Best Dresses for the Pear Shaped Woman

One of my most popular posts has been “Dressing the Pear Shaped (over 50) Woman”. It’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, because I’m always on the struggle bus when it comes to putting together outfits and finding styles that flatter my extremely pear shaped figure. When I wrote the post, it was my heart’s desire that my creative ways of dressing my shape would inspire you to find styles that work with your body type. I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite dress styles in this post that I think are just perfect for my pear shape, and if you’re pear shaped like me, will be perfect or you as well. Read on!

(This is not a sponsored post, but does contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission when my readers click those links and shop, which helps to support my blog. I’m so thankful for each of you!) 


One of the most important things you can do when dressing your pear shape, is to try to showcase your best assets. Pear shaped figures tend to be smaller on the top, have narrow shoulders, possibly smaller bust, and a smaller waistline which is offset by larger hips, and in my case, larger thighs. I’m lucky that I have longer legs, so I try to employ the “column dressing” strategy as often as possible. Read more about column dressing for pear shapes HERE.

Best Dresses for Pear Shapes

Pintrest Pin - Orange Floral Swing Dess

So what dress styles are best for pear shaped figures? Here are a few of my favorite silhouettes.

  • Fit & flare or A-Line
  • Swing dresses
  • Modified empire waist
  • Maxi dresses

And here are a few examples of how I wear these silhouettes and how versatile these dresses can be for the pear shape.


Fit & Flare or A-Line Dresses

Michael Michael Kors Dress | Stitch Fix
Notice how that wide waistband visually tightens up my waistline. This style is one of my favorites for my pear shape!

A-line or fit and flare dresses work beautifully for the pear shape woman because they tend to emphasize our smaller waistline, while gliding over the hips and thighs. There is a lot of confusion on the difference between the two terms. I just lump them into one because they both work for me. When I’m shopping online I usually opt for both choices in my searches. Whatever term you use, they work so well for pear shapes!

Shop Fit & Flare Dresses Here:


Swing Dresses

Blue Old Navy Swing Dress
This Old Navy swing dress is so fun to wear and accessorize!

Swing dresses from Old Navy have been on repeat in my wardrobe this summer, simply because they’re flattering and super comfortable! They’re easily dressed up or down and are available in so many patterns and styles. It’s a good idea to grab a solid black or navy one if you can, I promise it will be a workhorse in your wardrobe! This style dress is perfect for the pear shape, no matter your size.

Shop Old Navy Dresses Here:


Modified Empire Waist

casual Black Knit dress with empire waist
I love this old dress from JJill. I’ve had it for years and it just keeps serving me well!

Okay, this is my own term. Because I’ve found if this dress style isn’t just right, I end up resembling a pregnant turtle. That seam needs to hit you in just the right place, so watch the bustline when you try them on. Also be careful of too much fabric under the seam. Too much fabric will just add extra bulk where you don’t want it. I tend to opt for empire styles that hit a scoosh below my bustline, right above my waistline. 


Maxi Dresses

Market & Spruce Purple Hellena Faux Wrap Knit Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses work for my pear shape because they visually add length to my frame. I mean, the taller the thinner, am I right? I look for maxis that have a defined waistline, typically with a wider waistband that slenderizes. Wrap styles  cinch in your waist too! I’m also a firm believer in v-necklines or halter style dresses.These styles add a little something-something upstairs where I need a little help. Look for fabrics that don’t cling and aren’t stiff so the maxi will flow nicely over your hips and thighs. Many maxis are sleeveless, which I don’t mind…I just throw on a denim jacket or lightweight sweater to cover up my arms. Most of my maxis are from Stitch Fix. You can read about this beautiful purple maxi dress HERE. 

Shop Maxi Dresses Here:


Dress Styles to Avoid if You’re Pear Shaped

I don’t believe in rules, because I think most styles can be adjusted to fit my own personal style. But I am careful when trying on, and look at everything with a very critical eye. That being said, here are a couple of styles I usually avoid:

  • Straight or shift dresses – in order to fit my hips and thighs, I have to go up a size, which then looks sloppy upstairs, because my shoulders are so narrow. Not a good look at all! Believe me I try, oh how I try, because I love the classic simplicity of the style. But typically – not a winner.
  • Shirt dresses – even though shirt dresses flare out from a defined waist, I find that the usually stiff cotton fabric adds way too much bulk to my frame. They end up making me look larger and just don’t flatter me at all. I think they’re absolutely adorable, but this style just doesn’t work for me.

A few more tricks:

  • Employ my favorite column dressing trick with a solid color dress by adding a blazer or jacket like I did here.
Yellow Denim Jacket & Blue Dress
  • Highlight your neck and shoulders with a v-neckline or statement necklace.
  • Wear taller shoes or neutral colored shoes with your dresses to lengthen your legs.
  • Have fun! Fashion should be fun! Play with your clothes!

Want more style inspiration? Please check out my Instagram, Facebook Page and follow me on Pinterest! You never know what I’ll be sharing next! Check back soon, my next blog post regarding pear shapes will be all about pants – from jeans to work worthy dress pants – I’ll have you covered in fabulous style!

9 thoughts on “Best Dresses for the Pear Shaped Woman

  1. Wonderful tips and such cute, well styled dresses. I am tall and straight up and down. But I kn ok w many women who are pear shaped and this is so helpful!

  2. First of all, you are beautiful! Second, thank you for these tips! As a curvy pear shaped girl I agree with all of your recommendations, and you have inspired me to go dress shopping!

    1. Yay! I’m thrilled that you were inspired. Can’t wait to hear what you find. Happy hunting!

Leave a Reply