Women's Style Inspiration  / Dressing for Your Shape  / How to Dress a Pear-Shaped Body

How to Dress a Pear-Shaped Body

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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. We also have style tips for tall body typesplus sizes, and petite figures.

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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 a 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 jeans for a pear-shaped figure

There are plenty of ways to flatter the curviest part of your silhouette—our women's 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.

Straight jeans

1. Straight
We especially love NYDJ’s curve-conscious jeans for pear-shaped bodies.

Slim-straight jeans

2. Slim-straight
A skinny-jean alternative that skims the thighs rather than squeezing them.

Bootcut jeans

3. Bootcut
The subtly flared hemline balances out your hips.

High-waisted jeans

4. High-waisted
In medium to dark washes, they’ll make your legs look a mile long.

Best pants for pear-shaped bodies

The right pants can do wonders for balancing out your figure. What to look for? Curve-skimming styles in stretch fabrics that won’t suffocate your hips.

Bootcut pants

1. Bootcut

This flattering fit also 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

Accentuate your waist to create a more balanced silhouette.

Slim or straight pants

4. Slim or straight

A perennial favorite that flatters the lower half.

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.


4. Belts

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

Best swimwear for a pear-shaped figure

The trick is to add volume to your top half to bring balance.

Ruched tops

1. Ruched tops
Whether as one piece or two, contrast it with a sleek bottom. 


2. Ruffles
An equally stylish and dramatic way to bring focus to your top half.

One-shoulder tops

3. One-shoulder tops
An asymmetrical neckline will draw the eye up.

High-cut bottoms

4. High-cut bottoms
In a dark color, this fuller style lengthens your bottom half.

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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? Have a date-night? 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?
What are the best fabrics for a pear shape?
Can pear shapes wear jumpsuits?
How can I accentuate my waist without emphasizing my thighs?
Are capri pants flattering on a pear-shaped body?
What are the best swimsuits for a pear-shaped body?

Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.