Style Tips SHOP E-BOOKS Login

How to Dress a PEAR Body Shape


How to Dress a Pear Body Shape

It's great knowing your body shape, but if you don't know what to DO with that information, it can be quite pointless. That's why I've written a series of blog posts that will help you always find the perfect outfit.

The first post is going to be about the pear-shaped body. A pear-shaped body (also sometimes called a 'spoon' shape) is the most common shape along with the apple. So, if you think you're the only one who struggles to find dresses that fit your bust AND your hips, you're not alone.

Keep reading to find out:

  • What a pear shape actually is (pssst, if you're not sure, check out this article and take our quiz!)
  • Celebrity pear examples
  • What to wear
  • What NOT to wear
  • Sample Capsule Wardrobe

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I use affiliate links in the form of clothing suggestions in order to help you best discover (and locate!) clothing that will work best for your body shape. If you click on the affiliate links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost for you. Thank you for supporting us, so we can continue to give you quality content. ~LF

You're a Pear If...

You know you're a pear shape because you have these three attributes:

  1. Your bust is smaller than your hips
  2. Your waist is defined (in other words, you have an obvious waist)
  3. Your hips and bigger than your bust area

If you're still confused about your shape, check out my original article post on shapes (and how to dress any shape no matter if you fall neatly into a category or not)

Celebrity Pears:

Thanks to the Kardashian clan, big hips and butts are having a moment right now. Here are some celebrity pears who are really rocking it (or should I say, their personal stylist is really rocking it!)

Rihanna uses a wide V-neck to draw your eye up and out (making her top half look bigger)

Beyonce in yellow trouser suit. | Beyoncé, Looks, Blue ivy

Beyoncé shows off a monochromatic suit. Notice the wide-leg pants and the long jacket (hits lower than the widest part of her hips). It's also hard to see because of her hair, but her jacket is fitted at the waist and features a wide lapel and scarf (that, once again, distract the viewer's gaze upward)

America Ferrera | Pear shaped celebrities, Curvy outfits, Curvy celebrities

America Ferrera uses a square neckline to make her bust and shoulders look as wide as her hips. 

The Main Idea:

In the original article, I wrote about DRESSING YOUR SHAPE, I talked about my easy secret to always knowing what will look good on you regardless of shape. The secret is to always wear clothing that makes you look like an hourglass. If you missed the article, you can read it here. You may also remember the graphic below, and how we need to 'fill out' the top of the hourglass.

Essentially, dressing for your shape is all about using clothing, jewelry, and other accessories as an optical illusion to make us appear a certain way.

The optical illusion is formed when we distract the viewer away from one part of our body and attract their eyes to a different part.

In the example below, the dark neutral skirt is boring, thus not meriting much attention. The striped shirt, on the other hand, draws your eye upward and from side to side (because of the stripes), thus making her top half seem bigger than it is. All of a sudden she looks like an hourglass shape, even though nothing else has changed.

What to Wear:

Remember the main idea here: we need to distract away from the hips/butt and draw the attention upward. The following are several ways to do that, with an explanation of how it works. (Want to take a shortcut? Click here to see the 20 items every wardrobe needs and what that looks like for your body shape)

  • Tops/Blouses: You want to choose tops that are fitted UNLESS you have something that is defining your waist. An important part of keeping that hourglass shape is to make sure your waist is visible. There are two ways to keep your waist visible: 1) wear a top that is fitted, especially around the waist, or 2) Make sure you have on a belt or your loose shirt is tucked into a pair of pants or skirt with a waistband. You also want to draw attention upward, so your tops are the place to go ham with colors and patterns. Boat necks and wide V-necks are going to be the best option for you.

  • Blazers/Jackets: Make sure any blazer or jacket you buy is nipped in at the waist. Look for blazers/jackets with more detail on the top than the bottom. For example, you would want to choose a jacket with a wide lapel over one with a peplum. A wider lapel brings the eye up and out while the peplum brings it down and out (making your bottom half look bigger).

  • Skirts: Pencil, A-line, full (circle) skirts. A lot of pears don't think they should wear full skirts, but just the opposite is true! A full skirt can do a wondrous job hiding your hips and butt and making them look smaller than they are. The key is to choose dark, neutral skirts with little detail (that are boring) so the eye has no choice but to look upward to your fabulous necklace, shirt, or piece of distraction on your top half. Skirts just above the knee and longer are going to look best on you.

  • Pants: Opt for wide leg or boot cut pants. When you have more volume at the bottom of your pant leg, it evens out the fullness of your hips/butt. The bigger your hips/butt the bigger the bottom half of the pants need to be. The top of any pair of pants should be as smooth as possible (no extra pleating or detailing) and should be fitted through the knee area.

  • Dresses: Dresses can be difficult, especially if your bottom half is much larger than your top half. If you're wearing a dress alone, fit and flare dresses will almost never steer you wrong. Dresses with detailing or fullness at the top (like an embellished neckline or full sleeves) are also okay. If you have a dress that you love, but you think it makes you look bottom heavy, try layering more distractions (a blazer, necklace, earrings, etc.) to your top half.

  • Jewelry: This is the time to go crazy with statement jewelry. Necklaces, earrings, and brooches are all your friends...and the bigger the better. Jewelry is a really great and easy way to draw the eye upward towards your face.
  • Purses: Opt for shoulder bags that you can put right up under your arm. Clutches are a great option also.
  • Bathing Suits: Click here to read my entire blog post on choosing swimwear for your body shape!

If the thought of putting outfits together makes you cringe, here are 200+ already styled outfits that have been selected just for pear body types.

What NOT to Wear:

  • Tops/Blouses: Anything baggy that hides your waist (like the t-shirt in the picture below). This will just make you look thick around the middle (which you aren't!) and like a big triangle (also not desirable). Avoid blouses that end right along the widest part of your hips. They will make your hips look wider than they are. You will be better off, 9 times out of 10, with shirts that are shorter rather than longer.
  • Blazers/Jackets: Avoid shapeless blazers and jackets. They will just make you look big all over. If you like a certain look (like a peacoat) opt for a version that is fitted in the waist. Avoid jackets and blazers that end along the widest part of your hips. Just like tops, you're almost always better off going shorter than longer when it comes to jackets.
  • Skirts: Avoid bright colors and patterns. Horizontal stripes are always a bad idea, and vertical stripes can work at times (especially if you're petite!) Avoid miniskirts as they will make your hips/butt look like one big (and super weird) rectangle.
  • Pants: I know you love leggings, but they aren't your friends. Save your leggings and jogging pants to wear at home. Low rise pants are also a no-no. The higher your pants are, the better you'll look.
  • Dresses: You are too sexy for sack dresses and other shapeless dresses. They will make you look like a big triangle (which you aren't). Fitted tank dresses are also a bad idea if worn alone, because they usually don't have enough interest above the waist, to distract the eye away from your hips. Avoid drop waist dresses like the plague.
  • Jewelry: Bracelets are rings are okay to wear, just don't go too crazy. When you are standing up and relaxed, your wrists usually hit around your hipline. Loud bracelets or rings will draw attention to that area.
  • Purses: Avoid large purses that hang low (that you would fall around your hip area) and cross body bags. Both are going to draw unwanted attention to your bottom half and make you seem bigger than you are.

Sample Pear Capsule Wardrobe:

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing where each piece can be worn with every other piece to make a maximum number of outfits. Below, we have put together a capsule collection for a Pear with classic style.

You'll notice that I tried not to pull anything over $200 to keep this wardrobe budget friendly! (yes, I know the necklace is expensive but you can find similar ones for far less.)

Ps. Don't forget to look under the collection to see how to put these pieces together for a week's worth of activities!

Here are just a few combinations you can make for an entire week's worth of activities!

Monday: (work) White t-shirt + white cardigan + black pants + heels + shoulder bag + belt (over cardigan).

Tuesday: (work, then school meeting) blouse + black skirt + black blazer + heels. Take off blazer for a more casual look.

Wednesday: (work) Blush dress + black blazer + belt + heels.

Thursday: (work, volunteering) Turtleneck + black pants + shoulder bag + heels + necklace. Change from heels to tennis shoes and a white t-shirt for volunteering.

Friday: (work, after work dinner date) Red tank top + black skirt + black blazer + heels + clutch. Take off blazer after work for a sexy date night look.

Saturday: (playground with kids) White t-shirt + jeans + tennis shoes.

Sunday: (baseball game, book club) blouse + jeans + sandals + shoulder bag.

Psst. If you're a visual person and like to see outfit ideas all put together in a picture (rather than written out like above) you'll love this book of 200+ pear outfit ideas.

Want more ideas for a pear-shaped capsule collection? This e-book shows you how to choose the top 20 items everyone should own, which versions you should wear for your body shape, and outfit ideas for work and play. Read more about it here!

The Big Take-Away:

You have a hot body…don't sell yourself short. Keep it dark on the bottom and bright (or patterned) up top and have fun with the accessories! Anything that makes people look up (from your hips) is a good thing. And never, ever forget to accent your waist.

And most, importantly, you're a stud muffin. Never forget that.

xoxo, Leslie

PS. Now that you know the rules, you can break them. ;)

Want instant inspo and fabulous outfits (from clothes you already own)? You'll want this e-book.

Read the Pear Outfit Style Book on any device!

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.