by Joanna Davis
Pear shaped bodies are similar to hourglass shaped bodies except they are proportionately wider in the hips with a much smaller bust or shoulder width.
Some women just naturally gain more weight around the hips, thighs and buttocks than they do up top. Also, women from certain backgrounds are more likely to be born with wide hips, but don't always go on to develop large breasts. In any case, the pear shape is a common and naturally occuring body shape. As with other body shapes, there are certain things you can do to make a pear shaped body look its best!
While pear shapes do typically have some nice curves with the waist as the narrowest point, the trick with this body shape is to try and minimise the hips as much as possible and give some more weight and emphasis to the shoulder and bust areas, just to balance things out a bit.
Wearing fitted, broad shouldered breast jackets can help to add some weight to your shoulders without losing your waistline curves. For a look that is especially chic, you could wear a fitted trench coat with a built-in waist height belt to really broaden the shoulders and draw attention to the central waist.
Horizontal lines like a smock top or an emperor line dress can really emphasise your bust and create a widened appearance of your chest and shoulders. Shoulder pads and shirts with extra flaps or buttons in the shoulders can also be a good technique to bring out your shoulders. However, don’t go crazy or you will look like you’re coming back from an 80’s fashion convention. Visible but imperceptible is always a good bet. Also, remember to draw attention to the narrowest point of your upper body - your waist! Wearing a skirt with a high waistline, or sporting a funky belt or scarf around the midsection is a great way to draw attention to your narrowest point and emphasise your curves.
A wide horizontal cut like a Bardot-style neckline, a wide scoop or a wide off the shoulder cut will draw attention to your shoulders. Extra material across the chest like a gypsy cut or a puffed sleeve can also have a very positive effect on your overall frame.
In cooler weather, wraps and scarves might also have a widening effect when worn to cover the shoulders, as it does in our turquoise & white floral print dress. Avoid hanging scarves or deep v-neck tops or any other cuts that create central vertical lines, as these will create a narrowing effect. When wearing something long sleeved, go for arms that have some extra body or a different colour to accentuate the arms. Line cuts are best for tops and dresses. This style will flow evenly over the trouble areas and help to conceal them. Saying that, try to avoid spaghetti strap dresses as sometimes these can have a dampening effect on the bustline.
When choosing pants, try to stick to darker colours to minimise the hips and thighs. This is especially effective if combined with a light coloured voluminous top.
Avoid tapered designs that exaggerate your hips; instead, choose designs like our simple black trousers that flow evenly from the hips downwards with a slight widening at the bottom. If your top is a little bit smaller than your bottom, try slipping your waistline down a bit to lengthen the effect of your torso. Balance this against the effect on your waistline - the eye will naturally be drawn to this area and you don’t want to end up with a wide point on the hips.
A nice pair of heels can help to lengthen the legs, but its better not to go too high or too slim with the heels or you will look like a spinning top! Broad and solid designs work best, as do those which balance your body's width while adding height to your appearance.