Style Advice – The guide to body shapes
The pear body shape
To determine if you are a pear body shape, look at yourself in the mirror in your underwear. Stand with your legs together and your arms a bit away from your sides. Examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs.
Then compare yourself to the image and review the questions and characteristics below. We suggest you look at all the body shapes to find your closest match.
BODY SHAPE STYLE ADVICE
Carry weight on your hips or thighs?
Have narrower shoulders than hips?
Have a clearly defined waist?
Wear a larger size on your bottom half than your top?
YOUR BUILD IS CHARACTERISED BY:
Full hips or thighs, maybe saddle bags
A defined waist
Shoulders that are narrower than your hips
A small top half as well as small bust
OTHER BODY SHAPE TENDENCIES
If you have gained or lost weight many times your body shape can change into another one. Read below to see what other body shape tendencies you might have
You lean towards a full hourglass shape if your top half looks heavier because of a large bust
You can lean towards an apple if your weight gain generally goes onto your bust and tummy areas
GENERAL RULES FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE AND HOW TO CREATE VISUAL BALANCE:
You need to balance your top half with your lower half by wearing clothes that make your shoulders look broader.
Your jackets and tops need to finish either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom
Balance the top with your fuller bottom half. Layering on your top half creates visual interest and draws the eye upwards. Wear volume, clutter, pattern, colour on your top half, so hips and thighs will seem narrower
Wear fitted styles around your waist and always accentuate your waistline e.g. empire line, wraps, fitted lines
Make your shoulders look broader with e.g. shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, cap sleeve t-shirts, boleros
YOU SHOULD AVOID:
Narrowing leg, pleats or creases in your leg line, pinstripe suits, turn-ups in your trousers, wide or flared leg lines. Also avoid combat or cropped trousers or culottes
Details, patterns, pockets on your thigh and hip area and belts on your hips
Flared or ruffled sleeve lines, straight skirts or pencil skirts
Bags that sit on your hips
Ankle straps, kitten heels, delicate footwear, round toe shoes, ankle boots with straps around your calf area, Uggs
Mini skirts or any other hemline (including single or double vents in jackets) that finishes on your hips, thighs or any other full point of your leg
Dropped waistlines or dropped panels
Sloping or narrow shoulder lines
THE BODY SHAPES AND THEIR CLOTHING LINES
Every body shape has its own characteristics and silhouette, which needs to be addressed when choosing your clothes. The aim of choosing the right clothes is to balance your silhouette. You may not be able to follow all the fashion tends that are out there, but nowadays there are so many trends in fashion that there is something available for every body shape. So, don’t get sidetracked by falling in love with a style and look that doesn’t match your body shape:
NECKLINE FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Wider collar and lapels, in general you are quite flexible here if you don’t have a big bust or a short/wide neck. Great necklines are boat and bardot.
SLEEVES FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Cap, ¾ length, dropped, batman, puffed, wrist or above wrist are great for you. If you are small to medium busted, puffed and short sleeves will work as well.
TOPS & SHIRTS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Fitted shapes are a must e.g. wrap tops or empire lines; vests, waistcoats and stiff fabrics, straight yoke, breast pockets, big collars are great; whether patterned or horizontally striped; all shoulder enhancing shapes e.g. shoulder pads, big shawls, bolero, wide straps, boat neck.
JACKETS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Details, collars, pockets, single or double breasted, shoulder pads are excellent, but only on fitted shapes. Hoods, breast pockets, back yokes and back belts in the waist area look great.
COATS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Trench coats are fabulous; watch out for shoulder enhancing details, big lapels, wide collars, double breasted styles (great with empire shaped coats); fuss on top but simple from the waist down; choose fitted shapes e.g. belted coats.
DRESSES FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Choose empire or wrap dresses; separates work better.
SKIRTS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Straight tapered knee length or between the knee and mid calf; bias or skirts with flip are most flattering.
TROUSERS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Plain, flat-fronted, bootleg or flared (for long legs), full leg line or ankle length are best, simple style e.g. no belt loops, creases, pleats, pockets, pattern, turn ups.
JEANS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Dark bootcut denim is best.
SHOES FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Wear shoes with a medium to chunky heel; platforms or wedges are great; opt for long simple single coloured knee boots (neutral colours); a square, or pointed toe works well.
BAGS FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Clutch bags, shoulder bags that sit on your waist; choose chunky, fussy styles or looks with many details attached.
SWIMWEAR & BEACHWEAR FOR PEAR BODY SHAPE
Keep detailing above the waist. Be aware of high-cut styles that finish at your widest point. Separates work well, but keep the bottom simple and in one colour.
Learn about your body shape
Read our advice on what to wear for your body shape.
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