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How to Dress for an Apple Shaped Body

By Gorjus London   |   Date April 30, 2021

Bodies...they come in all shapes and sizes and there’s no wrong or right size or shape. 


Here, we're going to discuss the apple body type. 


Apples - sweet and juicy with plenty of punch and attitude.


Here, we’ll be looking at the apple-shaped body, which is by far one of the most common body types around for women.


Let’s start by summarising the characteristics of the apple body shape/type:


  • Relatively wide, flat shoulder line
  • Above-average bust size
  • Full middle
  • Undefined waistline
  • Flattish bottom 
  • Slim legs 


The apple shape is most closely aligned to the pear shape. If your shoulders are slightly narrower than your hips then you’re more likely to have a pear shape. Apple shapes tend to have bigger busts than pears, but also less defined waistlines. 


If you’ve been slimmer in the past and know that you tend to lose weight around the tummy then you might have an hourglass body type at a certain weight also. Apple body types tend to find stomach fat more stubborn than fat around the thighs or hips. 

Famous Apple Body Types

Want to quickly lookup some well-known celeb apple body shapes for instant encouragement and motivation? 


Check out these celebrity apple body types:

  • Adele 
  • Kate Winslet
  • Dawn French
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Catherine-Zeta Jones
  • Oprah Winfrey 


Below is Dawn French's apple body type before and after weight loss. 



All of these celebs have one thing in common - they’ve definitely got curves!


Curves are always in, so don’t worry if you think you’ve got the potentially lacking waistline of the apple shape - because that doesn’t mean you’re not curvy elsewhere!


Something else you might notice from these celebrity apple shapes is that some might have matured into the apple shape from the hourglass figure (e.g. Catherine-Zeta Jones). 


Others (e.g. Dawn French) have gone from a fuller apple shape towards a more hourglass body shape. 


Apple-shaped women are some of the curviest women around!


It’s time to flaunt those sweet apple curves!

The Main Ingredients of the Apple Body Shape

The apple is a well-proportioned body type. 


The only challenge is dressing for a potentially lacking waistline. 


There’s nothing to fear, though, as apple body shapes tend to have full busts that are in proportion with their bottoms. By not structuring outfits around your waistline, you can emphasise your well-proportioned body, thin legs and arms. 


Here are some basics of how to dress the apple body type:


  • Soft fabrics are best to avoid unnecessarily bulking out the tummy area. The stomach area ought to be kept flat with minimal fabric
  • To emphasise your top and bottom halves, keep details concentrated in these areas, e.g. by wearing low cut tops. The area around the stomach can be kept more plain and simple. 
  • More fitted clothes suit and the bust and legs
  • Brighter colours around your top and bottom halves will camouflage any lack of a waistline


Defining the Waist of an Apple Body Type


The greatest challenge of the apple body type is the waistline which can often seem full and undefined. 


Here are some strategies for defining that waistline!


  • Lift your chest with a quality push-up bra
  • Waist splits emphasise the legs
  • Darker colours around the waist helps define the waistline
  • Consider a dark belt around the waist
  • Keep your waist and midriff generally minimal - focus on other areas


Tops for the Apple Shape


Necklines for the apple body type should try and visually separate the tummy and bust. 


This de-emphasises the waistline and emphasises the bust - ideal for the apple body type.


Necklines should be wide and low. Wide shoulders help emphasise your bust whereas a low neckline will lengthen the body and emphasise the chest. 


Low V necklines are pretty much perfect for the apple body type. They really help draw emphasis to your bust whilst also adding some sharp angles to de-emphasise any lacking waistline. 


Any design or embellishment around the neckline draws the eye up vertically rather than horizontally. 


Any neckline that pulls your shoulders inwards should be avoided. 


Sleeves work the same style as your neckline, the goal is to emphasise the upper body and arms, drawing attention away from the waistline where possible. 


Detailed sleeves including slit sleeves, detail cuff, gathers and draped fabrics are all ideal here. Looser sleeves help emphasise the volume of the upper body - ideal for an apple shape. 


The sleeves below would be perfect for the apple body shape - loose-fitting and with a wide off-shoulder neckline. 



Cap sleeves or even retro shoulder pads can further accentuate your upper body. Anything that adds definition and weight to your upper body balances out a fuller midriff!


Tight-fitting sleeves might be worth avoiding. Experimentation is key. 

Shirts and T-Shirts for the Apple Body Type

Tops that wrap over the waist and flare out at the bust or hips are ideal. This is why a belt can be so useful for the apple shape. By combining a loose-fitting shirt dress with a slimline belt around your middle, you can successfully build volume around your bust and hips. 


Shirts and tops with design embellishments around the top are best. These further emphasise your top half. Necklines should be kept lowish if comfortable and appropriate. 


Again, the V-shape deep neckline is probably the best neckline for the apple shape overall. 


Opting for bold colours and big prints can help conceal a lacking waistline compared to solid colours. 


Trend Advice: Vogue says that bold, geometric and floral prints are set to dominate summer and spring fashion in 2021.


Tops that are cut above the hipline - e.g. to combine with waist-high leggings - are probably worth avoiding. The same applies to crop tops. 


By balancing your top half with your bottom half with minimal emphasis across your stomach, you can successfully dress the apple figure for its sweet and positive characteristics!

Knitwear for the Apple Body Type

Draped, looser and non-clingy knitwear are best for the apple body type. Jumpers are generally fine too, so long as they can help emphasise the bust, e.g. with a stripe across the bust area or other embellishments. 


Cardigans and open knitwear are ideal, longer knitwear that extends beyond the hips can also lengthen the figure considerably. 

Jackets for the Apple Shape

Jackets for the apple body shape ought to skim over the midriff. Avoiding tight-fitting jackets around the waistline is best, and long lines can help elongate the figure. 


Wrap jackets with tie-waist belts are ideal as they’re both long and concealing of the waist, also helping build volume in the bust and hips when necessary. 


Short jackets or cropped jackets are worth avoiding as these will emphasise the waistline. Tailored jackets - especially blazers - work wonderfully for apple shapes. 


Trend Advice: Vogue says formal-style jackets and blazers are very much in trend now. 


Below is a formal-style smart but casual black jacket. The neckline is perfect for the apple body shape. 



Wearing your jacket open can help skim past the waistline, creating long vertical lines across your body. 


Double-breasted jackets might build up too much fabric across your waist - worth avoiding.


In terms of coats, anything goes really so long as it’s suitably long. Jackets that cover your bottom can help lengthen your figure, so trench coats and that sort of thing are definitely a green light for the apple shape!

Bottoms for an Apple Body Shape

So what about bottoms for an apple body shape?


Let’s kick it off with trousers:

Trousers for the Apple Body Type 

Apple body types typically have slim legs relative to the rest of the body. This is partially what accounts for the top-heavy look. 


Wide legs are really useful here, balancing out the middle of the body and adding some volume to thinner lower legs. Trousers shouldn’t cling too much to the body, but going overly baggy isn’t a good idea either. 


If your legs form a nice wide curve with your pelvis and groin area then tightening your trousers up is a good shout. You don’t want to go too baggy or wide that you cover up your great legs!


Big prints and bold colours are also great for drawing attention to your legs - great to combine with darker colours on top but some detail around the bust and a deep/low necked top.


High-waisted trousers are probably the only no-no as far as trousers for an apple shape go. 


Almost everything else is fair game!

Jeans for the Apple Body Type

Flares are very much in-trend and can add volume to thinner lower legs, balancing out wider waistlines. 


Low-rise and mid-rise jeans are the best shouts as these cut just below the waist area of the apple body type. 


If you have a nice curve between your legs and bottom or groin area then there’s no issue in going tighter. Tighter jeans can accentuate your booty curves whilst drawing attention away from the waist. 


The only real no-no is high-rise jeans unless you can find some that keep the midriff in place. 

Skirts for the Apple Body Type

Skirts are an awesome opportunity to add volume to the bottom half, drawing attention away from the waistline. 


Fuller skirts are a great option here. Bubble, flared or tiered skirts can all accentuate curves around the hips whilst showing off as much leg as you’re comfortable with. 


A-line and pencil skirts can also look fantastic on the apple shape. 


There’s really no shortage of options here - skirts are some of the best clothes for apple body shapes!

Dresses for the Apple Body Type

Dresses for the apple body type should skim over the body without being too clingy around the stomach area.


Some ideal dress styles include A-line dresses, bias-cut and empire line dresses. These can draw attention away from the waistline. 


Bold prints and colours are great for apple body types. Wrap dresses can also lift up the bust, also drawing attention away from the midriff. 


Details across the shoulders, bust and neckline will further accentuate the upper body. 


Belted dresses and shirt dresses can do wonders for expanding the upper and lower body whilst pulling in the waistline. Use belts to hold dresses around the thinnest part of your waist. 


Trend Advice: Who What Wear says free-flowing, lightweight dresses and bold prints are set to dominate the trends in 2021. 

Any sort of belt can work very well, you might find thin belts keep things minimal and sleek but wider, larger belts can also work well if they sit flush with the waist. 

Jumpsuits and Playsuits for the Apple Body Type

Jumpsuits and playsuits can certainly work for taller apple body types but for more petite apples, they might compress your overall appearance. 


Loose-fitting jumpsuits with flared hemlines are ideal. You can use a belt to pull the midriff inwards. 


Wrap fitting jumpsuits can help add volume to the bust, pulling the waistline inwards. 

Shorts for the Apple Body Type

Apples often have brilliant legs - shorts can really bring those out. 


Mid-rise or high-rise loose-fitting shorts can help bring out the legs and bust. Wide hemlines can pull attention away from the waistline and towards the legs. Flat-fronted is best. 


Tighter shorts can really work your bottom if you’re proud of them! Large belts can once again help to define the waistline and segregate your upper and lower body.

Accessories for the Apple Body Type

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!


Apple body types should consider accessories that emphasise the top and bottom half of their body, their neckline and their arms. 


Statement jewellery around the neck combined with a deep V-neck can really add the wow factor to the upper body. Bold pieces suit a bolder outfit, so try oversized jewellery combined with bold and wacky prints.


Handbags and purses can be bright with plenty of pop. 


Below is a clean and modern bright pink purse from Gorjus London


Summary: The Apple Shape

The apple shape is a curvy body shape, the only challenge is to create a waistline and accentuate curves in the process. 


Whilst it might be tempting to wear overly baggy clothing as an apple shape to mask the fuller midriff, it’s best to work around that area by building emphasis on the top and bottom half of the body. 


Belts, flowing jackets, dresses and bold prints are all excellent ways to do this.