Fashion Tips for Petite, Pear- Shaped Women

Hi Deborah,

I’m 5′ tall with a pear-shaped body, but even with tailoring traditional suits and dresses make me look like I’m playing dress-up.  I like classic but I also want to look sexy with a touch of inner spitfire thrown in. Can you help? Janice

short pear shaped woman

Hi Janice,

My first thought is your hair and make-up. Perhaps your clothes aren’t working because your hair is too little girlish. Try getting a chic, grown-up cut and be sure to wear some make-up.

The second thing is, I  think traditional clothing can work on a petite woman, but maybe it doesn’t work on you because it doesn’t suit your personality.  You said yourself you need something sexier.

So, here’s some fashion advice for short women, like yourself, who have a pear- shaped figure and want to look grown up and sexy.

1. Try a Fit a Flare Dress

A fit and flare dress s a dress with a fitted bodice that nips in at the waist and flares out at the skirt. This type of dress is ideal for gals who want camouflage large hips and thighs. It’s a very feminine silhouette and also very sexy. The two things you will want to keep in mind being petite is to make sure the skirt is not too full. Too much fabric can easily overwhelm you so no voluminous pleats, for example. Also make sure the skirt is not too long. It should be above the knee or at the top of the knee.

2. Go for a Bright Color

If you are picking out a top or jacket or even two-tone dress wear something bright on the top and dark on the bottom. Dark colors will make you look smaller, so wear them on your heavy bottom half. Bright colors up top will balance you out and bring attention to your shoulders and face. Bright colors like red, orange, Fuchsia etc are hot colors, which means sexy. So look like a peacock up top if you want to attract the opposite sex.

3. Don’t Wear A Jacket That Ends At Your Widest Part

Jackets are sexy if you get the right one. The right one has a strong shoulder to make you look wider up top and balance you out giving you that hourglass look. It also nips in at the waist to show off your womanly shape. Be sure the jacket does not end at  your full hip. Why draw attention to the widest part of your body. Since pears have nice nipped in waists, it is better to wear a shorter jacket that ends at the top of the hipbone instead of the middle of the hip.

3. Wear Heels
No question heels are sexy and a petite needs height. Even if it is a small wedge, because you don’t like heels it will make you look much longer, leaner and sexier than a flat.

4. Try Boot Cut jeans

Skinny, tight jeans will make your hips look larger than life, and too wide legged of a jean will maker you look elephant like ( and in a petite’s case- drown you). Boot cut are just the right amount of flare to balance you out. A dark wash also helps make your bottom half look smaller and the built-in stretch is perfect for women with hips. Don’t buy jeans with big pockets, stuff hanging off them etc. as they will only draw attention to your hips. A petite has to keep things clean and simple.

 5. Try Some Sexy Jewelry

Jewelry that dangles from your ears, your neck is soft and sexy. No button studs please! Just be sure that you get the right proportion. Giant Beyonce size hoops are sexy but would overwhelm a petite. Also make sure necklace don’t hang too low or it will make you look short and dumpy.

Do you have any tips for short, petite women? Let me know. Comment below.

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  1. Do you have some advice about petite clothing for women over 40?

  2. I am looking for article or tips about fashion for short waisted women.

  3. I am 5″2 pear shape. Thanks so much for the tips about fashion for short curvy women! Looking forward to some tips on fall style. Please can you advice on casual and work wear for this fall?

  4. I really like this article. I am short and busty.

  5. Great article for another curvy 5ft 0″ here. But, with a large bust and chubby upper arms and a tummy, it can be hard to find things that keep things looking in perspective. I tried on a wrap around dress like the one shown here and it did nothing for my upper body :(

    • Hi Valerie,
      Sounds like you are a petite, but not really a “pear” shape but more like an “apple”. That is a totally different body type, so no wonder you did not have any luck! We will do an article on apples soon, so be on the look out! But, just so you know, apples usually have great legs. Would that be you? If so, you will want to show them off! Good luck!

  6. Thanks for the fashion tips for petite women article! I am a young at heart petite that is past 40 and love the leg lengthening tips. I am petite barely 5″ 0″ within normal weight ranges but carry more weight below the waist than above so love to hear anything that evens things out a bit. Great article and hope to hear more on petites ….your site is fabulous!

  7. Thank you for addressing the complications of dressing a short, chubby body! It really is challenging.