These Body Shape Style Tips are intended specifically for women who are feeling lost with their personal style and need some guidelines and boundaries to start with, until they find their confidence.
The best thing about fashion is that anything goes! You can pull off pretty much anything if it authentically suits your personality and you have the confidence to pull it off. However if you don’t, I have found that some of these style tips have helped my clients to start off by experimenting with new looks, leading eventually to greater confidence.
Pear Shape Body OR Ladies with Curvier Hips, Thighs and Bums
Usually pear shapes have a good upper body, long torsos and shorter lower limbs. They will be wider at the hips, bum or thighs compared to the shoulders when looking straight on in to a mirror. Pear shapes generally have a small waist and bust, flattish stomach, small sometimes rounded shoulders, and they usually dislike their legs, thighs, bum, hips and sometimes their stomach if it isn’t as flat as they would like.
Pear shapes often face style challenges when buying trousers as they struggle to find a pair that fit around the waist once going over the hips and thighs. They may also have the same issue with dresses, in that they can get them on over the head, but then the fabric won’t go over the hip and or thigh area.
When pear shapes put weight on, it usually goes straight on the thighs, legs, hips, bum and sometimes tummy. If you feel like your bottom half is quite curvy (very often also in the case of hourglasses and round figures) then reading about what to wear for pear shapes, can help you to identify tips and tricks that will work for you too.
Pear Shape Golden Rules
In general, you naturally have more weight on the lower half of your body, therefore to create the appearance of more balance you need to slim down the bottom half with darker block colours and minimal fuss in terms of pattern and style. For the upper body create balance by adding interest and volume with brighter colours, patterns, ruffles, frills, pockets, necklaces, shoulder detail and interesting necklines. Please note when I say ‘add volume’ this will not make you look larger, just more balanced.
Pear shapes can often have quite a small bust which can be boosted with plunge style bras, padded lingerie or chicken fillets which will instantly provide some oomph. Avoid balconnette style bras if you have a small bust as these tend to work better for fuller breasts. Pear shapes usually want to add volume, shape and fullness not lift and separate the bust like a balconnette bra does.
Avoid bulky bags that finish next to your hips, bum or thighs as you will just add extra width to that area and literally create ‘saddle bags’. The same goes for the length of tops, jackets and dresses because if they finish on the widest part of your body or lower half, they draw the eye across that area of the body width ways. Look at the widest parts of your lower body, which is usually on the hip area if you are pear shaped and try garments that finish above or below that line.
Point of Interest
Accessories really are a girl’s best friend no matter what shape she is but especially for pears, who in general want to draw the eye up and away from the lower body. Necklaces, earrings, hair accessories, make up, pendants, corsages are all great tools that can help to achieve this easily and quickly. An additional bonus is that accessories are a really cost-effective method of updating your look easily and adding a touch of personality to your outfit.
Experiment with colours, details, accessories and patterns on your upper body to draw the eye up and notice how this helps to balance your lower body. For less well endowed pear shapes, look for tops that have frills, pockets, embellishment or any other detail over the bust, which will make it look fuller. For women with quite rounded shoulders try tops and jackets that provide more structure such as shirts, jackets or tops with epaulettes on them which should help to give your upper body more definition.
Pear shapes or women with curvy hips quite often find it difficult to find trousers that fit well. If they fit well on the thigh and hip, they are huge on the waist; were as if they look like they will fit on the waist, they won’t come over the thighs. Very frustrating! The most important element of fit for a pear shape is that trousers fit nicely around the thighs and bum. In the past I have then suggested to clients that they then consult with a tailor who can adjust the trousers to fit well at the waistband. It costs only a few pounds to get your trousers altered and clients have loved the result.
Women sometimes have to accept that no matter what size or shape, they may at times have difficulty in getting clothes to fit perfectly when shopping on the high-street because no woman is an ‘average’ size. You just have to find ways of making it work for you, and a tailor is the perfect affordable solution. Yes it is a little more time and effort but no more than scouring the high-street looking for the perfect fitting trousers and becoming stressed and frustrated.
If fit on the waist, thighs and hips is an issue, take a good look at the fabric of the trousers or dress before you even begin the task of trying on in the changing room. This could save you lots of time and frustration. Pull fabrics gently to test the amount of give and stretch in them; the more the better. Fabrics mixed with elastane and viscose will work particularly well for pear shapes when looking for trousers, jeans and dresses as the stretch will help to overcome potential issues with fit.
A good fit is also important when it comes to the top half for a pear shape. If tops, jackets, shirts and cardigans are too big and baggy you hide your smaller waist and upper body; and in addition if the top is also long and finished near the widest part of your lower body, you could look a size larger and add pounds to your top half. Therefore it’s a good idea to wear well fitting tops, tailored jackets, shirts, that highlight your waist – a waistcoat as the name implies could be a great style for you. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear looser styles on top, as you may enjoy wearing them, but try to layer them with more fitted blazers, cardigans and jackets.
When wearing skirts or dresses with bare legs, patent heels in a colour that closely matches your skin tone are a must for all pear shapes or in fact for any woman who wants to give the illusion of slimmer, longer legs. Shoes that are a close match to your skin tone make it look like your legs go on and on and are a fabulous alternative to coloured shoes as they go with everything!
In winter, black patent shoes with black opaque tights are the most slimming option and look classic and stylish. If you have thicker legs then go for chunkier heels such as wedges and platforms which will help slim the ankle. Very thin stilettos and dainty shoes can look lost on a thicker set leg so bear this in mind.
Also consider the style of the shoe and what it does for the appearance of your legs, for example an ankle strap tends to cut the length of the leg up and with most pear shapes the idea is to lengthen the leg. If you are wearing lower heels try a pointier toe, as round toed shoes can make your legs look shorter and wider. For flats such as ballet pumps, don’t wear the really flimsy kind with little substance to them as they may look too twee. Instead look for a ballet pump with a more oval shape (rather than round) toe or select a square toe loafer revealing a lot of the upper part of the foot, which will help to slim the ankles and lower leg.
Dressing the Upper Body for Pear Shapes
Basically any interesting necklines should be flattering on pear shapes, which have the same effect as wearing a statement necklace as it draws the eye up. For smaller busted pear shapes, higher necklines may prove a better solution than plunging or low necklines as they will make the bust area appear fuller and this creates an hourglass-like balance with the lower body.
Tailored jackets nipped in at the waist with structure at the shoulders such as a blazer or Chanel-style jacket are a great wardrobe staple. Again watch out for length here! Something that finishes on the waist or just below on the top of the hip bone can be better as opposed to finishing on your hips and thighs.
Two tone dresses or outfits with lighter colours on the top and darker on the bottom will give you more balance as the lighter top half adds volume, whilst the darker bottom half slims and lengthens your lower body.
Slimming the Lower Body of a Pear Shape
Ensure you take note of the general styling tips in the previous chapter in regards to putting together well-balanced outfits to bear in mind when trying different styles of trousers.
As a starting point whilst you build confidence, to give the appearance of longer legs, trousers should be as long as possible so that they just sit on the top of the shoe. Never wear trousers with turn ups or a pair that is a little short as this will add width and weight to your legs. Keep colours darker and plainer on the bottom half and go for styles which hug the leg then flare out the bottom such as bootlegs, as this style provides balance with the hips and thighs. As stated before look for fabrics with plenty of stretch in them and avoid stiff, heavy, thick fabrics that crease easily as creases can add bulk to the area
Ensure trousers fit well on the waist and avoid hipsters as these can accentuate your long torso and shorter legs, giving a disproportionate appearance. Avoid trousers that have bulky pockets or lots of detail on the hips or bottom area as this may add unwanted bulk. Another trick to try with bootleg trousers is ironing a crease down the middle of the trousers which can lengthen and slim legs perfectly. It’s well worth getting the ironing board out for this!
For those with a long waist (as pears and hourglasses do) combined with a fairly flat stomach, try high-waisted trousers or jeans. For those who feel their tummy isn’t as flat as they’d like, go for a high-waisted skirt instead, especially if you have good lower legs to show off. A maxi dress where the skirt element starts high up on the rib cage (usually the slimmest area of your upper body) is another alternative to show off the slimness of the waist whilst lengthening the appearance of the legs. Wear with heels, platforms or wedges for extra height and a more lean appearance overall.
Get a Firmer Bum and Tum in Seconds!
Try control underwear to give the appearance of more toned and firm thighs and bum if you find it comfortable. It will provide a slimmer foundation for any skirts or trousers and pear shapes often say they feel more slim and secure, with better posture, which can help women to feel more confident.
Other Body Shapes that may be worth checking out: –
- Pear Shape (Main Challenge Area: Hips, Thighs and/or Legs)
- Apple Body Shape (Main Challenge Area: Bust and / or Upper Arms)
- Diamond Body Shape (Main Challenge Area: Tummy)
- Hourglass Body Shape (Main Challenge Area: Achieving balanced outfits)
- Column Body Shape (Main Challenge Area: Want to Look More Feminine)
Many women also have to deal with body shape challenges when it comes to proportion in terms of: –
- Plus Size Body (Main Challenge Area: Find it hard to Find Stylish Clothes and may want to Look Slimmer)
- Tall Women (Main Challenge: Find it difficult to get clothes to fit well in the arms and legs, and often avoid heels)
- Petite Women (Main Challenge: Find it hard to get clothes to fit well around the torso, shoulders and in terms in length. Can look drowned easily)