Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Leotards to flatter pear-shaped figure


Recommended Posts

It's about time for me to buy some new leotards, and I wondered if anyone here has suggestions of leotards that flatter a pear-shaped figure -- either general styles or specific brands. I'm fairly tall and thin, but I have a 10-inch difference between my waist and hips (and my bust measurement is several inches smaller than my hips).


I've realized that skinny straps and scoop necks are not my friends, but a thicker strap (kind of in between cami and tank) and V-neck looks much nicer. I'd love to hear other adults' recommendations on flattering leotards for pear-shaped body types!

Link to comment

Something like the Natalie Tank Leotard style # N8565 at Discount Dance could be very flattering because of the contrast striping at the bust and the wider tank straps. That will draw the eye up to the face! Any leotard with bust details should draw the eye up as well. Try looking for leos with a darker torso and lighter bustline, just so long as the fabric does not change right at the waist.


Mirella has a beautiful new line of leos (provided you're not doing partnering) with buckle details that will flatter almost any figure.


Now, let's get to the nitty-gritty: Love your body because of what it is able to do. You can walk, dance, run, twirl, jump, and generally do things that a huge percentage of people will never be able to do, and some can't physically ever do.


Hopefully you have found a school where as an adult, you are not in competition with others in your classes, and there is a supportive, loving, environment. I teach a wonderful group of adults, and I work hard to foster an environment of freedom, acceptance, and passion for ballet. Some times, this requires making a fool of myself, which is just fine with me because if it enables just one adult dancer to try something he or she is not comfortable with, well then I shall play the fool for life!!!!!!!!!!!


Basically, wear something you can move in, feel free, and comfortable, and something where the teacher can see your musculature. The rest is just fluff.

Link to comment

Thank you, Clara! I hope my post didn't come off sounding too insecure, as I am very fortunate to have found a school with wonderful teachers who take adult students seriously and challenge us, yet are supportive and encouraging. Our dress code in adult classes is relaxed, but those of us who are intermediate/advanced and on pointe (including myself) are given the opportunity to perform with the school. When adults are in rehearsals with younger students, we wear black leotards and pink tights (as all levels except adults are required to do). So, I'm always on a quest for a beautiful black leotard. :happy:


Currently, my favorite is Gaynor Minden's GM207 from Discount Dance -- it has 3/4 straps and a beautiful, elegant V-neck and back. However, I might have to treat myself to one of those Mirella leotards with the buckles...they are stunning!

Link to comment

No! Not at all. But I know from teaching adults as well as playing one on tv (I kid. I really am an adult : :dizzy::P ) that it is very difficult to walk into a building where teen sylphs are lolling about everywhere. Then, to have to don an outfit that leaves less to the imagination than a sweatshirt and sweatpants, well, it takes guts. That's why I hand it to all adult dancers everywhere who pick themselves up after a hard days work and make it into their ballet class diligently, night after night. In fact, I wish most of those teen sylphs could learn about that kind of dedication.

Link to comment


Are you interested and /or allowed to wear a short unitard? I find ones such as this very flattering for a slightly pear shaped physique;

The detail on the top draws the eye up and the better coverage below hides less than perfect upper thighs :shhh:


I like a unitard with bootie shorts over top sometimes as this elongates the torso, minimizing the look of a bigger bottom half :wink:

Also, black three quarter length tights with a black unitard make one look longer and more svelte in my humble opinion...

Link to comment

From another distinctly pear shape thank you for such uplifting replies Clara, yes, you are quite right for adults who uhmmm dont quite look like those sylph like teens anymore sometimes it can be quite hard... I keep reminding myself that I am at least double and for some of them triple their age!


I will try and describe my two favourite leotards for you as one was made by a local manufacturer and the other I made myself....

the bought one:

It is plain black, with two camisole straps going over each shoulder with about a 1cm gap between the straps... they dont twist or cross or anything they just go straight over and join the back of the leotard the same distance apart... (I have quite a long neck and wide shoulders IMO in nice proportion but the spaced apart straps are a better look for me than a single strap)

the leotard is seemed below the bust and then has what I think are referred to as princess seams up the front which are very flattering, I find that this leo is cut a little more genrously across the bum area and I do like the elastic in the legs to be quite tight so the leotard does not ride up it is also a lowish cut on the leg.

the made one:

I have one in dark grey but that was just because I liked it... it only has one strap over each shoulder (camisole type strap) but with a pinch v front and a lowish pinched v back otherwise it is very basic with lowish cut legs which have firm elastic in them.

Link to comment

I don't have any style numbers at hand, but I have the same shape, and it seems that anything that broadens the shoulders is good, and anything that narrows the shoulders is not so good. So, halters are not good. Criss-cross straps that pass over the shoulders closer in to the neck are not so good. When I get back to my leotard drawer, I will have a look...

Link to comment

@Balletlove -- you made a leotard?! That's amazing!

Link to comment

Artofmoving... thanks, it was actually easier than I thought it would be; and I dont really sew! I have never been one of those people that sews their own clothes etc etc, normally my sewing is limited to cushions, curtains, the odd wrap around ballet skirt and now leotards for myself. :grinning:

Link to comment

I recently purchased this leotard: http://www.bodywrappers.com/details.php?id=15


I looove it. I'm also pear shaped, though I am super short, so the fit might be a little different. It feels perfectly secure though, and the details of the cap sleeves and the pinched front bring your eyes up, and are pretty without effecting comfort or functionality.

Link to comment

finnedballerina - very nice leo, I LOVE the colour!!!! I have a similar styled one, it just doesnt have the piece across the back and I have had lots of compliments with that.

Link to comment

@finned: That leotard is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for the link. I can see how that would be extremely flattering on us pear-shaped ladies! Adding it to my wish list...

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...