fbpx

These are the best tops for a pear body shape – as recommended by a Personal Stylist

Written by:

Written by:

Choosing tops as a pear body shape isn’t always straight forward. 

A pear body shape is typically smaller on the top half than the bottom half, has shoulders that are narrower than their hips, a small bust, and a long torso, and these characteristics can make it difficult to find tops that not only fit you well, but that look good on you.

So, if you have a pear body shape, there’s a strong chance that you struggle with some of these when you're choosing tops for your pear shape:

  • Because you wear a top size 1-2 sizes smaller than your bottom,  a top that fits you across the shoulders and bust is sometimes too tight across your hips.  But...if it fits you across the hips, it's often too loose across the shoulders.
  • It can be difficult to find tops that look good on your small chest, you’ll often find that tops gape at the bust
  • And some tops make your top half look too small in comparison to your bottom half so you struggle to get the top and bottom half of your body to look balanced

Short on time?

here are 3 key things to look for:

  • Puff sleeves, shoulder pads, capped or ruffled sleeves will broaden your shoulders to balance your hips
  • Crew, boat neck, turtle neck and tie necklines will add volume to balance your bottom half.
  • Ruffles, frills, pleating etc. will draw the eye up and away from your bottom half, and add volume to balance your hips.

Here are my top picks for pear body shapes:

Recommended

jordanna shirt - denim

This is a PERFECT choice for pear body shapes! The ruffles add volume and interest across the bust to draw the eye up and away from your bottom half, and  balance your hips. And the sleeve length will broaden you a little, too.

off-shoulder top

Off-shoulder tops are the BEST way to broaden a pear body shapes narrow torso and narrow shoulders.  This top will balance your wider hips perfectly and make your waist look even more defined.

ribbed flutter top

A ruffle sleeve is a great way to add volume and width to a pear shapes narrow shoulders, which will help to balance them with your wider hips. Your shape will look more balanced and your waist will look more defined!

If you recognize any of those frustrations I listed above, you are in the right place!

I’m a pear shaped  personal stylist, and for the past 17 years I've been dressing pear shaped women and helping them to build and develop a collection of clothes that they love wearing.

So I know exactly what you’re struggling with, and I know exactly how to solve that for you. I know which clothes work for you and where to source them from, and all that knowledge is condensed in this one post.

If you’re looking for a one stop place for everything you need to know about choosing tops for your pear body shape. This is it.

What is a pear body shape?

Before you begin looking for tops that work for a pear shaped body, it's a good idea to check that you do in fact have a pear shaped body!  Because if you don't, my tips, advice and recommendations probably won't help you.

Below are the key characteristics of a pear shaped body, if you think your shape aligns with them, read on. 

If not, I recommend you head over here and take my FREE body shape quiz, to find out what your body shape is.

these are the pear body-shape characteristics

An illustration of different types of pear body shape
  • When you put weight on you typically carry it around your hips and butt
  • Your shoulders are narrower than your hips
  • You often wear a larger clothing size on your bottom half, than you wear on your top half
  • You have a small to average bust size
  • Your torso is longer than your legs
  • And you have a defined waistline

there are different types of pear body shape

Some of the pear body shape characteristics overlap with other body shapes, most notably the column/rectangle body shape, and the hourglass body shape.  

So if you only recognize some of those characteristics, it might be that your shape overlaps with a secondary body-shape, or you have a different body shape all together.

If you think you might NOT have a pear body-shape, here are 4 things that will help you figure out what your body shape is:

4 ways to find out what your body shape is

are you wearing the correct bra for your pear shaped body?

An image of a bra for a pear body shape

There's another topic I want to touch on briefly before we move on to tops - Bra's.  Because it isn’t just the larger busted among us who need to worry about wearing the right size bra.

A small bust (which pear shaped women typically have) will benefit hugely from wearing the correct bra size and cup shape:

  • The correct bra size (and shape) can enhance a small bust, which will help you find tops that fit well
  • The right bra size size will lift your bust and create a more defined waistline
  • And wearing the right bra for you, will ensure your clothes fit you better

If you aren't sure that you are wearing the correct bra size, I have an entire post dedicated to finding your correct bra size, OVER HERE.

what to look for and what to avoid when choosing tops for a pear shaped body

Here are some key things things to look for and to avoid, so you can start to choose tops that look good on your pear body shape:

pear body shapes should avoid tops that:

  • Have low necklines - these will further narrow your shoulders and make your hips look wider than they are
  • Spaghetti straps will narrow your shoulders and make your shape look less balanced.
  • Strapless tops will make your top half look smaller than it is, which will make you look heavier on the bottom half.
  • Add shape or volume below your waistline as this will add bulk to your bottom half, making your shape look un-balanced

pear body shapes should choose tops that:

  • Have volume at the shoulders as this will broaden them to balance your hips and make your frame look in proportion.
  • Highlight your waist as this will elongate your legs and draw they eye up and away from your bottom half
  • Add volume and weight to your bust and torso, to balance your bottom half, and create interest to draw the eye up
  • Have a high neckline to broaden shoulders and balance wider hips
Illustrations of tops to avoid if you have a pear body shape

8 important things to consider when choosing tops for a pear body shape

1

pear body shapes should choose tops that have detailing and volume

An image of a pear shaped women wearing a tie neck top layered under a sweater

As a pear shaped body, the key is to try to balance your heavier bottom half with your smaller top half, to create a silhouette that is in proportion.

One of the best ways to balance your frame is by wearing tops that have elements or detailing that will add a little volume or breadth to your top half.

Some of my favorite details to look for when I'm shopping for my pear shaped clients are:

  • Ruffles
  • Frills
  • Pleating
  • Neckties
  • Bows
  • Epaulettes
  • Shoulder pads
  • Puff sleeves
  • Pockets
  • Waist ties

Here are some great examples of tops with details that work well for a pear body shape in 2023:

2

Choose tops that have shaping or detailing that will highlight your pear shape's defined waist

A pear body shape will have a well defined waistline…you might not think you do, but I bet you that if you were to measure your waist, and compare this measurement to that of your hips, you will find that your waist is quite a bit smaller than your hips!

A defined waist is one of the pear shapes best features, so it makes sense to showcase this if you can.  One of the ways you can show off your waist as a pear shaped woman, is to choose tops that have some sort of detailing that cinches you have at the waist, or that draw the eye to your waist.

A great example of a top that will do this is a wrap top, but also keep a look out for tops that have a waist band, or tops that use color blocking to emphasize the waist area.

Here are some great options for tops that will show off your pear shapes defined waist in 2023:

3

choose a sleeve type that will balance your pear shape hips

As pear body shape, your shoulders are narrower than your hips, so, if you want to create a more balanced frame - where your shoulders and hips are a similar width - you will want to wear tops that have voluminous sleeves that add width and weight

Puff sleeves and ruffle sleeves are brilliant at broadening your shoulders, which will balance out your hips and give you a more hourglass figure.  As are off the shoulder styles!

Here are some great examples of sleeves will balance a pear body shape in 2023:

4

choose the correct sleeve length for your pear body shape

Sleeve length is something that can easily be overlooked - but the point at which a sleeve ends on your frame can make a huge difference to how flattering the entire top is on you.

Get the sleeve length wrong and it can make your top half look smaller (which will make your bottom half look larger).  

Get it right and you can create a more balanced frame...which is one of the most common things that women with a pear body shape tell me they want to do.

  • A ¾ length sleeve sits at waist length so this will instantly draw the eye to your waistline, showing off how defined it is, whilst also taking the attention away from your bottom half. 
  • A sleeve length that ends in line with your bust will help to add a little width to your torso, and make your bust look a little larger. Again, this will help to balance your heavier bottom half.
  • Capped sleeves can add a little width to narrow shoulders, which will balance them a little better with your hips

Here are 3 great examples of good sleeve lengths for a pear body shape in 2023

5

consider the fabric type when choosing tops as a pear shape

It’s a good idea to consider the fabrics you wear on the top.

Heavy weight fabrics, or thick starchy fabrics are good for adding volume and shape.  Whereas a lightweight fabric can be more fluid, and shapeless which can only enhance your smaller top half, which may make you look larger than you are on the bottom half.

In the winter, I love a chunky sweater for adding a little weight that balances a small top half with a larger bottom half.

6

the length of your top matters when your body is pear shaped

Pear shaped women typically have a long torso compared to their legs. And this is one of the things that can make a pear shaped woman feel bottom heavy.

But, if you consider the length of the top you are wearing, you can shorten your torso and make your legs appear longer.  This will help you balance your frame and make you feel less heavy on the bottom half.

This is how the length of your top can make your pear shape look more balanced:

The hem of a top will draw a horizontal line right across wherever it sits. So, if you’re wearing a top that sits at your waist, it will highlight a narrower part of your frame.

If the hem of a top ends at your hip, it will draw a horizontal line right across your widest point, highlighting that area and probably make you look and feel more bottom heavy than you are.

This is one of the biggest frustrations for pear shaped women - we often choose long tops in a bid to hide our hips and thighs, when what that actually does is highlight the area. It does the opposite of what you’re trying to do!

So, while it might seem counter intuitive, the best length for a top for pear body shapes to choose, is a length that sits at,  just above, or below your waist as this will draw people's attention away from your hips and up to your defined waist.  AND, it will lengthen your legs too.

An image of a pear shaped women wearing an off shoulder top

if you are pear shaped and want to wear long tops , do this:

I sometimes have a pear shaped client who has spent so many years wearing long tops to hide her hips and thighs, that the thought of wearing shorter tops is too frightening.  

If you feel similar and want to wear long tops:

  •  choose styles that are long enough to sit below your hips and thighs.  
  • Opt for an asymmetric hem that will break up the line across your hips, whilst giving you some coverage.
  • And look for styles that have some sort of shaping below the bust or at the waist so they don’t swamp you.

Here are some good options for long tops for pear shaped women in 2023:

7

prints are a great option for pear body shapes

I often find that clients are wary of prints when we first work together, but if you know which prints work for you, they can be a powerful tool to have in your kit!

Prints are a great way to add a little weight to your top half, to balance your hips, and they can add interest to draw the eye up and away from your bottom half.

Bold prints, and horizontal stripes are particularly good as they instantly broaden a narrow torso and narrow shoulders to balance wide hips.

Here are some great print options for pear body shapes in 2023:

8

the neckline is important when choosing tops for a pear body shape

Choosing the correct neckline is crucial when choosing tops for a pear shaped body.

Necklines can narrow or broaden shoulders, and enhance or decrease a bust size. Which means, that if you choose the correct neckline, you can broaden your shoulders and enhance your bust, in one fell swoop. Pretty cool, hey?!

This is how a neckline can change the look of your pear body shape:

Low, wide necklines will narrow your shoulders and slim your torso - and this will exaggerate your pear shaped frame, making you look and feel more bottom heavy than you are.

Higher necklines will broaden your shoulders, and add a little weight to your torso to balance your bottom half and make you look and feel more in proportion.

An image of a pear shaped women wearing a band tee

Here are some great examples of necklines that work for a pear shaped body in 2023:

the best necklines for a pear body shape

The best neckline for a pear shaped body is a higher neckline as this will help to broaden narrow shoulders and add a little weight to a small bust - both of which will balance wider hips and create an overall more balanced silhouette.

Here are some other fantastic necklines for a pear body shape:

8 illustrations of different necklines that suit a pear body shape

the best tops for a pear body shape

These are the 12  most flattering top styles for a pear body shape. They will:

  • Add volume that broadens your shoulders to balance your hips 
  • Draw the eye up and away from your bottom half
  • Showcase your defined waistline
  • Enhance your bust
  • Add volume and interest to your top half
illustrations of 12 different tops styles that look good on a pear body shape

1

halternecks look great on a pear body shape

Halterneck tops are a brilliant way for pear shapes to broaden and showcase your great shoulders, and add a little volume to your bust to help balance your wider hips.

There are a few different styles of halter neck that work for a pear shape. To see some current options, scroll here.  

2

asymmetric hems are great for a pear shaped body

Tops that have an asymmetric hem are such a great choice for pear body shapes, especially if you like wearing a longer top.

Asymmetric hems will break up the line across your hips, narrowing them to balance them with your narrower shoulders. If you are a pear shape that feels bottom heavy, this is the hem for you!

3

off the shoulder tops work well for pear shapes

An off the shoulder top is one of THE MOST FLATTERING top styles for a pear shaped woman. This is because the sleeve and neckline draw a horizontal line across the arms and torso, making your top half look much broader than it, which will balance your wide hips.

In fact, depending on your pear shape, this top style can actually make your hips look narrower than your shoulders! 🤯

An image of a pear shaped women wearing an off the shoulder top to balance her body shape

4

pear shapes look great in tops that tie

As a pear shape you will have a defined waistline. You may not think that you do, but your waist will be smaller than your hips…AKA a defined waist.

So, any top style that cinches you in at your waist, or highlights it in some way, will be super flattering on you, and will fit your pear shape well. A great example of a top that highlights your waist, is a tie front top

5

tank tops are great for pear body shape

Tanks tops are a great option for a pear body shape, they highlight your smaller top half, and they have a high neckline and wide straps that will help to add a little width to your top to balance your hips.

6

pear body shapes look great in a crew neckline

High necklines are a great choice for pear body shapes because they add a little volume to your torso and bust to balance your heavier bottom half.

7

wrap tops look fab on a pear body shape

A wrap top is one of my fave styles for a pear body shape because you can get a great fit across your narrow torso, and you can highlight your defined waist with the waist tie.

One word of caution though - try to avoid choosing wrap tops that have a very low neckline as this will actually narrow your shoulders and may make you feel more bottom heavy. The best wrap tops are styles that have a high neckline, or that have ruffle detailing.

8

Boat neck tops look great on pear shapes

Boat (or slash) neckline tops do a great job of broadening your narrow shoulders to balance them with your wider hips. 

9

try a tie-neck top if you are pear shaped

Tie-neck tops are a great choice of top for a pear shape because the tie will add a little weight, volume and interest to draw the eye up and away from your bottom half, and balance your wide hips.

An image of a pear shaped women wearing a sheer top that has a flattering tie neck

10

Pear body shapes look great in a turtle neck 

Turtle necks and mock neck tops are great high neck options for pear shapes as they add a little volume across the bust.

You can opt for a style with or without sleeves, both will look great! Choose a chunky style like this, or neater, tighter fitting style like this.

11

puff sleeves are a staple for pear body shapes

Puff sleeves are the best way to add volume and breadth to your shoulders to balance your wide hips. This top style will give your pear shape the appearance of being an hourglass shape

12

ruffle sleeves are great for a pear body shape

Ruffle sleeves are rather like a puff sleeve, in that they add a little volume to your shoulders to balance your wider hips.

Don't like those top styles?

Don't like those top styles listed above?

I realize that you may not like some of the clothing styles that work for your pear body shape, and that you might really want to wear tops that have spaghetti straps or plunging necklines, so I want to caveat what I've just written, by saying that the above is just a guide.  

The top styles listed above WILL absolutely fit and flatter your pear body shape, but there is almost always some styling technique or style hack that will help you to make an unflattering top look better on you, so play around and experiment.

And if you want some guidance on how to improve the look of a top that doesn't look good on your pear body shape, pop on over to this post - it shares a multitude of styling techniques to try!

Looking for more help dressing your PEAR shape?

My easy to use guide will show you ALL THE CLOTHES that work best for your body-shape, so you can enjoy getting dressed!

the best tops for a pear body shape in 2023 

These are some of the tops that I've been putting my pear shaped clients in this season.

the best tops for a pear body shape plus size in 2023 

These are some of the tops that I've been choosing for my plus sized pear shape clients:

frequently asked questions about choosing tops for a pear body shape

Below are some other questions I get asked about choosing tops if you have a pear body shape. If you have any others, let me know by getting in touch here.

what tops look good for a pear body shape?

The tops that look good for a pear shaped body are tops that broaden your top half to balance your heavier bottom half.

Look for tops that have sleeves that broaden your shoulders - puff sleeves are a great choice. And choose tops that have a high neckline (turtle necks, crewnecks, slash necklines…) as this will add a little weight to your torso to help to balance your wider hips.

An image of a women with a pear body shape wearing a white crochet top with ruffles to

Want more tips?

Get my Simple Guide To Dressing A Pear Shape for only  $65!  It will show you exactly what the most and least flattering clothes are for your pear body-shape, so you have some easy rules to follow!

what tops should a pear shape wear?

A pear shape who wants to balance her frame so her hips and shoulders are in proportion should wear tops that broaden her shoulders (to balance her wider hips) and shorten her torso (to elongate her legs). Both these things will help to make her frame look more in proportion, and her bottom half smaller.

The best tops to do this are off the shoulder tops, and tops that have puff sleeves or ruffle detailing

An image of a pear shaped women wearing a top with ruffles to balance her body shape

what should I wear everyday for a pear-shaped body?

The staple items for a pear shaped body are:

  • Bottoms that have a high rise, preferably in a curvy fit as this will hug and highlight the waist, whilst also fitting the hips and thighs.
  • Tops that have a high neckline and hit waist length

To find your perfect everyday outfit for a pear body shape, check out:

can pear shapes wear sleeveless?

Yes, a pear shape can wear sleeveless! The most flattering style of sleeveless top for a pear body shaped body is a top that has wide straps.

If a pear shape wears a sleeveless top with thin or spaghetti straps it will make your shoulders look narrower than they are, which will make your hips look wider than they are, so stick to a wide strap.  Even better, choose a halter neck top, these look wonderful on a pear body shape!

Here are some great sleeveless tops for a pear body shape in 2023

can pear shapes wear cardigans?

Yes, a pear shape can wear cardigans. Opt for cardigans that have a scoop neckline, rather than a v-neckline (a v-neckline will narrow your shoulders and torso and make you look more bottom heavy that you are).

And consider choosing a cardigan that is waist length 9or cropped), rather than a longer cardigan which will shorten your legs and probably pull across the hips.

I also recommend opting for chunky knits as these will give your toros a little extra weight to balance your hips.

These are some great cardigan options for a pear body shape in2023

are peplum tops flattering for pear shapes?

Peplums can be a little unflattering on a pear shape because the peplum can add weight to the hip and thighs and exaggerate the pear shape frame.

So if you feel bottom heavy, and want to create a more balanced silhouette, I recommend avoiding peplum tops.

can pear shapes wear crop tops?

Pear shapes can wear crop tops, but you might want to consider avoiding a very cropped style as this may highlight your smaller top half.

Choose crop tops that sit on or just above the waist - this will highlight your wonderful waist, shorten your torso, and elongate your legs.

do oversized shirts look good on a pear shaped body?

Oversized shirts look good on all shapes, but they require a little styling. The problem with anything oversized, is that it often hides curves and shape, which can make some you look larger than you are.

To look good in an oversized shirt when you are pear shaped; tuck the front of the shirt into your waistband (or tuck one half of the hem into your waistband), this will help to create some shape, show off your defined waist, and elongate your legs.

You might also want to consider choosing an oversized shirt in a starchy, thicker fabric. Linen is great in the summer, and cotton or denim are great in the winter.

what tank tops look good on pear-shaped bodies?

Ooh, there are lots of tank top styles that look good on pear shaped bodies! These are my current favorite's:

is a halter neck good for a pear shape?

An image of a pear shaped women wearing a halterneck top

Absolutely! I love a halter neck for pear shapes! A halterneck will broaden your shoulders which will help to balance your hips and make you look more in proportion.

The best halter neck styles for a pear shape are styles that have a higher neckline, and sit waist length (or are long enough to be tucked in if not waist length). These are my current favorite's:

conclusion

The key to choosing tops for a pear body shape is to opt for styles that will broaden your narrow shoulders and add a little weight to your torso, as this will balance your bottom heavy frame.  

However, I want to point out that these are not hard and fast rules, they are just a guide to help you find the most flattering pieces for your pear shape.  

Every pear shaped body is different and you will want to try different tops to see what works best for you and your shape.

So, have fun, experiment, and start putting outfits together that you love wearing!

iF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, YOU  MIGHT LIKE THESE:

jeans for pear shapes

the most flattering jeans for a pear Body shape in 2023


I draw on my 17 years experience dressing pear shaped women worldwide, to bring you an in-depth article about choosing the best jeans for a pear body shape.  See my tips, and shop my top picks for 2023

the most flattering swimwear for a pear shape

the best swimwear for a pear shaped body in 2023


This post shares everything I’ve learned about finding the best swimwear for pear shapes, along with my top swimwear picks for the pear body shape in 2023, so you can stop stressing about wearing swimwear, and start enjoying the sun and sea!

clothes that look good on a pear shape

Everything you need to know about the pear body shape


This is the ULTIMATE guide to the pear body shape. I share abslutely everything I know about the pear shaped body, and how to dress to flatter a pear shape.

Want to know exactly which clothes work for your pear body shape?

Grab my comprehensive, digital Guide To Dressing Your Shape for only $65!

Hi, I'm Niki

author and personal stylist

Over the past 17 years I’ve freed thousands of women from the frustration of disappointing outfits, by showing them how to dress to make the most of their shape, and helping them build a closet that's easy to use and fun to wear.  My blog shares the tried and true tips and knowledge I've developed, to help you stop wasting money on disappointing clothes, and build a closet you enjoy wearing.


You can find out more about Niki here

And you can get in touch with Niki here