How to Dress a Pear-Shaped Body

pear body shape style
Post by Trunk Club
September 18, 2019

When it comes to getting dressed, it’s no secret that every style does not fit all. Every body is unique, and finding the right clothing for your frame can make such a huge difference in your personal style. That’s why it helps to know what your general body shape is, and the styles that’ll help you walk with confidence. For all the triangular women out there (also commonly referred to as a pear body type), consider this your ultimate style guide for how to dress a pear-shaped body.

What is a pear-shaped body?

A pear body shape—or as we like to call it, a triangular frame—is determined by your measurements. Here are some characteristics that often apply:

• Your hips and thighs are wider than your shoulders and bust.

• Your have a defined waist that is narrow compared to your hips.

• Your body shape resembles that of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, or America Ferrera.

Still deciding if you have a pear body type? Watch our body measurements video and then settle it with measuring tape. If your hip measurements are more than five percent wider than your shoulders or bust, it’s safe to say you fall under this general category.

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3 tips to dress for your body type

Before we jump into the specifics of how to dress a pear-shaped body, there are a few universal tips we’d like to share. These are important to remember regardless of what shape or size you are, because they’re designed to help anyone create a proportioned frame.

1. Balance it out

Body shape is almost entirely based on your bone structure—not your weight. Use your outfit to balance your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.

2. Draw the eye

Use lines to focus the eye where you want it to go. They can help you create curves, lengthen, or emphasize your favorite parts of your body.

3. Think about color

Your eye is also drawn to patterns and light, bright colors more so than solid black or navy. Keep this in mind when choosing separates.

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What to wear if you have a pear-shaped body

Now that we’ve established a baseline, let’s get specific. Here are the best tops, jackets, pants, dresses, and accessories to complement an pear-shaped frame.


Best tops for pear-shaped bodies

To balance out your overall silhouette, you’ll want tops that accentuate your top half as well as your defined waist. Look for light, bright colors or prints in any of the below styles.

Peplum tops

1. Peplum
The quintessential waist-defining top. And the dolman sleeve shown here adds volume to your top half.

Square-neck tops

2. Square-neck
Any open neckline (a V-neck works, too) shows off your collarbone and chest, helping draw the eye up.

Cowl-neck tops

3. Cowl-neck
Similar to an open neckline, this draws the eye up and adds volume thanks to the draped fabric.

Boat-neck tops

4. Boat-neck
The horizontal neckline broadens your shoulder. Bonus points for a puff sleeve or other eye-catching upper-body detail.

Best pants for pear-shaped bodies

There are plenty of ways to flatter the curviest part of your silhouette—our denim guide breaks it down beautifully. But in a nutshell, it’s all about looking for the right styles, like slightly roomier cuts and darker colors.

Bootcut pants

1. Bootcut
The subtly flared hemline balances out your hips and looks great with all of your favorite booties.

Flat-front pants

2. Flat-front
A great tailored option for work that gives your bottom half a structured, elongated appearance.

High-waisted pants

3. High-waisted
Especially in darker washes, high-rise jeans (or mid-rise for a shorter torso) will make your legs look a mile long.

Slim or straight pants

4. Slim or straight
A flattering alternative to skinny jeans. We especially love NYDJ brand jeans for pear-shaped bodies.

Best dresses for pear-shaped bodies

A favorite because of their ability to highlight the features we feel most confident about. Here are some of our favorite silhouettes that do just that.

A-line dresses

1. A-line
The roomier skirt falls away from the hip instead of clinging to it, which helps streamline your bottom half.

Fit-and-flare dresses

2. Fit-and-flare
Similar to A-line dresses, but usually with a more defined waist and more flounce in the skirt.

Wrap dresses

3. Wrap
The built-in ties are great for defining your waist, and they often have a V-neck that opens up your top half.

Off-the-shoulder dresses

4. Off-the-shoulder
What better way to draw the eye to your upper body than with a completely bare shoulder?

Best jackets for pear-shaped bodies

Whether it’s a blazer for work or a coat for crisp nights, your top layer can do a lot to help flatter your frame. In fact, it can really make or break an outfit.

Cropped jackets

1. Cropped
For shorter pieces, like blazers or motos, look for ones that hit at or above your waistline to avoid adding fabric at the hip.

Patterned jackets

2. Patterned
Remember how we recommended bright or patterned tops to draw the eye up? Same rule applies here.

Textured jackets

3. Textured
Heavier textiles like wool or tweed can have the same eye-catching effect as color or print.

Wrap jackets

4. Wrap
Longer coats work, too, especially when belted. Look for tailored styles that keep your top half structured.

Stylish accessories for pear-shaped bodies

It’s not just clothes that can draw the eye and balance the silhouette. Accessories are key components to any outfit strategy.

Pointy-toe shoes

1. Pointy-toe shoes
The time-tested solution for lengthening your legs, which streamlines your overall silhouette.

Drop earrings

2. Drop earrings
They bring focus to your face and shoulders, especially when your hair is pulled back.

Statement necklace

3. Statement necklace
Like with the drop earrings, a statement necklace draws attention to your neckline.

Belts

4. Belts
Wear them at the waist—not the hips—with garments like dresses, jackets, or high-rise jeans.

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3 outfit ideas for pear shapes

Now that you know what styles are most flattering on a pear body type, we’re going to show you how that translates into a complete outfit. Taking pieces from the categories above, we’ve put together three looks so you can visualize how it all comes together.

Everyday outfit

Casual days call for a great pair of jeans. We chose bootcut denim in a dark wash to help balance out the hips, but straight, slim, and flared cuts can achieve similar results. And see how beautifully the darted waist on the top accentuates pear-shaped curves? The volume on top is a great way to draw the eye up—and it helps create an hourglass figure, too.


Sophisticated workwear

We love a good power blazer because it instantly boosts confidence. Go for a piece that has structured shoulders to emphasize your upper body and make sure the jacket hits right at the waist for the most flattering fit. Layer a top with scoop neckline underneath to open up the chest and add a statement necklace to serve as the focal point. Flat-front trousers and pointed-toe shoes elongate the leg and create a streamlined finish.

Out on the town

Special plans? Wear a dress that makes you want to check out your reflection any chance you get. Accentuate your waistline and show off your legs with a fit-and-flare mini. This silhouette is not only flattering thanks to the full skirt that falls away from the hips, but it’s also perfect for twirling—which, in our books, always sparks joy. Dramatic drop earrings catch the eye and complete the look flawlessly.

Want to know more?

We’re sharing answers to the frequently asked questions about dressing a pear-shaped body, below.

  • What’s the difference between a pear shape and an hourglass?
    • Typically, a pear-shaped body is narrower on top compared to the hips. And an hourglass shape has a bust and hips that measure almost the same width.
  • What are the best fabrics for a pear shape?
    • Thicker fabrics that hold structure are ideal for flattering your silhouette. Wool and denim are great options because they hold their form without clinging.
  • Can pear shapes wear jumpsuits?
    • Absolutely! To find one that flatters you, look for a flared leg. If you wish to accentuate your upper body, an off-the-shoulder style is great.
  • How can I accentuate my waist without emphasizing my thighs?
    • High-rise pants in a dark color are flattering because they’ll help define your waist while also streamlining the leg. Add a top in a bold print as the focus piece.
  • Are capri pants flattering on a pear-shaped body?
    • Capri pants tend to focus the eyes right on the hips. If you’d rather draw the eyes elsewhere, try high-waisted pants with a straight, slim, or flared silhouette instead.
  • What are the best swimsuits for a pear-shaped body?
    • An asymmetrical strap, ruffles, side cutouts, or similar embellishments all work to create the illusion of a bigger chest, thus accentuating an hourglass silhouette. Read more in our guide to finding your perfect swimsuit.

So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about finding the most flattering fit for a triangular silhouette. Still have specific questions or need help dressing for your body type? Still have specific questions or need help dressing for your body type? Talk to a stylist today—we’re always here to help you look and feel your best.

At Trunk Club, our stylists help people build their best wardrobes by discovering what fits their body, their budget, and their personal style.