Denim Fit and Find Guide for Pear Shapes

Woman jumping up in the air.
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Finding a great pair of jeans can make anyone jump for joy.

A great fitting pair of jeans can be a girl's best friend. If you have a pear-shaped figure, finding the right pair of jeans can be a little challenging. Once you've found them, though, you'll love the way they flatter your assets and take you from a morning of shopping to a night on the town.

What does a pear-shaped body look like? It simply means the hips are proportionately larger than the waist, resulting in rounded hips with a defined waist, or a fully rounded bottom half. Women with a pear shape have narrow shoulders and a smaller bust. They tend to gain weight in their bottom and thighs, while their stomachs remain flat and their waists small.

Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez are great examples of beautiful women with pear-shaped figures, and they prove just how fabulous this shape can look!

Dressing well is all about playing with style and proportion to draw attention to the features you want to emphasize, and camouflaging the problem areas. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for a pair of jeans to turn your pear shape into perfection:

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  • Look for a dark and even wash with a slight stretch. Avoid light color washes or styles with fading or "whiskering" around the hips or rear, because these accents call attention to the areas you want to downplay.
  • Choose denim styles that flow fully through the hip and thighs, such as boot-cut styles. The slight flare at the hemline will help balance out your hips. Trouser styles that snug through the hips and then wider through the legs are also very flattering.
  • Keep the details simple. Avoid small back pockets that can make the behind look bigger. Choose medium-sized pockets that angle slightly toward the center and are placed a bit higher than mid-cheek to help make the rear look perkier.
  • Look for a contoured waistband that starts higher in the back above your bottom and dips down in the front helps shape a curvy bottom and prevents fabric from bagging at the crotch.
  • Search for a fit that skims rather than hugs your legs. However, a fit that's too full can make your legs look larger than they really are.
  • Find a style with an outseam further towards the front to give the illusion of thinner thighs.

Read on to learn how where to start your search for the right pair of jeans.

Finding Jeans That Fit

Whether you're shopping on a budget or armed with a sizable gift card, you'll find plenty of options for jeans that fit your pear-shaped figure. Just keep in mind, finding the right jeans can be like kissing a frog to find a prince: You may need to try a few!

In the designer jeans department, Joe's Jeans "Honey" fit is cut to flatter a voluptuous silhouette, and the boot cut leg opening provides balance to your figure. Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and other retail stores offer a variety of styles and washes that are worth a look.

Or, go online to shop sites that were created to help the hard to fit. Little in the Middle is a specialty manufacturer of jeans for women who have small waists and curvy hips. Available from sizes from 00 to 20, their jeans are one size smaller in the waist than the hips. My True Fit lets you enter your measurements and fit preferences, and it will recommend jeans that will suit your shape at a range of prices.

What if you've found a pair that fits well in the hips and rear, but the back of the waist sticks out and offers a glimpse of skin? A tailor can take in the waistband so that they'll fit perfectly. The cost, usually between $20 and $30, is well worth the added confidence you'll feel. Or, look for brands designed to fit curvier figures -- the center seam is designed to hug your waist for a smoother fit.

If you're tempted to try out some of the new styles like boyfriend jeans -- those with a looser fit and often worn rolled up with heels -- tread with caution. The looser boyfriend jeans can make you look shorter and wider than you actually are. Similarly, super-skinny jeans on a gal with wider hips may result in an ice cream cone effect.

Slim leg jeans can work if they are specifically made for your figure type. Levi's, Joe's Jeans, and other jean makers have slimmer styles that are cut to accommodate fuller hips and thighs, so that you can enjoy the trend and look good doing it.

For the ultimate fit, check out a custom jeans maker. At, you simply enter your height, weight, body measurements and fit preferences to create a pair of jeans made especially for you.

For more information on developing personal style, see the links on the next page.

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More Great Links


  • Alfano, Jennifer. InStyle: The New Secrets of Style. 2010. New York: Time, Inc.
  • Angelique. "How to dress the pretty pear body type." 2010. (May 10, 2010)
  • Emeta, Sue. "Denim's New Details." Ladies' Home Journal. 2010. (May 10, 2010)
  • "What not to wear: How to find the Perfect Jeans." April 28, 2009.
  • Real Simple. "Dress to flatter your figure." 2010. (May 10, 2010)