Nicola Fulstow, owner of My Style Companion Personal Style Advisors and author of Nothing to Wear gave us some advice for shopping for the pear shape;
When you shop for party dresses, what do you look for? When I’m looking for party dress options for pear shape women, I am looking for a fabric with plenty of give and stretch, so a decent amount of elastane, spandex or viscose in to allow the fabric to fit well on the upper body but also accommodate the hips, thighs and bottom. Often pear shapes struggle the most with the fit of dresses as they struggle to get them to fit well on the shoulders / bust / waist as well as on the hips and thighs. Often they can’t get a dress in a stiff fabric over the hips and thighs and this is hugely frustrating. As a personal shopper, it’s my job to ensure this happens as little as possible so a fabric with a good stretch in it is a great starting point.
A pear shape really wants to look to draw the eye up and away from the hips and thighs, so dresses that feature details, pattern, embellishment on the top half of the dress, for instance around the neck and shoulders, work really well, like this Floral Shutter dress. Ideally keep the hips, thighs and bums plainer and darker if you can as this will have the maximum slimming effect. Alternatively look for a plainer dress that you can add statement jewellery to and achieve a similar effect. Without doubt avoid dresses that have large patterns over the hips, thighs and bottom area as this will add to the volume of the area and make you appear out of proportion. Alternatively try a fit and flare style 50s dress which will overcome the issue of fit, but ensure you wear such a full skirt with tall platforms or wedges to rebalance out your proportions – if you wear such a dress with flats, you will look shorter and wider that you really are.
Are there any fashion disasters you do your best to avoid? I always tell my clients to avoid wearing any clothes that aren’t ‘them’. For instance if someone is quite classic in appearance and taste, it would be better for them to avoid pieces that were too of the moment or ‘out there’ in terms of fashion. Opposingly, if someone is really quirky, they should avoid party dresses that are really classic or safe as this will make them look and feel more out of place than anything else.
What other tips would you give pear shapers? Ensure the length of your party dress (if it’s a short dress) is just above the knee if it is a 50s style much like this Orange Prom dress – when you can’t see the knees, the legs look shorter and wider with this style of skirt. If the skirt style is a very fitted, pencil style you can wear it on a number of different lengths such as midi, just below or above the knee, but any skirts that aren’t fitted closely to the leg need to be above the knee to give you the best shape and slim down your hips and thighs. This obviously excludes maxi dresses which are of course, meant to be maxi!
We have also spoken to Jennifer Rosson, the wardrobe stylist behind Style Your Life who gave us some tips about dressing for a pear body shape;
When you shop for party dresses, what do you look for? When shopping for a party dress you need to find a very flattering silhouette, in a colour that looks amazing.
What advice would you give for someone choosing a party dress with this shape? For Pears body types selecting a party dress, I recommend a fit and flair silhouette, think 1950s!
Is there a dress you can pick off the M&Co party dresses page that you would recommend for this body shape? One of my favourite dresses from M&Co is the Lace Prom Dress, it has that gorgeous fit and flair style that is perfect for Pears. But guess what, with that sweetheart neckline and 3/4 sleeves it will actually work on all body types!
Are there any fashion disasters you do your best to avoid? The fashion disasters I do my best to avoid is dressing for trends vs. body type! You will always look amazing if you are dressing for your figure.
Feel free to add any other tips about choosing the perfect party dress for your chosen body shape! Another secret I have for Pears when selecting a party dress, is you can always wear a more figure hugging dress if you add volume to your upper body. There are a variety of ways to add volume to the upper body. Find a dress with puffy sleeves, ruffles on the bodice, or an interesting neckline like the Cut out Shift party dress!