Update: there is a more recent post that updates these guidelines for 2007. 

The pear shape is common amongst women. Good news – it is easy to streamline and you have lots of options!  You’ll want to create the longest looking line with everything that you wear in order to balance the difference between the top and bottom part of your body.

Drawing attention upwards:

  • Always wear slim fitting tops, sweaters, cardigans and button down shirts. Choose styles that define your waist and show off your torso – never opt for anything boxy.
  • Select styles with wide cuffs and bell sleeves. Choose embellishment, rushing, seaming detail, large collar/lapels and princess lines. This automatically balances out the wider bottom part of you by drawing attention upwards.
  • The length of your tops should always catch you on your hipbone. Avoid lengths that finish straight over your bottom. Avoid tops that stop just on or above your waist. This emphasizes your disproportionate top to bottom ratio.
  • LAYER your garments. The layers create a visual balance between the top and bottom half of your body
  • You are the girl that looks best in shirts, girly blouses, and jackets. You look fabulous in jackets and coats and your wardrobe should be plentiful of these!
  • Wear A-line wrap tops & dresses – they emphasize your upper body, and accentuate your feminine décolletage, while slimming down the wider part of you. Look for dresses that have top detail. Avoid sheath dresses at all costs.
  • Accessorize the top part of your body well eg. necklaces, specs, earrings, hair clips (but not all together!)

“De-emphasizing” the bottom and elongating your legs:

  • Keep your bottom choices plain and simple thereby saving all the visual interest for your tops.
  • Keep the hems of your pants wide, boot cut or flared. Pants that just skim along the contour of your thighs always work best and back pockets are essential. Simple rule:  the curvier your bottom, the longer and wider you’ll need to wear your pants and the higher you’ll need to wear your heel to balance out your silhouette.
  • Keep all your bottoms structured – no drawstrings, no front pleats and no elastic.
  • Keep the top front part of your pants free of detail .You do not want to attract attention to an area that is not your best. Side entry pockets are fine, and so is detail at the bottom of your pants e.g., turn ups, embroidery and slits. Stay away from combat pants or anything with cargo pockets on them.
  • If your pants fit you perfectly everywhere else but not on your waistline, have them altered.
  • A-line skirts are best. They should be knee-length or just below. Stay clear of bias-cut skirts and pencil skirts.
  • Wear pointy toe shoes with pants that are wide at the hem – this will make your legs look longer and slimmer.
  • Wear heels whenever you can as this will help your legs look longer and create balance. Wear enough heel height to elongate the vertical line you are trying to create. If you wear boots with  skirts, they should always be long and emphasize your slim ankle.

Enjoy your ultra-feminine body!