Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Wardrobe Project: Shop For Your Pear Shape

This simple dress uses color to frame this woman's face and draw the eye upwards.

If you are a pear shape, you have a lovely womanly figure. You are one lucky lady! You get to wear scarves, beautiful big earrings, hats, brooches, and anklets. Your collars can be exploding with ruffles and you get to sport sleeves as puffy and shoulders as padded as you like. Keep in mind one simple rule for dressing: God has already emphasized your bum, so you don't have to. Use your clothes to emphasize everything else.

Use the lines of an outfit and your accessories to draw the eye upwards towards the waist and face (your assets), downwards towards your feet and ankles (more assets), and away from the bum and hips. Some clothing rules of thumb to keep in mind: patterns, textures, spots of color, rosettes and other embellishments draw the eye; muted colors tone down an area.


This outfit has a lot of pro-pear features.
The hemline has added bulk to balance the bum.
The waist is nicely highlighted.
You would want to take up the sleeves a bit
so that they visually point to the waist and not the hips.
Also, try a bold earring or necklace to draw the eye up.

1. You are the Queen of Accessories! To emphasize your face, your get to use your best and favorite colors, attention grabbing scarves and brooches, patterns in the material, hats, large earrings, jewelry of almost any sort, ruffles, and other details. Your goal is to balance your exciting hips with visual excitement on your upper half. This means you will be accenting your upper body so that your face is the crowning jewel of every outfit!

2. Mute the bum and hips. You will look best if the darker colors and solid colors in your outfit are placed here. Avoid shine or bulk here, so leather and satin are both top options only. The lines of your clothes need to flow seamlessly and visually over you at your widest point, so choose weightier fabrics for your lower half which will allow an item to retain its shape as it flows over your curves. Knits and light weight fabrics will cling and emphasize, so save those fabrics for your tops. End your shirts and jackets above or below your widest spot. You can even wear a tunic, if carefully chosen in a weightier, nonclinging fabric in a neutral color.

3. Emphasize the waist. Pears have a waist! You can belt it, wrap it, and end a jacket here. Wherever there is a break in the outfit, a spot where the item ends or the color pattern changes dramatically, your eye tends to be drawn there. Your waist is a good spot to put a break. Speaking of breaks, be sure to watch your sleeves. When your arms are down, they should end, or break, so that they visually "point" to a lovely spot. If they do end up breaking right at your more voluptuous spots, roll them up! Another tip, when you are getting a dress, see if the waist has slight gathering on either side of the waist. This will be to your advantage as it will make you look slimmer.

 Our lovely model and guest blogger, Maggie
(underage so we are careful with her identity)
demonstrates how to do some of these Dos.
The bright colors jump out and grab your attention.
The scarf adds emphasis to her face making her bust and shoulders more balanced.
Notice her sleeves are rolled up so that they hit her waist level.   

4. Balance the bottom at the bottom. When choosing pants, go for a mid to high rise to lessen the risk of muffin tops and exposing your underwear when sitting, and steer away from a tapered leg. Go for straight legs, boot cut, and flared bottoms as long as you can get them without dragging the hem on the ground. Following these tips will make your legs look long, but they won't draw unwanted attention to your hips. Decorations around the hem and on the leg seams are also very fun. 
Here, the sleeves end where they are just as wide as Maggie's hips, allowing for balance.
The scarf and earrings add emphasis to the face.
Notice, that the dress has gathers around the waist, slimming the waist. 

The structure of this skirt hides an ample bum in the folds
while showing off the waist.

5. Dresses. What better way to dress up than to wear dresses? Here are some tips for making you look just like a queen. The skirt should not end in the middle of the calf; it needs to either be longer or shorter where the calf muscle tapers. Be careful when going shorter! Don't go any shorter than right above the knee, and don't stop at the ankle unless you are wearing boots. Most women look best when the skirt ends just above the knee and when the skirt ends at the floor length. If the skirt is long, Pears can get away with a lots of ruffles around the hem. (This makes us Southern Belles very happy.)    

Ruffled hems!

Accessories will help you draw the eye where you want it!
To draw the eye away from the bum, try a pop of color in your shoe.
To draw it up, think earrings!

The End

1. Be sure the hems of your shirts, jackets, or any items end somewhere other than the middle of your bum. This will make it look bigger and draw the eye there. You will be drawing the eye away from your beautiful face.

2. The most important fit for you is the bum. Purchase your pants and skirts to fit very well through the bum. You can easily alter your waist yourself or spend a few dollars to have a seamstress take in an outfit. Consider alterations a necessary part of your charms and one of the hidden costs of your wardrobe, like dry cleaning (your curvy cousins, the hourglasses, will be doing this, too).

3. A fashion rule of thumb is to never buy anything without trying it on. Skirts can be tricky, because the look changes with different leg shapes. Your fabulous skirt might look mediocre on another Pearl because of this. That's why we try everything on before purchasing! Try to get a back view. If you can, have someone take a digital picture of your back view when you come out of the dressing room so you can see instantly the impression you leave behind in a potential purchase.

So Go Shopping!
Most women have a few shopping habits to break--shopping for the shape they want rather than the shape they have. This leads to frustration and a feeling that "Nothing looks good on me!" It will take awhile to train your eye to spot the gems on the hangar. Don't give up and don't despair! If you keep picking up clothing for another shape, voice out loud who the item was designed for, "This would look fantastic on So-and-so! She's an Apple," then hang it up and move on to an item designed for you.

Nothing breeds success like success. Go have a fun morning with a friend! Take this list, $25, a digital camera, and a friend and hit a quality used clothing store (one that only racks gently used items and sorts women's clothing by size) and search for one complete outfit or one fantastic item. Try on items that follow these rules then analyze what looks good and what does not to find out why you love or hate it. Talk over each item and what it does to add or detract from your graces. Giggle when it looks awful! Remember, if clothing doesn't look good--it's the fault of the clothes, not you! God has blessed you, so go bless yourself with a very good time!

For further tips and updates see my Pinterest Board: Pear Shape Fashion.

Not Your Shape?


  1. Love those boots :)
    Can't wait for "me" next week!

  2. I'm not sure how to say this in a delicate way but you guys are really ripping off Hallie Lord of Betty Beguiles with this series. It makes me kind of uncomfortable and pretty disappointed that Catholics would do something like this.

  3. Actually, Lisa R., I contacted Betty Beguiles before we started the project. Yes, it is inspired by her awesome love of fashion, but I am disappointed that you don't see it as an addition to rather than a taking from. It really isn't meant to detract from her in any way. She's publishing a book soon and I fully intend to use the excitement generated by this to generate sales for her project. In my small way, of course.

  4. An addition would be taking your own approach to the issue not outright copying a series that she already did.

    And I guess if you and she talked she must be referring to something else (and also much more patient than I) but she expressed disappointment online tonight that someone is ripping off her blog and your series was the first thing that came to mind.

  5. I don't think you had bad intentions but I have to agree with Lisa. This stuff is really similar to Betty's. As someone whose work has been plagiarized in the past I am very sensitive about honoring and respecting our fellow bloggers hard work and creativity.

  6. Well, I obviously have some apologizing to do, some changes to make, and intentions to make clear. When you have in mind where you are going (the struggle with accepting a more Catholic view of the body when you have a bit of the Gnostic idea of the body being unnecessary and adorning it almost distasteful). I wasn't seeing this as similar except on a level of Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper being similar but I can see now that I should have ended here instead of starting here. We didn't talk, Lisa, I sent her an email informing her of this before Maggie and I began. I contacted her again to apologize just now, since you brought it to my attention. Thank you so much for that! I am going to go back and make sure those who are looking for a higher level of advice (meaning better) and professional services for this

  7. ...portion of the project are pointed to her blog.

  8. Not being real familiar with Betty Beguiles, I googled her blog and found it easily.

    Then I took a look at what she's doing.

    Christie, I disagree thoroughly with Lisa and Monica. Why?

    Because I grew up reading Cosmo and Redbook and other ladie's magazines that have articles just like yours but done in THEIR own if you're ripping off Betty Beguiles then she's ripping off Cosmopolitan, etc.

    No one has a copyright on general fashion advice. Betty Beguiles does not have a copyright on body shapes or giving advice on clothing that fits what shape. Nor does she have a copyright on general fashion sense.

    You're not doing anything wrong. You're not using her words or her photographs and in fact, you're not using any of her ideas. You're taking general ideas that have been floating around long before the internet, and you're posting your own take on it in a small series on a blog dedicated to your faith and family.

    I see mention of "vintage clothing" by one of the commenters above, but I didn't see you mention anything about vintage - just used clothing stores, which are anything from vintage to Lane Bryant last week or KMart yesterday.

    Seriously...keep up your series. There's a TON of fashion blogs out there, but I guess some of their followers perhaps have lost sight of that.

    Besides...again...yours isn't a fashion blog, but a blog that happens to have a small series about fashion with a Catholic twist.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Did you happen to read through Betty's (who is also Catholic) series on this subject, Adoro? It sounds like you glanced at her blog but didn't actually read the series in question. If you had you would have seen just how similar these posts are down to, yes, the actual wording and organization of information. Don't comment on something if you don't have all the facts. It makes you look ignorant. No one ever said that Betty has a copyright on this topic but the similarities between the series go way beyond that. Christie has acknowledged that she read Betty's series on the topic so it's not a coincidence though obviously it was an innocent mistake. I maintain my position.

    And no one made mention of vintage clothing. That was you.

  10. Christie - If it's all right I will contact you privately. I feel I owe you an apology. You seem like a fine person. I just bristle when people (Adoro) wade into the middle of a debate without having all the facts. Makes me think something else is going on there.

  11. Lisa ~ You're the one bringing the charge that Christie has done something wrong.

    Ergo...the burden of proof is on YOU to prove it. We commenters just joining in shouldn't have to go to a blog and then try to GUESS at what the problem is.

    So...since you're bringing the charge, please post what is the alleged source being "ripped off" so that we may all intelligently discuss the very same thing.

    I guess you look kind of ignorant too, don't you?

    Put up or shut up.

    Or perhaps the person allegedly being wronged could just respond privately to Christie as she has directly contacted her, and perhaps that would clear things up so that Betty Beguile's own commenters don't have to make her look bad.

  12. Oh, gee, I'm sorry Lisa. I didn't realize there was a "debate" going on. I thought it was an open discussion on an open blog that just happens to belong to a friend of mine.

    My mistake.

    But still, what I said stands: any time you make a charge that someone is doing something that may be illegal, it's best to be very specific in identifying what is wrong. It both gives you credibility and also makes it clear what you are discussing (or debating as seem to prefer).

    You could also have been clear about not desiring any opinions contrary to your own so that any of us "wading in" will know that we're not entering a discussion but a debate. Silly me.

    I look forward to more information about this "debate". In the meantime, I have a real job to go to in the morning so I'd best get some sleep.

    Hope you have a nice night and morning.

  13. You're a piece of work, Adoro. My conversation was with Christie who has already apologized so I guess I may my point effectively enough for her. If you want to be part of the conversation you can inform yourself rather than trying to enter a conversation that you know nothing about. Why would you do that? Do you have some ax to grind?

  14. Nothing illegal but still a rip-off:

  15. It seems to me that a great many people are bludgeoning Christie for a good idea, I'm not sure if all of your are jealous or just plain mean but you should not have stuck your nose in her business anyway. Some knowledge is public domain and it is not a rip-off to republish it in a different way or even the same way as many of you are positing, just calm down and mind your own business.

  16. Don't worry about me, people. I'm not feeling bludgeoned--I was just horrified to think I'd stepped on her toes and her income. I'd have fixed it if it was me, so while I'm relieved for me, I'm still upset for her. See the next post.


      Here is a link to the post where I explain that Hallie Lord (Betty Beguiles and now Moxie Wife) assured me that I was NOT the offending blogger. As I stated above, to ensure I did not step on her toes I checked in with her prior to starting this project.

  17. I loved this post, especially because I am a pear.:) Dressing for my body has been quite a challenge at times.:) Thank you very much for doing this project Christie!:) I look forward to each post.:)

    I don't agree with the people here. I saw your post after this one, and I am happy it wasn't you Betty Beguiles was referring to. You have every right to do a fashion blog, I see them ALL the time.:) I suppose I could accuse them of cheating off of you, or Betty Beguiles! Silly.;) There are so many more important things to argue about, must we argue on this? If we call ourselves followers of Christ, why are we using harsh,rude words? Would Jesus speak in this way? Most certainly not. Let us keep that in mind when talking to others.;)

    Anyway, you rock Maggie and Christie!:):)