pear-shaped women

Fresh spring looks for those with a little extra padding on the bottom include, from left, Banana Republic's nautical stripes, Talbot's full skirts and J.Crew's A-line dress. Photos:,,

Slimmer on the top and rounder on the bottom? Join the pear-shaped club.

Fitting into the fruit-figure category may be common, but fitting into trendy styles needn't be a challenge, especially with these handy style tips from Charla Krupp, author of "How to Never Look Fat Again," and Sam Saboura, fashion guru and "My Body, My Style" host.

"The situation with the pear shape is that you want the party and all the activity on the upper part of your body," Krupp tells StyleList. "You want all the color, the jazz, the fun fabric and the pattern on top," to draw the eye upward, while toning down the bottom half.

Saboura explained that pear-shaped women typically want to put something fitted on their upper bodies, but that's not necessarily the best option.

"You really want to balance the proportion of your upper body to your lower body," he says. "I encourage women to add a touch of volume to the upper half to balance the curves and fullness of their lower half. Cardigans and little jackets are great for this. And for spring there are lots of lightweight, draped tops that will add a little bit of volume without overwhelming your frame."

Read on for more style pointers from our experts. Stick with these tips and you'll be rocking pretty spring looks with grace and ease.

Lighten up, darken down: "If you want to call attention to something, use a light color," Saboura says. "Putting light color on the upper half of your body brings the eye up and that's always going to be flattering. If you're not into wearing color, use jewelry or accessories to call attention to the upper half and pull the focus away from the lower half of your body."

Nautical and nice: "Stripes are really big this spring," Krupp says. "If you're a pear shape, a French nautical shirt is a great top for you because everybody will be looking where you're slimmest. If you're wearing a horizontally striped boat neck top, wear dark solid pants -- a dark denim or black jean. It's a great look for right now.

"Another way to wear stripes is in a big scarf," she adds. "Wrap a cotton striped scarf around you a couple times and wear a solid outfit in black, navy or white behind that. Scarves are really big for spring and summer."

Pinstripe pointers: "If you do want to wear stripes on the bottom, a pinstripe pant is great for a pear shape, and there are a lot of options this season," Krupp says. "A wide-legged, sailor pant or regular trouser will work, as long as the stripe is very skinny."

A-lines are A-plus: "The A-line skirt that pear-shaped women have been hearing about since the dawn of time is really on trend right now. Fuller skirts are huge for spring," Saboura says. "An A-line-skirt that stops at the knee -- or just below -- is a wonderful item for this body type. It provides coverage, gives a little bit of movement -- also on trend -- looks feminine and is going to make her feel comfortable, as well."

Bottom booms and busts: "A boot-cut pant is great for a pear-shape," Saboura says. "A trouser cut can also work as long as the it's not super-exaggerated. That's going to be a great way to wear the '70s trend of the season without looking like you're wearing a costume."

"The skinny pant is not right for a pear shape because it's going to hold on to your thighs," Krupp says. "A Capri pant, which is very popular right now, is also bad for a pear shape," Krupp says. "A trendy wide pant will work if it fits well in the hip area."

Dress success: "A trapeze dress is a great shape for a pear shape because no one will really see where your body is under the part that flares out," Krupp says. "What you don't want is a really tight shirtwaist dress or a really tight sheath -- they will show where your hips and thighs are. A pencil shape can work if it doesn't have too much stretch in it. Clothing with a lot of stretch isn't very forgiving; it will cling to every bump and roll on your body."

Suck it in: It's not for everyone, but shapewear will streamline the silhouette. Yummie Tummie creator Heather Thomson has a few tricks up her sleeve. For dresses she recommends a bustless slip. "A good slip is the passport into your closet," Thomson says. "Worn under any dress, your figure will look flawless. Rock those curves, girl, and show off that hourglass figure." Another slimming option are the longer bike short styles, which work well under pants or skirts.

Try a tunic: "A tunic is great for a pear shape because no one can see where your tummy, rear or thighs are," Krupp says. "It's kind of a magic piece. And you can wear it with a skinnier pant underneath as long as your butt is covered."

Hello, heels: "Pear-shapes will benefit from a heel," Saboura says. "Any kind of height added to the body will slim the leg line and slim the thigh area."

"You want as much height as you can get, but a lot of women are balking at the size of stilettos -- with 5-inch and 7-inch heels -- and I don't blame them," Krupp says. "The flatform -- a flat platform -- gives you a lot of height but it's flat and a really great choice this spring. But stay away from ankle straps," which truncate the leg. Or try a pump or heel that matches your skin tone, to create a longer leg line.

Color block: "Another trend for the spring season is color blocking," Krupp says. "If you're pear shaped, you want the darkest pieces of the color blocking to be on the lower part of your body. So if you're wearing a simple A-line dress, make sure the colors are on top and the black is starting from your waist down."

Just don't do it: "Don't wear bottoms with raised or embellished pockets because all they'll do is call attention to the problem area," Saboura says. "Avoid pleated pants, high-waisted trousers that are going to create extra curve in your hip, contrast stitching on your jeans and extreme fading over your thighs -- that's going to add more volume to your thighs. Clean dark denim is the best option."

"Right now there's so much bright color, but stay away from the orange, red and neon pants if you're pear-shaped," Krupp says.

For more spring style ideas, check out these super helpful videos with Sam Saboura . . .