Short With A Pear Shaped Body? -Here’s What To Wear

Pear Shaped Body

If you are short with a pear-shaped body, you can easily look bottom heavy. Meet Debbie who has this problem and emailed me for help.

Hi Deborah,

I am 5’2″ and weigh 120. I’m not heavy, and I work out, so I have a nice looking caboose. The problem is that when I wear tops untucked, they don’t lay right. My top is smaller than my bottom. Help!

Thanks, Debbie

Hi Debbie, It sounds like you have a short-medium build and are pear-shaped – hence the reason you have some problem with things untucked. Your shirts are probably fitting fine across the bust, but as they reach your curvy hips and rounded bottom, they splay out and don’t sit right.

You don’t want to go with the larger top because then it will be too loose up top, so I suggest if you are going to tuck out, which is a good thing, buy tops with some stretch in them so that you can get them over the top of your hips.  You could also try empire waist tops which fall gently down around the hips. A stiff, fitted cotton shirt, for example, won’t ever sit right. One note- your top should never end at the widest part of your body- your hips- better it ends above if you are short. This will make your legs look longer.

As a short pear, you can easily look bottom heavy, so your fashion challenge is to make your shoulders look wider to match your hips and balance your figure. Balancing your figure will also make you look taller.  You can balance a short, pear-shaped figure by wearing:

  • wide scoop neck tops or v-neck tops that open up your neckline and put the focus up top
  • tops and jackets with shoulder detail
  • detail around the collar to draw the eye upwards
  • medium size earrings and eye-catching chunky necklaces
  • shorter hem lengths to show off your legs and move the attention away from your hips
  • dark-colored bottoms and lighter or brightly colored tops to attract the eye up.
  • pencil skirts or A-line skirts that gently flare out over your hips
  • high-waisted straight leg pants to make your torso seem shorter and your legs look longer.


Are you starting to get a better understanding of the styles of clothing will work best for your body type? To find out more check out My Private Stylist. It’s a cool computerized fashion tool that pinpoints your unique body shape and reveals the styles you need to wear to flatter your figure and make you look fabulous!

Join the Conversation

8 thoughts on “Short With A Pear Shaped Body? -Here’s What To Wear

  1. I’m pear shaped as well being 5 and .5 tall around 99 lbs. I have a problem with collecting long cardigans haha. My question is, is it possible to wear denim short shorts that lots of 20ish year-olds wear, the type that is so popular during spring and summer. They typically look kind of tight around the thighs.

    1. Hi Diane, I think you have answered your own question. As a pear your hips and thighs are the widest part of your body so if they look tight around the thighs, I would stay away. There’s nothing worse than looking like you have squeezed into your clothes. You are better off with Mid to high rise shorts that show off a pear’s small waist. Look for soft fabric, with billowing legs almost like a skirt. Tailoring helps to keep this type of short from looking loose or sloppy, and I’d suggest a 5-9 inch inseam.
      Also, I not a fan of denim shorts in general over 40. It’s kind of a been there, done that look that is best left to younger gals. I hope that gives you a better idea of how to wear shorts for your pear-shaped body type. Cheers!

  2. I’ve got a big problem. My height is 4ft 7, and my son is getting married next year, I haven’t got a clue what to wear. Margaret

    1. Hi Margaret, Congratulations on the marriage of your son. You will need to take your cues from the bride and the mother of the bride. Once the mother of the bride chooses ( it is customary for her to chose first), you will have a better idea. If it is a formal wedding, you need to go long, semi-formal long or short cocktail dress. Empire style or something that is fitted in the waist and flares out gently over you pear-shaped figure would be good. Also if the mob is long, go long too, or is she is short, you go short too. As for color, that will depend on bridesmaids. You can wear one shade lighter or darker than bridesmaids, the contrasting color of the bridesmaids or a neutral like gold silver, or even black so long as the bride is ok with black and most are these days. Be sure to talk to the bride and mob before you run out and purchase. I suggest you call and inquire. That’s the best way so there are no surprises and everyone is co-ordinated beautifully. As for your petite height, I would just say that perfect fit is key. You will likely have to have your dress altered or custom made and don’t hesitate about that. Getting the proportion perfect is the key to you looking like a queen rather than a kid playing dress-up.
      Best wishes!

  3. Who the heck makes casual shirts that end at my waist? Every t-shirt or tank top comes down past my butt, and I’m not that short. I am 5’6″. I can find many articles on how to dress. I know what looks best on me and it is not the long shirts that I see everywhere.

  4. Hi Deborah, I love your site and all the valuable advice.

    I’m 5’3″ with a bit of a pear shape-size six on the bottom and four on top. My husband is taking me to a Styx concert followed by wine tasting the next day for Valentine’s day. I am looking forward to it, but have no idea what to wear. I expect it to be 40-45 degrees in the evening here in So Cal. And about 65 in the day.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Diana, Well as you know it will be a casual event, but you want to look hip without looking like you’re trying too hard. First off you will want to start with the jeans. Must be updated and fit well. Being that you are a pear shape you will definitely want to find a pair that have a bit of flair at the bottom to balance you out. With it being cool at night, a pretty leather jacket would look great! Not black, but one in a pretty color that you look good in.

• powered by chloédigital