Styling Tips: How to Dress a Pear-Shaped Body

Updated on November 20, 2019
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REAL Fashionista doing it her own way! Ms. Monae enjoys sharing her styling tips and ideas. Looking, feeling, smelling like a million bucks.

How to Dress If You're Pear-Shaped
How to Dress If You're Pear-Shaped | Source

How to Dress a Pear-Shaped Body

Looking beautiful, confident, and sexy involves knowing what to put on your type of body. If you have a pear-shaped body, these characteristics may apply to you:

  • Your hips are larger than your bust
  • You have a defined waist and flat stomach
  • Your shoulders are narrower than your hips
  • You tend to gain weight in your bottom half (booty, thighs and legs)
  • You have a small upper body and small bust

You want to wear styles that make your shoulders as broad as your bottom half. Since you are bottom-heavy, this will balance out your look. Remember that you want to accentuate your waistline.

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An empire waist is very complementary on a pear-shape.Perfect Shoulder and Empire Waist Style
An empire waist is very complementary on a pear-shape.
An empire waist is very complementary on a pear-shape. | Source
Perfect Shoulder and Empire Waist Style
Perfect Shoulder and Empire Waist Style | Source

Recommended Dresses and Skirts


Remember: A dress may fit your top, but not your bottom. Wrap dresses work great. Empire dresses are also an excellent choice. Remember you are looking for fitted at the waist and volume going down along the hem. What you are doing is forming an A from your waist to your knees to de-emphasize the bottom. You want to accentuate your top half and waist to make you look more proportioned.


You want to wear styles that follow with your natural triangle shape. Be very mindful of too short or too tight. These skirts will ride and look horrible. Always make sure your skirts are at least knee-length. If you wear pencil skirts make sure they are at least knee-length and worn with a voluminous top. This will create the proportioned look that you are looking for.

Examples of Pear-Shape Measurements in Inches

Boot leg, Dark, No Belt Great Look
Boot leg, Dark, No Belt Great Look | Source

Recommended Pants and Jeans

The best pants for a pear-shaped body are fitted around the waist and flow with the hips and thighs. This is a little tricky when it comes to pants because of our various sized bottoms. You may get that perfect fit around the waist, but it may be way too tight in the hip and thigh area. Fit your hips first and have the waist tailored if necessary.

Plain styles are great because you want the focus to be on your waist. Bootleg plain pants are best without belt loops, pockets, pleats or creases. Bold prints, flashy embellishments, excessive pockets detract from the look you are trying to create. Dark colors always work best because of the slimming effect they give. Boot cut jeans flatter your waist and bottom with style and sophistication.

Bolero Shrug Jacket
Bolero Shrug Jacket | Source

Recommended Tops

Empire lines and wrap tops are great. Empire lines are tops or dresses that have a tighter fit right underneath the bust. This will give you a great look. Shawl and shoulder pad clothing add build to your smaller upper body. Remember, you want to build volume on top with a slimming look around the waist.

Bolero and boat neck tops are also great. They give you the fullness you need for your top half. Wear V-neck tops or layers that draw attention to your waist. Wear form-fitting tops that cover your waist. If you have a muffin-top, wear a more fluid fit that still shows off your shape.

How Do You Dress Your Pear-Shaped Body?

Which styles do you prefer?

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Know how to dress for your shape.
Know how to dress for your shape. | Source

Styles You Should Avoid

  • Pleats
  • Pinstripes
  • Creases in your pants
  • Narrowing pants
  • Belts around the hips
  • Small pockets on the bottom
  • Mini skirts

Whatever you do, don't wear a mini skirt. It will not work for a pear-shaped body. I tried once and it was all jacked up! A big booty can sometimes be a curse.

Know Your Body Type

Know what to wear to enhance your assets, but also make you look more balanced. Showing off your small waist and balancing your top half with your lower half is key. Some clothing will enhance your fabulous assets and then there are others that will hurt them. Know the difference.

We all want to look good in our clothing, but we also want comfort and versatility. Knowing your body type makes dressing it in styles that work that much easier.


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