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What defines a pear shape?

Defining a Pear Shape Body

Defining a Pear Shape Body

Is a pear shape defined by small bust, or narrow shoulders? I have seen both in various places, and am confused. Comparing it to hourglass doesn't help. Sometimes I find that an hourglass shape requires balanced shoulders and hips, sometimes it is balanced bust and hips. If I have balanced shoulders and hips, a well-defined waist, and a small bust, what should I consider myself?

So far, I find that I look best when dressing according to the hourglass guidelines, with the only main change being that I can wear high necklines or ruffles at my bust. I would, however, like to know which I can consider myself officially.
Thanks for your help!

Jane's answer... What a great question! A woman with a pear or triangle body shape looks bottom-half heavy when viewed facing her. She may have a small bust, but not necessarily so. The defining characteristic is narrow shoulders relative to her hips.

assessing your shape

When you look at yourself straight on in a mirror if your hips and shoulders are a similar width and you have a well-defined waist then you have an hourglass shape. So, it sounds as if you do indeed have an hourglass shape.

If your waist is only slightly defined (or not defined at all), but with shoulders and hips of a similar width, then you have a rectangle body shape.

When you're doing this assessment look at the pivot point where your arm is attached to your shoulder. It may be easiest to identify this point from your arm pit. Use a long straight item such as a straight stick or long, inflexible ruler to see if your hips are the same width as your shoulder joint, narrower or wider.

In the photo to the left this woman's hips are the same width as her shoulders and her waist is only slightly defined, making her a rectangle horizontal proportion.

Sometimes it's a fine line between one shape and another. In that case use your judgment about whether you feel balanced, top-half heavy, or bottom-half heavy.

And, as you've found, with a smaller bust you can wear higher necklines and more bulk over your bust area.

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Body Shape Measurements Reply
by: Jane

The horizontal shapes are the proportions we see when we look straight-on to the person.

This is why body circumference measurements don't necessarily work. For example, a large bottom, or large bust will distort those measurements. And circumference measurements don't take proportions into account.

The proportions are assessed by looking at the width across the top of the torso (just under the shoulders) to the width across the low hip.

As a form of short hand the comparison is often referred to as width of shoulders compared to width of hips. However, this is not quite accurate.

I hope this explanation makes more sense to you now?

Body Shape Measurements
by: Anonymous

How does one measure from shoulder joint? I always thought one should measure from edge of shoulder.

It actually doesn't make sense to measure from shoulder joint to hip bone, because that would mean you also need to measure to hip joint as well. I am pretty sure one measures from edge of shoulder bone to hip bone.

You're welcome
by: Jane

So glad you found my answer helpful!

by: Anonymous

This was really helpful! I guess I am an hourglass, after all. And your suggestion of measuring from the shoulder joint made a lot of sense- I always wondered about that, because the very edges of the shoulders are usually wider than the hips. Anyways, this was really helpful! Thank you!

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