Imagine a bunch of young girls in their early twenties at the beach. They spend the day laying out and tanning, jumping in the waves, and taking walks in the wet sand. After awhile, the girls decide to take some photographs using their old school digital camera. One girl sighs to herself and glances critically at the photographs, judging her thicker thighs and what she thinks is a slightly rounded tummy. Even though her mind tells her that she’s not fat, she wonders why her body wasn’t shaped like the other girls’.
That girl, if you haven’t figured it out, was me. I have never been the tiniest person, nor have I been overweight; I have always been at a healthy weight. When I was younger, I really struggled with wanting to make my body something that it was not. At the time, I wish I would have known about body shapes. My body shape is the type called a pear shape. If I would have known, I could have fully appreciated my unique features. If you have a pear body shape, you can learn how to accentuate your best features while downplaying others to achieve balance and proportion.
When I read into body shapes, one of the concepts that I am not sure that I buy into is minimizing certain “assets.” Because I’m a pear shape, many authors suggest that I should downplay my butt and thighs. I happen to really like those areas of my body! I think that these suggestions are merely that…suggestions. Most of these guidelines will give you an idea of how to achieve a more balanced and proportionate look by accentuating your shape’s “best” features (I’ll put that in quotations for us!:-)).
The Pear Shape
Not sure what your body type is? Calculate your body shape here. Are you pear? Great! Then you can learn more about the guidelines that I’ve created for you. First of all, a pear body shape is when your hips have a larger measurement than your bust. Typically, pear shapes have a small waist and slender back and shoulders. Most of these suggestions discuss how to achieve balance by highlighting the top half of your body, while minimizing your butt and thighs.
Right up front, I will tell you that I do not wear scarves, although I know many who are scarf-lovers. This was just a suggestion (you’ll see why I recommend it), and I have to say that it’s just not my style! Of course, if there is anything on this list of guidelines that you just straight out don’t like, please, PLEASE don’t take it to heart. Just don’t wear it! Simple as that…take it with a grain of salt!
I also want to say that as I wrote this blog post, I realized that I had most of these items in my closet already. So even without knowing what to wear for my body shape, I could look in the mirror and tell what I thought looked best. I started off the day wearing a kimono sleeve dress with a statement necklace and a belt around the waist. You will learn more about why this is perfect for a pear body shape! I can say the same for some of my friends who are apple-shaped or ruler-shaped; their closet reflects their body shape already too. So maybe this will teach you something new to try, or maybe it will reaffirm what you have already been wearing!
- Wear Tops That Draw the Eye
- Look for Structured Shoulders in Tops
- Try Puffy Sleeved and Ruffled Tops
- Off-the-Shoulder or One Shoulder Tops Highlight Your Sexy Shoulders
- A Boatneck Top is Best
- Layer Your Outfit With Cardigans, Shawls, and Jackets
Remember that we are highlighting and broadening your upper body by what we wear on top. This is key to being able to achieve balance between your upper and lower half. First, wear shirts in vibrant colors, eye-catching prints, as well as tops with intricate details and embellishments. This draws the eye upward to your torso. I actually wrote about using bright colors and prints on top here.
Off-the-shoulder and one-shoulder tops put the emphasis on your shapely shoulders. If you want to learn 6 different ways to wear one-shoulder tops, I just wrote a blog post about it this month (Here you go!). Structured shoulders (possibly shoulder pads), puffy sleeved and ruffled tops, boatneck shirts, and layering all serve to create more volume or broadness on the top of your body. Here are some of my favorite ruffled styles for summer! One quick tip about the length of your tops, cardigans, shawls, and jackets; make sure that the length does not hit at the widest part of your hips. This will make your hips appear larger. Here are some current styles in stores that I thought you might like! Click the links below to shop. 🙂
- Gabrielle Union Collection Off-the-Shoulder Sweater Tank Top (New York & Company)
- Free People Off-the-Shoulder Bell Sleeve Top (Macy’s)
- Ruffled Cold-Shoulder Poplin Shirt (New York & Company)
- Ruffled Poplin One-Shoulder Shirt (New York & Company)
- INC International Concepts One-Shoulder Top (Macy’s)
- Striped Wrap Blouse (Ann Taylor Loft)
- Blossom Bar Back Clean Tee (Ann Taylor Loft)
- Charter Club Cashmere Ombre Wrap (Macy’s)
- Summer Kimono Jacket (Ann Taylor Loft)
- 7th Avenue Open Front Jacket (New York & Company)
- A-Line Skirts Will Be Your New Best Friend!
- Bootcut and Flared Pants For the Win
- Straight Legs Are Close Behind (No Tapering, Please)
I already love A-line skirts so much, and now it makes sense why I like to wear them all of the time. An A-line skirt is a skirt that is form-fitting at the waist and flows outward to just below the knee or lower. Did you read about how I style my midi skirts? The skirt featured in my previous blog post was also a midi skirt (between knee and ankle) but also A-line (its silhouette). This skirt works well for a pear body shape, because it follows the natural curve of your body outward. They can be worn in a more retro or modern way, depending on your personal style.
Bootcut and flared pants and jeans will both balance out your hips with your lower leg. I often have trouble finding pants that fit at both my thighs/butt and waist areas. Make sure they fit your thighs and butt comfortably first without being too tight. You can always get a belt if you need one for your pants. I have really liked the “Curvy Fit” jeans that I’ve tried on from various stores. These jeans seem to help solve the waist/butt issue. In addition, you can wear straight leg jeans, but you might want to make sure that you find a pair that is more relaxed on your thighs and calves. If it tapers down from your hips to your legs (like skinny jeans), it can make you look wider and a little bit stubby. Just so you know, I do wear skinny jeans, so I don’t follow this advice all of the time! Like I said, they are guidelines. You make up your own rules. See my picks for bottoms below!
- 7th Avenue Paperbag-Waist Skirt (New York & Company)
- 7th Avenue Paperbag-Waist Full Skirt (New York & Company)
- Soho Jeans Curvy Bootcut (New York & Company)
- INC International Concepts Curvy-Fit Embroidered Flare Jeans (Macy’s)
- Curvy Frayed Cuff Straight Leg Jeans (Ann Taylor Loft)
- A-line Style Dresses Too!
- Wrap Dresses Flatter Your Slender Waist
In my closet, you will find that the majority of my dresses are A-line. This means the same thing as an A-line skirt…it starts at your waist and flows outward. Fun fact: A-line dresses are flattering for everyone’s body type (read more here). Also, shirt dresses, wrap dresses, and dresses with a tie-waist are also ultra flattering, because they draw attention to your tiny waist and then grazes past your lower half. There’s so many of them in stores, and you can transition them easily from summer to fall!
- Eva Mendes Collection Jacquard Del Mar Dress (New York & Company)
- Alfani Knit Handkerchief-Hem Dress (Macy’s)
- 7th Avenue Maxi Wrap Poplin Dress (New York & Company)
- NY Collection Striped Shirtdress (Macy’s)
- Striped Off-the-Shoulder Shirtdress (Ann Taylor Loft)
Outerwear and Accessories
- Wear a Scarf to Balance Your Torso
- Statement Necklaces and Earrings
- Belt Your Waist
- Wear a Cropped or Trapeze Jacket
- Choose a Jacket With Structured Shoulders
- Wear a Longer Jacket (Past Hips)
Again, the point of the scarf, statement necklaces, and earrings is to draw your eye to your upper half. The scarf creates volume to your torso. You can draw attention to your waist with a belt. This also helps to define a waist for more flowy tops and dresses. The idea behind the various jackets is to select one with the right length. If it hits you at the widest part of your body (hips), you may look…well…wide. The idea of a human bell comes to mind. I love a good, long trench coat, but also have several cropped denim and faux-leather jackets. Here are some top picks.
- Floral Striped Scarf (Ann Taylor Loft)
- Tassel Statement Earrings (Ann Taylor Loft)
- Circular Link Statement Necklace (New York & Company)
- INC International Concepts Distressed Hook-Front Stretch Belt (Macy’s)
- Betsey Johnson Multi-Stone Rainbow Bow-Tie Statement Necklace (Macy’s)
- Gabrielle Union Collection Long Floral Kimono Jacket (New York & Company)
- Gabrielle Union Collection Piped Trench Coat (New York & Company)
- Embroidered Open Front Jacket (New York & Company)
- Swing Jacket (Ann Taylor Loft)
Hopefully, after reading all of this, you are feeling pretty good about the best styles for the pear body shape. There are plenty of other styles that look great with this body shape…too many to include! If you didn’t see your favorite style on the list, you do you and just wear it. Are there any styles that you already wear? Is there anything in these suggestions that you might try?
Until next time…