The apple body shape has a larger bust, broader back, a round undefined stomach, narrow hips and shapely legs. The goal of the rounded body shape is to draw the attention away from your widest point (the middle) and focus on highlighting the arms, chest and legs!
This guide is for those with an apple body shape – wishing to seek a balanced silhouette.
Figuring out your body shape
Everyone has a unique body profile, but most of us fall into one or two of the typical body shape profiles. It is totally normal to fall between 2-body types.
Apples don’t tend to stray from their dominant shape. They may gain weight in the arms, gain a larger bust, gain more body fat across their back. They may start to see their lower stomach sag as they get older.
Those with the hourglass figures often adopt some of the apple shape guidance regarding the waistline. The focus is under the bust, after having children or simply ageing and hormones. This can cause their stomach to change shape, and cinching in at the natural waistline only accentuates the rounder lower stomach.
Best styles for an apple body shape
The apple body shape can wear a range of styles, it’s all a matter of confidence. Whilst these suggestions all ‘skim’ over the waist, there’s nothing stopping you from showing it off! Here’s a variety of popular styles apple shapes look great in:
- Empire waistlines and designs that cinch just below the bust and skim the body.
- A-line or fit-and-flare skirts and dresses.
- V-neck, sweetheart or square necklines
- Medium-weight fabrics.
- Layering with longer cardigans, jackets or coats.
- Any kind of statement accessories like scarves and long necklaces that help break up the width of the mid section.
Best styles of tops for the apple shape
Go for tops that cinch just below the bust. A-line or fit-and-flare tops that flow away from the midsection are also very flattering. Opt for V-neck or sweetheart necklines to create a vertical line and break up the mid-section.
Structured or tailored tops can provide definition to the waist or those with ruching or draping around the can often work well to disguise a larger tummy.
Best type of neckline for the apple figure
V-neckline are great as they elongate the neck, break up the bust and draw the attention upward. Other great options are scoop necklines as these flatter and balances the proportions of the upper body. The sweetheart neckline helps accentuates the bust.
A square neckline helps counter the roundness and frames the upper body. Off-the-shoulder necklines are great for apples as they draw attention to the shoulders and collarbone, diverting focus from the midsection.
Best styles of sleeves for an apple shape
Cap sleeves help highlight the shoulders and balance the upper body by adding a little width to your shoulders. Elbow-length sleeves with slits provide more arm coverage and draw attention away from the midsection.
Three-quarter sleeves that are not too tight and with cuffs help flatter the arms. It creates a balanced look, pulling the gaze to just under your bust and the smaller part of your mid-section. Flared and draped styles of sleeves help add visual interest and draw attention away from the midsection. They offer a comfortable fit, providing coverage for the arms.
Best style of shorts for an apple shape
Opt for styles that provide coverage and create a flattering waistline. The A-line style of short is universally flattering and suits most body types, especially apples. Due to narrow hips and slim legs super tight fitting shorts will only make an apples’s upper body appear larger than it is.
Low rise shorts will also emphasise the roundness of a tummy and create an ‘overhang’ or muffin top. Experiment with other styles of shorts such as pleated shorts and Bermuda shorts.
Best style of trousers and jeans for an apple body shape
Bootcut or flared trousers or jeans are very forgiving for most body shapes. This style help to balance out the proportions and create a more hourglass-like shape. – opting for the right top to get the balance is key. Cargo trousers are also a great option for apple shapes, pockets on the legs help balance the lower body.
Wide-leg trousers and flowy trousers help create the illusion of a longer and leaner body, consider wearing with tops that add a little structure and shape. Overall the best fit will be mid to high-waisted trousers and jeans: as this will help to control the midsection and accentuate the waistline.
Avoid low-rise trousers and jeans as these create a muffin top effect if you have a round belly.
Best style of dresses for an apple body shape
The universally flattering dress is the wrap style. This style of dress flatters the apple shape by defining the waistline and creating an hourglass illusion. The type of material, the waistband, and size of print can dictate just how flattering. A-line, Empire, Bias Cut and Shift dresses all offer the apple body shape complimentary cuts to help conceal the stomach and show off the arms and legs.
Don’t forget that the neckline of the dress will also impact how the upper body appears – opt for necklines that create a vertical line, elongating the torso.
Best style of skirt for the apple body shape
The best style of skirts for the apple are those that flare out gently from the waistline, preferably with a mid to high waist fit, the A-line style is perfect for the apple as it offer balance. You can experiment with wrap skirts and bias cut slip skirts – team with the right top, and layers to camouflage any tummy concerns.
Worst styles for an apple body shape
- Steer clear of clingy fabrics that accentuate and enlarge the midsection.
- Skip high necklines that can make the upper body appear larger.
- Avoid low-rise bottoms that can create a muffin top effect.
- Avoid trousers or jeans that have buttons, pockets or patterns and embellishments. This only draws attention to the midsection, particularly the lower stomach.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and ultimately, personal preference and comfort should be taken into consideration when choosing clothing styles. Experimenting with different styles and finding what makes you feel confident and comfortable is key.
Clothing to avoid for an apple-shaped body:
- Peplum tops can be problematic as they can add volume to the waistline and can make it appear larger. Do experiment, as an empire waist line peplum will be more forgiving than one that sits as the natural waistline.
- Low-waisted trousers, shorts and skirts can create a muffin top, overspill effect and draw attention to the midsection.
- Pencil skirts can emphasise slim hips and legs but also highlight the midsection and unbalancing silhouette – if teamed with a tight-fitting top. Again, if a round tummy isn’t an issue for you – go for it!
- Horizontal striped tops or dresses can make the waistline appear wider. If you are not concerned about this – wear those stripes!
Should people with round stomaches wear tight or loose fitting clothes?
Apple shaped bodies vary, for some people fitted, but not too tight clothing that skims can work. For those who celebrate their curves, no form fitting outfit options are off the table. Consider strategic tailoring to ensure a better fit around the midsection.
Loose longer layers over tight fitting clothes can add structure and create visual interest, whilst masking a round mid-section.
Confidence is key—wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Remember, these are general guidelines, and it’s important to find what works best for you and makes you feel your best.
Famous apple-shaped celebrities
Famous celebrities that share this wonderful body shape include: Rebel Wilson, Mindy Kaling , Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Adele, Drew Barrymore and Melissa McCarthy also offer great style inspiration.
Apple body shape summary:
Emphasise your assets! Opt for empire waistlines, A-line dresses, and V-neck or scoop neck tops. This help to minimise a larger bust, and opt for hemlines that show off your shapely legs. Look for garments with materials that drape over your curves to create a flattering and comfortable look. Use structured blazers, longline sleeveless blazers or cardigans over fitted tops or dresses will draw attention away from the midsection. Opt for styles that provide a bit of room and skim over your curves for a more flattering look.
Choose clothing styles that help create a straight line to strategically slim through the body, down past the hips. Try an open shirt over a fitted top.
Apple body shape variations
Variations of the Apple body shape include the oval and the diamond shape. These both have larger mid-sections, the length of the torso, size of the shoulders and bust are what differentiates them. The goal for styling both shapes is to emphasise the legs and create vertical lines through the mid-section – this helps to downplay the roundness of the stomach.
The oval shape is characterised by a fuller midsection with a larger waist circumference. Shoulders tend to be smaller and rounded. An ovals bust is typically larger compared to the hips, but not not large overall. and not as busty as an apple. The waistline is undefined. The torso is usually a little longer than the apple and weight gain will gather on the lower back and stomach.
The diamond shape refers to a body shape where the waistline or hips are the widest part of the body. The shoulders and bust are small and narrower in comparison, creating a diamond-like silhouette. The weight is carried in the midsection, giving a fuller appearance around the waist. Diamond shapes tend to have slender legs.
The diamond shape is often confused with the pear shape. Diamonds, unlike a pear shape aren’t prone to weight gain on the hips, bottom, thighs and legs.
Styling tips for oval and diamond shapes align with those for apple shapes. The focus is on creating balance, elongating the body, and accentuating their best assets (usually the slim legs!) It’s important to choose clothes that you feel flatter your body proportions. Opt for cuts that enhance your best features. This creates a more balanced look that gives you the confidence you need.
Do you think that you’re an apple shape? Let me know. Is there any Apple shape styling guidance that you ignore as it just doesn’t work for you?
Body shape series
Other blogs in the body shape series include:
Coming soon: How to dress an Inverted Triangle (T-shape) Body shape