Dress for Your Shape: Pear Shape

Pear-shaped. J-Lo-shaped. Bottom-heavy. Junk in the trunk. Whatever you want to call it, more of your body weight is distributed around your hips, thighs, and tush. While dressing your curvaceous figure can seem daunting, with a few tips and tricks you can actually use it to your advantage (think of Joan Holloway’s amazing Mad Men wardrobe).

1. Balance it out
As with any body shape, you want to start by paying attention to balance and proportion. The proverbial “if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” does not mean you have to draw extra attention to your ample derriere. Avoid clothes that add even more volume – skirts with extra large pleats, ruffles, and giant prints will only magnify your hips. You do, however, want to draw the eye up and towards your face. Lace detailing, pretty prints, and eye-catching details around your neckline will keep the focus where it belongs.

2. Get to know your tailor
Because you have more to love on bottom, you want to keep things sleek and tailored below the waist. You may be tempted to hide in super-baggy pants or mu-mus, but that will only make your whole body seem saggy and shapeless. Stick to pencil skirts or A-lines that skim your curves (without drowning them in fabric or hugging them too tightly), and trouser-cut pants that balance the hips (just say no to a tapered leg!). If you need to go a size up to fit your hips when dress shopping, make sure the top could be easily taken in to fit your smaller frame.

3. Color is not your enemy
Black is great and all, but it isn’t your only option. Sure, you want to avoid giant neon flowers plastered across your backside, or fushia hot pants (ok, any hot pants), but colors are not your enemy. A navy or emerald green skirt can be great options for spring, and small patterns can be flattering, too.