Hourglass and Pear Body Shapes – Characteristics, Health Risks, Styling Tips

Christine Steuber
Jul 11, 2022
What's the difference between hourglass vs pear-shaped body? How to dress each of these figures properly? My guide has all the answers.

When we talk about hourglass vs. pear-shaped body types, it can be quite hard to spot the differences. 


Well, first of all, both have prominent waistlines, so one can easily confuse a pear body for an hourglass simply because similar proportions are there. However, there is more to these figure types than meets the eye. 

If you’re not sure whether you’re an hourglass or a pear, I can help you figure out the answer. In this guide, I’ve collected everything you need to know about this body type and added some styling tips as a bonus. 

Let’s dive in! 

Hourglass vs. Pear-Shaped Body: Which Figure Do You Have?

To understand the main differences and characteristics of the hourglass shape vs. pear shape, I’ve created a table below that highlights and compares the important points of both shapes.

Pear vs. Hourglass Body Types Comparison Graph - Firstforhers

Now that we know the main differences, let’s discuss each body shape in detail.

What Is an Hourglass Figure?

To better understand what an hourglass body shape is, remember its main features:

  • Well-balanced hips and bust.
  • Round shoulders that nicely align with the hips.
  • A perfectly shaped and defined waist.
  • A well-rounded hips and a great front profile.
  • The waist gracefully curves out to the bottom.

If you possess these main characteristics, you own an hourglass figure. But not many women know that there are actually different types of this body shape.

If you’re curious to learn more, follow me to the next section.

Types of hourglass body type

When it comes to hourglass-shaped people, two categories exist – bottom hourglass and top hourglass. 

Regarding the top hourglass figure, everything fits into the characteristics we have discussed regarding a typical hourglass, except the chest, which is somewhat broader than the hips. 

On the other hand, a bottom hourglass is the complete opposite – the hips are wider than the bust. So, if you have the bottom hourglass figure, your curves will stand out more on the lower body.

Also, in both cases, the waist is thin and nicely defined.

Health risks associated with the hourglass body shape

The hourglass figure body is the least common and, at the same time, the most desired physique among women. But unfortunately, there are certain health risks associated with this figure.

Owning an hourglass figure means that whenever you gain weight, your body won’t distribute it only in one area. That’s why weight gain can be difficult to notice if you are not frequently checking the scale. 

If an hourglass becomes overweight, they are at a higher risk of chronic diseases, like heart illness and type 2 diabetes, without realizing it.

My advice to all hourglasses is: keep checking your weight regularly!

Celebrities with hourglass-shaped figures

There are many hourglass women in the celebrity world, including the leading Hollywood actresses, models, and famous singers who love flaunting their curvy assets.

I decided to single out two of my favorites in this category, so let’s start.

First, a wonderful actress, Kat Dennings, wears all sorts of outfits confidently and shows the perks of her figure in the best possible way.

Kat Dennings celebrity with hourglass-shaped body
Credit: Pinterest

She doesn’t mind showing her big bust and curvy hips. That’s why most of her tops and dresses give ample room for cleavage, just like the one you can see above.

And when we talk about hourglass beauties, we just can’t skip the lovely Beyonce! She is a perfect example of what this body type looks like:

Beyonce celebrity with hourglass-shaped body
Credit: Flickr

We can clearly see the lines of her curvy body in this tight green dress. The hips, narrow waist, and lush bust are prominent. As always, Queen B rocks her outfit and knows how to look as seductive as possible!

Styling tips for the hourglass body shape

Owning an hourglass female body means you have countless outfit options to wear since many different styles and clothing pieces will suit you very well!

In this section, I have added two fashion examples (casual and formal) and styling tips so that you can get the best-fitting clothing.

Let’s start with this formal attire consisting of a form-fitting bodycon that flawlessly highlights the curves. The defined waist of the bodycon means that your best assets – big bust and bottom, get their time to shine.

Black bodycon dress outfit for hourglass body shape

When wearing tight dresses, don’t forget to spice your overall look with some cute heels. They will balance the upper and lower body and make you look mega-seductive! Just one little tip – wear seamless lingerie underneath such dresses to prevent creases and visible edges.

Now it’s time to show you that even casual combinations can look fantastic on an hourglass figure. Pair your fitted blouse with skinny jeans, cover it with a tailored jacket and you will feel comfy and look stunning at the same time.

Check out this style:

Casual outfit for hourglass body shape

I must emphasize that when choosing jeans, always opt for high-waisted models to keep your body balanced and to make your defined waist and attractive bottom stand out in the best possible way.

What Is a Pear Body Shape?

Now, let’s discuss the second body shape to finish our comparison between hourglass vs. pear-shaped body types.

The following features characterize a pear-shaped body:

  • A small upper body and a small chest.
  • Legs are either muscular or full. 
  • The shoulders are narrower than the bottom and might be sloped.
  • Full thighs and/or hips.
  • A defined waist.
  • Weight gain is first visible around the thighs, bottom, and lower midriff. 

So, if you tick these features, you are probably a pear-shaped lady.

Health risks people with pear-shaped bodies face

Although this type of body looks healthy at first sight, some potential diseases and problems are still associated with it. 

Pear-shaped people have lower metabolic rates than apples, so they are most likely to face bone problems like osteoporosis.

Also, according to one research by the University of Pennsylvania, pears are at risk for eating disorders, varicose veins and adding visceral fat. 

That’s why all pears should eat a low-fat diet full of calcium and exercise regularly to prevent weight gain.

Celebrities with pear-shaped bodies

If you are wondering if there are famous ladies with the same body figure as you, I have to tell you one thing – Hollywood is brimming with pears! We can literally say that there’s a tight battle between the hourglass vs. pear-shaped body in Hollywood because there are so many beautiful women with both figures. 

Now, let’s see two pear-shaped celebs and their stunning outfits.

Rihanna is the perfect example of a pear-shaped body, and, considering her great style, she proves that this figure type can look absolutely stunning. 

Rihanna celebirty with pear-shaped body type
Credit: Pinterest

In the pic above, she opted for the look that emphasizes her waist and balances her curvy bottom by adding more volume at the top.

Another proud celeb pear who loves her luscious curves is Jennifer Lopez. Her outfits mainly consist of tight dresses that show her thin waist and attractive bottom. Take a look at this style:

JLo celebirty with pear-shaped body type
Credit: Pinterest

As we can see, this outfit hugs her hips perfectly while the sweetheart neckline highlights her bust in a subtle and sophisticated way.

Fashion recommendations for pear-shaped bodies

As I’ve said just now, pear-shaped people can have a blast picking out their outfits since it’s easy to identify the attires that will highlight their body’s perks and hide the flaws. If you ask me, this is the luckiest female figure, also known as the ‘triangle body shape

To give you some inspiration, first, take a look at this casual everyday combination:

Casual outfit for pear-shaped body

This T-shirt with flared sleeves adds volume to the narrow shoulders. The straight high-waisted jeans play down the big hips and put the whole body in the desired balance. 

The key is to bring attention to the upper body and divert it from the wide bottom. So, to create an illusion of volume in the upper body, you have to opt for striking sleeves. And that’s exactly what you need to focus on while choosing the formal outfit as well.

Check out this lovely outfit:

Dress with detailed sleeves outfit for pear-shaped body

The belted one-piece accentuates the waist, and the plunging V-neck brings attention to the cleavage. The hips are hidden by light material that falls in a straight cut, while the brown details perfectly complement this pastel green dress.

Also, if you have both a pear-shaped body and a pear-shaped face, check out my detailed guide on choosing the right hairstyle.

Why Do I Have an Hourglass/Pear-Shaped Body?

While discussing the hourglass vs. pear-shaped body, many women wonder why they have either of the two physiques. And no, genes aren’t the only decision-makers. 

According to a study published by Weight Management Journal, there are five factors influencing the body type:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Lifestyle
  • Ethnicity 

Body fat accumulates quicker with old age, and wide hips in women are common due to 

bigger hip bones to accommodate pregnancy and birth. 

Next, being active and eating a healthy diet impacts energy levels and helps form your figure in childhood. Plus, some ethnicities tend to have a particular body type more. For instance, African-American women are usually pear-shaped compared to European American ladies. 

Also, many women often wonder which figure is more attractive – hourglass vs. pear-shaped body?

We shouldn’t put any figures against each other or objectify them. If you are dissatisfied with your body, you can visually “fix” it by following the right styling tips or including some exercise in your weekly routine. More on this below. 

How to Keep Hourglass and Pear-Shaped Bodies Fit?

Whether you’re a pear, apple, or hourglass shape figure, you should always keep your body fit, primarily because of your health. In this last section of my guide, I’ll share how you can achieve that with the right exercises and a balanced nutrition plan. 

Let’s get started!

9 Exercises to keep hourglass and pear figures in shape

When it comes to hourglass vs. pear-shaped body exercises, remember that they are pretty similar, so both figures can do the same training I prepared.

After warming up, start your upper body workout by doing the following exercises:

  1. Push-up – a perfect builder exercise to lift the chest.
  2. Dumbbell pullover – to work out the bust muscles and lats simultaneously.
  3. Standing Arnold shoulder press – to sculpt shoulders to balance the big hips.
Upper-body workout for hourglass and pear-shaped bodies

For the midsection, I recommend:

  1. Forearm plank – to tighten the inner corset.
  2. Leg raises – to cinch the waist
  3. Russian twist – to whittle away the side fat.
Mid-body workout for hourglass and pear-shaped body

For the lower body, choose the following exercises:

  1. A classic squat – to build the hips and booty.
  2. Jump squat – a great glute burner.
  3. Hip abduction – to work out the outer glutes and tighten hip muscles.
Lower-body workout for hourglass and pear-shaped body

It’s a great idea to perform all these exercises consecutively. Make three sets of each exercise, and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each set.

Also, if you are pear-shaped and want to gain more volume in your shoulders and arms, you can repeat exercises for the upper body two extra times during your training. I recently wrote a detailed guide on this topic, so feel free to read it.

Nutrition recommendations

Another important method of staying fit is knowing what food your body needs and its nutrition requirements. So, for hourglass and pear-shaped body types, I’ll share nutrition tips to avoid weight gain and stay in good shape.

I’ll start with hourglass figures first. Focus on eating whole foods in precise portions from the different food groups. 

  • Avoid highly processed foods and eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Cut back on sugary drinks and opt for herbal teas or light-flavored sparkling water.
  • Take healthy fats – avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
  • Consume probiotics to achieve great gut health.

For pears, an ideal diet consists of high fibers balanced with low-fat organic dairy, organic protein, and small amounts of healthy fat. Also, here you can find a complete meal plan appropriate for your figure, so I recommend you to check it out.

Over to You

Here ends my detailed hourglass vs. pear-shaped body guide. We’ve covered many aspects, and I hope my pretty pears and hourglasses are now feeling confident in their bodies. 

To sum up, we discussed the following tips:

  • Hourglasses should wear body-hugging dresses, like bodycon, to highlight their curves. 
  • Any outfit with a defined waist is suitable for hourglass and pear figures.
  • Choose tops or shirts with shoulder details and a straight bottom to de-emphasize your wide bottom.
  • Both hourglasses and pears should work out the whole body and eat healthy to form a balanced physique.

If you gained knowledge and major fashion inspiration from this guide, check out my previous articles related to other body shapes and more fancy outfits!

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