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How to Dress a Pear Shape

Updated on June 25, 2013
Pear shapes have hips and thighs wider than their shoulder and bustline.
Pear shapes have hips and thighs wider than their shoulder and bustline. | Source

20% of the Female Population is Pear-Shaped

A lot of women who are pear-shaped have issue dressing their body and feeling confident and sexy. They focus on what they perceive to be the negatives – an ample badonka donk, curvy hips and for some women heavier thighs. I prefer the much more flattering term of “Guitar Body.”

If you have defined waist and your hips are wider than your shoulders and larger than your bust, then you are a pear shape.

The first step in feeling confident and sexy is BELIEIVING you are sexy. And Honey, you ARE sexy. After all a pear shape is just an hourglass with a little more time on the hips.

The following are tips, or suggestions, to make the most of your guitar body.

If you got it, flaunt it!

As an inverted triangle ( some people refer to pear-shape as triangle shape), I am a little envious of the guitar or pear’s narrow shoulder, tiny waist and womanly hips. (I am literally hipless.) I believe in showing of that tiny waist and lovely hips.

To emphasize your tiny waist and rounded hips I present to you the pencil skirt. Oh, I hear the nay saying already! Don’t listen to that dear; don’t listen.

Try a neutral or dark pencil skirt with a light or brightly colored lose blouse.

Option A

Try a neutral pencil skirt with a brightly colored kimono style blouse. This works well on both small pears and plus-size pears.

Option B

Same pencil skirt but this time pair it with a soft, gauzy peasant top, tucked in and some lovely natural jewelry such as stones, feathers, or wood beads.

Option C

For winter wear you dark pencil skirt with a chunky knit sweater, dark tights and t-strap or Mary Jane pumps in suede.

Option D

For a plus sized pear try a soft jersey knit camisole and a long shawl collared belted sweater also with tight and pumps or knee high boots.

The Kimono top and ruched pencil skirt is from Kiyonna and the sweater can be found at Gilt.
The Kimono top and ruched pencil skirt is from Kiyonna and the sweater can be found at Gilt. | Source

Create Balance

Ok, maybe a hip accentuating pencil skirt is not in your comfort zone. I get it. Pants are not in my comfort zone. I would no more try to force you into a pencil skirt than make myself wear pants.

Option A – The full circle skirt.

You know what they beauty of a full circle skirt is? No one can tell how wide or narrow you hips are and that tiny waist of yours is going to look even teenier. Remember, the fuller the skirt the small the waist!

Wear your full circle skirt in summer with a cute little cropped corset top and ballet flats, or a fitted tee and sandals, oxford loafers or even sneakers. Change your shoes and accessories for a Summery evening out.

Also look for sundresses with full skirts. It you are also narrow in the shoulder you can go for spaghetti straps or ruffles at the bust. If you are broad shoulders, look for halter styles or sweetheart necklines.

Option B – A-line Skirts

A-line skirts can be dressy or casual and are easy to incorporate with the pieces that are already in your wardrobe.

Skirting the Issue

You can strike the perfect balance in this striped knit tee and bright pink skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing or be A+ in this wide striped A-line form Dolce & Gabbana
You can strike the perfect balance in this striped knit tee and bright pink skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing or be A+ in this wide striped A-line form Dolce & Gabbana | Source

Ruching Make Perfect

Be stunning in this lovely ruched dress from Kiyonna.
Be stunning in this lovely ruched dress from Kiyonna. | Source


So many guitar bodies have told me, “I can’t wear a dress.” Are you serious? Hunny, you can not only wear a dress, you can rock a dress. The same ideas that apply to skirts apply to dresses. Look for wiggle dresses to show of your curves, or full-skirted and a line dresses to balance your figure.

If you have additional “problem” area like a jiggley tummy or “bingo wing” arms look for dresses that create optical illusions. Look for ruching in the tummy area. People (and by people, I mean you because honestly you are the only obsessing about it) will not know what’s folds in the fabric and what’s extra tummy. If you don’t know what ruching is (pronounced Roo Shing) it is a sewing technique that gathers the fabric up in forming ruffles or pleats.

Perfect Prints

When going for prints use a large print on your lower have like this bold floral. It takes very few of thse large flowers to cover your hips.
When going for prints use a large print on your lower have like this bold floral. It takes very few of thse large flowers to cover your hips. | Source

Quick Tips

  1. Create balance - looser tops and more fitted bottoms
  2. Don't be afraid of color.
  3. Don't be afraid of prints; just pick the right size.
  4. Pencil skirts, A-Lines and Full circle skirts are all wearable on pears.
  5. Be confident!

Let's Talk About Prints

Have you been told you shouldn’t wear prints?
Are you afraid of prints? Don’t consign yourself to nothing but solid color you
whole life. You CAN wear prints – leopard print, stripes, geometrics, floral, polka dots – whatever you like. It’s all
about proportion. If you are wearing a print on your lower half than go for
larger prints. Big blooms, large diagonal stripes, bold geometrics are going to
fool the eye. It takes less larger prints to cover the area than it does smaller
prints. Leave the micro dots and dainty florals for your tops and go big and
bold on the bottom

Color Me Gorgeous

You can wear color. I don’t just mean colored tops and by color I don’t mean only black. If you do prefer darker colors on your lower half, think beyond basic black and add Navy, dark grey and brown into your neutrals. Try jewel tones like emerald, the color of the year, amethyst, sapphire, ruby, and garnet.

Be brave and try bright fun colors like orange, rust, hot pink, bright blue, and yellow.

Just Have Fun

Fashion is supposed to be fun. If you aren’t having fun you aren’t doing it right. Find the things you love, wear the clothes that make you happy and don’t give a flying fashionista what other people think. I think you look cool.

More Fashion Inspiration

If you are still feeling a little unsure, look to pear-shaped fashion icons such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles, Rhianna, Mischa Barton, Kate Hudson, Amanda Peet, and Eva Longoria for style inspiration.


Submit a Comment
  • Tess45 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from South Carolina

    I have the opposite - big boobs/upper body. Fitting dresses is tricky and being able to make a alterations helps. Dresses with full skirts should enable you to fit your smaller bust and waist while allowing ample room for your hips. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • natural holistic profile image

    D. Lemaire 

    5 years ago from Arizona

    Interesting, being a pear shape myself it's always difficult to find a dress since my upper body size is a size 4 and my lower body sometimes 4 or 6. I like your term guitar body, it does sound nicer than pear shape! haha

  • Tess45 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from South Carolina

    That is basically what I said in the beginning. Not all women have your body confidence and are looking for advice on how to balance their shape. A pencil skirt doesn't hide the pear calls attention to it. Are you sure you read the article and didn't just skim it? I have a section subtitled - "If you got it, flaunt it!" I offered advice for both flaunting your tiny waist and curvy hips as well as creating more of an hourglass shape, which many women desire. I encourage all women to be proud of their shape, whatever it may be. Thank you for your comment.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Hi Tess, I agree with your article, these are practical standard rules of dressing a pear shaped body but don't forget that style or rather any body shape 'dress up' is all about personality. I am pear shaped and I choose to accentuate the very part of the body, Pear shaped body are advised to hide in dark colours or pencil shape. I totally agree with you on creating a balance but what if I don't want to create a balance? what if I am willing to flaunt this body shape I have been endowed with, like Beyonce, J-Lo, Alicia Keys who fall into this category yet they chose to flaunt theirs. They made pear shape sexy because of their profession, mentality and personality. I believe dressing any body shape is all about expression of personality irrespective of the shape. Just a thought.


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