Slim torso, narrow shoulders and wide hips describe the pear-shaped body. For most women achieving the 40-year-old milestone, unwanted and unexpected pounds often creep up. Whether slower metabolisms or lifestyle changes occur over the age of 40, the pear-shaped body tends to widen, causing discomfort when wearing everyday wardrobe pieces. However, certain silhouettes accentuate positive body features. Wear clothes that flatter the pear-shaped body, which leads to increased self-confidence and motivation to adapt or improve on your changing figure and body shape.

Silhouette Tips

Form-fitting blouses add definition to waistlines along the side seams. However, form-fitting does not have to equal body hugging contours. Albeit sexy, this silhouette type accentuates the hips making the area appear wider. Wear form-fitting silhouettes such as shaped tunics or A-line tops that draw attention to the shoulder area creating balance and proportion to your body shape. Apply the same principle to A-line skirts. This silhouette type gradually flares from the waistline to the bottom hem. Transform the pear-shape into a proportioned hourglass shape by pairing the skirt with a wide cinched belt. Since most pear-shaped women have heavy thighs, create the illusion of long, lean legs by wearing boot cut jeans.

Styling Tips

Though most fashion magazines hail 40 as being the new 30, certain youth-orientated trends are no longer suited for that age, especially for women in their 40s with a pear shape. Wearing youth-orientated or tween fashion ensembles like tube tops, extra-short mini skirts and patterned stockings generally age you and do not flatter the 40+ figure. Make style adjustments. For example, wear the tube top with a well-fitting strapless bra. Accessorize with a bold necklace or earrings. Wear a solid color tailored jacket with shoulder details, bootleg trouser and high heels. For those women that do not want to sacrifice trendy styles like the skinny jean, pair the bottom with A-line tunics. Deep V-neck or scoop neck tops as well as cardigans draw attention to your upper half and away from your bottom.

How to Wear Avoidable Styles

Making a wardrobe checklist when searching for flattering garments in your closet or at a retail store will streamline the process and empower you to choose clothing that enhances your features. For instance, pencil skirts that are generally cut tight around the buttocks and thighs emphasize the pear-shaped body. However, by pairing the pencil skirt with a long tailored jacket and high boots, the ensemble looks chic for the office. Full skirts with excess fabric gathered along the waistline drape over the hips drawing attention to the area. Pair the full skirt with a cinched belt to accentuate the waistline.

Prints and Patterns vs. Solid Colors

Though most stylists use prints and patterns as attention grabbers for magazine spreads, certain prints and patterns accentuate body features. For instance, trendy horizontal bold stripes add pops of alternating color bands. When this trendy pattern is worn around hips, the style enlarges the area because of the curves at the hips. Change to vertical striped color-blocked maxi skirts. Use solid colors to draw attention to your shoulder area by wearing light color shades mixed with dark bottom colors. Use the same technique wearing bold print blouses with solid color bottoms or dark stone-wash jeans. Arm your fashion arsenal with styles that empower you and your 40+ pear-shaped body type.