Top Five Styles to Avoid For Pear Shaped Petite Women


Many Bella Petite readers want to know what we should avoid wearing when we are petite with big hips. 


Firstly, it is helpful to know what type of figure you have when choosing clothes so you look fabulous! 

If you are a petite woman with proportionally larger hips that means your figure type is pear-shaped. 

Whether you are thin, curvy, or plus-size with a pear-shaped figure you may want to follow these suggestions for what not to wear.

Never forget that beautiful women come in all shapes!



1. For most women super tight fabrics may be unflattering to your figure type, even on the most slender frame.  

This is especially true for a petite woman with a pear-shaped frame as you can see with petite celebrity singer 5’3″ Kelly Clarkson.

You really want to select styles that fit well and give you a graceful, slender, elongated appearance to look your best!



2. When you have a pear-shaped figure there are certain pant styles you want to avoid.  

Do not wear skinny jeans or pants that sit low on your waist, or narrow down to the ankle. Definitely, avoid capri pants.

These styles will emphasize your hip size as you can see in this picture with 5’2″ Kim Kardashian who has a pear-shaped figure.

You really want to select figure-friendly high-waisted jeans with wide-leg trouser that starts at the widest part of the hip and follows straight down to the floor. Definitely pair high-waisted fitted jeans and straight leg cuts with a heel that is at least two inches in height to create a slimming effect. Also, mid-rise jeans Lucky Brand Mid Rise Lucky Brand Mid Rise AVA petite jeans (inseam 24-29) look good on pear-shaped petite-sized figure type.


3. Tulip tops, baby doll blouses, half shirts that expose your midriff, and baggy sweaters that cover your bum should be avoided.

You want to choose tops that are fitted and not baggy that finish at the top of your hips to emphasize your well-defined waist.


Avoid tops and short jackets that end at your bum because these draw the eye to your larger middle section.

Try experimenting with different necklines, for instance, a V-neckline and shirt-blouses elongates your upper body and draw the attention upwards.

Wear a lighter color on top and darker color with heels for your lower half to help detract from your hips.

You should follow this example of petite fashionista 5’2″ Kim Kardashian who is wearing a wide-legged trouser with a champagne V-necked blouse and high heels. She looks simply fabulous! Great brand picks for Petites with hips; J Brand, Levi’s 515 straight cuts, Right Fit Jeans, Joe’s Jeans, Tahari, David Kahn, and Citizens of Humanity are all excellent brands with great style!  


Rachel-Ray-baggy-dress-ankle strap-heels

4. Oversized baggy clothing makes all women appear to be heavier and layering can sometimes have this effect, so be sure to pick your pieces carefully.  You do not want to wear clothing that  

Especially if you are pear-shaped you should avoid oversized tops, dresses, jackets, and coats.  You should opt for semi-fitted or fitted clothing to achieve figure-flattering results.

Petite celebrity chef 5’3″ Rachel Ray has committed two fashion infractions by wearing a baggy dress and ankle strap heels.


5. Chunky shoes with ankle straps tend to make your legs appear shorter and thicker, which causes more emphasis on wide hips. Boots will have the same effect.

You may also want to avoid flat shoes to avoid looking frumpy and a dumpy bum.  It is best to wear a sleek high-heeled pump or at least a two-inch heeled shoe to help give you are more of a slim-lined appearance.

We offer petite fashion advice to help you avoid unflattering looks depending on what your figure type is: Pear, Apple, Hour Glass, Athletic-Rectangle, Inverted Triangle.  Not every style is meant to be worn on all petite women’s figure types and that is why we offer helpful advice, so you can select styles that are best for your beautiful petite shape.

Read us daily to get the scoop on petite fashion advice for suggestions on what to wear and not wear.  

Written by: Ann Lauren


What are your suggestions for both what to wear or not to wear if you have a pear-shaped figure? Tell us below.

Ann Lauren Bella Petite

Bella Petite Magazine is Fashion, Entertainment, and LifeStyle for petite women.“Petite is fit, curvy, and full-figured.” Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!  You will receive regular updates on our events, promotions, and special offers.

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45 thoughts on “Top Five Styles to Avoid For Pear Shaped Petite Women”

  1. Very frustrating. So basically everything is off limits except for too long flared pants, v-necks and heels. I guess we need to hide that we are short and have a big butt and try to appear as taller and longer.. which only says to petite curvy women ‘you are not the ideal body type.’

    No knee high boots. No flats. No straight legs. No wide belts. No layers. No light colored bottoms. Sucks.

    1. Exactly, I will follow this advice! I know a pear shaped figure has limited options most styles are not flattering and this advice is spot on.

    2. i’m a 32 year old masculine classic gentleman, and to all the pear-shaped women out there PLEASE follow this advice from this article…this article advises not to emphasize the hip/waist ratio or the size of the hips because you will emphasize your figure flaws..cuz let’s be honest unfortunately most women with big hips have a big butts and it is hard for you to look good, maybe should try some exercising and not depend on clothes to make you look good.

      1. Maybe you should do a little more research yourself. No amount of exercise will change a pear shape. And who are you to decide what is, or is not, attractive?

        You certainly not a “classic gentleman.”

        1. Exactly right Kim! My husband, a TRUE gentleman, loves pear and hourglass figures because we DO have feminine curves. We are naturally soft and curvy Whether thin or full-figured, a pear is a pear—embrace your luscious selves ladies!

      2. You sir should hold back on the snidely comments that may hurt others whether the fashion advice his is right or wrong. Thanks Bella Petite for your expertise in fashion and explaining what not wear when you are petite and pear shaped to help is look great. This helps me alot!

      3. Wow sir you certainly have a very high opinion of yourself! I’m sure you’re as wonderful to be around as you portray yourself to be in words! You’re not exactly the gentleman that most women would waste their time being around. As for body types for men or women, no one is perfect not even YOU!

      4. And I can imagine the “masculine” build as a 300 lbs gentleman that’s prolly 5’1 with a stomach looking 9 months pregnant

    3. Am I the only one who thought the first two pages’ no-photos were cute and attractively plump, while the Kardashian yes-photo was drab and boring despite looking thin and tall, like someone who would shrink into the background rather than a woman with personality and confidence? I know fashion and advertising are all ‘god forbid people look anything other than tall and skinny.” Short, plump, and/or obviously pear-shaped can look great while shown off rather than hidden.

      I don’t care if straight-legged pants make me look taller, I rarely wear them. Platforms and heels are literally too impractical and/or painful to bother much with. My knee-to-ankle length skirts, cross-ankle-strap ballet flats, and coordinated-and-layered tops have all garnered genuine praise. Confidence really is the core of your outfit, to wear what makes you feel great rather than worrying about it making you look short or plump.

      Seriously, even I and my closest friends forget that I’m a mere 4’6″ because I’m so contentedly confident and happy with myself! Come on, let’s start enjoying a variety of body sizes and looks instead of finger-wagging each other towards a single mold.

      1. You are completely rude! I think Bella Petite is the best and only magazine that I care to read on the planet! This magazine has empowered petite women and helped petite women immensely we are now in the realm of the fashion planet, thank you very much. I find this to be very helpful advice and seriously doubt this magazine goes out of their way to make petite women look bad as you suggest! In my opinion those photos accurately depict how both Kim K and Kelly Clarkson look they didn’t use photo shop to make them look thinner or shorter clearly both of those ladies need better stylist, maybe they ought to hire Bella Petite to help them out, LOL! I am 5ft and I find the fashion advice to be very helpful and I love how they use real petite models and actresses in the magazine hooray! Lets get real these are fashion tips you either can do or choose not too, but your slams are the real joke when this was a thoughtful article for me, since I can use this advice since I tend to carry a lil extra weight around my hips. I definitely think ballet slippers and flats make petite women look frumpy and unattractive and that’s just life, so you can choose whatever you want, but try not to kill the messenger who is only being helpful as I see it!!!

        1. I think this article is better for some than other but each to their own. However I don’t understand how ballet shoes can make short girls look flumpy I myself wear dolly, ballet and flat shoes daily. Despite the fact I am only 5ft and like to feel abit taller, heels are a very rare appearance to my wardrobe due to my droped arches (which cause my feet alot of pain in heels apsecialy). This problem means it’s hell to wear heels for just a few hours whilst I’m on a night out let alone all day walking around, or at work. So does that mean because I wear flat shoes as advised by doctors (which may I add can be very fashionable and not as dull as they are made out to be) I am making myself look frumpy? I refuse to agree with that lable. Fashion in my eyes has too look good and feel good whilst your wearing it too otherwise it’s not fun and it doesn’t seem reachable to be fashionable. My point is that this article is slightly unrealistic in places as it suggest that because you are short you must try too look or be taller by wearing long trousers and heels. Otherwise you are labeled flumpy or wearing the wrong or totally unflattering clothes. I don’t think these tips are for everyone but I agree some people may find them helpful and these style tips and looks may suit some people who have the ability and confidence to pull it off. I however do not have that confidence due to these labels of the “fashion world” and i am not one of those people who feels they suit long trousers unfortunately. so to me this article doesn’t give me personally the tips that suit me and my needs for a short “plus size” or as I prefere to say curvy (as it’s a much nicer term that’s less shameful)girl that I am. Despite this it is a good article for those who whish to take on board and follow these tips, and I can in some sence see how it could help people unlike myself.

      2. To Danielle you certainly swallowed an ugly pill this is why I hate the internet because it allows mean girls like you to spew hate and rudeness because in reality it is who you are MEAN!!! Too bad Kim Kardashian in my opinion always looks terrible I don’t like her clothing line either. Kim Kardashian in general tends to wear clothing that makes her butt look even bigger and her hips always look enormous if the photos look bad to you than that’s your opinion. I like this advice and really found these tips to be helpful that’s the point of ADVICE!!!

    4. No need to complain. She is right, I have so many pictures where I loved the clothes I was wearing yet I saw I looked frumpy dumpy but could not figure out why. Complaining when you don’t like something is silly. Take it with a grain of salt and leave. Someone of us appreciate good advice especially when we recognize it at being just that… advice.

  2. As a pear-shaped petite girl, I find flared pants very unflattering, at least on my body. They make my legs look like shapeless columns, therefore making my legs look heavier everywhere. I know that skinny jeans are widely considered a no-no for us, but I have a very comfortable pair that I practically live in. They’re not super clingy, and they emphasize that my legs have some shape and definition, unlike flared jeans and pants.

  3. This is the first website that has actually talked about PETITE pair-shaped women and I’m very impressed. I wish there were more photos that told me what I can wear, and less “don’t wear all these general things”. This article manages to tell me not to wear nearly everything and that all of the clothing that’s available in stores (which are all severely lacking in the petite dept) will look terrible on me and that basically there’s no hope. We need a petites-only store.

    Flat shoes look dumpy? Actually, I think flats look quite cute with a nice A-line dress, which work very well on pear-shaped petite ladies.

    To be honest, wide-legged pants look very dumpy on a short girl that’s 5’3″ and under. The pants take away from the fact that her hips are huge, but they also make her legs look ultra-fat instead, thereby making the girl look even shorter.

    I’ve heard from other sites that wearing a frilled top adds volume to the bosom area, which helps to balance out the hips. Don’t know if it’s too overwhelming on a petite girls figure, but it works for normal-sized pear-shapes.

  4. I agree with the comments above. The advice to emphasize the waist and wear wide legged pants has never worked for me. It just makes my hips look bigger and legs look elaphantine.
    Skinny jeans actually make my short legs look longer.
    Ultimately you cant hide who you are. You have to learn to love it.

    1. I totally agree with you well said I love skinny jeans too And totally agree you shouldn’t hide who you are you should love and embrace it and show it off in the best way you can

  5. I LOVE THIS! Finding the right clothes for your shape does so much for you self confidence. We put together a few looks for pear-shaped woman to off their fabulous shapes. xoxxoox

  6. Thank you for your fashion advice! I am a petite woman with a pear shaped and find it hard to look good in clothes, so your points really helped me. Thanks Bella Petite 🙂

  7. Natalie Portman is good with fashion — good enough that she’s avoided showing off the bottom heavy nature of her figure too often on red carpets — but she has been dressed horribly in some movies. V For Vendetta for instance has her in very tight slacks, making the bloom of her generous ass and hips stick out like a sore thumb.

    Moral of the story? I have the same shape and I dressed like that *all* the time. I saw that, saw how unflattering it was (petite women with big asses may be a thing in Latin America but not here) and threw out all my tight-fitting slacks.

  8. whoah this weblog is great i like studying your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You understand, many individuals are looking around for this information, and you are aiding
    them greatly. I like coming to Bella Petite daily! Thanks for your fashion advice, luv it 🙂

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  10. “For most women super tight fabrics may be unflattering to your figure type, even on the most slender frame. ” I think I look rather good in tight clothing, cause I’m very skinny. Skinny pears can look good in tight clothing… Just look at Leighton Meester (who is obviously a pear, she has larger hips and a bigger but compared to her torso). I’m so frustrated at no one giving clothing tip for skinny people. Cause skinny figures are always only described as “boyish”, but there are different skinny types too… You can have ANY shape as a skinny girl as well

  11. I really appreciate your fashion advice and opinions here and do agree! You have made my life better and removed the stress of how to dress with my figure type. Some of the styles I shouldn’t wear I do just because it seems fun, but it makes me look not so good I get it. Thanks keep doing all you do BellaPetite!

  12. What I find very cool is how Bella Petite has managed to become the best and only magazine dedicated to us petite gals! Thanks for all your effort and hard work it shows in how professional the articles are written and the photos are fab! I wonder who pays for all of this to happen? Are their any petite clothing designers paying you to feature them? Why don’t we see Ralph Lauren or Ann Taylor paying your magazine so us petite women know what is new with them, do they even care about their petite consumers?

  13. I’m short, pear shape AND my legs are super short. And I can’t wear heels. Most trouser pants or flared jeans in petite sizes are still too long and aren’t ideal for my lifestyle. All wide leg jeans make my legs look shorter which makes me feel uncomfortable in public.

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  16. The advice for pear shapes always says to wear fitted things to emphasize the waist,but if I do that it just emphasizes my hips even more, because you can tell how large they are compared to my waist even more! Basically it shows off how disproportionate my hips vs waist are, so why do they keep saying, emphasize your waist, wear belts, etc….

    1. I am a mix between an apple shape and an inverted triangle and I WISH I had a pear shape because I would wear the heck out of anything that showed off my cute curvy womanly hips.

    2. Great post smart advice! I agree with many of the points here. May I suggest that you add a bling belt and nice necklace brings the attention to that part of your beautiful body.

    3. Hi Sec, that’s a good question and the reason for the suggestion is to deemphasize your hips and the belt you select should not be too large. Your blouse selection needs to be proportionate to your frame. It should be a lighter color than the bottom. And I agree that you don’t want your top to be too tight fitting. You want to select top styles that balance you out, to take the focus away from your hip size.

      1. yes and no… while I agree with 90% of this, theres an addendum. of course you don’t want to show off the hip dimples especially if theyre in the wrong places ( haaa haaa so funny ) but you DOOOO want to show off some feminality. ( what now seems to be a strange and foreign custom in usa… ) Hip dimensions are vast and varied… DUH.. but if you have to worry about it, then wear something classy yet suited.. example queen latifa. shes a big girl, yet, she wears form fitting outfits.. It all boiles down to.. LOKK IN A GOD DAMN MIRROR!!! your not a calvin cline model, get some self awareness instead of what you tube tells you! and for GAWDS SAKE… stop being men… your not a man… stop acting like one. be a girl.. guess what, you are one!!! Be the example.

  17. I agree that short and pear shaped is a difficult figure to dress without looking unbalanced. As to the tips in this article I find them to be helpful. I acknowledge some styles are clearly a no no for me, I have worn some others, noted as off limits in the article. I wear flats, leggings, tall boots etc. With a pear shaped body fit and balance are crucial like this article implies. Get a full view mirror and experiment. Eventually you will find what you like that makes you look and feel good. But most of all don’t try to follow trends. They can make you feel bad about yourself. Bella Petite is my fav magazine!

  18. This is the best magazine I am so happy you exist! Wow I never thought anybody would ever be smart enough to create a petite fashion magazine! My dreams have been answered! You even have a model search and a radio show that I am listening to for sure! Thanks for all you are doing for us petite ladies to have a reliable magazine that makes us look fab! Great advice too I never know how to dress to look my best thanks!!!

  19. You are the best Ann Lauren! Your magazine is my favorite. Thanks for the advice you are so right on! Love to read more of your style advice.

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