30 Cocktail Dress Recommendations for Apple-Shaped Body

Christine Steuber
Jul 8, 2022
Check out my guide with 30 cocktail dresses for apple-shaped body to rock at any event, from a wedding ceremony to a fancy dinner.

So, imagine the situation. Your best friends invited you to a party (a wedding reception or a simple at-home dinner celebration), and the dress code is to wear a cocktail dress. You are excited to attend the event but conscious about your tummy pooch looking bad in the outfit. And you’re wondering – which cocktail dresses for apple-shaped body would look good on you?

Well, let me tell you – there are not just one or two models that will fit your body; it’s ten! Let’s take a look at them and help you find the perfect gown for the event you’re going to!

What Is an Apple Body Type?

An apple body type is characterized by an overall round shape in the middle, with thin legs. If you tick the following requirements, you belong to this body category:

  • An undefined waist and a prominent abdomen.
  • An average or big chest.
  • A flat bottom.
  • Thin legs.
  • A round middle section.

This figure is usually confused with a pear-shaped body. However, remember that pears tend to have a thin waist with wide hips.

Another figure that’s often confused with apples is an inverted triangle. The reason is that the latter is, in fact, a variation of an apple-shaped body. Both are bigger at the top, but an inverted triangle has relatively broader shoulders, while apples have a conspicuous chest and tummy. 

What is a Cocktail Dress?

A cocktail dress is a semi-formal outfit for evening or afternoon events, parties, and other occasions. In other words, the name of the garment somewhere between laid-back daytime wear and fancy evening wear is a cocktail dress.  

In the 1940s, Christian Dior was the first-ever designer who called this type of dress ‘cocktail’. This new fashion terminology was quickly adopted by department stores, magazines, and American and Parisian designers. 

Today we can find various types of cocktail dresses, and there are also great cocktail dresses for apple-shaped body, but more on this later.

What is the usual length of a cocktail dress?

It’s impossible to pick the best style cocktail dress without choosing the right length of your ensemble. A general rule of thumb is to wear a cocktail dress that is not too long or too short. Ideally, it is supposed to be above the shins. 

Some stylists suggest that the length around the knee is universally flattering. Cocktail dress lengths vary from a mini length to just above the ankles, and your choice will depend on the event you’re attending.

Where do I wear a cocktail dress?

When is the right moment and occasion to wear a cocktail dress? Most likely, this outfit is the perfect choice for holiday parties, weddings, school reunions, retirement parties, engagement parties, and anniversaries. 

In short, the keyword is a party. Any formal or fun event having a celebratory nature is where ladies can embrace a cocktail dress. 

But keep in mind that the type of cocktail dresses also changes depending on the location and venue. If you are attending a glamorous event in a big metropolis like Paris or London, you can wear a flashy and striking dress without feeling overdressed. On the other hand, if you’re going to a small event in some little town, wear a slightly simpler cocktail dress.

Celebrities with apple-shaped body in cocktail dresses

Before we go into detail about this garment and its types, I want my beautiful apples to feel validated by showing them real-life celebrities with the same body type. 

Let’s take a look at two famous Hollywood celebs who are the perfect proof that cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body can look stunning!

Adele is my favorite apple-shaped figure in showbiz because with and without excess weight, she has always looked fantastic on the red carpet. And she knows exactly how to rock cocktail dress styling!

Adele red cocktail dress for apple-shaped body example
Credit: Elle

Above, we can see her flaunting a vibrant, red dress with a below-knee length. This outfit makes the midsection appear narrow to achieve a proportional body shape.

We continue with Angelina Jolie, who proves that apples can be tall and slim, too, rather than having a very noticeable muffin top in the midsection.

Angelina Jolie white dress with defined waist cocktail dress for apple-shaped body
Credit: StyleBistro

We can see how she’s sparkling in this white, chiffon beaded dress. The dress is narrowed at the waist and thus creates a visual thinning of the abdominal area.

Top 10 Cocktail Dresses for Apple-Shaped Body

Now that we’ve learned the basics about cocktail attire for women, it’s finally time to unveil the central part of the guide – some fashion inspo!

Ahead, you will see two style ideas of cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body in each section. I have added ten types of inspirational outfits, so I am sure you’ll find something that suits your taste!

Let’s dress to impress!

1) Ball gown

Do you have to attend a formal event? Look no further than a classic short ball gown. Speaking of design, opt for the model fitted around the chest with a multilayered, full skirt that hides the insecure middle-heavy area.

Short multi-color ball-gown cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

If you are not a fan of colors, opt for soft tones and choose something similar to this champagne-colored ball gown:

Short beige ball gown cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

Aside from being flattering, this dress model perfectly hides the tummy pooch and makes your attractive shoulders and legs come into the foreground.

2) A-line cocktail dress

Another great option serving as a formal dress for the apple shape is the A-line design. The A-line dress creates the letter “A” by flaring from top to bottom, thus hiding all imperfections on the tummy and hip area. 

Let’s take a look at the first outfit:

Emerald A-line cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

The subtle flare of the skirt achieves a flowing line from the torso, creating the hourglass look. 

And if you are looking for another great short dress with a not-so-dramatic flare ideal for semi-formal events, I have something for you.

Bright-pink A-line cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

Thanks to its 3D textile design, it draws all attention to the chest area and legs while putting the waistline in the back seat.

3) Bodycon dress

To find the best cocktail dress for the plus-size apple shape, don’t be afraid to hunt for some structured pieces. The reason is that structured clothes do a great job at defining your figure if you wear them the right way.

For example, consider the bodycon dress. If you combine it with quality shapewear, this dress can look spectacular on an apple-shaped body. Let me prove my point with this bodycon highlighting your cleavage and developing nice, vertical lines.

Black bodycon dress for apple-shaped body

When you decide on a bodycon dress, I advise you to choose darker colors that will make you visually slimmer. But if black is not your cup of tea, consider the spectacular emerald green:

Green off-shoulder bodycon dress for apple-shaped body

The off-the-shoulder neckline draws attention to your chest, while the above-knee length puts your slim legs in the limelight.

4) Wrap dress

Wrap cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body are cinched at the waist to add definition without compromising your comfort or being too tight.  Check out this blue attire that tailors the midriff by visually lifting the chest.

Baby-blue wrap cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

And if you are a fan of ruffles, here’s an outfit that will suit your taste! This shiny black dress is ideal for camouflaging tummy pooch while looking fashionable.

Black glitter wrap dress for apple-shaped body

And while the invisible belt will create an hourglass look, the mini skirt will emphasize your beautiful legs.

5) Empire dress

If you still haven’t found your perfect cocktail party dress, it’s time to consider timeless empire waist styles.

Let’s start with this light purple gown that hides the drawbacks of your body type and makes it look balanced.

Pink empire-waist cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

And if you prefer thin straps, then you’ll love the following outfit:

Gold empire-waist cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

The skirt slightly flares down, camouflaging all the imperfections of the midsection.

6) Shift dress

Let’s take a little break from flaring models. It’s time for something straight, aka a shift dress. This dress is a superb option for apples as it follows the body line, but not entirely like the bodycon dress.

Below you can see the simplest black shift dress that will show off only the best of your body and hide all those little flaws that bother you.

Black shift cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

All apples will also love the following combination, which  highlights the bust and visually elongates the figure with its deep V neckline.

Beige shift cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This choice is great for women who want to hide the tummy pooch but also show some curves while staying modest.

7) Trapeze dress

If shifts aren’t your thing, consider the trapeze silhouette. Trapeze cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body get their name from a trapezoid and can successfully camouflage your tummy due to the abundant width.

Pink and black trapeze cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

The cut of the trapeze dress is narrow through the neckline, bodice, and armholes before flaring out into a tent shape. 

Let’s continue with a slightly different trapeze dress, which is basically “shapeless” from the chest down.

Black trapeze cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This dress has some kind of “hidden ruffles” and thus perfectly hides all imperfections.

8) Sheath dress

The sheath cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body refer to a form-fitting dress that’s tight from the chest through the thighs. 

To hide all the flaws from the midsection, consider wearing a sheath dress with lace, which disguises a big tummy pooch.

Pink sheath cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

And if lace is too much for you and you prefer simple designs and one-color dresses, prepare a place in your wardrobe for a sheath dress like this:

Blue sheath cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This beautiful royal-blue dress will highlight your collarbone and chest area and, at the same time, draw attention to your attractive legs.

9) Babydoll dress

The list of cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body can’t be complete without a babydoll dress. These adorable dresses are a must-have in every closet, particularly for warm weather. 

But do they benefit apples? Let’s find out with the first outfit:

Pink babydoll cocktail dress outfit for apple-shaped body

This pink dress instantly makes you look Instagram-ready without putting too much effort. Plus, the deep V-neck will emphasize the cleavage to draw attention to the chest. 

Let’s continue with another summer style. This flattering model will hide the entire tummy while its short length will show the best of your legs.

Light-green babydoll cocktail dress outfit for apple-shaped body

If you don’t want to highlight your shoulders, choose wider straps, as we could see in the first example with the pink dress. On the other hand, if you want to highlight your arms, opt for thin straps like on this pastel green dress.

10) Cape dress

A cape dress describes a piece of clothing combining features of the cape and the dress. So my dear apples, to divert attention from your midsection, consider wearing cape dresses. A cape-like garment is usually pinned or sewn on the dress and thus makes it a real fashion piece!

Let’s see what it looks like:

Pastel-blue cape cocktail dress outfit for apple-shaped body

Since apples carry the most weight at the waist and abdomen, this baby-blue cape dress will cover problematic areas efficiently and make all the eyes go towards attractive and unusual designs on the upper body.

Let’s continue with a long-sleeved cape dress.

Red cape cocktail dress outfit for apple-shaped body

Again, these shoulder details and ruffles guarantee that all the attention will go upwards, away from the torso.

5 Cocktail Dresses for Apple-Shaped Body to Wear at a Wedding

Okay, now you know all the styling tips for wearing cocktail dresses. But what about wearing this garment to attend a wedding as a guest, mother, or bridesmaid?

I’ve created two stunning outfits to show the best wedding cocktail dress ideas to help you out.

1) Off-shoulder maxi dress

A classic off-shoulder maxi gown is a perfect go-to option for those who prefer to wear a long dress to weddings. Take a look at this elegant option:

Off-shoulder black glitter maxi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

With the correct shapewear underneath, you can gain further confidence in donning maxi dresses. 

However, we know that legs are one of the best apples’ assets, so wearing a maxi skirt will obviously hide them. In this case, focus on highlighting your collarbones, arms, and some cleavage with the dress. 

Also, get inspired by this dress model: 

Off-shoulder floral maxi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This beautiful floral dress shows all the beauty of your shoulders and collarbones and hides the flaws in the stomach area. Don’t forget that heels are a mandatory part of this outfit. Otherwise, you will look shorter and rounder.

2) Flattering midi dress

A midi cocktail dress for the apple-shaped body is another great option to wear for a wedding. These aren’t as long and enable you to show some skin while looking glamorous.

As you already know, you can blindly trust ruching in any outfit, which the following midi dress proudly displays. 

Emerald A-line midi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

A beautiful V-neck top gives beauty and attractiveness to the upper body, while the ribbon on the waist creates an hourglass figure. The pleated skirt perfectly hides the tummy pooch and hips.

The second dress cinches exactly where your chest ends, so the flaring skirt offers perfect midsection coverage. Check it out:

Gold A-line midi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

A very deep V neckline directs all attention upwards and thus creates the balance your body strives for.

3) Tea-length dress

Similar to ruching, a killer outfit for apple shape includes layers or drapes. You can find this feature in many tea-length dresses, so this is another great model to wear at the wedding.

Let’s start with this romantic outfit:

Floral tea-length cocktail dress for apple-shaped body with ruching

The floral patterns camouflage your middle-heavy area, thanks to the layers on the tummy pooch and solid rubber in the midsection.

And for all plushies fans, here is a breathtaking refined dress:

Dark-green wrap tea-length cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This dress is narrowed at the waist, so it visually creates an hourglass figure and hides all imperfections.

4) Wrap midi dress

As we mentioned earlier, the wrap midi style looks flattering on apples, so you can’t go wrong if you opt for these models to wear at the wedding. 

Let’s take a look at the first dress.

Pink wrap midi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This elegant dress in champagne color perfectly creates a visual slimming of the abdominal area thanks to its diagonal wrap cut.

And now, here is an example for all my fans of ruffles. Just look at this wrap cut that dominates both the top and the skirt of this dress.

Brown wrap midi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

The tiered effect camouflages the weak points of apples and emphasizes their perks, such as attractive legs.

5) Slip dress

Are you wondering whether an apple can wear a slip dress?

Well, it happens to be a misconception that only slim and fit women can wear this gown. Let me show you how these cocktail dresses for the apple-shaped body will work in your favor.

Long emerald silk cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This long formal slip dress doesn’t cling to your body, tends to fall down, and thus hides all the imperfections that bother you starting from the midsection.

And if you prefer short dresses, I selected one short slip dress that will knock you off your feet.

Pastel-blue silk midi cocktail dress for apple-shaped body

This dress is also made of stretchable silk and lets you show your collarbones and draw attention to the upper body. And what about the tummy? Tummy who? It will definitely fall into the background and won’t be visible at all, especially if you wear some quality shapewear underneath.

Over to You

This concludes my detailed guide on the proper cocktail dress code. I’m sure all my beautiful apples had fun revealing some inspirational dresses for apple-shaped figures. We discussed the following styling tips:

  • Don’t wear shapeless clothes.
  • Always trust the dresses that cinch below the bust. 
  • Make your cleavage, shoulders, arms, or legs pop out to divert attention from your middle-heavy area.
  • Pick dresses showing layers and ruching. 
  • Wear shapewear underneath the tight dresses. 
  • Choose patterned dresses only if they have a noticeable definition/belt in the midsection.

Did you love this guide? I hope you do, my apples and all other lovely readers. Similar fashion articles are waiting for you on my blog, so make sure to check them out!

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