Happy new year! It’s time for a new year and new body shape.

new you

Earlier this week I shared some new year’s fashion resolutions to consider for the months ahead – less about what we can do less of, and more about how we can do more to make ourselves feel fabulous. And no I’m not talking about a gym membership, although if you’re on that path all power to you. I’m talking about making the best of your assets, dressing for the body you have, not hiding in your clothes because you don’t have the body you wish you had.

Understanding your body shape is fundamental to dressing well and in turn, feeling great in whatever you wear. Once you know how to highlight your assets and disguise the rest, everything falls in to place; shopping and dressing becomes easier and more enjoyable.

Women’s bodies can be categorised into around 12 shapes, but to keep it simpler I work on a system of five: pear, hourglass, column, inverted triangle and apple. I’ll be talking through each of these over the next week or two, with tips on how to dress for each. If you still have any questions or would like some advice you can email me any time on fashion@bmag.com.au

So, let’s start with the pear.

Pear shape

Pears are categorised by:

- narrow shoulders

- small bust

- a long waist and generally a flat tummy

- shorter, heavier legs

- carries weight in the thighs

Pear info


(Click image to enlarge)

Ring any bells? If you’re pear shaped you probably love your waist, your arms, your narrow shoulders that carry jackets so well, but aren’t too fussed on having bigger thighs and legs.

With any body shape, the idea is to use clothes to alter the silhouette and bring it back to an hourglass – the ideal, well-proportioned shape. So for pear shapes who are smaller on top than bottom, it’s about balancing the upper and lower body. Wearing tops or dresses with a high neckline does this, as does something with detail around the shoulders like a ruffle, pleat or puff on the shoulder. It all helps to add bulk to the upper body to bring the torso in line with your broader hips.

A great necklace that sits around the collar bone is also a magic body shaping trick for the pear shapes as it draws attention up to your best assets.

Pears have small waists, an enviable attribute, so highlighting the waist is a must. Draw a belt around your narrowest part – not high under your bust but not down on your hips. A waist belt will sit most comfortably in this spot and draw attention to your little mid-section and away from your larger lower body. A wardrobe with a few great waist belts you can add to tops and dresses can completely change the way you dress for the better.

Lastly, don’t wear anything too clingy over your hips and thighs. A lot of the advice you’ll read for pear shapes dictates a-line skirts but I think anything from a soft straight skirt (ie one that’s not too clingy) to a fuller skirt is great. If you wear something like skinny jeans, just choose a longer top like a tunic that covers your hips a little to go over the top, but make sure to wear with a waist belt so you still define your shape and not swamp yourself in fabric.

Other great pieces for pear shapes include a nude wedge (they lengthen the leg and blend into your outfit so the focus can be on your waist, neckline etc), and a great trench coat. It’s not the season for a trench right now but, in the cooler months, they’re your best jacket option as they add definition to your shoulders, nip in at the waist, and skim the hips. Perfect.