Typical characteristics of the apple body shape are a large bust, narrow hips and a full midsection. This makes the body appear like an apple shape.
Often, apples tend to have slender legs and flat bottoms.
Read if you are concerned about:
- A wider midriff
- Lack of waistline
I. Characteristics of the Apple
- Rounder, wider shoulder line and flattish bottom
- Average to big bust
- Ribcage and back appear somewhat wide
- Fullness around the mid-section
- Little to undefined waistline
- Narrow hips
- Slim limbs and nice legs
- Weight gains are first visible in the central torso/tummy area.
Other body shape tendencies
It is difficult to categorise your body into just one of the basic body shapes. Be open to a possible secondary body shape:
- You lean towards a pear shape if your hips are slightly broader than your shoulders.
- You lean towards an inverted triangle shape if your shoulders are slightly broader than your hips.
- You lean towards an hourglass shape if you lose weight around your tummy and gain a waist instead.
- You lean towards a rectangle shape if your bust and hips are approximately the same width.
II. Styling the Apple
The apple body shape can appear top-heavy due to a full chest and upper body with little to no waist definition.
To balance out the upper body, choose clothes that add curves and fullness to the lower body.
To de-emphasise the midsection and to create a more defined waist, pull it in visually.
Flaunt your assets
Highlight your best parts - usually the bust and/or legs - to help take attention away from the midsection.
- Keep the clothing line straight to slightly fitted but fabric soft so you avoid unnecessary bulk around the bust, waist and tummy
- Keep details above the bustline and below the hipline - for everything in between keep it plain and simple
- Details on the hemline bring attention to the legs
- Keep your silhouette fitted under the bust, below your arms, and along your waist
- Wear structured garments, as they hold in and camouflage extra weight
- Wear bright colours on your lower body
- Avoid excessive fabric around the midsection
Define the waist
Clothes that make the mid-section narrower help achieve a more proportional body shape.
- Invest in a good push-up bra to lift your chest
- Opt for splits at the waist
- Wear darker colours around your waist area – such as a dark belt
- Clothes that skim over the midsection but nip right below the bust lift the chest and make the waist look trimmer
- Keep your waist free from details that widen and highlight - such as light colours and horizontal details
- Steer clear of details around bust, midriff and hips. Keep detail in top and lower third of your body
Necklines for the apple pear body should break up the chest vertically (to create a visual separation between bust and tummy) and take attention away from the fuller midsection.
To accomplish this, necklines should be both wide and low. A wide neckline will ensure your shoulders appear wide, while a low neckline will help elongate the body and break up the chest.
A fabulous neckline style for the apple-shaped body is the low V-neckline.
Embellishments and details on and around the neckline are also great to draw the eye upwards and away from the torso.
Avoid high and narrow necklines that hide your chest and visually narrow your shoulders.
A selection of flattering neckline styles:
To take attention away from the wider midriff, sleeves for an apple body shape should accentuate the upper body and arms. The best types of sleeves to take attention away from the midriff are detailed sleeves - such as slits, gathers, cuffs, and draped fabrics.
Opt for loose, flared sleeves to build volume on the upper body.
You can also play up the shoulders with cap sleeves or shoulder pads.
Avoid fitted sleeves that do nothing for your arms.
A selection of flattering sleeve styles:
Shirts, T-Shirts & Other Tops
To draw the eye away from the midsection and towards the bust and shoulders, shirts should highlight the latter area whilst nicely skimming over the tummy.
Opt for shirts with embellishments around the neck and shoulder areas to accentuate them. Another good option is tops that wrap at your natural waistline and flare at the hip. This will conceal a bigger tummy.
If you want to hide some extra weight around the midsection, you could also look for tops with diagonal lines, big prints, and texture. These are better for concealing than solid colours.
Don't tuck your top in your bottoms, and make sure it is long enough to cover the tummy. Preferably it should end below the hipline.
Avoid crop tops and tight-fitted shirts that would highlight the wider tummy area. Also, stay away from details and embellishments around the midriff area so as not to attract extra attention to this area. Finally, steer clear of tops that end above the hipline since this would make the torso look bigger.
A selection of flattering shirt & top styles:
Knitwear naturally reveals every curve of the body with its thick fabric. Because apple shapes are curviest on top, a classic jumper may highlight areas you would rather conceal.
The best way to flatter the apple body shape is to choose open cardigans in draped fits, which are not so clingy. Make sure the garment ends below the hipline to elongate the figure and skim nicely over the torso and hips.
Avoid clingy knits that would show off the wider midriff. And steer clear of details and embellishments - especially horizontal stripes, which can make you look heavier than you are.
Jackets are a great way to conceal a wider midsection if they skim over it. The right jackets to achieve this have structured lines and fabrics. Wrap style and tailored jackets work well. Make sure the jacket is snug on the shoulders.
Jackets should finish at the hipbone to skim past the midsection and balance out the body frame. And make sure that jackets are single-breasted to avoid clutter-up. Buttons should sit below the bust line.
The best and simplest way to camouflage a wider midriff is to layer your top with a structured jacket.
This draws attention away from this area and creates curves in the right places - such as the shoulders and bust along with the hips. Opt for tailored blazers to achieve this effect.
Another option is to wear your jacket open. This essentially hides the silhouette and has a slimming effect. Cardigans, for example, look fantastic worn open.
Avoid belted and double-breasted jackets unless the belt is just under your bust (empire style). And steer clear of too many details and embellishments.
A selection of flattering jacket styles:
Like jackets, coats can be used to nicely cover up a wider midsection. Structured coats are the best option.
They should preferably be longer than hip-length to skim past your midsection and balance out your frame. Buttons should be below the bust to trim the waist.
Also, make sure that your jackets are single-breasted. Too many details, such as double breasts, accentuate the midsection.
Like with a jacket, you can use a structured coat to layer over your top.
This draws attention away from this area. And worn open, a coat can elongate your figure.
Avoid coats with belts around the waist, double breasts and too many details that would clutter up your figure.
A selection of flattering coat styles: