Petite Pear Dress Dilemma

Dear Chantelle,

I recently discovered your website, and value your content for its smart advice and upbeat attitude!

As a petite pear (A cup, 5`4″), dress shopping is discouraging. No boobs, junk in the trunk, soft tum, thunder thighs. Worse, I have a smattering of mild acne on my chest, which makes even slightly more revealing necklines risky business, even with makeup. (Thankfully my arms, waist and calves are decent…I tend to suit size small/4-6 best).

Are there any dresses out there that are youthful/funky yet classy for a late twenty-something with post-puberty pimples? I just bought a classic black wrap dress, and have a lacy cami to layer/disguise underneath …

I`d love to experiment and play with whatever is around!

Many thanks, Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Thank you so much for your email. I had fun reading your fashion agony and think there are some key rules you should follow.

There are loads of dress shapes that you should consider. I too am a petite pear and have the same issues you do but try to have fun experimenting with necklines, sleeve lengths, dress lengths etc.

Here’s what you should try;

A great solution for your mild acne on your chest is to wear a skinny roll neck jumper underneath the dress of your choice and this is a perfect tip to try out over winter. The roll neck should compliment your dress and if your dress has a specific pattern running through it then pick a colour which appears most in the pattern. Don’t worry about the fabric or neckline of the dress as most dresses will look great on top. In fact I think a more dressy dress looks great over a casual, plain, skinny roll neck. This look is very now! However, if you feel uncomfortable with wearing such a heavy item under the dress then opt for a plain long/mid length sleeve cotton top that you feel comfortable in, this works just as well.

In terms of best dress shapes to look for then the key for you is to enhance the parts of your body that you like (i.e. your arms, waist and calves). This means that you don’t have to wear long sleeve dresses because your arms are good, you can experiment with puff sleeves, sleeveless dresses or fluted sleeves. Any sleeves in fact will look great on you – you are lucky!

You need to enhance your waist by wearing dresses which maybe have a sash round them or even try adding a wide belt and wear it round the thinnest part of your stomach, this will create a great silhouette – wear it a little higher (below the bust) if this is the thinnest part of that area.

By the sounds of it you hate your thunder thighs … by wearing an A-line shaped dress or skirt this will hide any sign of thunder thighs but make sure the length finishes just below the knee, showing off your calves which you are proud of!

See my favourites below …

This dress is gorgeous, glamourous and you gotta have it! Try wearing a style like this with a classic roll neck underneath or wear a shrug over the top which ties up above your chest.

A great neckline for you and the fabric creates a flattering neckline around the bust area.

Pretty! I love the sleeves on this dress.

A casual alternative to wear in the daytime. Try a roll neck or cotton top underneath a dress like this.

Please note: All dresses featured are from Debenhams.

Hope you find this advice helpful, please email me and let me know how you get on.

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