In creating a versatile wardrobe, it is useful to include a few different dress styles. When you are much smaller on the top half than the bottom (aka pear shaped), it can be difficult to find a dress that fits and flatters. The following tips are aimed at helping pear shaped women look fabulous.
Style & cut
In general, you want to think slim-fitting on top and fuller on the bottom half. So look for fit and flare style dresses. Combine fitted bodices with A-line, tulip, bell, or fifties style full skirts. The best shape is dependent on your height and build. Typically the taller and thinner you are, the fuller the skirt you can carry without looking bulky overall.
Avoid bias-cut dresses, because these will cling to every lump and bump on your bottom half. Also, steer clear of shift dresses, dropped waist dresses, and anything loose on the top half.
When it comes to the neckline, look for dress styles that feature wide, shallow necklines. Examples of this are Sabrina necklines, boat necks, and crewnecks. Alternatively, try a shirt dress with a wide collar and lapels that can help add visual width to your bust.
A full sleeve like a puff sleeve will help to add volume to your narrow shoulders. Or try a cap sleeve which can make the upper body look wider in general. Avoid raglan sleeves, because these minimize the shoulder line. Also steer clear of shoestring strap dresses, because they can highlight the difference between your bust and hips in a more glaring way.
It is typically best to choose a dress that has a hemline that hangs below the knee. The idea is that this will draw more focus to your ankles, rather than your thighs.
Color & print
Color block dress styles that have light or bright colored bodice sections, but plain dark skirts are very flattering on the pear-shaped woman. Avoid anything shiny on the bottom half. Or choose dresses in one block color that is dark. The only flattering pattern on the lower body is a vertical pinstripe, but feel free to wear print on the top half of your body.
When it comes to the bottom half, look for a substantial fabric, rather than a thin, flimsy fabric that will highlight your fuller region. Also, avoid lightweight stretch jersey fabrics on the bottom half. Structured fabrics like denim or thicker cotton can work well. Combination fabric dresses that have a jersey bodice and woven skirt are ideal because they cling in your smaller region, but drape in the fuller.
Decoration & details
Keep decoration and details confined to the top half of the dress. The bottom half should be simple and fuss-free because you don’t want to draw the eye to this region. You can draw the eye to your smaller areas such as your shoulders bust and waist in various ways. Try ruffles and frills, ruching, lace details, sequins, or beads. Dresses with built-in belts can help to highlight your waist, just make sure you wear them comfortably, rather than very tight. If you cinch the waist too much, you may draw attention to the width you have beneath.
Finally, remember that a padded push-up bra can help give you more volume at the chest and hence create more balance between your top and bottom half.