How to Dress a Pear Shaped Body

May 10, 2018 by Eliza Huber

Finding the perfect outfit is far from simple. Considerations range from occasion to season to trends, all of which ignore the ever-important concept of how to dress your body. We’ve done our research so you don’t have to, and from it, created a no-points-missed, go-to guide for finding clothing and dresses for a pear-shaped body type (also known as an inverted triangle shape). Sounds too good to be true? Keep reading.

What is a Pear Shaped Body?

To kick things off, some of you may be asking the million-dollar question: What exactly is a pear-shaped body and how do I know if I have one? Well, the typical pear-shaped woman has hips and thighs wider than her shoulders or bust by about 5%. Pear-shaped women usually also have smaller waists than women of other body types. With that, A-line dresses, that is, dresses that come in at the waist and flow outwards towards the hem, are one of the most flattering fits for a pear body due to the way they draw attention to the waist while slimming wider hips. Additionally, styles that draw the eye upward, usually by showcasing the shoulders and bust area, are flattering for this type of body shape. Bold colors (which are coincidently perfect for spring) and embellished necklines add a complimentary touch.

Now that you know the basics, here are tips on how to dress a pear shape with corresponding styles to choose from to ensure you’ll never have to ask the question, “how to dress a pear-shaped body?” ever again.

1. Fitted Tops Provide Definition

The best way to highlight a small waist is wearing a fitted top that defines the waist. Tuck a simple fitted shirt into your choice of bottoms to further accentuate your curvy shape. Avoid boxy tops that hide your narrow waist (totally missing the point!). If you’re concerned that a tight-fitting top may highlight parts that want to be hidden, fret not, because it’ll show off your shoulders and waist instead!

Must-Try Tops for Pear Shaped Body

LEFT: BEC & BRIDGE, CENTER: SACHIN & BABI, RIGHT: RAMY BROOK

2. Dark-Colored Flare Bottoms Balance Proportions

The perfect bottom for pairing a fitted top is a flattering pair of dark, flared pants. A dark-colored bottom creates the illusion of appearing slimmer, which is is most complimentary for a pear-shaped body type. The flared hem adds to the slimming effect to achieve a well-balanced and distributed body shape. If you think flared pants are a look from the 70s, girl, they are very much back in style.

Pants & Jeans for Pear Shaped Body

LEFT: OSMAN, CENTER: DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY, RIGHT: FREE PEOPLE

3. Show Off Your Upper Body with an Off-The-Shoulder Dress

It’s always important to highlight the feature that makes you feel most confident. If that’s your shoulders, rent the off-the-shoulder trend. To further accentuate your upper body, pick a dress with some detailing along the bust. An off-the-shoulder dress isn’t quite office appropriate, so we suggest saving this style for date night or the occasional cocktail party. With that, you have the freedom to go with bold colors and maybe a fun strappy heel.

Off-The-Shoulder Dresses for a Pear Shaped Body

LEFT: ELLIATT, CENTER: SALONI, RIGHT: KATE SPADE NEW YORK

4. Sleeveless Dresses Visually Balance Your Pear-Shaped Figure

After a long, and quite frankly, exhausting winter, it feels oh so good to bask in the warmth sans sleeves. Whether you’re looking for comfort and daytime style or a romantic date-night dress, there’s a sleeveless dress out there waiting for you that’s bound to flatter in all the right places. From simple collars like that on the denim dress above to flirty cowl necks, an embellished neckline will be a breeze to add to the mix.

Sleeveless Dresses for a Pear-Shaped Body

LEFT: DRAPER JAMES X ELOQUII, CENTER: MARCHESA NOTTE, RIGHT: ELIZABETH AND JAMES

5. Belted Dresses: The Key to a Defined Waist for Pear Shapes

A belted dress is only one example of an A-line dress, but it’s no doubt a favorite, especially for pear shapes with a small waist. The cinched tie accentuates curves. Get out of your comfort zone by renting something not-too-neutral. Try branching out in feminine and floral patterns, or something with retro polka dots.

From office meetings to lunch in the park, a belted dress like the one above is perfect for any springtime plan. Throw your favorite denim jacket into your tote and a pair of slides or block-heeled sandals to ensure an easy transition from hot to cool and day to night. After all, with schedules like ours, you never know where you’ll be next.

Belted Dresses for a Pear-Shaped Body

LEFT: BADGLEY MISCHKA, CENTER: TORY BURCH, RIGHT: YUMI KIM

6. A Wrap Dress is Your Most Versatile Choice

Not only are wrap dresses practically made for a pear-shaped body, they’re also quite possibly spring’s most popular dress trend. The wrapped belt flatters in all the right places, while flowy short sleeves and midi hems make them appropriate for all occasions.

Grab your go-to white sneakers or a pair of flat slides on your way out the door for a quick, yet totally put-together daytime look. For something a bit more formal, try an ankle strap sandal in a light color like white or nude. After all, the best part about wrap dresses is their versatility. No matter where you’re going and what you’re doing, a wrap dress is a no-fail choice.

Wrap Dresses Perfect for a Pear-Shaped Body

LEFT: TANYA TAYLOR, CENTER: DAINE VON FURSTENBERG, RIGHT: REBECCA MINKOFF

7. Are there Accessories that Flatter a Pear Shape Body?

Absolutely! Whether is it a chunky statement or a dainty layered necklace, chains that reach just above your bust act as embellished necklines that draw attention upwards. Statement earrings with beaded patterns or unique gems do just the same. Pull your hair back into a bun for added class.

Best Accessories for Pear Shapes

LEFT: OSCAR DE LA RENTA, CENTER: ETTIKA, RIGHT: AREA STARS

8. You Do You: After All, Style Has No Limits

When you really think about it, pear-shaped women, or any women for that matter, shouldn’t have to restrict themselves by merely choosing a certain dress style just because fashion rules might suggest they should do so. In the end, it’s your body and your sense of style—why deny something you love just to fit the rules? What is it they say? Oh yeah, rules were meant to be broken. Especially when renting (read: no regrets or commitment.)

Pear Shapes Can Rock Other Styles Too

LEFT: CHRISTIAN SIRIANO, CENTER: LIKELY, RIGHT: ELLIATT