What to Wear if You're a Pear (Shape, that is)

Real Style on 03.17.11
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Photo: BodenUSA

Having a baby changes your body; for many of us, it means that our hips and thighs are never as slim as they were before we became mamas. It's a good trade off, but it can make getting dressed tough. If you find yourself carrying some extra weight on your bottom half, a few simple strategies can help you dress slimmer.

Dark colors on the bottom, light (or bright) colors on top: If you’re trying to camouflage a wider derriere, dark skirts and pants are your friend. Pair dark wash, mid-rise jeans with a bright sweater or tee or blouse; skip the white jeans and pastel skirts.

A-line skirts and dresses: An A-line shape (one that nips in at the waist and floats over your hips and thighs) is the most flattering for a pear shape, because it defines your waist and highlights your calves -- and hides those hips and thighs. This season, fuller skirts are back, and they’re perfect for mamas who are a little hippy.

Straight-leg trousers. I don’t mean skinny jeans; I mean pants that are the same width from the widest part of your hip to the hem. Trouser jeans are an excellent option if you carry your weight below the waist; that long; straight line slims your leg. There are some terrific wide-leg trousers available right now, which are great for pear shapes.

Tops with structure. To give your smaller upper half some shape and help balance your larger bottom half, look for tops and jackets that fill you out. Collared button down shirts are a good option -- they're a nice balance to a wider skirt or trouser jeans, and they can easily be dressed up or down. Because menswear is trendy right now, you can find a nice variety of banker-style shirts in pretty, feminine colors and prints. A structured jacket also works well for pear shapes, particularly in a stiffer fabric like leather or a substantial stretch cotton.

Is there anything that pear shapes should avoid? Oh yes.

Pencil skirts.  Don’t confuse a pear shape with an hourglass shape; unless you have the cleavage to balance out this slim silhouette, you’ll wind up looking bottom-heavy.

Tapered pants and shorts. Like the pencil skirt, tapered pants will put all the focus on your hips and thighs, creating an ice cream cone effect (where your legs are the cone and your backside is the ice cream).

Jeans with whispering across the thighs. Any pants with horizontal lines covering your hips and thighs will make your bottom half look wider. Stick with dark rinses, which also look more grown up.

Long cardigans and tunics. Keep the hemlines for cardis and tunics at the high hip. The temptation, when you have a larger backside, is to cover it, but a long sweater or tunic that hangs over your widest part does exactly the opposite.


More Style Ideas for Pear Shapes
Shapewear and Underwear Tips from Clinton and Stacy
What Fashions Work for Women with Curves
Pants and Skirts Trends for Spring