One of the best ways to truly embrace your body and appreciate what you are working with is to understand what kind of shape you have. In my approach to style at Dressing Your Truth, I look at your Energy Type and body shape to help you determine the clothing that complements you—inside and out.
When it comes to dressing the apple body shape, I have many suggestions that will help you lengthen the appearance of your torso and keep the focus off of your waist.
There is a bit of a negative connotation associated with certain body types, including the apple shape. However, there is nothing wrong with the apple shape. If you deny the reality of your figure, then it’s going to be hard to adjust your style to work well for your true shape.
Personally, I have noticed that my hands are larger proportion, so that is something I keep in mind when choosing clothing. It helps me not put on an item from my closet and think, “Oh my gosh, look at my hands!” In the same way, you can minimize your own proportion issues by choosing the clothing that flatters your assets and reduces more challenging areas. We are all beautiful and different—I don’t want to change that. I want our style to reflect that.
I work with women of all shapes and sizes to help them determine what clothing will work best for them. There are so many options out there! It is so easy to get overwhelmed. I want to help you streamline the shopping process and have confidence in the clothing you pick. This blog post is all about how to dress an apple-shaped body.
What is an Apple-Shaped Body Type?
If you have wider shoulders and a larger bust, yet your hips are much narrower, then you may have an apple-shaped body. In most cases, the waist of an apple type is thicker as well—if you have a smaller waist and larger hips, you might have an hourglass figure. If you have broader shoulders and a large bust, but slimmer waist and hips, then you may have a wedge or inverted triangle shape.
If you are a true apple, your waist is wider than your hips (or similar in width). Your legs and your arms are proportionally more slender than your upper torso. Your legs may be long or short. This doesn’t mean you have wild proportions and having an apple shape doesn’t mean you wear plus size. But, when you do gain weight, your body fat tends to stick to your bust and stomach. Your bottom may also be flatter with an apple body shape.
This is one of the trickier body shapes to style because many women aren’t even aware this is their shape. In order to choose flattering clothing, you will have to determine if your body shape is truly an apple shape and not a pear shape, rectangle, hourglass or wedge. All body shapes are beautiful and have their own challenges and benefits. Understanding your shape simply makes it easier to balance your proportions visually with the right clothing and accessories.
If you just aren’t sure, you can always ask your best friend or stylist what body shape you are. But, if your hip measurement is far smaller than your bust and even smaller than your waist, you are likely an apple shape.
General Guidelines for Dressing the Apple Body Shape
I want to bring out your full confidence and let that radiance shine! In order to help you choose clothing that accentuates your wonderful and powerful body, there are some key rules. Every body shape has its own set of “rules,” but feel free to break them however you see fit—it is absolutely YOUR body and you should wear the clothing that makes you feel amazing!
Avoid clothing that draws attention to the widest part of your belly. You want to accentuate your legs and chest–this will minimize the belly. In order to do that, choose fashion pieces that recreate a waistline:
- Move your belt further up, where you are slimmer
- Avoid low-waisted pants or shorts
- Avoid belly shirts and high-cut shirts
- Avoid accentuating patterns or textures on the belly area
- Choose a high-waisted support for slimming your belly and avoid bulging
Emphasize your cleavage. Your flattering bust will help pull attention away from the belly and up towards the face. Make fashion choices to show off that beautiful chest of yours:
- You don’t need to overdo it with low cut shirts, but V-necks and plunging necklines are your friends
- Do get a flattering and well-fitting bra that lifts your bust up and off your tummy
- Avoid adornments that will make you top-heavy—you already have a great bust that needs nothing added to it
- Choose shirts that flow under the breast area—expanding at the waist and giving your belly plenty of space
- A tighter chest area with a baggy midsection will be flattering
Elongate and emphasize your legs. Your legs are one of your most flattering assets. Make them look long and help stretch out the torso:
- Choose A-line dresses that will lengthen your body, drawing attention to your bust
- Show off your legs with flared pants, bootcut jeans and crop pants
- Wear flowy knee-high skirts
- High heels can emphasize your long legs
- Avoid heavy boots that will shorten your legs
- Avoid skinny jeans and leggings that will make your legs look small
Choose the right material. Thick, quality materials are your friend. You don’t want anything that clings to the wrong areas:
- Don’t choose any dresses or shirts that are clingy in the midsection
- Flowy shawls, tailored jackets and skirts can help pull the attention from your midsection
- T-shirts that are structured under the bust will help distinguish your chest and minimize the belly
- Denim works well—adding to the thickness of your legs to balance your torso
How to Dress an Apple Body Shape
Your goal will be to create a nice silhouette that balances your upper body. You are going to create the illusion of a more dramatic waist and highlight your cleavage. Use your clothing and accessories to create nice vertical lines that lengthen the torso.
Flattering Tops for the Apple Body Shape
There are so many incredible options for the apple body shape when it comes to tops. The right top is really going to slim your upper body and help it balance visually with the legs and arms.
Choose tops that are pulling attention to your bust with strappy arms, scoop necks, V-necks, plunging neckline or strapless. Long tops are going to be your friend, especially those that flow past your bottom. Ideally, the tops will pass lower than your hip bones to help lengthen the appearance of the torso. Avoid boatnecks and off-the-shoulder cuts that will exaggerate broad shoulders. There are some fun accentuating parts of an ideal top that will further flatter a more top-heavy body shape:
- Flowy sleeves
- Capped sleeves
- Small and delicate shoulder details (like sequins or lace)
- Cuffed sleeves
- Soft tie at the waist to help define the center
- Ruching in the sleeves
- Baggy sleeves that cinch at the wrist
Figure-Cutting Jackets for the Apple Body Shape
Jackets are a great way to further thin your torso, creating those vertical lines. The right jacket or coat will make the torso appear longer, so avoid short jackets, like cropped cardigans or bomber jackets.
Instead stick with the longer waistcoats, cardigans or even knee-length duster coats that pull the eye up and down. Tailored blazers and coats will help give structure to your midsection. Avoid shoulder pads—I know they are out of style right now, but they will make your shoulders broader and lead to a top-heavy look. Jackets are another place where you can get those soft tie belts that really help the eye establish a strong waist.
Fantastic Dresses for Apple-Shaped Bodies
You want to choose dresses that have a waistline that hits your thinnest area in the torso. For many apple body shapes, this is directly under the bust. The empire waist is the style that gathers right under the bust and flows out. This will increase the length of your torso. You can go with floor-length dresses or knee-length to show off your legs.
Wrap dresses can be flattering, but only if they cinch the middle and don’t call attention to the tummy. There are flattering draping styles and ruching that will help the dress cling to the right places (like the chest) and not the wrong places (the tummy). A tunic-style dress or peasant dress that ends at mid-thigh can be very flattering over leggings.
Pants and Slacks to Balance the Apple Body Shape
The general rule with pants is that you will want to avoid the very skinny styles, though there are times to break the rules (like wearing leggings under a dress). In general, your bottoms should help balance out your legs to align more with the weight of your torso. So, wear pants that are wide cut, boot cut, flare or trouser cut. This will help keep your legs looking long, but also give more of a visual hourglass.
Pockets on the back can help add a little more dimension to the flatter backside. Some jeans are even cut to visually lift and shape your bottom for a rounder look without cutting into the hips. You need mid- or high-rise pants that help smooth your midsection down and don’t cause a muffin top by cutting into it. Look for wide-banded pants that will help smooth out that area.
Best Shorts for the Apple Body Shape
Shorts can be tricky for apple body shapes, but the right pair will really show off your legs without overemphasizing your torso. Go for a high-waisted cut. Just like with your pants, you don’t want to cut into your mid-section and create a visible set of lumps. The high waist will smooth the midriff and smooth the transition to your legs. Choosing shorts that are just a bit longer helps as well. You don’t need to select a Bermuda length, but very short shorts aren’t going to create the torso length you want. Make sure the inseam of your shorts is at least a few inches long. Details or cuffs at the bottom of the shorts can also help draw the eye down, which is ideal.
Jumpsuits for the Apple Shape
Yes, apple body types can absolutely wear jumpsuits! Look for the right cut and structure to help define the waist, while showing off your great bust and incredible legs for a curvy figure. Flowy fabrics, like linen or chambray, will help create a flattering look. Avoid tight jumpsuits and skinny leg cuts that will put an emphasis on your torso while downplaying your legs.
V-necks will bring the eye up to the bust. A wrapped waist, structured panels or mid-section tie will help pull your abdomen in for a flattering silhouette. Choose shorts, flowy flared bottoms or a straight leg pant on the jumpsuit to compliment your proportionally slender legs.
Apple Body Type Skirts
A-lines are very flattering for the apple body type. If you choose a long skirt, you can even pull the waistband all the way up to right under your bust, creating your own empire waist with any tucked-in shirt (this works best with a simple blouse that is tight to the chest). Full circle skirts will be flattering to your figure. A wrap skirt or high-low skirt (one that is longer in the back than the front) can highlight your legs while adding length to your torso silhouette.
Avoid skirts that will cut into your midsection with a tight waist. Skirts that have a large tie or wrapped section in the middle can sometimes add some structure to your waist and give a flattering look. Full-figure skirts and multi-layered skirts are all great options. You will be able to pull off a trumpet skirt or even that uneven hanky hem.
Cute Shoes for Lengthening Apple-Shape Body Types
Booties are a fantastic shoe for the cooler months if you have an apple body. You want to avoid shoes that are heavy and cut into the length of your legs, so tall boots are typically out. However, it is good to draw attention to your feet in order to create a kind of visual symmetry between the hierarchy of your top and bottom.
Choose platform shoes or wedges to really show off your height without looking unbalanced. You can totally rock ballet flats if that is more comfortable for you. Strappy sandals will look incredible during warmer weather, drawing the eye down.
Clogs can provide a comfortable option for everyday wear. You will find they are a heavier shoe that not all body types can get away with. However, they will work to balance out your proportions and look very good with certain outfits. Avoid pointy toes and shoot for rounded or flat toes that will help visually widen the bottom half—especially under your slacks.
Accessorize Your Apple Figure!
When it comes to accessories, keep your jewelry light and delicate. You may still use oversized rings, statement earrings and chunky bracelets to help pull attention away from the torso. Avoid loud necklaces or large pendants that are going to pull attention to the bust and abdomen. You already have a great bust, so you won’t need to add adornment in the form of an attention-grabbing necklace. An ankle bracelet can be a great option for adding some flair and visual weight to your feet.
Avoid scarves that will add weight to your shoulders and bust. The right belt can be flattering for styling the apple shape, especially when paired with bottoms that add visual weight to the hips.
Swimwear for the Apple Shape
Bathing suit season is one that most of us subconsciously fear. I want you to look fantastic and feel amazing about your choice of suit! Women should feel as confident and comfortable in bathing suits as anything else. Your body is incredible and it deserves to be shown off (make sure you check out my positive affirmations if you need a little confidence boost)!
A halter neck is a great option for supporting a fuller chest. Underwired cups will give you structure and lift that will also flatter your bust. A tankini or one-piece with a structured middle can help cover and visually slim the midsection. Avoid low-cut bikini tops paired with bikini bottoms because that will put the focus on the waist. High-waisted bikini bottoms are a possibility if they don’t create a “muffin top” look by cutting into the abdomen.
A sarong, or wrap skirt cover, is going to look incredible with your suit. The loose, tied fabric will accentuate your legs with a high slit. You might also opt for a maxi coverup that is flowy with a tie at the waist and an open, slitted skirt.
Choosing the Style Right for You
Every body type is unique! I want you to remember that your shape is beautiful. My goal with every single client I style is to pull out their personality through their style. Think of your body as your canvas! This is your opportunity to really show off what you love. You can pick the colors, patterns, and cuts that really catch your eye. Not every body type is going to be complemented with the same styles.
Rather than feel overwhelmed in the store, I want to help apple-shaped women choose clothes that they truly love and make them look their very best.
Our clothes are the first impression that people see. They set the tone. How you dress will tell a lot about who you are as a person. If you choose clothing that doesn’t fit your proportions or body type, you give off the vibe that you don’t know yourself well.
I’ve been doing this for a long time and I find so many women just don’t know what really works for them. Sometimes, it’s hard to get out of our own heads and see ourselves how others see us. You are loved and cherished. Your clothing should reflect that.
When you go shopping, you should have FUN! You should know what works and what you love before you even hit the racks. Your clothing can become the best friend that shows off all your strong points while hiding your perceived flaws.
When you open your closet, you should see clothing that makes you itch to throw something on and show off! What I’ve found is that narrowing down your closet to only the things you love that truly flatter you will make that process so much easier.
Rather than keeping the items you want to love (but they don’t fit well or just don’t look that great on you), you only keep the pieces you actually love to wear. With a closet like that, you will find you never have trouble knowing what to wear. You will make your decision process simple because all the clothing will show off your incredible body and personality before you ever say a word.
If you want help with your personal style, you need to check out my resources for creating a personal style for your Type. Become a Lifestyle member where I will teach you how to create a personalized style and wardrobe that you’ll love! I want to help you feel empowered and find those items that just scream your name. Together, we can choose the right style to match who you are on the inside and flatter your figure on the outside. I can’t wait.