Have you given some thought as to why certain cuts and styles just seem to complement your figure better than others? This may have to do with your body shape. One of the most common ones out there is the pear-shaped body. Think Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, or Rihanna, all of whom aren’t afraid to show off their lower curves.

Whether you’re fully owning and flaunting your assets or still sometimes defer to control top sheer hosiery, there is a myriad of things you can do to look and feel good in your own skin. Let’s take a look at the pear-shaped body and discover some tips and tricks for dressing to complement your natural shape.

How to Find Out If You Have a Pear-shaped Body

Take out a measuring tape and measure your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. If your hips are wider than your shoulders and bust, then you fall under the parameters of a pear-shaped body.

As the name implies, this body shape features a fuller lower body compared to the upper body. Other physical characteristics of this body shape include a smaller upper body with a small bust, a defined waist, and full hips. Do note, though, that the shape is influenced by your bone structure and not necessarily your weight.

Key Principles When Styling Pear-shaped Body Types

Since the natural tendency of this body type is to primarily experience weight gain in the thighs and hips, dressing a pear-shaped body entails bringing the gaze to the bust and shoulder area and highlighting the small waist, with the overall goal of achieving a proportional silhouette. Remember that the pattern and color of your clothes will influence what catches the beholder’s eye. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Try shoulder pads. A wider shoulder length helps balance out your hips. Shoulder pads may not be as common as they once were, but structured pieces such as blazers can be your best friend.
  • Consider push-up bras. If you have a small bust, a push-up bra may be something worth considering. The added lift will balance out the attention being given to your lower body.
  • Choose attention-grabbing tops. When it comes to choosing a top, play with color, texture, and print to make your body’s upper half the focus of your ensemble. For instance, you can go for a pop of brightness, tons of ruffles, or a daring animal print.
  • Experiment with layers. Whether it’s a sweater over a button-down or a classic shift topped with an elegant cape, adding some more dimension to your upper body will provide the harmony you’re after.
  • Emphasize your waist. Whether it’s cinching it with a belt or opting for form-fitting items, drawing on your natural assets will play to your advantage.
  • Choose simple bottoms. Go for clean cuts and details. That being said, straight-cut pants will be your go-to pieces. Steer away from embellishments and big pockets, especially if they fall around the waist.
  • Pick dark colors for your bottoms. Dark shades and tones slim down your appearance and will give a nice counterbalance to the bright colors you choose for your top.

Style Elements That Complement Pear-shaped Body Types

Let’s tackle what exactly works for a pear-shaped body when it comes to each article of clothing.


  • Length: Avoid t-shirts and blouses that go beyond the hips. Tuck your top in or go for a cropped alternative to highlight your best features.
  • Sleeves: For short sleeves, go for structured options to put your shoulders in the spotlight. Batwing, bell, and cap sleeves are some good options. When it comes to long sleeves, you want them to be tapered so that the emphasis of the outfit stays on the shoulders.
  • Neckline: Given that your shape features narrower shoulders versus your hips, you want to widen the look of your upper half with the neckline you choose. Show off those collar bones by going for styles like off-shoulder, square-neck, or even Sabrina. Embellishments along the neckline may also be something to consider.

Pants & Shorts

  • Cut: Slim and straight cuts will be your best friend. To pull off the illusion of elongated legs, make sure your bottoms skim your thighs instead of sticking to them. Bootcuts can also work, as the slight flare at the bottom balances out your lower half.
  • Waistline: High or mid-waisted bottoms will help define your waist.
  • Color: Darker shades with minimal details will make your legs look longer. Generally, it’s recommended to have your bottom come in a darker color compared to your top.
  • Details: Avoid baggy pockets and eye-catching designs like distressed washes. Keep it simple and tailored.

Dresses & Skirts

  • Fit: Wrap and A-line dresses are popular options. You want a dress that emphasizes your waist and doesn’t hug around your hips. Curiously, dresses and skirts that have their widest part at the hem are good alternatives.
  • Length: Your ideal zone is between the knee to the mid-calf. Consider paneled or bias styles when shopping. If you really want to wear that mini skirt, consider one made with a heavier fabric that doesn’t cling to your thighs.
  • Waistline: Similar to pants and shorts, a mid or high-waist works best. That said, avoid designs that feature a dropped waist.


  • Top: Ruched and ruffled tops are always flattering. An asymmetrical cut also achieves the desired effect.
  • Bottom: High-waisted options in dark colors will flatter your figure.

Jackets & Coats

  • Length: A longer jacket that goes beyond the widest point of your hips is recommended. Cropped options must be chosen with care as they can make the focus fall on your hips.
  • Structure: Here’s one case where shoulder pads will serve you well. Whether you’re going for a professional corporate look or a casual-cool vibe, a blazer will do the trick.
  • Pattern & Texture: Heavier fabrics and large patterns will give you that edge you need.
  • Alternative: If you’re not feeling like wearing a jacket or coat, a shawl can keep you warm while complementing your natural figure.


  • Color blocking: A jumpsuit that comes with a lighter top half and a darker bottom is made for your body type.
  • Embellishments: Keep the focus on the top half and go for simple straight cuts for your bottom.
  • Style: Asymmetric, culottes, and strapless options all work. Have fun and show off your personality in whatever playsuit you choose.

That’s everything you need to know when it comes to styling a pear-shaped body. Indeed, having such a silhouette shouldn’t be anything to worry about. With the tips from this guide, you’ll be well on the way to looking and feeling your best no matter what you have on.

A Comprehensive Guide to Styling a Pear-Shaped Body was last modified: by

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