How to Dress an Apple-Shaped Body – A Guide to Style and Outfits

Christine Steuber
Feb 3, 2022
1291
Do you struggle with dressing your apple-shaped body? You don't have to worry about it anymore - here are all the styling tips you'll need.

How often do you look at your apple-shaped body in the mirror and stress out about it?

I know what you feel at the moments like this, and it gets even harder when you are bombarded by perfect-looking bodies all over social media networks. You just can’t help but start asking yourself a question, “Why am I like this?”

Hold on – who said that you have to conform to any beauty standards? Besides, having an apple-shaped body is not a curse. And, while we’re at it, any figure type has its pros and cons. Even women with the desired hourglass figure can gain weight around their waist and hip area.

So, stop hating on your beautiful curves and learn how to highlight them.

Don’t know how?

I’ve got an entire guide for you on how to style an apple-shaped body, with excellent tips and outfit ideas for some inspiration.

Do You Have an Apple-Shaped Body?

A person with a figure resembling an apple has wider shoulders and abdomen and slim hips, legs, and arms. 

To determine your body shape, stand undressed in front of a mirror (larger so you can see your whole body). Then draw an imaginary line that connects the widest point of your shoulders to the widest point of your hips on the same side. When you conclude whether the line is straight, wavy, or spreading down, you will discover your body shape.

Typical characteristics of the apple body shape

These are the main characteristics of the apple-shaped body:

  • a slightly wide torso
  • broad shoulders
  • medium to large breasts
  • undefined waist
  • slim arms and legs
  • flat bottom
  • narrower slims compared to the volume of the chest

The main reason for the apple-body shape is tummy fat. Obesity of the apple-shaped structure is also known as android obesity. Health risks increase in women with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches or 88 cm.

According to doctors and nutritionists from Penn Medicine, the accumulation of fat around the tummy area is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia and hypertension. These are the conditions people with apple-like figures can suffer from if they don’t maintain a healthy weight.

Why do you have an apple-shaped body?

I understand why you might be asking yourself this question, but hating your body won’t lead you anywhere. Be proud that you are just the way you are, unique and beautiful. As I said before, having an apple-like figure is not a curse.

However, you might be wondering – what impacts the formation of this body type?

Visceral fat is the main culprit here. It is located deep in the midsection, so the accumulation of fat is most noticeable in this part of the body. This type of fat accumulates when you take in too many calories, and you are not physically active enough. Genetics and aging can also have an impact.

It’s important to add here that an apple-like figure is formed through childhood and teenage years. You cannot reverse it, but there are a few things that can help you maintain it in good health, such as a proper diet and physical activity. However, keep in touch with your doctor – they will help you understand how to manage tummy fat better.

Celebrities with apple-like figures

You probably think that most celebrities with this body type simply do plastic surgery and don’t have to sweat over picking an outfit as you do. In reality, most stars with apple figures don’t pay as much attention to the drawbacks of their bodies. Instead, they’ve learned how to highlight the advantages.

Take Drew Berrymore, for example. I especially like her outfits from the red carpet. Just look at the picture from “Going The Distance “Los Angeles Premiere 2010“. She has chosen the formal dress in golden tones while the sequin pattern covers all imperfections in the midsection. Also, the cut on the hemline highlights the best part of her body – slender and attractive legs:

Drew Berrymore apple-shaped body styling example
Credit: Glamour

Also, when it comes to apple-shaped women, Melissa McCarthy is a real fashion inspiration for all plus-size ladies! She is proof that size 14-16 is just a number, not a measure of beauty.

Just look at how bravely she brought a bright yellow color to the red carpet of the L.A. premiere of Ghostbusters. The belt creates a transition and thinning of the waist, while the yellow flowers on the transparent material distract attention from all body imperfections. Well done, Melissa!

Melissa McCarthy apple-shaped body styling idea
Credit: Marie Claire

You should also look up the styles of Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Drew Barrymore, Melissa McCarthy, Adele, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and Kate Winslet – these women serve as perfect examples that an apple-shaped body can be styled beautifully.

How to Dress an Apple-Shaped Body

Now, on to the most important part – the tips and outfit inspo.

When putting together these recommendations, I tried to focus primarily on your comfort. However, we know that when a clothing item looks practical, it doesn’t always highlight the perks of a figure. That’s why I’ve put together outfit ideas that will bring forward the advantages of an apple-body shape but also won’t make you feel constrained.

So, without further ado, let’s uncover more styling secrets for this figure type.

3 styling tips for apple-like figures

In general, I’d emphasize three main outfit recommendations for apple-shaped ladies (I also mentioned them in my apple vs. pear shape comparison article):

  • Draw attention away from your midsection. If your stomach is the most problematic zone, wear dresses and shirts that expand below the bust. A thin belt will help you create a waistline. Also, wear jackets nipped at the waist because they will make you look slimmer. When it comes to colors and detailing, avoid different patterns in the tummy area.
  • Accentuate your bust and shoulders. These are the perks to flaunt in an apple-like figure. Bring focus on your bust with V-necks and plunging necklines. In addition, choose shirts and tops with shoulder details such as flowers.
  • Show off your legs. Remember I mentioned that slender legs are the greatest perk of an apple body shape? Highlight them with slightly shorter skirts and dresses above the knee. Wear pants with back pockets for a rounder, firmer bottom. In the meantime, avoid jeans with a lot of zippers on the front side because they will put focus on your belly area.

Overall, when choosing clothes for the apple shape, focus on the upper body. Anything that highlights the shoulders, bust, and décolleté is an excellent choice. However, make sure that the clothing item is not too tight – it will bring too much attention to your tummy area and will make you feel uncomfortable.

Tops

When it comes to tops, focus on highlighting your upper body. Go for the pieces of clothing that draw attention to your bust and visually tie up your waist.

Wear: Tops with deep V-neck, sweater with buttons, strapless T-shirts, shirts that spread under the chest (A cut), shirts with a thin belt or tie around the waist, long tunics, and cardigans. If you’re worried that a cardigan will look weird on you, you can choose one with a belt, like in the outfit below:

Cardigan styling idea for apple shaped body

As you can see, a cardigan will seamlessly tuck your tummy in, and the belt will create a waistline, turning your apple-like body into an hourglass figure.

Avoid: T-shirts with a wide belt at the waist, colorful patterns in the abdomen area, too-tight T-shirts, and sheer (transparent) materials.

Shirts

Although I don’t recommend going for a very tight shirt, it shouldn’t be shapeless either. The worst option you can choose is a straight-cut model – it will make the waist look even wider. 

Instead, decide on a shirt that spreads from under the chest. Empire waist and A-cut will be a great choice in this case. Also, keep in mind that the shirt must be below the hips.

I think that a tunic with a belt at the waist is a timeless classic if you want to define your figure. Just take a look at the outfit idea below: the waist belt creates a vision of the hourglass body figure while the narrow sleeves emphasize the beauty of the arms and shoulders:

A tunic outfit idea for an apple-shaped body

Also, opt for the t-shirts that are decorated in the bust or shoulder area. Floral patterns, waves, sequins, and animal prints are the details you can’t go wrong with. Here’s a cute summer outfit idea you can steal:

Flora pattern top outfit idea for apple-shaped figure

Don’t know how to style a basic T-shirt? You should go for the one with wider or bell sleeves. This way, attention will be directed towards your arms, and the waist will not be in the foreground. Here’s an outfit idea for inspiration:

How to style tops for apple-shaped body

Each of these pieces of clothing must hide flaws and emphasize the virtues of your upper body. With a good selection of clothes, the tummy will become almost invisible, and the bust, arms, and shoulders will capture all the attention.

Jackets

Since the jacket generally increases the volume of our body, it is crucial to choose the right one. If you have an apple figure, it is recommended to wear simple jackets without too much detail. 

I’d also advise opting for structured jackets that will reduce the waist and emphasize the chest. Look for the model that ends at the hip area to achieve body balance, like in the example below:

Cropped jacket style for an apple-shaped body

Another great option is to wear an open jacket. This way, you will hide the silhouette and create a visually thin waist. Here’s a cute style I put together for you:

Open jacket styling idea for apple-shaped body

However, try to avoid long puffy jackets – they will make you look visually wider.

Coats

Unlike jackets, I recommend longer coats to balance your body line. Do not wear models that have a straight line because they make you look shapeless. Instead, wear structured coats without unnecessary details. Here’s a timeless classic – a fitted faux leather coat paired with black pants and high heels:

Coat styling idea for apple-shaped body

It’s also best to avoid belted and double-breasted coats, butut empire, cutaway, and A-line coats will be a great choice for an apple-shaped figure. Also, make sure the coat button is always below the chest area.

Coats are a perfect clothing item if you want to add a touch of elegance to your outfit. So choose models that tighten the waist and emphasize the breasts. Narrow sleeves are always an added plus, making your arms the center of attention.

Bottoms

Choosing flattering clothes for the lower body is crucial in creating an hourglass figure. This way, you’ll define your waist and draw all eyes to your beautiful legs. 

Wear: Mid-rise pants, flared, bootcut, wide or cargo trousers, high-waisted skirts in flaring style, high-waisted shorts, A-line, and straight-cut skirts in a flowy style.

Use this outfit as a perfect example for great bottom clothing. The pants are dark in color, which makes the figure thinner and slimmer, and the wide legs move the attention from the midsection.

Pants styling idea for apple-shaped body

Avoid: High-rise skinny pants, mid-waisted skirts in tiered style, low-waisted shorts with a narrow and tapered leg.

Jeans

Finding the right jeans is always a struggle, don’t you agree? 

However, I always follow one rule that helps me  – you will know that you have chosen the perfect jeans when they do not add extra weight to your belly area but successfully camouflage it.

In general, when it comes to apple body shape, it is best not to complicate things too much. Simple bootcut styles and wide legs will be the right choice. This style will balance your slender legs with the wider torso area. 

I also recommend clean lines without details or too many zippers on the front side. Choose jeans in darker colors because they visually narrow the whole body. Mid-rise jeans will best suit your figure, while low-waisted will accentuate your tummy. High-waisted jeans are also a good pick, and look how stylish they can look on you:

High-waisted jeans outfit idea for apple-shaped body

When choosing jeans, pay attention to two things. First, the higher the waist, the better – it will hide your tummy pooch. Second, opt for wide legs and jeans with pockets that create curves in the right places.

Dresses

If you are looking for an ideal dress for your apple-like figure, I recommend going for the ones that don’t cling too tightly to the body. A-line dresses, empire style, and bias-cut styles are great examples for round body shape. Here’s a cute evening outfit featuring a flirtatious A-line gown:

A-line dress styling idea for apple-shaped body

Wrapped evening dresses are also a favorite choice among apple-shaped women as they visually accentuate the bust and thin out the lower body. I recommend opting for dresses with details on the shoulders, sleeves, and neckline to distract attention from the torso. Large prints, tinsel, and diagonal lines are the best patterns for your flattering dresses. Here’s an awesome pick for you:

evening wrapped dress outfit idea for apple-shaped body

Here’s one more great tip: by choosing A-line dresses and open shoulders or cleavage, you will highlight the most beautiful parts of your figure. Don’t be afraid of short dresses, too, show off your attractive legs!

Shorts

Shorts for the apple body shape should accentuate your slender legs and, at the same time, make the waist thinner. Mid-waisted or high-waisted shorts with a loose cut around the belly area will be the best option. Such a model will hide all the imperfections in the middle of the body.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this outfit – loose shorts with a belt outline your waist, and the print attracts attention to your slender legs. Besides, notice how I chose a dark top – it draws the eyes away from the midsection:

Shorts styling idea for apple-shaped body

Also, don’t be afraid to wear longer shorts with a hem that reaches to the knees. This way, you will visually look taller.

Finally, steer clear of too short, too tight, and low-waisted shorts – they put a focus on your tummy instead of your legs.

Summer outfits

Summer outfits for apple body shape can be enjoyable if you choose the right pieces of clothing. Play with interesting combinations that will highlight your shoulders, emphasize your waist and show off attractive tanned legs!

For instance, I recommend going for light and flattering jumpsuits with a V-neckline and a belt around the waist to achieve a visual narrowing of the torso in the midsection. Here’s a nice outfit idea you can steal:

Jumpsuit outfit idea for apple-shaped body

Also, high-waisted shorts with beautiful summer patterns will create a nice waistline and add centimeters to your legs. If you decide to wear such shorts, I advise you to go for a plain white T-shirt and some colorful accessories:

Outfit idea with shorts for apple-shaped body

Finally, wrapped tops will go great with your favorite skirt or shorts and will accentuate all the beauty of your upper body. But remember the rule – opt for a top with bigger sleeves to get the attention away from your tummy:

Outfit idea with a top for apple-shaped body

As you can see, choosing summer clothes for the apple-body shape can be an absolute pleasure. Wide-sleeved tops combined with trapeze skirts, light floral pants, basic T-shirts, and beautiful long jumpsuits are combinations you can’t go wrong with.

Swimsuits

A swimsuit is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating garments to buy for a person with an apple-shaped figure. After all, most of them reveal your tummy pooch or are too tight around the waist area.

Luckily, nothing is impossible. After digging through the internet, I found swimsuits that will flatter the apple-shaped body. Besides, with the tricks I prepared, you will easily buy a comfortable swimsuit that will increase your level of self-confidence. 

Here are the styles I recommend.

Let it be colorful

First, consider one-piece swimsuits with patterns and textures to create an hourglass body effect. For instance, the models with colorful curved side panels are a great option because they emphasize the bust’s beauty, and the middle part of the body falls into the background.

Take a look at how beautiful you can look in such a swimsuit:

One-piece swimsuit outfit idea for apple-shaped body

Floral and colorful patterns hide the belly, while your bust and slim arms will be in the foreground. If you add a nice hat and attractive sunglasses as a fashion accessory, all the attention will go to the upper body!

Go deep

Next, deep V-necklines on swimsuits make your entire figure visually thinner and more feminine. The opening between the breasts can be bedazzled  with a braided detail or a transparent fabric for extra security, like in the swimsuit below:

V-neck swimsuit outfit idea for apple-shaped body

These swimsuits are very flattering, so you will feel like a real diva while drinking your favorite cocktail on the beach.

Let it ruffle

Finally, well-positioned ruffles in the tummy area can help conceal a wide waist and get a seductive figure. The voluminous sleeves will truly complement your body, thanks to their striking and refined design!

If you’re not sure how to style such a swimsuit, take a look at this example:

Swimsuit with ruffles outfit idea for apple-shaped body

If you don’t want to worry about your belly falling out when you sit down, then ruffles are definitely a choice you have to prefer. They will work in your favor and hide just about any flaw! Look how cute this yellow bathing suit full of ruffles is in combination with a beach bag and fancy accessories.

Go high

If you are a two-piece bathing suit fan, I recommend a high-waisted bikini bottom – it visually flattens your tummy and smoothes out belly bumps. Combine it with a bandeau or bralette bikini top, like in this outfit here:

High-waisted bikini outfit for apple-shaped body

You can choose a swimsuit set in the same color as this super-cute purple version or combine different patterns. Dare to experiment!

Wedding dresses

If you are an apple-shaped woman, I recommend focusing your attention on A-line dresses. This dress style will emphasize your shoulders, arms, and chest while hiding the tummy. They usually have a thin belt around the waist, and from that point, the dress spreads slightly towards the bottom.

Check out how wonderful this dress model can look:

A-line wedding dress style for apple-shaped body

Another great choice is an empire-waisted wedding dress. These gowns have a very high waist that starts just below the bust and thus diverts attention from the problematic area. The rest of the dress is adorned with a long, elegant skirt.

Just look at how fabulous you can be in an empire-waist dress – like a true princess!

Empire-waist wedding gown style for apple-shaped body

My final suggestion is the sheath silhouette, as it tends to add length to your figure. Whether you are petite or tall, this dress will create a perfect body balance and waist definition. Here’s what it looks like:

Sheath wedding gown style idea for apple-shaped body

If you thought finding a dream wedding dress would be an impossible mission, I hope I reassured you. These are my three personal favorites for the oval body shape, but there are more great options available. Here you can find a detailed guide, style tips, and ideas for choosing the ideal wedding dresses for an apple-like body.

Over To You

As you can see, an apple body shape has a lot of advantages. So it’s time to start loving it and show the best of yourself.

When it comes to dressing this body type, do not force clothing that does not fit you. Instead, choose outfits that will make you shine and feel comfortable in your body. Here are a few more recommendations I want to sum up for you:

  • Avoid tight clothing that highlights imperfections.
  • High-waist is a great option for shorts and skirts, and medium-rise for trousers.
  • Dresses should nicely define the waist and emphasize the chest and shoulders.
  • Wear structured coats and jackets.
  • Steer clear of jeans with too many details.
  • Wear long tunics and cardigans.
  • Go for one-piece swimsuits and bikinis with high-waisted bottoms.

Interested in more guides like this? Check out my blog – it has many more articles with styling recommendations for all body types!

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