How to Dress for Your Pear Body Type

woman holding shirt up in nirror
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Pears are slim at the top and rounded toward the bottom. A "pear-shaped" figure is a common body type. While it may not be the ideal shape for a runway model, there are surprising pluses to being a pear.

If you have a pear body type, embrace the opportunity to emphasize your slim neck, shapely shoulders, and defined waist. You can easily work with your heavier bottom half to get an all-over balanced outfit for work or play. When you choose the right options, you'll not only look better -- you'll also feel more comfortable. 

How to Work with a Pear-Shaped Figure

Start by confirming that you really have a pear shape. Pear shapes have:

  • A curvy bottom half, with rounded hips and full thighs
  • Thin and slender neck
  • Narrow or sloping shoulders
  • Usually (but not always) a long waist

Choose the Right Pieces for Your Slim Upper Body

Once you're sure about your shape, you can start to choose the ideal wardrobe. Start with a shirt that will draw the eye to the shoulders. It should have some of the following elements:

  • Wide necklines, such as boatneck or scoop neck style, to widen the shoulders and balance your bottom half.
  • Waist-defining details in your tops, such as belted or cinched styles that show off your defined waist.
  • Details that draw attention to the face such as buttons or ties at the neck that will draw eyes upwards.
  • Sizes that are neither tight nor loose, so that they define your figure without accentuating larger areas or suggesting that you are larger than you really are.

Next, top off your shirt with a blazer. Try to find one with puffed sleeves to balance out your shoulders in proportion to your hips. Avoid wearing a blazer that hits the widest point of your hips. Find one that hits slightly above or at waist level.

Choose the Best Options for Your Curvier Lower Half

Skirts are a great choice for a curvier lower half, and it's not hard to find a skirt that makes the most of your figure. Here's how:

  • Look for a waistline on dresses, skirts, trousers,and jeans that hits slightly below the natural waistline. Without extra layers close to the smallest part of your waist, you can make it look smaller and your torso a little longer.
  • Get skirts with a slight A-line cut. They will skim over problem areas and smooth the hip and thigh.
  • Stay away from tight skirts and trousers.

Select Shoes That Finish Your Look

Shoes can help to create the look you're seeking. Here's what to choose:

  • Lengthen and slim your legs with a pair of heeled shoes. Heavier style heels, which are not stilettos, will balance out your calves.
  • Avoid shoes with ankle straps or t-strap styles, which can make your legs look larger.

Remember that no matter what your body type, you'll need to choose the right color to flatter your skin tone. Ask a friend what colors look good on you, or try taking photos of yourself in basic tees and seeing what looks best.