Pear Body Shape Guide

A pear-shape body is characterised by a heavier bottom and legs, with wide hips, a smaller waist, small bust and narrow shoulders. The goal of this body shape is to create a balance between the upper and lower body (if you are self-conscious of the proportions).  Clothes that elongate your legs and draw attention to your upper body work great for this shape, however there are no rules, so feel free to flaunt your curves.

This guide is for those with a pear, also know as a triangle body shape wishing to seek a balanced silhouette.

Figuring out your body shape

Everyone has a unique body profile, but most of us fall into one or two of the typical body shape profiles. It is totally normal to fall between 2-body types. Here is the common cross-overs for a pear shape:

  • Pear leaning towards an Apple, this is quite typical, and with age more weight gain around the stomach.
  • Pear moving towards a Bell shape with ageing and weight gain, the distribution of weight can be uneven and just head south, meaning your lower body becomes much wider.
Best styles for  Pear shape

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Best styles for a pear body shape

  • A-line skirts that flare at the bottom to skim the hips and make the legs appear thinner.
  • Shoulder pads (are not just reserved for the 80s) go for versions that are subtle, these offer some width across your upper body, this will balance the upper body with the hips and thighs and create an hourglass shape.
  • Tops that highlight your shoulders or have detailing around the neckline are great for pulling the eyes away from the lower body.
  • Bootcut or wide-leg trousers help elongate the legs.

Best styles of tops for the pear shape 

Styles of tops that flatter and balance pear shape / triangle bodies.

Tops which show off the shape of the upper body, without adding bulk to the arms and shoulders with slim-fitting sleeves balance the body. 3/4 length is also great and can be achieved by rolling up sleeves. Note: the most flattering neckline for those with a fuller bust is typically a scoop or V-neck.

Best type of neckline for the pear shape figure

Neckline of tops for the smaller upper  body of the pear shape / triangle bodies.

Tops which have wide necklines that emphasise the shoulders tend to be most flattering. Go for Off the shoulder tops, Square, Bateau, Cowl and Sabrina style necklines.

Note: the neckline of tops also applies to the neckline of dresses and jumpsuits.

Best styles of sleeves for a triangle body shape

Styles of sleeves on tops and jackets for pear shape / triangle bodies.

When it comes to sleeves on tops for a pear shape, the best styles tend to be a little bit extra… more volume, more flouncy, more shape, more ruffles, more material. Go for Puff sleeves, Draped and layered sleeves, Flutter sleeves, Bell sleeves and Batwing styles – whilst not featured above, you can also experiment with T-shirts that have padding in the shoulders too.

Just be mindful about throwing the proportions of the lower body off, consider matching the volume on the shoulders to the width of the hemline of your skirt or trousers. Think about creating and X shape with your overall silhouette, rather than an A-shape.

Best style of shorts for a small upper body and wide hips body shape

Styles of shorts for pear shape / triangle bodies.

The best style of shorts for a triangle figure include, but are not limited to Relaxed fit shorts, High-waisted tailored shorts, Form-fitting shorts, Structured shorts, and Tie-waistband fit and flare shorts. The key for shorts is to avoid low-rise versions that sit on the widest part of your hips as this will throw off your proportions – tight-fitting versions will make you look heavier on the thighs and create a bottom-heavy silhouette.

Best style of trousers and jeans for a pear body shape

Best styles of trousers for pear shape / triangle bodies.

The best style of trousers for the curvy lower body of the pear shape include high-waisted versions of straight cut and bootcut style of trousers, flared and wide leg trousers will help balance out the hips.

Best style of dresses for a triangle body shape

Flattering styles of dresses for pear shape / triangle women.

The best style of dresses for a triangle body shape include but are not limited to X-line dresses, Wrap dresses, Tulip styles, Off the shoulder empire line and A-Line

Best style of skirt for a pear shape body

Best style of skirts to balance out a pear shape body

The best style of skirts for a pear shaped figure include: High-waisted versions of all skirts (avoid low-slung skirts as this will widen the hips) styles include: Tulip skirts, Full-circle skirts, A-Line, Panelled and Bias-Cut.

For those leaning towards a bell figure (a shorter torso and longer legs) you may want to avoid high-waisted options as these will shorten the upper body. Opt for mid-rise options instead. *A guide on bell shape figures coming soon! 

Worst styles for a pear body shape 

Tight-fitting bottoms that accentuate the hips should be avoided if you don’t want to draw attention to them. 

Small barely there crop tops will also highlight you have a smaller upper body, in turn this emphasises that the lower body proportion is much larger than the top. You can easily avoid this by wearing tops with shoulder pads, big sleeves and ruffle details on the shoulder and sleeves . 

Tight and clingy styles, like body-con dresses and pencil skirts, will only accentuate the hips and a bigger bottom, great if you want to flaunt it, not so much if you’re self-conscious of weight gain.

Remember everything here is just a guide, and you should always wear what you love!

Clothing to avoid for a triangle-shaped body: 

  • Opt for trousers that give you a straight or wide-leg silhouette. Skinny and tapered styles can accentuate the contrast between your narrower upper body and wider hips, drawing more attention to the lower body.
  • High-waisted trousers and skirts that have excessive details around the hips and thighs: such as embellishments, pockets, or patterns. These details can draw attention to the widest part of your body and make it appear even larger.
  • Pencil skirts will highlight the curves of your lower body, which if worn with a halter neck top for example, can further emphasise the triangle shape.
  • Cropped tops or jackets that end at the hips can visually cut off your torso, making your lower body appear wider. Opt for tops and jackets that are longer and hit above or below the hips to create a more balanced silhouette.
  • If you’re conscious about the size of your lower body, horizontal stripes or big patterns can give the appearance of extra bulk, so stick to simple styles. solid and darker colours at the bottom.
  • Big ruffles, pleats and frills from the hips down will throw you off balance, unless you add the same to the shoulders and ensure you highlight the waist with a neutral belt.  I tend not to recommend these styles of clothes to pear shapes as it creates extreme bulk and can be trickier to pull off.

All body shapes are unique and everyone feels differently about the parts of their bodies they want to embrace, I recommend working with a stylist to explore the options you already have in your wardrobe, often a few styling tricks can make pieces more flattering and you can utilise more of your wardrobe.


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Sustainable clothing brands for a pear shape body

Despite the pear shape body being the most common shape for most women, it is not widely catered for. So exploring sustainable fashion brands and finding styles that work well for your individual body shape can be a bit more challenging. The body shape most widely catered for is the ruler (rectangle) which is more straight up and down, when we have curves we have to be more creative.

You might need to make alterations and customise your existing clothes to get the best possible outcome for your unique shape. Many made to order brands offer customisation of their pieces to ensure a perfect fit. I encourage you to look at what you already have and consider if you can upgrade your existing items by working with service based brands like The Reclaimery who will help you transform your existing clothes into something unique. Use RSL10 if you’d like to get 10% off!

Pear shape guide _ The Sustainable Stylist

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Can pear-shaped figures wear tight clothes?

You can wear whatever you want, but often when I style clients with a pear-shaped body they are conscious of clingy fabrics that can often make their curves look much larger. If you want to achieve symmetry whilst wearing a tight-fitting dress, pair it with something that offers a little structure and width to your shoulders to help balance out the upper body.  Also consider your hair style – and high pony will further enhance the triangle shape – big bouncy curls that add volume will add some balance.

An open shirt, denim jacket, bomber jacket or blazer can help offset wider hips without covering up your svelte upper body. Roll the sleeves up to show off your forearms, and keep the jacket and shirts unbuttoned. Consider wearing jackets draped on your shoulder as this adds extra width.

With the right styling tips we can of course make certain styles work better for us – it’s just a matter of knowing how to achieve these looks. I also offer virtual personal styling sessions, so I am able to work clients in different locations. If you need any help, consider booking a call to discuss how I can help.


Discover the best way to get started on your personal style journey     

Roberta Lee - The Sustainable Stylist sits in a chair laughing. She wears a hat and black blazer with cream skirt .

Famous pear-shaped celebrities

Famous celebrities that share this wonderful body shape include: Jlo, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Misha Barton. They have all embraced their shape and wear their clothes with confidence!

Pear body shape

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Pear body shape summary:

If you have a pear-shaped figure, your hips and thighs are wider than your bust and shoulders, you likely have small shapely breasts. A-line skirts, wide-leg pants, and boot-cut jeans can help balance out your lower boy.   Choose tops that draw attention to your shoulders, such as boatneck, off-the-shoulder, or v-neck tops. If you are self-conscious about your shape or carry extra weight, avoid low-rise skinny jeans, clingy fabrics, and tops that are small, cropped and tight as these draw attention the the fact your upper body is smaller than your lower body.

Variations of the pear shape body include:

The pear shape figure can vary and there are some other shapes that might fit your description better, the variations include the bell.

The Bell body shape

The Bell body shape, is a variation of the pear body shape. It is characterised by having narrower shoulders and a short torso and smaller bust, heaver set hips, legs and bottom. The upper body is much smaller than the lower body a distinct bell-like silhouette. The hips and thighs are the widest part of the body, the legs can also be quite long – finding clothes (like dresses and jumpsuits) to fit your leg length and torso might be a challenge. You may take petite sizes up top and standard sizing below. It is not uncommon for a bell to wear a size 10 top (in petite) and a size 14/16 on the bottom (standard fit).


Discover the best way to get started on your personal style journey     

Roberta Lee - The Sustainable Stylist sits in a chair laughing. She wears a hat and black blazer with cream skirt .

Do you think that you’re a pear shape? Let me know. Is there any triangle shape styling guidance that you ignore as it just doesn’t work for you? Don’t forget that I offer virtual styling support via video call so you can book me to help you no matter where you live!

Body shape series

Other blogs in the body shape series include:

What body shape am I?
How to measure your body accurately
How to dress a Hourglass Body Shape

Coming soon: How to dress an Inverted Triangle (T-shape, V-shape, Athletic) Body Shape

Coming soon: How to dress a Ruler (Rectangle, Athletic) Body Shape

Coming soon: How to dress an Apple (The O, Oval) Body Shape

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