy!)
Dressing the Tall Plus Size Pear Body Shape
Choose off-the-shoulder, boatneck, wide V-neck, or cowl neck tops to help widen the look of your shoulders.
Tops with sweetheart necklines are good for adding shape to your torso, matching the curves on your bottom!
A nice well-fitting button-down shirt is excellent–if it falls at your hips, be sure to tuck it in!
Tops with kimono or fluted sleeves give your shoulders elegant width to balance your hips.
Turn up the heat with a corseted dress that emphasizes your waist.
Go for shirt dresses, or dresses with princess seam that will give you a more streamlined look.
You can also attain that slimmer look by wearing a dark skirt or the same color from head to toe.
Opt for A-line skirts that skim over your hips, as well as wrap, gored or straight skirts. Try a skirt or dress with a handkerchief hem to show more leg, which will also make you look a bit taller.
The best work pants and jeans for pear shaped women are straight leg, boot cut, wide-leg, and palazzo. If your jeans have back pockets, make sure they are large and proportional, because too-small pockets will make your bottom half appear bigger.
Try wearing a jacket like a bolero over dresses to add visual volume to your torso and balance your overall look.
Structured jackets, like those with shoulder pads or the collarless Chanel type jackets, do a great job with balancing you out and making you look chic.
Choose a handbag that is proportional to your size to balance your overall look. Big bold statement necklaces look great on you!
As far as your shoes, opt for pointy-toed heels, slingbacks or open-toed heels. The extra skin that will be showing along with the extra height from the heel elongates your body and makes you look slimmer. Even a kitten heel will help accomplish this if you find heels to be too uncomfortable.
Final Thoughts on Dressing Your Pear Figure
With these tips, you will draw attention upward and away from your hips, which would make you otherwise look bottom-heavy. Using specific cuts, fabrics, colors, and patterns help to balance your pear body shape. You will be able to give the illusion of a more symmetric figure.
Now that you are armed with information, go knock ‘em dead!