Fashion Friday: How to Dress a Pear

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about How to Dress an Apple. There was a lot of great discussion in the comments and someone requested that write a similar post on how to dress a pear, so here we are.

When I was at the CAbi Scoop, I sat in on a session where CAbi consultants were being taught how to fit clothes to different body shapes, and I just so happened to be in the one where they were fitting apples, although they called them diamond-shaped figures. I think I’d rather be compared to a diamond than an apple, so let’s go with that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay long enough to see what they call the pear-shaped figure, or how to dress one, so I’m going it on my own. This is not the body type that I happen to inhabit, so I’m going to need some help from you guys.

The pear, as you may know, usually carries her weight in her hips. She often has a slender upper body and tiny waist, so the idea is to highlight these features and create proportion to even out the discrepancy. As I said, I don’t have a lot of experience with this, so you guys will have to chime in, but here are a few things that seem to work.


Whereas I prefer pencil skirts and fitted silhouettes, a pear-shaped figure looks awesome in A-line shirts and dresses. Like how cute is this Athleta Printed Nectar Dress from Athleta? The way the sleeves and the shoulders are cut would add extra width to the shoulders and balance out the lower body, it hugs a small waist, and then the shirt leaves plenty of room for a wider hip area.

Athleta Printed Nectar Dress


Draw attention to your slender upper body with pretty accessories — an eye catching necklace or earrings or a unique scarf in a flattering color.

Dark Bottoms/Light Tops

It seems to me (y’all feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that wearing a darker color on the bottom and a lighter color on top may help even out the proportions since darker colors tend to be more slimming.

Accentuate the Waist

Add a belt.  Anything you can do to draw attention to your tiny waist, go for it! I always envy the girls who can tuck in their tops and wear belts.

It’s all about proportion.

Flutter sleeves look great on this body type, they help balance out the shoulders and hips.

And if you want to wear the skinny jean trend, go for it.  Just make sure to tuck them into chunky boots, which help offset the wider hips; and wear a flowy, tunic or dress on top – again, for proportion.

Dress a Pear Shaped Figure in Skinny Jeans
UGG, 7 For All Mankind


Chime in! Are you a pear? What tips and tricks can you share for dressing to flatter your figure?

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16 thoughts on “Fashion Friday: How to Dress a Pear

  1. I’m a pear all the way and I use ALL those tips! I also find jeans that dark wash jeans that have a slightly lighter wash down the middle of the front of the leg really slims your hips too.

  2. All your tips are right on (this coming from a pear)! I always like to adapt things to my body type, for example if I see a dress that doesn’t work for me (fits my top but not bottom), I can always create the same look with separates.

    It’s so empowering to learn what’s right for your body (and don’t let that limit you either).

  3. I’m a pear too and your tips are great. I’m really trying to embrace the skinny jean look – I have one pair and you are right, I do them with chunky boots or something eye catching both top and feet to draw away from my big hips!

  4. And I love that Nectar print… would it be totally stupid of me to order the same dress in a different print? B/c I’m thinking about it!

  5. The best friend of a pear is an a-line skirt to accentuate the waistline but doesn’t cling to the hips and thighs.
    Long cardigans with a tucked-in or belted shirt underneath.
    Leggings with a sweater dress that is busy on the top and smooth on the bottom.
    Scarves and jewellry around the face to draw the eye up.
    Accents or gathers on the shoulders to balance the hips.
    Dark wash jeans with a printed top.
    Buying dresses for a pear is tricky -if they fit on the top they are too tight on the bottom,. Look for a dress with some kind of seaming at the waist which allows for more fabric in the skirt – and go for an a-line here, too! There’s nothing cuter on a pear than a dress a deep V neckline with an a-line skirt.

  6. I am a pear that has morphed slightly more towards apple since having kids. I LOVE that tunic you chose from Nieman Marcus! Too bad it’s $165.

    1. I know, I just searched tunic on Shopstyle, and that one caught my eye. When I realized it was at Neiman’s I almost chose another but I love it so I put it up anyway. 🙂

  7. I’m a pear. 🙂 Tiny little shoulders and waist with a bohiney that should belong to someone else. I love A-Line skirts, belts, somewhat fitted tops. I wouldn’t wear the tunic just because I prefer to accentuate the positive. Your trips are great. I love CABI clothes too by the way!

  8. I’m a pear shape and follow most of these tips. I just bought the MOST KILLER bikini for pear shapes from Target. I posted pictures of myself in it on my blog b/c I was so stoked. People started arguing that I’m not a pear which is funny b/c “measurements” don’t lie…it was just that the bikini is so awesome and it’s modest for a bikini which I like! It has little ties at the side that narrow my hips and a lot of fabric and coverage on top that gives the illusion of a bust line. I’ve never felt so good in a swimsuit!

    Something to consider besides dressing for a pear shape is working out for a pear shape. For myself and my clients (I’m a trainer) who are also pears we focus on lifting really heavy with the top to try and “cap” the shoulders a bit and widen the lats a bit. This gives the illusion of more proportion and well defined shoulders look AMAZING in halter A-line dresses. Then on the bottom we tend to work to build functional muscle strength but avoid much hypertrophy (increasing muscle size).

  9. I am def a pear, thanks genetics! Got the hips and thighs from my mom and grandmother, God rest their souls.
    I do alot of the things listed here, but another I do is to draw the attention up to the neck. I like to wear scarves, ruffled necks, long medallion necklaces, anything V-neck. My face tends to be rounder too, and using the v-necks and anything to pull the eye down. I always try to button my jacket or sweater or wear a belt as my waist and lower ribcage are the smallest parts of me!
    Letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be

  10. You know what’s so sad is that before kids I was a pear shape and hated it. Then I had kids and now I’m an apple. You know I wish now i was a pear shape. The grass is always greener right?

  11. I’m a pear too and your tips are right on. I find I can wear pencil skirts as long as the hem ends right around the knee, and the skirt goes around the widest point in my hips, and then falls straight down from there. If it clings to my hips, then it makes my hips look huge (oh wait, they ARE huge!) The same goes for pants which is why trouser-style pants look good. It’s very hard for me to find flattering skinny jeans so I can’t partake in that trend!

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