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Fashion Tips for Pear-Shaped Women – From Real Women

pear shape fashion

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

As you may know, I am a true apple shape, but I received some helpful comments from several pear-shaped women who told me about the brands and styles they like (and don’t like) to wear. So, here are a few fashion tips from plus-sized, pear-shaped women who range in age from 30 to 60.

As always, I don’t get paid to promote any line of clothing. I tell it as it is, baby.

Holly's Handbag Tips for Pear-Shaped Women

How this article got started: A while back, I wrote an article about how much I love crossbody purses for travel. Then, I got a note from a pear-shaped woman named Holly who told me that she hates crossbody handbags because they hit her in an awkward place, and… of course, I was thrilled to have another point of view. So, I sent out a plea for pear-shaped women to give me more info about what does and what doesn’t work for them, fashion-wise.

plus size jeans pear shape women

Holly, the witty bohemian chick who posted that comment berating crossbody purses has this advice for other pear-shaped women:

  • “I hope real women like us stay away from crossbody bags. If you're a pear shape, those purses are like wearing a seatbelt."
  • "If you have large hips, that bag will draw everyone’s eyes to your hips.”

And, as soon as I read that, I knew Holly was absolutely "right on." All I can do is write about what I know... and I never thought about how a low-hanging handbag flapping across a woman's thigh as she walks could be an annoying inconvenience, as well as a fashion faux pas. Well, Holly has more good purse advice:


“When carrying a clutch, hold it in your hand if the top of your arm has a little too much skin. The extra skin on your upper arm spreads when wearing a clutch there."

So, go ahead and thank Holly in advance for helping you get some decent photos of yourself on your next vacation.

pants for big butts big hipsPants and Jeans for Pear Shaped Women

I’ve never met Holly, but it’s impossible not to love her openness about her style:

“I still wear long, wide-leg jeans that are frayed on the bottom. I was never one for structured clothes, and at age 61, wearing a size 18 (with big hips, thighs and behind) I’m happy hippie-wear is still a best friend.”

Holly’s list of brands that do or don’t make the cut:

  • Long and Lean by Gap: “A good brand for jeans.”
  • Target: “Target jeans are hit or miss.”
  • Eileen Fisher: “If you have a little extra cash, this brand has great tunics and ‘every once in a while’ great, but plain, pants for pear shapes.”
  • QVC: “Don't judge me for this, but occasionally QVC has some beautiful tunics and their sizes run from XXS to 3X.”

Textures and Layers for Plus-Size Women


Even if you’re an apple shape or an hourglass, you should pay attention to Holly’s ideas:

  • "I love, love, love mixed textures, especially in late fall, when I combine velvet, lace and chiffon in various colors."
  • "I say no to huge or tiny girly-girl prints."
  • "No printed pants! They exaggerate a woman’s large hips and bum."
  • Update from Holly: Avoid tight elastic waistbands because "they accentuate your lower body if your waist is smaller than your hips and buns." (I think it would be good for you to accentuate your small waist, so I'm going to make sure that I understand Holly correctly.... If I had a small waistline, I would love to accentuate it. But, I suppose it depends on the clothing. Also, this stuff is difficult for me to understand because I would do anything to make my hips look bigger.)
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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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