What fashions work for women with curves?

Dressing the Pear-Shaped Lady

Lightly colored tops matched with dark pants flatter pear-shaped women.
Lightly colored tops matched with dark pants flatter pear-shaped women.
Dan Hallman/Getty Images

If you're a pear, you're in good company: It's the most common shape for women [source: Martin].

To put it bluntly, if you're pear-shaped, you're bottom heavy. The widest part of you is below your waist, around your hips.

You should choose styles and colors that will obscure your bottom half and draw more attention up top. You also want to make your figure look longer. Pear-shaped women have quite the fashion challenge: How do you show off your curves while dressing to keep them in proportion with the rest of your body?

Hopefully, this list will help. Pear-shaped women should:

  • Highlight your upper half by wearing tops with bold colors, prints, glitter and other noticeable details.
  • Accentuate your upper half by accessorizing with jewelry, scarves and other eye-catchers.
  • Wear lighter colors on top and dark colors below the waist.
  • Wear long jackets and tops that fall well below your hips.
  • Wear tunic tops and dresses.
  • Wear belts at the waist, not around the hips. Try belts that match your pants or skirt.
  • Stick to tailored clothes below the waist. Flat-front pants and A-line skirts will work.
  • Wear heels to make your legs look longer.

Don'ts for the pear body type include:

  • Pleated skirts. They make your bottom look bigger.
  • Pants with pockets, especially side pockets or large pockets
  • Baggy or wide-leg pants
  • Prints -- especially horizontal prints -- below the waist

If you'd like tips for the apple-shaped woman, read the next page.