Those with an apple body shape often have slender legs as well as narrow hips and shoulders, with most of their weight sitting in their midsection and upper half of the body, including the bust, back, and stomach.
More often than not, an apple figure has a waistline and bottom that aren’t very pronounced. Most of these attributes also do not change significantly regardless of the change in weight or height on an apple body.
Some famous apple shaped women include Adele, Drew Barrymore, Rebel Wilson, Oprah Winfrey, Amy Schumer, Adele, and Melissa McCarthy. These women go above and beyond to demonstrate that hiding your apple shaped bodies in oversized clothing is not the way to go!
If you do have an apple body shape, you may have these physical attributes:
- A shoulder line that is rounder and wider, sometimes appearing chunky
- A bust size that is average to big
- Fullness around the midriff
- Little to no defined waistline
- Narrow hips
- Slender legs
- A back and ribcage that appears broad
An apple body shape can naturally look top-heavy because of the fuller chest and upper body with minimal waist definition. For this reason, balancing out the upper body with volume on the lower body is essential.
While doing so, you may also de-emphasise the midsection by cinching the waist in visually. Instead of concealing the stomach area completely, you can always highlight your best assets, such as the bust and legs, to draw attention away from the area.
This signifies choosing dresses that can make the midsection appear narrower than it actually is to attain a more proportionate look overall. Then, play up the bust area and focus the attention on the arms and legs.
Here are some dos and don’ts when styling an apple figure:
- Choose dresses that have splits at the waist
- Fabrics can be more structured to mask weight
- Wear darker colours around the waist
- Details should only be concentrated above the bustline and under the hipline
- Embellished hemlines add interest to the legs
- The waist should be kept free from any additional details or embellishments
- Avoid excessive fabric across the midsection
As long as you pick the right cut, dresses could be one of the easiest outfit choices for an apple body shape. Regardless of the style you choose, the dress should skim over the midsection but not be too tight that it clings to the body.
Another factor to take into consideration is that the dress should detract focus from the midriff while accentuating the bust. Whatever you do, remember that we want to draw the eyes upwards.
We break down the dress silhouettes that work for an apple body shape:
- A-line dress: An A-line dress stays slim on the shoulders and bust, creates definition at the waist, and flares out on the lower part of the body to balance out the top half.
- Empire dress: An empire dress draws attention to the decolletage and away from the midriff, and its fuller skirt adds balance to the overall look.
- Bias-cut dress: This is a flattering style for an apple body as it not only lengthens the silhouette but also cuts off the torso at the waist to divert from the round shape.
- Wrap dress: A wrap dress will nip in the smallest part of the waist while the top remains slim with a skirt that flares out at the bottom.
- Shift dress: A shift dress is ideal for an apple body as it follows the straight lines of the figure and can be forgiving when it comes to concealing a fuller stomach.
When it comes to fabrics, go for those that are heavier, billowy, relaxed, and more substantial that do not cling tightly to the body. This encompasses fabrics like linen, chambray, matte jersey, cotton, wool blends, and viscose.
Steer clear of fabrics that are overly delicate and cling to the body, which may reveal every lump and bump on an apple body shape, and those that lack a good amount of stretch, such as silk, spandex, chiffon, and rayon.
Since we are concealing the stomach area and drawing more attention to the decolletage, opt for open, low, and wide necklines to add balance and break up the chest vertically so as to visually separate the bust and tummy area.
This will also make sure that the shoulders look broader than they actually are, and also elongates the body. Other great details such as embellishments on the neckline also help to draw the eyes upward and further away from the midsection.
High necklines that are also narrow should be avoided at all cost as they cover up the chest and optically narrow down the shoulders. This will only add to the round shape of the apple body and thus appears top heavy.
Here are some necklines that work well for an apple body shape:
- Boat neck
- Square neck
- Scoop neck
- Sweetheart neck
To create visual interest and draw attention away from the midsection, sleeves on an apple figure should play up the upper body and arms. One simple way to do this is through sleeves with added details, like gathers, cuffs, ties, buttons, draped fabrics, and slits.
In regards to the fit of the sleeves, choose ones that are loose and flared to add bulk on the upper body instead of those that are overly fitted and tight. You may also take it one step further and try cap sleeves as well as shoulder pads to amp up the effect.
Another aspect of sleeves you can play with is the length and where they hit on the body. For instance, three-quarter length sleeves also draw attention away from the midsection and automatically makes it look smaller than it actually is.
Here are some sleeve styles that flatter an apple body shape:
- Slit sleeves
- Cap sleeves
- Cuff sleeves
- Flare sleeves
- Drape sleeves
Skirts are a perfect way to disguise a wider midsection on an apple body shape, but to bring about said results, the skirt should end just before the knee, at the knee, or at the calf. That way, it will balance out the top half of the body without drawing attention to where the weight gathers.
Skirts with lots of volume, such as full, flared, tiered, and bubble skirts work great for this purpose. Besides that, straight skirts that flare out at the bottom as well as fuller flowing skirts that skim away from the body are also effective.
While A-line, paneled, flip, and box pleat skirts could work, they need to sit lower on the waistline with side fasteners and a flat front. This is so that they do not highlight the bulk in the tummy area. On the same note, steer clear of tiered, ruffled, or super short skirts.
Try these skirts for an apple body shape:
If you do have an apple figure, go for chunkier shoes that are visually more heavy to balance out the bulkier top half of the body and play down the midsection. This is your ticket to be playful and be bold!
Medium to high shoes, such as platforms and wedges, as well as calf-length boots serve that purpose while highlighting your curves in a pleasing way. Additionally, try ballet flats, strappy sandals, and sexy heels to show off those fantastic legs and ankles of yours.
To draw even more attention to your legs and add a hint of freshness to your overall look, opt for shoes featuring bold prints and colours. You can never go wrong with polka dots, bright pops of colour, and florals, for instance.
Accessories can transform a look from plain to smashing and it all boils down to finding the right ones for your body type. For an apple figure, bold earrings and hair ornaments can draw the eyes upwards. With that said, do not use chunky jewelry at the bust area.
With scarves, opt for those of medium length and wide styles that fold up at the neckline. Watch out and make sure that the scarf does not fall too low that it hits the bust area. It also should not dangle so low that it flows down to the midsection of the body.
Belts are not so recommended for apple body shapes, however wearing it on the empire line just right under the bust area will work in some cases. Should you choose to wear a belt, make sure that it is wide but still looks delicate.
As for bags, go for those that are wide and have a little structure. Medium-sized handbags like totes and bowling bag purposes work well, and so do messenger bags, shopper bags, and over the shoulder bags. Avoid using clutches, shoulder bags, and crossbody bags.
Petite Body Types
While you do still want to take attention away from the midsection, your focus should also be on elongating the body as well. Style with intention so that you are able to visually balance out your proportions and help your legs look longer.
Though this isn’t the case for regular apple body shapes, do try dresses with shorter skirts that hit slightly above the knees to visually lengthen the legs. Be sure to pair that with chunkier shoes to achieve visual symmetry throughout the entire look.
Whenever possible, you can also kill two birds with one stone by incorporating vertical lines throughout your look. Not only does this slim down the body’s profile, it is also instrumental in making the body appear taller.
Tall Body Types
When you have the height to go with an apple body shape, you can essentially get away with more as your overall profile does not appear as wide as compared to apple body shapes of regular or shorter heights.
While the similar rules for drawing attention away from the midsection still apply, you may focus on creating more balance across the body. For example, dresses with knee-length skirts or those that fall right above the knees work wonderfully for tall apples.
Wearing dresses with prints that cover the bottom half of the body can also make you look smaller, if that is something you are looking to do. This way, the louder skirt will nicely balance out the heavier top half of the body as well.
With a compact midsection that is wide, make sure your dress has a lower and wider neckline to elongate the upper half of the body. The dress should also not be overly high-waisted and ideally has a seam that sits below your natural waistline.
Colour and prints may be useful to trick the eyes and divert attention away from the shorter torso. When you have a shorter torso, you might also want to conceal the waistline and tummy area completely with a shift dress.
With a shorter torso and an apple shape, you also have the permission to wear longer necklaces and earrings to create more balance between the upper and lower body. Select skinny belts over wide belts as you do not want to interrupt the vertical line across the body.
When picking out a dress, bear in mind the proportions to give the illusion that you have longer legs while still keeping your apple profile as lean as possible. One way to do this is to ensure that the fabrics you select float away from the body and do not cling onto the skin.
A safe bet would be empire styles that naturally have a higher waistline than most other dresses. Otherwise, A-line styles that flare out also camouflage where the body transitions from hip to leg.
Next, try ankle boots or lower cut footwear to make the legs appear longer. Heels also have the same effect and help to lengthen the bottom portion of the body while hiding the longer torso. You can also try colour matching the dress to the shoes or go for neutral coloured shoes.
Your ethos when it comes to styling should always be to have fun. Whether you are a tall or petite apple, the most advantageous approach when styling your body is to play up your best features and don’t get so attached to the rules. The happiest girls are the prettiest after all!