09 December, 2010

Body shapes: Pear

Alongside with the rectangular shapes, the pear body shapes are what I stumble the most upon. The uttermost basic classification of a pear shape, is that they have wider (lower)hips than shoulders. This in turn means that the pear stores most of her weight on the lower part on her body. Their upper bodies are a lot more slender than their lower body, and they may, or may not, have a defined waist, and the lower body is shorter in length. Usually, their breasts are small in size (since breasts consist of fat), which results in a bony chest if you are skinny, and their shoulders are narrow. Whereas some pears may store fat in the lower areas of the belly, most of it goes "straight to the thighs". Also, many pears have saddlebags and/or a big bum, and chunky calves with little definition are indeed common.

The pear shape is usually the easiest to recognize. However, if you don't know whether your breasts would be classified as small or big, whether your bum is flat or round, or perhaps where you tend to put on weight, take a look at yourself in skintight clothes with your arms down, in front of a full-length mirror. Now, are your shoulders (measured from the shoulder bone rather than the upper arm) smaller than your hips (the widest part of your lower body, usually across the bum)? Are your hips wider than your midsection? If you answered "yes" to these two questions, then you are most likely a pear.

Some famous pears: Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shakira, Kirstie Alley, Kristin Davis

To sum the shape definitions up before we proceed:
  • Lower body are wider
  • Tends to need a larger size in pants and skirts than tops
  • Often chunky calves
  • Small breasts
  • Narrow shoulders
  • May or may not have a defined waist
  • Stores fat in the lower body
  • Saddlebags are common
  • May have a big or a slightly drooping bum
  • Longer upper body
What to wear (and what to avoid)
Make the body appear in proportion. Make the lower body appear smaller, and put an emphasis on the upper body.

  • Choose darker colors on the lower body, and go for lighter and brighter colors, patterns and details on the upper body
  • Avoid details on your lower body, especially around the hips and bum. Avoid horizontal seams across your hips
  • Avoid side pockets, and back pockets if your bum is big. Choose a slit version instead, or no pockets at all
  • Carry your bags high. That is, keep them above your lower body. If the straps on the bag are long, make them shorter by adding new holes
  • Go for tops and jackets that visually broaden your shoulders and draw the attention. Think shoulder pads, wide and high necklines, an eye-catching collar, horizontal seaming, spaghetti-straps, double breasted jackets, patterns and other details
  • 3/4-lenght sleeves are great as they accomodate in drawing the eye towards the upper body
  • You have a slender upper body - show it off! Hiding in boxy tops that fall straight from your shoulders to your hips will only make you appear heavier than you are
  • Jackets should end at the hip-bone, coats should be knee-lenght
  • Make sure tops end at the hip bone (not the widest part of the hip!) or mid-thigh. If your thighs are heavy, you are better off with shorter tops than those that cut across your thighs
  • Avoid capris and anything that is calf or ankle lenght
  • The best skirt and dress length is an inch below or below the knee. Minis or calf-lenght are not for you. Avoid pencil skirts and bias-cut. Wide skirts such as an a-line would be your best bet
  • Patterns on skirts are usually a no-no for the pear shape, but it often works when the pattern is busy with very little negative space (the "holes" between the pattern which reveal the underlying color of the skirt)
  • Grecian, empire-line dresses with a high, wide neckline works great. Avoid skin tight dresses as they reveal any lump and bump
  • Go for bootcut, flare or wide jeans and pants rather than straight and skinny leg
  • When choosing jeans, avoid stonewashed or distressed variants, especially those with whiskering on the thighs. Go for a darker wash instead
  • Your best shoes are knee-lenght boots or as open shoes as possible. Avoid ankle boots and ankle straps, as they will make your calves appear thicker. If you wish to wear ankle boots, make sure your pants or jeans hide them as much as possible, or if wearing with a skirt/dress; make sure it blends color-wise with your thights (which again should blend with the skirt)
  • Go for heavy and chunky heels, such as a straight cone/square shape or a wedge. Platforms are great. Kitten heels and thin stilettos are not for you, nor are completely flat shoes
  • You wish to visually lenghten your lower body as it is shorter than your upper body. Wearing heels with pants that gently sweep the floor and disguise the heel works wonders. High-waisted skirts or pants are also a nice bet. Make sure your shoes never are lighter or brighter than your pants/skirt. If you don't wear tights to a skirt or a dress, choose a shoe in the same color as the dress/skirt or the color of your skin

Examples of flattering outfits for a pear shape:

Examples of UNflattering outfits for a pear shape:

If you have ANY questions, feel free to leave a comment!


  1. i'm a pear and i used to believe that i shouldn't wear straight skirts or cropped pants. i used to only wear a-line dress and skirts. i no longer follow this logic.

    i'm 5.1" and wear smaller (us) sizes but i have curve. i don't believe women should run away from curves. a woman who is a pear can wear a pencil skirt or a straight dress. they show off the curve of the body. the dress/skirt just shouldn't be too tight.

    i agree about pockets on pants however.

    i wear cropped pants all the time - today in fact. i could care less if they cut me off. i'm short and that's just frickin life. i'm not going to put those pants off limits because of my height. now, there are certain cuts of cropped pants i don't care for...

  2. Thank You! I was just about to use one of the No looks when I added new items this spring. Phew! Saved. It will also help me clean out my winter closet.

  3. Thanks for sharing the info, keep up the good work going.... I really enjoyed exploring your site. good resource...
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  4. thanks for the tips, I have a short yet pear body shape, I feel like nothing will looks good if I wear it,