Do you have pear shape?  If you are wondering what pear body shape should wear, you have come to the right place! Today we’ll talk about the best pear shape body outfits, a lot of which are inspired by celebrities with pear shaped body.

First, I have a Youtube video to help you determine your body type, followed by a simple quiz.

If you are still not exactly sure if you are a petite pear shape, take a look at these petite celebrities with pear shape.

petite dress pants
Rachel Bilson (Shutterstock)

Hollywood actress Rachel Bilson (5’2″) and famous singer Shakira (5’2″) are the most typical pear shaped body celebrities.  Although many celeb magazines think Kim Kardashian (5’3″) has hourglass figure,  she actually has certain characteristics of the pear shape such as prominent hips and thighs.  Also, when Kim gains weight, it is most noticeable on her hips and thighs. 

petite cocktail dresses
Kim Kardashian, 5’3″ (Getty Images)

Another celebrity with pear shape is Kristin Davis (Charlotte in Sex and the City).  Remember the episode when the girls were in the steam room together?  Charlotte told Carrie “I hate my thighs!” Carrie responded “The problem is not with your thighs. It is with your head, sweetie!” Even though Kristin Davis is not petite, she is stating the truth that pear shaped women are quite commonly self conscious of their thighs.

At Petite Dressing, we believe each petite body type have their own unique treats and everyone has the potential to be attractive, as long as we use the right dressing techniques to enhance our assets.  First things first, let’s take a look at what is a pear shape.   If you have a pear shape, your body generally have the following characteristics:

  1. Your hips are larger than your bust, and your hips are wider than your shoulders. In many cases, your hips are the widest point of your body
  2. You have a nicely defined waist
  3. You have an elegant neck and proportionately slim arms and shoulders
  4. You first gain weight in your bottom and legs flowed by your tummy and upper body
  5. You have round, sloping shoulders.
  6. Your buttocks and thighs are full and round.
petite pear shape

Above are the typical features of petite body shape.  However, because human bodies have some many different variations, most likely not one body would fit into all features of one body type.  If you feel like you have some but not all of the traits above, it is possible you are a combination of pear shape and other body types.  Click on Petite Body Type to read more and take the quiz and find out what body type is closest to you.

Now that we talked  about how to define the pear shape,  let’s talk about how to dress the pear shape and look fabulous.  It may have become clear to you that the best asset is the well defined waistline, and you may even have killer abs.  When looking for the best pear shaped body clothes, your goal should be to create an hourglass like silhouette through:

  • Balancing your narrow/sloping shoulders
  • Drawing attention to your narrow waistline
  • Showing off your firm abs (if you have them)

Best Tops for Pear Shaped Body

1. Structured Top

So, how can we balance out the sloping shoulders of pear shape?  A fitted and structured top is a good choice.  Now, you may have heard the word “structured clothing” many times, but not really understand what it refers to.  It is just a fancy way of saying garments that are deliberately shaped and carefully tailored.

Fitted and structured tops look especially well on pear shape, because they create definition around your narrow shoulders and draw attention to your small waistline.  A good example is jackets with full or structured shoulders and a nipped-in waist in hip-length. For pear shaped women, light shoulder pads work the best to balance out your narrow top.

Generally speaking, a fitted and structured top is much more flattering to petite women than a loose and slouchy top, because the latter swamps the small frame of a short person.

2. Tops with horizontal neckline

Pear body shape should use neckline to visually expand your shoulders and create the illusion of a wider top. The most flattering neckline designs for pear shape are boat neck and off-the- shoulder. 

how to dress pear shape petite
Picture: Devinne, 5’1″ in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Chicagopetiteblog.com)

Both boat neck and off-the-shoulder create the horizontal line in shoulders, which serves to balance out your wide hips.

EILEEN FISHER Bateau Neck Windowpane Sweater, Main, color, BONE
Eileen Fisher petite $258
GIBSON Marilyn Off the Shoulder Sweater, Main, color, SEASALT
Gibson Petite $64
GIBSON x Living in Yellow Mary Fleece Off the Shoulder Top, Main, color, HEATHER GREY
Gibson Petite $54

3. Wrap Top

The slender waist is the valuable asset of women with pear shaped body. You should absolutely emphasize and make that the focal point of your outfit.  Wrap tops are top choices. 

how to dress pear shape petite
Picture: Faazreen, 5’2″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Instagram@simplyfaaz)

Alternative, add a belt to any basic tops,  tube tops, knit tops, sleeveless tops, etc. Blouses with built-in waist bands also serve the same purpose of highlighting your slender waist.

Best Skirts for Petite Pear Shape

A-line skirts that gently skim your body help to de-emphasize your bottom, and they are generally flattering to petite women of pear shape.

how to style pear shaped women
Picture: Fazzren, 5’1″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Instagram@simplyfaaz)

Should pear shape women wear tightly fitted pencil skirts?  That is totally up to you, because it all depends on how you look at your body and what you view as the assets of your body shape.  Kim Kardashian has very prominent hips and thighs, and she never shies away from flouncing those curves.  In fact, a cropped top with a high waisted skirt is one of Kim’s most famous signature looks.  If you decide to show off the curves of your bottom, then you have many choices when it comes to curve hugging skirts.  Just keep in mind that because of your height, pencil skirts of shorter length will create the illusion of longer legs.

On the other hand, some pear shape women are self conscious about their prominent thigh area (remember we mentioned earlier Charlotte in Sex and City was telling Carrie how she felt about her thighs?).  That is totally fine and understandable.  We all have areas of our bodies that we would like people to notice less about.  If that is you, look for lightly gathered skirts that skim your bottom without adding volume.  Simple, dark colored skirts with no (or minimal) pockets with a mid-rise or high rise waist will look great on you. For casual looks, choose relaxed fits that fall straight down from the widest part of your hip.

Aline skirts
JM Collection petite $25
skirts for pear shape
Alex Evenings Petite $79

Best Dresses for Pear Shaped Body

1. Empire waist line dresses

Best dresses for pear shaped body?  They should draw all the attention to your slender waist!  The empire waist line dress is the most ideal for pear shape petite women. The empire waist is a dress where the waist line is high, which is normally placed just below the bust line.

GAL MEETS GLAM COLLECTION Tegan Floral Print Tiered Midi Dress, Main, color, GREEN
Gal meets Glam Petite $188
petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $109

2. Fit and Flare Dresses

A skater dress (also known as fit and flare dress) with higher waistline is heaven sent for our pear shaped petite girls. The A shape of the dress will perfectly camourflage the heavy bottom of a pear shaped body. Skater dresses do not hug the curve of your bottom, thus they will draw people’s attention away from your butt and thighs.

pear shaped body outfit
Petite Dressing $103
fit and flare dress for short women
Petite Dressing $89

But again, if you decide to emphasize the curve of your bottom half, then you have many other choices of body conscious dresses that can draw attention to instead of away from the curves of your thighs and butt areas.  Your fashion icon?  Kim Kardashian (regardless if you like her as a reality star or not) shows your many examples of how to do so.  Just copy what you like about her looks, and ditch what you don’t.

3. Off the Shoulder Dresses

Notice how flattering this off the shoulder dress look on pear shaped Tamara?

pear shaped body
Picture: courtesy of our favorite blogger Tamara, 5’2″, pear shape (instagram@tamararose88)

The rationale is the same as the off-the-shoulder tops. Because the neckline creates a horizontal line, it balances out the narrow shoulder of pear shaped women. Better yet, off-the-shoulder also draws attention to your upper body, distracting from your wider hips.

Calvin Klein Petite $100
XSCAPE Petite Off-The-Shoulder Contrast Floral Dress
Xscape Petite $116
Calvin Klein Petite $100

Pear shape or not, the ideal dress length for petite women is normally a couple of inches above your knees.  That is the length to effectively make your legs look longer while still looking tasteful.  Of course you can always go shorter, if you are into a fun and flirty look.  Going longer is also ok as long as it is still at the knee.  A dress over the knee and reaching the mid calf area is called “midi dress”, which is a challenging length for petite women to handle.

That is not to say you should stay away from midi dresses altogether.  There is always a way to style it smartly and fit petite women nicely, if midi dresses are what really interest you.  The easiest way to prevent a midi dress from making your legs look cutting off is to go with a side or front slit.  Because you are showing some skin through the slit, it makes your legs look longer and compromise the effect of the midi length.  Wrap dresses at midi length is a perfect choice for petite women.  Another midi dress design that could flatter women of petite height is lace midi dress. The see through effect will make sure your legs won’t look cut off.

HALOGEN<SUP>®</SUP> Long Sleeve Wrap Dress, Main, color, BLACK STRIPE
Halogen Petite $99
HALOGEN<SUP>®</SUP> Wrap Dress, Main, color, NAVY- BLUE FLORAL
Halogen Petite
MAGGY LONDON Floral Print Charmeuse Midi Dress, Main, color, NAVY/ SEAFOAM
Maggy London Petite $148

Best Jeans and Pants for Petite Pear Shape

1. High waisted jeans

High waisted bottoms are flattering for petite women in general, because they make your legs look longer by elevating the waistline above your natural waist.  They are especially flattering for pear shape for a number of reasons.  Some pear shaped petite women have longer waist.  For instance, Rachel Bilson (5’2″) is one example of longer torso and shorter legs.  If you have similar body shape, then high waisted jeans or pants are your best friend. 

Additionally, if it is challenging for you to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t gape in the waist, a high waist jeans can solve the problem because the fabric is designed to cover more than just your backside.

pear body type styling tips
Picture: Devinne, 5’1″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Chicagopetiteblog.com),

2. Flare jeans

The best pear shaped body jeans don’t necessarily have to have lots of restrictions, and it is all about preferences.  If you happen to be one of the pear shaped petite women who are self conscious about the full thighs, then you should try flared jeans. 

petite flare jeans
Topshop Petite $75
 High Waist Flared Jeans for petite women
Topshop Petite $75

Flare aka bell jeans become wider from the knee’s down. When looking at the jeans from the front or back they have a ‘bell’  look to them.  Flared jeans creates extra volume below the knee, thus they will help balance you out.

3. Bootcut jeans

Boot cut Jeans will normally taper to the knee and then slightly flare out to accommodate a boot. This style of jeans became popular in the 1990’s, and have stayed a classic cut for denim since.

Bootcut Jeans In Petite,
NYDJ Petite $62
Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ Petite $109
Barbara Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ $109

Normally women’s boot cut jeans are no larger than 1 to 2 inches difference in circumferance from the knee to the leg opening although some manufacturers refer to a 3 to 4 inch difference as a boot cut.  Dark washed, boot-cut or trouser-cut jeans that fall straight down from the widest part of your hip are most flattering to the pear shaped body.

4. Dark wash jegging

If you want extra slimming effect, go for dark wash jegging.  Kim Kardashian (5’3″, curvy pear shape with hourglass traits), Rachel Bilson (5’2″, skinny petite pear) and Megan Fox (5’3″, skinny petite pear) all set good examples of how flattering a pair of dark jegging could look, especially paired with boots of various heights.