How to dress a pear-shaped woman

Written by marjorie hallenbeck-huber
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Dressing for your body type will not make all your body flaws disappear, but knowing what clothing styles look good on a pear-shaped body will make you more confident when clothes shopping. The pear-shaped body type, the most common female body type, holds weight in the hips, thighs and buttocks, while maintaining a relatively smaller waist and upper body. Accentuating your assets and minimising problem areas might seem a daunting task, but Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Lopez are fashion icons with pear-shaped bodies. Though you may not have a stylist, you can easily dress to emphasise your assets by adhering to a few easy rules.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Form-fitting top
  • Trousers/jeans, dark
  • High-heeled shoes, pointed or open-toed
  • Jacket, three-quarters or waist length

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  1. 1

    Accentuate your waist, shoulders and neck by wearing a form-fitting top. This will draw attention to the top half of your body. Freely experiment with neckline, print and colour to balance out your larger bottom half and attract maximum attention upward. Puffy sleeves and texture will make shoulders appear broader (thus balancing slightly wider hips), and varying necklines will bring attention to your bust and face.

  2. 2

    Pair your top with dark trousers or jeans, for darker colours are slimming. Straight-leg, flare and boot-cut trousers are optimal styles for pear-shaped women. Ultimately, pear-shaped women want to minimise hips, and wearing dark colour trousers, the right cut and small, plain back pockets will make your bottom half look its smallest.

  3. 3

    Add a heel to your outfit. Wearing high-heeled shoes makes pear-shaped women appear longer legged and thighs and hips look smaller. Open- and pointed-toed shoes are preferable because round-toed shoes make legs seem thicker, which pear-shaped women should avoid.

  4. 4

    Flatter your pear shape by adding a three-quarter or waist-length jacket to complete your outfit. Double-breasted coats especially balance the body. Avoid jackets that end at the hips or buttocks because they draw attention to your bottom region.

Tips and warnings

  • Dress up in A-line skirts and wrap or empire-waist dresses. These cuts draw attention to the top half of your body while fitting the curves and minimising hips and thighs. Remember to avoid patterns, bold colours and any decorative additions to skirts and the bottom part of your dress. Confine colour and patterns to the top.
  • Resist wearing tops that end at your hips. Make sure tops either end at the waist or are long enough to cover your hips, since shirts that stop at the buttocks accentuate that area.
  • Tight, short skirts emphasise your thighs, so unless you have flawless thighs, avoid this type of skirt.
  • Steer clear of light-coloured, patterned, tapered or high-waisted trousers, which can make your hips look bigger than they are.

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