How to Dress an Apple Body Shape?

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If you’re like me and have an apple body shape, you know that getting dressed can sometimes feel like a challenge. Our fuller midsections, broad shoulders, slim legs and often larger busts mean that a lot of popular styles out there simply don’t work for our gorgeous, unique figures. 

But don’t despair! With a few key tips and tricks, dressing your apple body shape can be fun, easy and oh-so-flattering. I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to break it all down for you.

What Is an Apple Body Shape?

First things first, let’s define what it means to have an apple body type. The key characteristics are:

  • Your shoulders and hips are around the same width
  • You carry more weight around your midsection/waist
  • Your arms and legs tend to be slimmer
  • You may have a larger bust
  • You don’t have a very defined waistline

If this sounds like you, welcome to the apple club! We’re in good company – celebs like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tyra Banks and Angelina Jolie all rock this beautiful body type.

What is an Apple Body Shape
Tyra Banks

How to Tell If You Have an Apple Body Shape?

Still not sure if you’re an apple? Here are a few quick tests:

  • Look at yourself in a mirror wearing form-fitting clothes. Notice where you naturally carry more weight – is it around your belly?
  • Place a pencil under your bust. If it stays put rather than falling to your waist, you likely have an apple shape.
  • Measure your shoulders, bust, waist and hips. Apples will have shoulder and hip measurements that are close in number, with a less-defined waist.

Remember, we’re all unique! You may lean more apple but have traits of other body types too. The key is understanding your personal proportions.

How to Tell If You Have an Apple Body Shape

Traits of the Apple Body Shape

In addition to the key characteristics above, many apple shapes also have:

  • Great legs! Our slim stems are a major asset.
  • Elegant neck and d├ęcolletage. The area from chin to chest tends to be graceful and swan-like.
  • Curvy, feminine bust. Apples are often well-endowed up top.
  • Soft, rounded shoulders. We tend toward a gentle slope rather than sharp angles.
  • Narrower hips and bottom. The lower body is less curvy overall.

Apples gain weight primarily in their bellies. A little extra in the midsection is the first place it shows up. The upside is that we tend to have faces that look younger, since we store less fat there!

What to Avoid for the Apple Body Shape

The main thing apples want to avoid are styles that make us look bigger or boxier in the middle. Stay away from:

  • Tight, clingy fabrics that hug the tummy
  • Shapeless, oversized tops that hang from the bust
  • High necklines like turtlenecks
  • Belts or details that add bulk to the waist
  • Tapered pants and skinny jeans

These fashion don’ts overemphasize the midsection and make apples look heavier than we are. The key is finding cuts that skim over the belly while highlighting the bust and legs.

How To Dress the Apple Body Shape

Now for the good stuff – here are my top tips for dressing the apple body type:

Highlight Your Assets

The #1 rule is to play up those gorgeous gams and elegant neck/chest! Opt for:

  • V-necks, scoop necks and sweethearts that create a vertical line
  • Slim, straight or bootcut pants and jeans
  • Skirts that hit just above or below the knee
  • Cropped jackets and cardigans that hit at the hip

By emphasizing your slim bottom half and drawing the eye up and down, you create a longer, leaner look overall.

Skim Over the Midsection

Tops and dresses should softly glide over the midsection rather than clinging or billowing. Look for:

  • Flowy, drapey fabrics like chiffon, silk and soft cotton
  • A-line and empire waist shapes
  • Wrap styles and diagonal lines
  • Structured fabrics that hold their shape

The goal is to create a smooth line from shoulder to hip without adding extra volume at the middle. Fitted but not tight is the apple’s BFF!

How To Dress the Apple Body Shape

Define the Waist (Strategically)

While traditional belts are a no-go, there are ways to create waist definition without bulk:

  • Surplice and faux-wrap styles
  • Soft, tie-front tops and dresses
  • Princess seams and darts for gentle shaping
  • Peplum tops (in moderation)

The key is to keep things fitted at the narrowest point, right under the bust, and let the fabric float over the tummy. Avoid thick belts or details right at the true waist.

Balance Proportions

To offset a fuller midsection, choose bottoms that add some volume and visual interest:

By adding a little extra oomph down below, you balance out the overall silhouette for a proportional look head-to-toe. Just make sure the volume starts below the belly.

Elongate the Torso

Creating length through the midsection is an apple’s secret weapon. Some great options:

  • Monochromatic color palettes
  • Vertical stripes and seaming
  • Long necklaces and scarves
  • Longer tops, cardigans and jackets

These details draw the eye up and down, making your torso look longer and leaner. Avoid contrasting color blocks or cropped tops that visually “cut off” the body.

How To Dress the Apple Body Shape

How to Style the Apple Shape

Ready to put it all together? Here are some foolproof outfit formulas:

Casual Cool

Top: Flowy tunic or boyfriend button-down

Bottom: Slim jeans, bootcut jeans or leggings

Topper: Cropped moto jacket or open cardigan

Shoes: Ankle boots, ballet flats or fashion sneakers

Accessories: Long pendant necklace and stud earrings

Workwear Chic

Top: Wrap blouse or drapey shell

Bottom: Wide-leg trousers or A-line skirt

Topper: Structured blazer or trench coat

Shoes: Pumps, slingbacks or knee-high boots

Accessories: Silk scarf and statement bracelet

Night Out Glam

Top: V-neck wrap dress or empire waist jumpsuit

Topper: Tuxedo jacket or embellished shrug

Shoes: Strappy heels or embellished flats

Accessories: Chandelier earrings and cocktail ring

The key is to mix and match pieces that skim, drape and define in all the right places. Have fun playing with proportions and details to find your ideal combo.

Best Tops for the Apple Body Type

When it comes to tops, apples have lots of great options:

  • Wrap and faux-wrap blouses
  • V-neck and scoop neck tees
  • Flowy tunics and empire waist tops
  • Dolman and batwing sleeves
  • Peplum tops (in moderation)

Look for styles with some structure through the shoulders and bust, and a flowy fit through the midsection. Avoid clingy knits or stiff wovens.

Best Tops for the Apple Body Type

Picking the Right Neckline for Apple Body Types

The neckline is key for balancing an apple shape. Aim for:

  • V-necks and sweethearts
  • Scoop and boat necks
  • Square and cowl necks
  • Soft halters (nothing too tight)

These shapes elongate the neck and draw the eye up, away from the midsection. Avoid high necks like crews and turtles that make you look shorter and wider.

Picking the Right Neckline for Apple Body Types

Ideal Blazers & Jackets

A structured topper is an apple’s best friend. Look for:

  • Single-breasted styles that hit at the hip
  • Tailored shoulders and nipped-in waists
  • Cropped moto and denim jackets
  • Waterfall and open-front cardigans

The key is to define the shoulders and bust while skimming over the midsection. Avoid double-breasted or boxy cuts that add bulk.

Ideal Blazers & Jackets

Choosing Flattering Shirts

Button-downs are a great option for apples, if you choose wisely:

  • Soft, drapey fabrics like silk or rayon
  • Boyfriend and tunic-length styles
  • Curved and princess-seamed shapes
  • Hidden button plackets and popover styles

Steer clear of stiff cottons or slim cuts that pull at the midsection. A relaxed, flowy fit is much more forgiving.

Best Dresses for the Apple Shape

Dresses are an apple’s secret weapon – they create a long, lean line and disguise any tummy troubles. Opt for:

  • Wrap and faux-wrap styles
  • Empire waists and A-line skirts
  • Fit-and-flare and skater dresses
  • Shirt dresses (belted or left open)

Avoid clingy sheaths or drop-waist styles that emphasize the midsection. A defined waist and flowy skirt are your friends.

Best Dresses for the Apple Shape

Picking Your Ideal T-Shirt

The humble tee can be tricky for apples, but it’s all about fit:

  • Opt for a V-neck or scoop neck
  • Choose a slightly loose, flowy fit
  • Look for longer lengths that hit at the hip
  • Try a half-tuck into jeans or a skirt

Avoid tight, clingy tees or boxy crops that make you look wider. A relaxed, drapey fit is key.

What Bottoms Work Best for the Apple Shape?

When it comes to pants and skirts, the goal is to balance out the midsection and create a long, lean line. Some great options:

  • Bootcut and flared jeans
  • Wide-leg and palazzo pants
  • A-line and full skirts
  • Pencil skirts (with a flowy top)

Avoid skinny jeans or tapered trousers that emphasize the tummy. A little volume down below is a good thing!

What Bottoms Work Best for the Apple Shape

Best Shorts for the Apple Body Type

Shorts can be a challenge for apples, but they’re not off-limits. Look for:

  • High-waisted styles that sit at the narrowest point
  • Flowy, A-line shapes that skim over the tummy
  • Longer lengths that hit at mid-thigh or knee
  • Detailed pockets or cuffs to add interest

Avoid tight, low-rise shorts that create a muffin top. A little extra coverage is your friend.

Tips on Finding Your Best Skirt

Skirts are a great option for apples, if you choose the right style:

  • A-line and full skirts that flare out from the waist
  • Pencil skirts with a flowy top or jacket
  • Wrap and tulip skirts with a draped front
  • Midi lengths that hit at the knee or mid-calf

Avoid tight, clingy skirts or drop-waist styles that emphasize the tummy. A defined waist and flowy shape are key.

Tips on Finding Your Best Skirt

How to Choose the Most Flattering Jeans

Jeans are a wardrobe staple, and apples have plenty of great options:

  • Bootcut and flared styles that balance the hips
  • High-waisted cuts that sit at the narrowest point
  • Stretchy, comfortable fabrics with a little give
  • Darker washes and vertical seaming for a slimming effect

Avoid low-rise or skinny jeans that create a muffin top or emphasize the tummy. A little extra room through the hips and thighs is a good thing.


Can apple body shaped women wear crop tops?

While traditional crop tops are a no-go, you can still show a little skin with a high-waisted skirt or pants and a slightly cropped top that hits at the narrowest point. Just make sure there’s no gap between the two pieces.

Are there any prints or patterns that work well for apple shapes?

Absolutely! Apples can rock prints and patterns, as long as they’re not too busy or overwhelming. Look for smaller, more subtle prints like polka dots, florals and abstract shapes. Avoid large, loud prints that add bulk.

Can apple shaped wear belts?

While traditional belts are a challenge, you can still define your waist with a soft, tie-front top or dress. Look for styles that cinch in at the narrowest point, right under the bust, and flow out over the tummy.

What about shapewear, will it work for apple shaped?

Shapewear can be a great option for smoothing and supporting the midsection. Look for high-waisted styles that sit at the narrowest point and extend down over the tummy. Avoid anything too tight or constricting that creates bulges or discomfort.


Dressing the apple body shape is all about balance, proportion and highlighting your best assets. By choosing styles that skim over the midsection, define the waist and emphasize the bust and legs, you can create a look that’s both flattering and fashionable.

Remember, the key is to have fun and experiment with different styles and silhouettes until you find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try something new – you might just discover a new favorite outfit!

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to wear what makes you feel confident, comfortable and beautiful. Embrace your gorgeous apple shape and rock those curves with pride. You’ve got this, my fellow apple-shaped fashionistas!