10 of the most flattering dresses for pear shaped women

The confidence boosting frocks your wardrobe needs right now


by Cigdem Tanrioglu |
Updated on

When it comes to shopping for wardrobe essentials, a flattering and age-appropriate dress is always at the top of our list. Well, because they’re easy to style, will work for any occasion and, if chosen correctly, will enhance your figure – especially if you have a pear shaped frame.

What is a pear body shape?

If you’re wondering if you’re a pear shaped woman then you’re in luck as Yours Style Content Editor Cigdem Tanrioglu is on hand to explain this common body type. “For women of all ages, there are five classic body shapes. These are apple, athletic, rectangle, hourglass and pear” says Cigdem. “A classic pear shaped is defined by a narrow upper body with a small waist and larger hips and thighs. You can literally compare your figure to an actual pear – small on top and bigger on the bottom.”

If all of this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone, as Cigdem explains, “I spend my days styling women of all shapes and sizes, and I must admit that pear shaped figures are incredibly common. And while I’m a huge advocate for body positivity, our outfits can often boost our confidence or have the complete opposite effect, which is why shopping for your figure can be useful. Personally. I wear a size 12 on top and a 14 on bottom, meaning I firmly sit within the pear shaped category, and in my experience, dresses are one of the most flattering items out there.”

The best dresses for a pear body shape at a glance:

Best occasion dress for a pear body shape: Gwd By George W. Davies Sheleigh Lace Dress - buy now on Wallis

Best office-friendly dress for a pear body shape: Dina Wrap Dress - buy now on Hobbs

Best linen dress: Ro&Zo V-Neck Puff Sleeve Midi Tea Dress - buy now on Marks & Spencer

Best summer dress for a pear body shape: Roman Aztec Print Tiered Midi Smock Dress - buy now on Wallis

So now you’ve realised you have a pear figure, you’ll need to learn about the dress shapes that will have you looking and feeling great. From A-line dresses to smock styles, there are a few classic dress shapes that are especially great for a pear shaped figure” Cigdem advises. “Once you have mastered the skill of shopping for figure you’ll be able to easily find a frock for every occasion as the same rules will apply whether you’re heading to a special occasion or are looking for the perfect summer dress.

Want to know more about the best dresses for pear shaped women? Well, you’re in luck as Cigdem has told us everything you need to know.

Best dresses for a pear body shape

A-Line Dresses

An A-line dress is an instant winner for a pear shaped women. “Your classic A-line dress will be fitted on top, meaning you’ll be able to emphasise the smallest part of your body – your shoulders, chest and waistline” explains Cigdem, “then the soft, floaty skirt will skim over your larger hips and thighs, creating an instantly streamlined silhouette. Essentially an A-line dress mimics your pear shape figure, which is why they work so well.”
The best bit is the fact that there are several styles of dresses which fit under the A-line umbrella. These include tea dresses and smocked dresses which have a defined waistline and fitted top.

Best printed dress

Seasalt Cornwall Sleeveless Meadowsweet DressSeasalt Cornwall

Get into the summer spirit with this stunning sundress. Crafted with 100% cotton, not only will this lightweight style have you looking great, but it will keep you feeling cool too, with one customer raving about how comfortable the fabric felt even during the hottest summer’s day.
In addition, this fabulous frock features a shirred top with a long, floaty skirt, which is ideal for flattering a pear shaped body. The vibrant floral print is perfect for adding a little colour to your summer look, and it even features pockets so you can keep your essentials nearby at all times. We love the idea of wearing this daytime dress with flat sandals and a cross body bag on holiday, or with a denim jacket and trainers during a summer walk at your local park.

Pros

  • Made with 100% organic cotton
  • Fully lined
  • Has pockets
  • Machine Washable
  • Easy to wear slip on style

Cons

  • Only available in one print which may not be to everyone’s liking

Best occasion dress

Gwd By George W. Davies Sheleigh Lace DressWallis
Price: £63

Stop the press – we’ve found the versatile dress that will have you sorted for almost any special occasion. Perfect for weddings, dinner dates and everything in between, this sophisticated lace dress features a universally flattering round neckline along with long sleeves that provide plenty of coverage.
As well as loving the fit of this dress, we were also impressed with small details like the dress’ scalloped hemline, which instantly elevates this simple style. Plus, it features a 100% cotton lining, which is ideal for regulating your body temperature. We recommend pairing this elegant buy with simple court shoes for a truly timeless look.

Pros

  • Fully lined with 100% cotton lining
  • Classic style that will work for years to come
  • Easy to use zip fastening

Cons

  • Shorter length may not be suitable for all shoppers

Puff-sleeve dresses

When it comes to creating the illusion of a balanced, streamlined silhouette you should always aim to add volume around the smaller parts of your body. This is why puff-sleeve dresses work so well for those with a pear body shape, as Cigdem explains “typically women with a pear shaped body have a narrow upper body. By adding a puff sleeve detail to your look, you’ll be creating volume around your upper body, thus balancing your larger, lower half.”
The best bit? Puff sleeve detailing is a huge trend right now, as Cigdem adds, “puffy sleeves are big news this season and they’re brilliant for adding a touch of fun to your look. Simply look for your favourite dress style and pick a version with some voluminous sleeves - they couldn’t be easier to wear!”

Best linen-blend dress

Ro&Zo V-Neck Puff Sleeve Midi Tea DressMarks & Spencer

Add a little excitement to your classic tea dress look with this ravishing red number. Perfect for wearing to the office or to a special occasion, this linen blend dress has been designed in a regular fit. It features an ultra-flattering waistline which leads to a thigh-skimming midi skirt, which work together to provide a flawless fit that will have you looking and feeling great with each wear.
We are also huge fans of the subtle V-neckline and dramatic puffy sleeves, both of which are ideal for creating a little extra volume around your upper body. Team with a pair of sling back kitten and a loose up-do for a truly timeless look.

Pros

  • Fully lined
  • Made with viscose, linen and cotton to keep you feeling cool
  • Stylish puff sleeves
  • Easy to reach side zip

Cons

  • High price point, but is worth every penny if you’re able to make the investment

Best eco-friendly dress

Nobody's Child Zora Watercolour Floral Print Midi DressJohn Lewis
Price: £91 (WAS £130)

Meet Zora, the sustainably sourced dress which you’ll want to pull out of your wardrobe at every given chance. Crafted with 72% livaeco viscose, this super soft frock features an eye-catching abstract print which is guaranteed to be noticed for all of the right reasons.
In addition, the playful balloon sleeves work to draw the eyeline up to your upper body whilst providing plenty of coverage for anyone feeling self-conscious about their arms. All of this is finished off with a sleek square back which sits just above your bra line. We love the idea of wearing this fancy frock with a pair of heeled sandals and a bold lip for a dinner date, or even with court shoes for a more formal affair.

Pros

  • Made with eco-friendly BIRLA Livaeco™ Viscose
  • On-trend abstract pattern
  • Concealed zip
  • Figure-enhancing waistband

Cons

  • Lower back may not be suitable for all customers

Smock dresses

If you’re not a fan of showing off your waistline then you’re in luck as Cigdem has the perfect dress style for you. “A floaty smock dress is a great, comfy option and will look fabulous on a pear shaped figure as they typically get wider around the hip area” she says. Plus, they’re ideal giving you a body confidence boost when feeling a little bloated. Cigdem explains, “Smock dresses are designed to nip you in just under your bust, or even nowhere at all, before floating over your stomach, hips and thighs…it’s a no brainer!”

Best summer dress

Roman Aztec Print Tiered Midi Smock DressWallis
Price: £45

For a floaty summer frock that won’t break the bank, look no further than Roman’s fabulous offering. Designed with an on-trend green and white Aztec print, this comfy smock dress features ¾ sleeves and a tiered midi skirt to provide plenty of coverage. However, don’t be fooled, as we found this breezy style perfect for keeping cool even in the hottest temperatures.
We love the idea of wearing this casual jacket with trainers and a denim jacket for a day out in the park, or with flip flops on the way to the beach during your holidays. Either way, it will become your go-to dress for the summer.

Pros

  • ¾ sleeves for extra coverage
  • On-trend Aztect print
  • Adjustable button top
  • Easy to pull on

Cons

  • Made with polyester so may not feel as luxurious as other fabrics

Best colourful dress

Brakeburn Erica Cotton Maxi DressDebenhams
Price: £63.99 (WAS £79.99)

Get ready to brighten up your wardrobe with the Erica dress by Brakeburn. Crafted in 100% seriously soft cotton, this vibrant smock dress is ideal for soothing sensitive skin, with previous shoppers raving about the excellent quality of the frock’s fabric.
In addition, this beautiful dress features ¾ length sleeves which provide plenty of coverage, while the easy, breezy lose-fit design will have you feeling comfy at all times. Team with trainers and sunglasses with a truly swish-worthy look.

Pros

  • Made with 100% cotton to keep you cool
  • ¾ sleeves for coverage
  • Also available in blue
  • Tiered skirt for an extra fashionable finish

Cons

  • Bright yellow shade may not suit everyone

Kaftan dresses

If you’re after a little more drama, then why not give a glamourous kaftan dress a try? Cigdem explains how this old-school Hollywood dress works for pear shaped bodies, “kaftan dresses have a small bit of definition just under the centre of your bust line before draping elegantly over the rest of your figure. This means they’re ideal for defining your bust whilst floating over everything underneath. Sounds perfect for a pear shape, right?” she says, “this is one seriously glamorous style, so try completing the look with oversized sunnies and plenty of jewels.”

Best curve-size dress

Live Unlimited Curve Ikat Maxi KaftanJohn Lewis

Fancy getting both comfort and style in one go? Well, in that case, we’ve found the dress of your dreams. Featuring a universally flattering V-neckline and elbow length sleeves this stunning kaftan dress has been heralded by shoppers as the perfect dress for summer holidays or lazy afternoons in the garden.
In addition, women have been falling in love with the lose-fit design of this frock, with one explaining that it hides all of her areas of concern. And don’t be fooled by the chic V-neckline, as customers have explained that it ends high enough to provide plenty of coverage for larger busts. Finished off with a trendy Ikat print, this beautiful buy is ideal for pairing with oversized sunnies, chunky gold jewellery and a pair of comfy flat sandals.

Pros

  • Made with 100% viscose, so will keep you cool
  • Fully lined
  • Available in up to size 28
  • Designed especially for curvy women, meaning you’ll be buying a specialised fit

Cons

  • Dress may feel too casual to wear for summer events

Best embroidered dress

Una Linen Embroidered DressBoden
Price: £186

Prepare yourself to fall in love with the Una dress, a floaty summer style crafted in cooling linen and adorned with delicate embroidery for a truly luxurious finish.
Women around the UK have been falling in love with this fabulous frock, with one customer explaining that she received a compliments as soon as she stepped out of her front door. The flattering kaftan-style shape means the dress will gracefully skim over hips and thighs, while the wide sleeves provide plenty of coverage and style. Customers have also been loving the fact that this gown has pockets along with a half-elasticated back waist, which works to create a beautiful, streamlined silhouette.

Pros

  • Made with linen to keep you looking and feeling cool
  • Features pockets
  • Easy to slip on style
  • Side splits at hem for extra movement
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Expensive but will last for years to come

Wrap dresses

A clever wrap dress is a figure flattering winner no matter what your body shape. However, they are especially great for enhancing pear shaped bodies as Cigdem explains, “most wrap dresses feature a V-neckline, which is ideal for pear shaped women. This is because a V-neckline will enhance your bust whilst drawing the eyeline to your upper body.” But that’s not all, as Cigdem goes on to explain, “wrap dresses will also nip you in at the waist and typically they feature an A-line skirt, which will elegantly float over your lower half. Best of all, they will work for every occasion, whether that’s a trip to the office or a night at a festive party.”

Best office-friendly dress

Dina Wrap DressHobbs
Price: £89 (WAS £99)

Have you been on the hunt for an office-friendly frock that can be worn all year-round? Well you’re in luck as we have found the dress that really does it all. Designed with a contemporary geometric print, this dress will look great when paired with classic court shoes and a chic leather-look bag.
In addition to the striking print, we love the adjustable fit as this dress offers a self tie belt which can be tightened according to your preference. Furthermore, it features a hook and eye and zip fastening has a fully lined top which will keep you feeling secure at all times. Best of all, the super-soft viscose jersey fabric feels oh-so-soft to touch, meaning you’ll feel comfy whilst looking stylish. What’s not to love?

Pros

  • Adjustable self-tie belt ¾ sleeves for coverage
  • Made with soft viscose jersey which will keep you feeling cool
  • Fully lined top so you can wear any bra underneath

Cons

  • Print may not be to everyone’s taste

Best floral dress

Mela London Floral Print Wrap Midi DressJohn Lewis

You can never go wrong with a floral wrap dress, and this beautiful style by Yumi ticks all of our style boxes. Available in stunning shade of green, this fabulous frock has all of the makings of a pear shape complementing dress. From the universally flattering V-neckline to the stylish frill details, we think this dress is perfect for day-to-night style throughout the warmer months.
In addition, Yumi’s frock has been designed with a self-tie belt, so you can ensure you get the perfect fit every time, while the short sleeves provide enough coverage for your upper arms without feeling too suffocating. Wear with trainers on the weekend or swap to heeled sandals for a summer party.

Pros

  • Adjustable self-tie belt means you get a perfect fit every time
  • Timeless floral patter
  • Floaty sleeves for extra arm coverage

Cons

  • Frill details may feel too fussy for some customers

FAQs

What necklines work best for a pear shape?

It may not seem obvious, but your dress’ neckline plays a huge part in creating a streamlined, more balanced silhouette. For many women a V-neck or sweetheart neckline work best as they work to draw the eye towards the centre of your body. However, others may find that a higher neckline such as crew or roll neck work better, as these will draw the eyeline up, towards your face.
So when it comes to necklines, the world is your oyster, “flattering necklines can vary from person to person. The key is to shop for the kind of style you feel good in. For example, if you worry about showing too much cleavage then try out a slightly higher neckline. However, if you like the idea of enhancing your bust then a lower neckline, like a V-neck, will work perfectly. It is all about finding what makes you feel most confident and comfortable” advises Cigdem.

What are the best accessories for pear shaped women to wear with their dresses?

No dress is complete without a few accessories, and when it comes to dressing a pear shaped figure, accessories can play a huge part. Jewellery can work wonders when it comes to drawing the eyeline up from your hips to the area around your face, so next time you’re popping on a dress try adding a pair of statement earrings, or even a dramatic necklace like Bake Off judge Prue Leith.

What dresses should pear shaped women avoid?

We’ve established that some dress styles work better for pear shaped bodies, but what types of dresses should pear shaped women avoid? Well it turns out none, as Cigdem explains “my top tip for dressing for any body shape is have fun with fashion and wear things that leave you confident. If you’re feeling great in your outfit, then you will look great. Yes, an A-line dress may skim over the part of your body you feel self-conscious about, but equally a body-con dress will enhance your figure and really show off your curves.”

What celebrities have a pear shaped body?

©Getty

If you’re looking for a little wardrobe inspiration, then why not take a look as what other pear shaped celebs are up to?
Presenter Holly Willoughby is an absolute pro at dressing for her pear-shaped body and often sports flattering A-line dresses when appearing on our screens. Holly is also a fan of prints and ruffle details, both of which are great for adding some fun to your outfit whilst disguising any body parts you may feel a little worried about.

©Getty

And it isn’t just celebs on the small screen who have perfected the art of dressing for a pear shape figure. Hollywood star Kate Winslet is known for her stunning curves which she dresses immaculately both on and off the red carpet. We find that Kate tends to opt for figure hugging styles when walking the red carpet, however her off-duty style consists of fun, flirty frocks with plunging necklines which work perfectly to show off her stunning figure. She has also been spotted layering plenty of necklaces over her look, which is another great way to draw the eyeline up and away from your hips and thighs.

Cigdem Tanrioglu is Yours Style Content Editor. As Your's resistant mid-size expert, she’s usually found scouring the high street for the best feel-good buys, or on a beach obsessing over her horoscope.

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