How To Dress An Apple Body Shape – A Personal Stylist’s Guide

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Updated:

March 8, 2024

If you want to know how to dress your apple body shape, you are in the right place!

For the past 18-plus years, I’ve been working as a personal stylist, (you can find out more about me here), and I’ve helped hundreds of apple-shaped women to put outfits together that work for them, and build and develop a capsule collection of clothes they love wearing.

Most of my apple-shaped clients want to make their shoulders look less broad, their waist more defined and their shape more curvy. And some feel self-conscious about their tummy and want to dress to hide it.

But experience has taught me that it’s more than that. I know your frustrations aren’t just about how your shape looks, you’re also frustrated with how (badly) clothes fit you:

    • Pants and jeans might be your biggest frustration – if they fit your hips and thighs they’re probably too tight around your waist. But, if pants fit your waist they are loose and baggy around your butt and thighs, and often end up sliding down.

    • Dresses are another tricky piece to find in a good fit when you have an inverted triangle shape – you’ve probably found that if a dress fits your shoulders and bust well, it’s too loose around your butt and thighs. But if a dress fits your hips and thighs, it’s too tight around your shoulders.

I’ve learned a lot over the years, and have been faced with a wide variety of frustrations from my apple-shaped clients, so I understand what you’re struggling with when it comes to dressing your apple shape.

This post draws on my first-hand experience dressing apple-shaped women over the past 18 years, to stop you from compromising on fit, and style, so you can finally start putting outfits together that you enjoy wearing!

What is an apple-shaped body What does an apple shaped body look like?

Before you go any further, it’s important to reiterate that the tips and advice in this post are for an apple body shape, so if you don’t have an apple body shape, my post isn’t going to help you. It will probably make things worse.

So, before I share my tips on how to dress an apple shape, I want to chat a little about what an apple body shape is and what it looks like, and I want to chat a little about how the apple body shape can overlap with other body types, giving you a primary and secondary shape.

An illustration of an apple shaped women

What is an apple body shape?

An apple body shape (also known as an inverted triangle) is one of the 4 primary body shapes, the other 3 primary body shapes being hourglass shape, column shape, and pear shape).

You’ll have broad shoulders, narrow hips, an undefined waist, and good legs; and you have one of my favorite shapes to dress because you look fantastic in all the clothing styles that don’t work well for my pear shape!

The apple body shape is a core body shape, but there are other shapes that an apple body type could also align with, and I call these the secondary body types.

I chat more about this further down, but for now, I want to share the core characteristics of a true apple shape. A true apple shape is a body shape that doesn’t overlap with any other shapes.

These are the core attributes of a true apple body shape:

  • Your frame looks a little top-heavy because your shoulders are broader than your hips – this makes finding dresses and tops that fit, tricky
  • You have little to no waist definition, which contributes to you feeling top-heavy
  • Your torso might be shorter than your legs, and this can sometimes make your frame look unbalanced.
  • You have great legs
  • Your hips are slim and this often makes it difficult for you to find bottoms that stay up
  • You’ll have an average to large bust which can make it tricky for you to find tops and dresses that fit.

Those are the characteristics of a true apple shape, but in all honesty, many women don’t slot neatly into the apple shape box.

So, if you recognize some of those attributes but not all of them, the chances are that your apple figure overlaps with a secondary body shape.

An illustration of 4 different types of apple body shape

Does your apple figure overlap with another body shape – do you have a secondary body type?

Your apple body shape might align strongly with an apple shape, but it might also have some characteristics that aren’t usually associated with an apple shape, for example:

  • your un-defined waist might be slim
  • your shoulders might only be a little broader than your hips
  • you might have a small bust

When your shape has the characteristics of multiple body shapes, it can be difficult for you to figure out what your shape is and it can be confusing.

You might even start to think you have a difficult shape, but you don’t. You’re actually in the majority, and your shape isn’t difficult, it’s just that you’ve been following the rules too rigidly, or have been following the wrong guidelines.

Most women have a combination of 2 shapes – a primary shape, and a secondary shape:

  1. Your main body type is the primary shape – this is the body shape with whose characteristics your shape aligns the most. For the information in this post to help you, your primary body shape needs to be apple-shaped.
  2. Your secondary body shape is the other body shape that your shape also shares some characteristics with. 

In my experience, apple-shaped women typically overlap with a column shape or an hourglass shape.

I am yet to come across a woman who has an apple shape that overlaps with a pear shape, (since the pear shape characteristics are the opposite of an apple shape) but that’s not to say it can’t be a combination!

Does your apple shape overlap with a column shape?

Your apple body shape may overlap with a column body type if:

an image of an apple shaped women who's shape overlaps with a column body shape
  • You are slim
  • You have a small bust
  • Your shoulders are wider than your hips, but your hip to shoulder ratio is less than an apple shapes typical 5%

Does your apple shape overlap with an hourglass shape?

Your apple body shape may overlap with an hourglass shape if:

  • You have a very large bust
  • Your shoulders are wider than your hips, but your hip-to-shoulder ratio is less than an apple shapes typical  5%

Can an apple shape overlap with a pear shape?

The apple body shape and pear body shape are pretty much the opposite of each other.

The pear shape has noticeably wider hips than shoulders. The apple shape has noticeably wider shoulders than her hips, so it is unlikely that your shape is a combination of these two shapes.

If you have an apple shape and you think you overlap with a pear shape, a more likely combination is that you overlap with an hourglass shape instead.

Does it really matter what your body shape is?

Not really.  I understand that labeling your body shape, and aligning it with one of the 4 body types gives you a starting point, and reference point for learning how to choose clothes that will fit and work for you (that’s why I wrote this post!). 

But it’s important not to get bogged down in identifying your shape and following the rules.

What is more important is to get a really solid understanding of your shape’s unique qualities and proportions, and to figure out what you want clothes to do for your shape.

Because, depending on the style of clothes you choose to wear, you can enhance, minimize, disguise, elongate, shorten, balance, or unbalance your frame.

When you have an in-depth understanding of your shape, and you know what you want your clothes to do for you, you can start to think more carefully about the clothes you choose to wear, and will be able to pick the clothes that will help you achieve your goal!

I like to think of this as developing a superpower that enables you to make clothes work for you…rather than the other way around.

If you would like to get to know your body shape a little better, I have 3 resources that will help you do that:

  1. This blog post shares some of the reasons why you’re struggling to identify your body shape and gives you 3 simple exercises to help you learn more about your shape
  2. This blog post will give you an overview of the 4 primary body types
  3. For only $130 I will do an in-depth body shape analysis for you, explain your unique characteristics and proportions to you, and tell you what the most and least flattering clothes are for your specific shape…all this is provided in a tailor-made guide that is created by me.  You can find out more about my tailor-made guides here.

10 Tips for dressing and styling an Apple Body Shape:

It’s tricky to know how to dress your apple body shape. There is SO much conflicting information floating around the internet, and some of it is just bad advice.

Hopefully, this post will help to clarify things for you and help you to understand why some clothes seem to work better for you than others.

1/ Think about balance when dressing your apple shape

If you feel top-heavy and want to balance your frame so your shoulders look narrower, it’s worth considering how the clothes you choose affect your proportions.

Wearing clothes that add bulk to your shoulders, bust area, and torso (such as puff sleeves or shoulder pads), could make your shape look more unbalanced and top-heavy.

However, by wearing clothing styles that add a little bulk and weight to your bottom half (such as paper-pag pants or cargo pants) you could broaden your hips a little which will help to balance your silhouette.

2/ Dress to draw attention to your apple shape assets

If you’re like my clients, you’ll have a long list of body parts you want to hide, but rather than dressing to hide what you don’t like, I recommend you try to flip it around and instead of dressing to hide what you don’t like, try dressing to show off what you do like.

When you reframe the way you get dressed so that you’re focusing on your best assets, it not only becomes a more positive experience, but by drawing attention to something you like about your shape, you will be drawing the eye away from the areas of your shape that you’re less happy with. It’s a win-win!

3/ Make sure you’re wearing the right bra size and shape

Wearing the correct bra size is everything. Not only is it important for support especially if you have a fuller bust), and posture, but wearing the correct bra also benefits your overall body shape as it will lift your bust and create a more defined waist.

I cannot tell you how many waists I’ve uncovered, simply by putting a client in the correct bra size!

If you’re not sure if you’re wearing the right-sized bra, I recommend you check out this post I wrote, it shares 5 tell-tale signs that you’re in the wrong bra, and offers you some tips to help choose the right size for you.

4/ Understand which clothing fits are best suited to your apple shape

We’re so fortunate to have a variety of fits available to shop from, but it’s only useful if you know which cut or fit works for you.

Curve or curvy clothing is one of the fits I’ve found to be the most confusing for an apple shape.

This is partly because you might think you need to wear curvy cut clothes (you don’t), but I think it’s also because the term ‘curve’/’curvy’ is (confusingly) used by retailers to describe two different types of collections:

  1. One is plus-size collections -these typically start at a size 16+
  2. The other type is collections that are cut to fit curves – these are designed with a smaller waist and a little extra room in the hip and thigh area, and sizes typically start at 0/24

As an apple shape, you might be a plus-sized, but you are unlikely to be curvy, which means that curvy-cut pants and jeans will NOT fit you well. They will be tighter around your waist, and looser around your hips and thighs.

A better cut or fit for your apple shape to search for is a straight fit. These are quite literally, cut straight, so they have less definition between the waist and the hip and thigh area…rather like your shape. Which means they should fit your waist and bottom half well.

Some stores, such as Eloquii are now selling a fit created specifically for an apple shape – the Gena Fit – this designed to fit a fuller mid-section and narrower hips and thighs.

I hope that more retailers will start to follow suit, but until then, know that ‘straight fit’ is the best option for you.

5/ Sleeve and shoulder type can change your silhouette

The width and length of a sleeve can affect how top-heavy you look:

  • A wide sleeve, such as a kimono sleeve, can add bulk and volume to your torso that may broaden you, especially if the fabric is stiff.
  • A short sleeve that ends in line with your bust will draw a horizontal line across your arms and torso, which may make you look broader than you are (off-the-shoulder styles do the same). A sleeve length that is longer will be more flattering.
  • A Dolman sleeve (or batwing as it’s also known) can add bulk and width to your broad shoulders which may make you look more top-heavy than you are.
  • A full-length sleeve that flares out at the hem can add a little weight to your hips and thighs to help balance your frame.
  • A three-quarter length that ends in line with your waist can help to narrow you a little

6/ The print you choose to wear is important when you have an apple body shape

If you like wearing prints, it is worth considering how they might impact your frame.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to prints, is to stick to a size that is in proportion to your frame. But there are a few other points you might want to consider also:

  • Small, or all-over prints do a good job of keeping the eye moving, so if you feel self-conscious about a particular part of your body, an all-over print might be a good choice.
  • Vertical stripes can elongate and narrow, so if you want to narrow your shoulders and torso, a vertical stripe might be a good option for your top half.
  • Horizontal stripes, on the other hand, can broaden your frame, so you could opt for horizontal stripes on your bottom half if you want to balance your top half with your bottom half.

7/ Consider the weight of the fabrics you wear when you have an apple shaped body

Think about what is important to you, such as comfort, support, shape…or all three! Then choose fabrics that offer you this.

Fabrics that contain some structure to them are a good option if you want to create a little shape. But if you feel quite top-heavy, choose structured fabrics with a little stretch rather than starchy, stiff fabrics which can add bulk and weight to make you feel more unbalanced.

Fabrics that contain a little stretch can be a good option as they create both support and comfort. They work well for your upper body and lower body but be aware that wearing very tight pants or skirts may make you appear narrower on your bottom half.

If you aren’t keen on fitted, structured fabrics, you might want to consider lightweight, fluid fabrics that can gently contour your figure without clinging or adding unnecessary bulk.

8/ The colors you wear can affect how your apple shape looks

I’m not talking about choosing colors for your skin tone, although this is also something you might want to consider.  What I’m referring to here, is using color to create shape and balance.

Lighter colors typically come to the forefront, while darker shades recede and you can use this to your advantage:

  • If you feel top-heavy and want to look a little narrower, you could try wearing darker colors on top.
  • Conversely, if you’d like to look a little curvier or heavier on your bottom half, you might want to wear lighter colors on your bottom half.

Another way to make color work for you and your shape is to take advantage of color blocking in garments.

Color blocking is where contrasting blocks of color are used to create shape and interest in a garment. 

It’s a powerful tool for creating the illusion of curves, so it’s a great option for you if you want to look like you have a more defined waist or a curvier bottom half.

Here are 3 great examples of color blocking being used to create a curvy silhouette:

9/ Some necklines are better than others when you have an apple body shape

If your goal is to narrow your broad shoulders and create a more balanced shape then the best necklines for you are low necklines that draw the eye in and down to your great legs.

V-necklines, plunging necklines, scooped, square, and sweetheart necklines are all perfect choices for an apple shape.

Necklines that may add bulk to your upper body and make you look top-heavy, are turtlenecks, mock necks, and crew necks.

I recently read a post that advised wearing off-the-shoulder tops if you have an apple shape. This isn’t typically something I would recommend an apple shape wears, particularly if your goal is to narrow your broad shoulders and balance your frame. 

this is becuase off-the-shoulder necklines draw a line right across your arms and torso and this can make you look much broader than you are.

10/ Define your waist

Your apple body shape probably doesn’t have much of a waistline but if you want to create one, it’s fairly easy to do so with the right clothes and a little styling.

Here are 3 things you can do to make your apple shape look curvier:

  1. Choose tops that have some shaping or banding around the waistline – this will cinch you in and create a little shape above and below your waist.
  2. Wear pants that have a little pleating below the waistband – this will add some volume below your waist, which can make your waist appear more defined. Pants and jeans with a paper-bag waist are my favorite pants for this.
  3. Add a narrow belt to your waist – I know this is a little controversial as many apple-shaped clients tell me they think that wearing a belt around their waist will only highlight their lack of definition, but trust me, it won’t. Try it!

What clothes look good on an apple shaped figure?

As an apple shape, your shoulders are narrower than your hips, and you have an undefined waist, so you may want to choose clothes that create a more balanced frame, make your shoulders appear narrower, and give you more definition at your waist.

Here are some tips to help you do just that, and to help you find clothes that fit your apple shape well.

Choosing the best tops for an apple-shape

What to look for when choosing tops that fit and flatter an apple shape:

  • Low necklines that narrow your shoulders and torso
  • Fuss-free sleeves and shoulders that add minimal bulk to your shoulders
  • Some structure that creates curves
  • Definition at the waist to enhance yours
  • Design elements that add a little volume to your hips to balance your shoulders

What to avoid when choosing tops that work for your apple shape:

  • High necklines that add bulk and volume to broaden your shoulders and torso
  • Little to no shape that adds bulk and makes your waist look less defined
  • Statement shoulders sleeves that add breadth to your shoulders

These are the most flattering, best-fitting top styles for an apple shape

6 illustrated images of top styles that look good on an apple body shape, and fit an apple body shape well.

Wrap tops are a good choice for an apple-shape

The v-neckline and wrap detailing across the bust will narrow your shoulders and draw the eye in and down to your great legs. You can use the waist tie to create the perfect fit and give you a little definition around the waist area.

Low necklines are perfect for an apple-shape

Low or plunging necklines will narrow and lengthen your torso, by drawing the eye in and down. Sweetheart necklines, square necklines, scoop necks, v-necklines, and plunging necklines are all great styles to go for.

Look for tops that have structure and shaping

Structured styles and ruched tops are one of my favorite ways to create shapes and enhance curves.

Look for structured waistbands that will cinch you in to create a little waist definition and design details such as piping and seams that create shape.

Peplum tops are a great style for apple shapes.

A top with a peplum is one of the best ways to create a curvier silhouette on your upper half.

A peplum is a hem that flares out below the waistline, and it adds volume to your waist, which makes your waist appear narrower.

Strapless tops work well on apple shapes.

If you want to make your shoulders look narrower, I highly recommend opting for a strapless dress…but only if you have a good supportive strapless bra to wear under it.

The reason a strapless top works so well is that it highlights your bust and torso, rather than your shoulders, bust, and torso, and this instantly narrows your upper body, while also drawing attention away from your shoulder line.

Look for tops that have waist ties

Tops that have a tie, belt, or sash around the waist will instantly give your waist a little definition.

I know that some apple-shaped women are hesitant to wear items that draw attention to their waist for fear it will highlight their lack of one, but it does the opposite. It creates a waist.

Choosing the best pants, jeans, and trousers for an apple-shaped body

If you feel top-heavy or struggle to find pants that stay up or create shape, this section is for you! The right style of pants can create some shape on your lower body and can help to balance your frame. 

What to look for when choosing pants that fit and flatter an apple shape:

  • Volume or shaping that adds a little weight and shape to your hips and thighs – this will balance your larger upper body.
  • Waist detail that gives your waist a little definition
  • Straight cuts that mirror your shape

What to avoid when choosing pants, jeans, and trousers that work for your apple shape

  • Tight-fitting, narrow styles such as pencil skirts or tube skirts that enhance your slim hips and thighs
  • Curve-fit styles that are designed for a curvy silhouette.

These are the most flattering, best-fitting pants, jeans, and trousers styles for an apple shape:

6 illustrated images of pants, jeans and trousers styles that look good on an apple body shape, and fit an apple body shape well.

Wide-leg jeans are fantastic on apple shapes

A wide-leg pair of pants or jeans will hug your waist and skim straight down to create slightly broader hips that balance your broad shoulders.

Flares are a great pant style for apple shapes.

They’re fitted through the hips and thighs and flare out below the knee to add volume that will balance your upper body. They also do a great job of creating curves on your bottom half.

Some of my favorite stores for sourcing flares for my apple-shaped clients are Spanx, Wit and Wisdom, and Madewell – all three of these brands offer fantastic support that lifts and shapes.

Boot-cut jeans and pants work well for an apple-shaped body

A boot cut is a classic style that always works well for an apple shape, thanks to the small flare at the hem that gives your legs a little shape.

They are a great style to try if you’re used to wearing skinny jeans but want to branch out and try a style that offers you a little more shaping.

Cargo pants look great on apple-shape

Cargo jeans and cargo pants have pockets and volume around the hips and thighs that add a little weight and shape to broaden your narrow hips.

Slim-leg jeans and pants are a great shape for an apple body shape

Skinny jeans can narrow and slim your already slim legs, which can make your apple-shaped frame look more top-heavy, if this is you, try a slim-leg pair of jeans or pants instead.

Slim-leg jeans will hug your bottom half to show off your great legs, but the slightly wider ankle will prevent them from enhancing your narrow bottom half.

Barrel-leg jeans and pants are a great option for an apple-shape

If you want to add some shape and weight to your lower body, try a pair of barrel-leg jeans or pants (also known as balloon-leg jeans).

These have extra volume and shaping down the hips and thighs, that tapers to a narrow ankle – they will fit your waist then curve out at the sides over your hips and thighs, to create a curvy bottom half.

They are also super comfortable to wear.

Tapered pants such as carrot legs or cigarette pants, are fantastic styles for your apple shape.

The slim style highlights the shape of your legs and the tapered ankle gives the appearance of more shape at the hips, and this makes your waist look a little more defined.

Straight-leg jeans are a great style for an apple shape – if not the best!

They are cut in a straight fit which mirrors your hips and thighs and, the wider leg can add a little weight to your legs that not only balances your torso but also creates a little more definition around your waist area.

I particularly like straight-leg jeans they are high-waisted as they hold you in and create a little shape around your waist.

Paper bag styles are the best pants, jeans, and trousers style for an apple-shape

The waist tie adds definition to enhance your waist, and the pleating below the waistline adds a little volume to your hips to create more shape that further defines your waist.

One point to note when wearing paper-bag pants is to always tuck your tops in. If you don’t the top will add bulk over the waistband that can add weight to your middle. 

For a more in-depth article about choosing the best pants for your apple shape, I recommend you head over here to read this post.  It shares the best pants for apple-shaped women in 2024, along with a whole host of tips to help you choose pants that work for you.

For an in-depth article about choosing the best jeans for your apple shape, head on over here!

Choosing the best skirts for an apple shape

Your hips are narrower than your shoulders so you may look and feel top-heavy. 

To reduce this, you can choose clothing styles that add a little shape and volume to your lower half, whilst also creating a curvier silhouette.  Here are some tips to help you do that.

What to look for when choosing skirts that flatter and fit an apple-shape

  • Volume and shaping that will add a little weight and shape to your hips and thighs – this can help to balance your top half.
  • Waist detailing which gives your waist some definition
  • Straight cuts that mirror your shape
  • Structure that creates some shape

What to avoid when choosing skirts that fit and flatter an apple shape

  • Tight-fitting, narrow styles can enhance your slim hips and thighs
  • Volume across the tummy as this can add weight to your middle

These are the best-fitting, most flattering skirt styles to wear if you have an apple shape

6 illustrated images of skirt styles that look good on an apple body shape, and fit an apple body shape well.

Wrap skirts are a great choice for an apple-shape

The wrap tie enables you to customize the waist size to fit yours and the wrapped fabric will create a little shaping across your hips and thighs.

I love a wrap skirt with a ruffle hem for apple shapes as the ruffles add a weight that can balance your top half.

Slip skirts work well for an apple shape

Skirts that are cut on the bias (also known as slip skirts) are a favorite skirt choice of mine when I’m pulling together a capsule collection for an apple shape.

The cut showcases your slender legs and gently hugs and enhances your silhouette, creating a curvier bottom half.

Trumpet hem skirts or mermaid skirts are a fantastic choice for an apple shape.

Skirts that flare out from the hem are flattering on an apple shape. The fitted skirt will hug your waist and showcase your legs, and the flared hem will create curves that balance your shoulders and torso.

Tulip skirts are the best skirt option for an apple shape.

Tulip skirts have pleating below the waist that adds volume to the hips and definition to the waist. They taper at the hem to create a fuller, curvier bottom half that balances your top half.

I think they’re my absolute favorite dress and skirt style on apple shapes!

Paperbag skirts look great on apple shape

Paperbag skirts have a belted waist that creates definition, and pleating below the waist that adds a little shape and volume to your hips and thighs.

Choosing the best dresses for an apple body shape

The biggest frustration you probably have when you’re looking for dresses that work for your apple shape is that when a dress fits your top half, it is too loose around your hips and thighs.

You might also struggle to find dresses that don’t make you look top-heavy. 

If that sounds familiar, here are some tips to you find dresses that work for you:

What to look for when choosing dresses that flatter and fit well:

  • Volume and shaping on the skirt that can balance your torso.
  • Low necklines that draw vertical lines down your torso to narrow you.
  • Waist detailing to cinch you in and define your waist
  • Straight cuts that mirror your silhouette
  • Design elements on the top that narrow your shoulders and torso

What to avoid when choosing dresses that work for your apple shape

  • Tight-fitting skirts that narrow your slim hips and enhance your broad shoulders
  • Oversized, loose cuts that add weight to your frame and hide your shape
  • Have design details on the top that add weight and bulk which can broaden your shoulders, torso, and middle

These are the best dress styles to wear if you have an apple body shape

6 illustrated images of dress styles that look good on an apple body shape, and fit an apple body shape well.

 

Empire style dresses are a good choice for an apple-shaped body.

Dresses with an empire waist are a good option for an apple shape. Empire waists sit just below your waist which will be your narrowest point, this gives the appearance of a more defined waistline, a narrow torso, and a curvier silhouette.

Shirt Dresses look good on an apple-shape

Shirt dresses are a firm favorite of mine, they have a little structure to create shape, they have definition at the waist that adds definition you yours, and you can leave the neckline open to elongate and narrow your torso.

If you find the buttons pull across your bust or shoulders, simply undo them to below the bust. If that’s too low for comfort, layer a camisole underneath, or add a sew-on-snap to lift the neckline a little.

Dresses with waist detailing work well for an apple shape.

Dresses with waistbands, waist ties, and any other form of structure or detailing around the waist will make your waist look more defined and your shape curvier.

I prefer a narrow waistband to a wide waistband as it will create some shape without adding bulk.

Wrap dresses dresses look good on an apple-shaped woman.

I love a wrap dress on an apple body shape – the low, wrap neckline will narrow your broad shoulders and flatter your middle. And the tie waist will cinch you in to create a more defined waistline.

Look for war dresses that have a full or tulip skirt as straighter-fitting styles may make you feel top-heavy.

Slip dresses look fantastic on apple-shaped bodies

I love a slip skirt (also known as a bias-cut dress) on an apple body shape. The cut will gently hug your frame, enhancing your curves to create a curvier silhouette.

If you don’t like the idea of a spaghetti strap, look for options that have a wide strap, or a cowl neckline.

Kickflare dresses look great on an apple-shape

Kick flare skirts are also known as mermaid dresses and these look fantastic on your apple shape. They will hug your hips and thighs, and flare out at the hem to create a curvier bottom half.

Tulip dresses are made for your apple shape!

Dresses that have a tulip skirt are perfect for you. They have a fitted waist that is followed by pleating and volume around your hips and things which not only give you a curvier lower half but also add extra definition to your waistline.

If you want to create a more balanced frame, a tulip dress is a great option!

A peplum dress is one of the best dresses for an apple body shape.

The narrow, structured fit will create curves and shape, while the flared hem that sits below your waist will enhance your waist.

Tuxedo dresses are fantastic for an apple shape.

They have structure that cinches you in the waist and creates curves. And they have a low neckline and long lapels which narrow your shoulders and torso while drawing the eye down to your fantastic legs.

Shift dresses are a great voice for an apple-shape

They are typically cut in a straight cut, which will mirror your frame, so should fit well. Choose a shift dress that has a low neckline, such as a v-neck or sweetheart neckline.

If you want more information about choosing dresses for your apple shape, head on over to this comprehensive article I wrote. It shares my top picks for 2024, along with my top tips for choosing dresses that will work for you.

Choosing jackets, coats, and blazers for an apple body shape

As an apple shape, it can sometimes be difficult for you to find jackets that fit your shoulders, without being too big and bulky everywhere else.  If that’s you, try these tips:

What to look for when choosing jackets that flatter and fit well:

  • Necklines and lapels that narrow your shoulders and torso
  • Fuss-free sleeves and shoulders that add minimal bulk to your shoulders
  • Structure and shaping that enhances your curves
  • Design elements that add a little volume to your hips and thighs to balance your frame

What to avoid when choosing jackets that for your apple shape

  • High necklines that add bulk and volume which can broaden your shoulders and torso
  • Little to no shape that adds bulk and makes your shape look heavier
  • Statement shoulders or sleeves that add breadth to your shoulders

These are the best jacket, blazer, and coat styles to wear if you have an apple-shape

6 illustrated images of jackets and coat styles that look good on an apple body shape, and fit an apple body shape well.

 

Peplum jackets or blazers are a great choice for your apple-shape

They do a fantastic job of creating a more defined waist and a curvier top half.

Longline double-breasted jackets work well on apple shapes

The low neckline and long lapels will narrow your torso and shoulders while drawing the eye down to your waist. The buttons sit low at hip length, and this adds a little volume and interest which can help to balance your torso.

Cropped tailored jackets are a good choice for apple-shaped women

Cropped tailored jackets that hit just above your hips will create a little shape at the waist to add a little definition.

You want to opt for styles that button below the bust, not across the bust as these will not only fit you the best they will help to break up the line across the bust, which will narrow your torso a little.

Wrap coats are a great option for an apple shape

Any coats or jackets that wrap will add definition to your waist and break up the line across your bust and torso.

A Crombie-style coat is great for apple shapes

A classic coat with long lapels makes a great everyday choice as the long neckline will narrow your shoulders and draw the eye down to your slim legs. 

I love this style of coat when it’s sleeveless – it’s fantastic for layering and will narrow and elongate your frame brilliantly.

Which celebrities have an apple body shape?

I know how helpful it is to see other women who have a similar shape to you, so here’s a list of apple-shaped celebrities for you to follow and look to for outfit inspiration:

  • Amy Schumer
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Liz Hurley
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Queen Latifah
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Dawn French
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Amanda Holden
  • Jill Scott

Amy Schumer:

Amanda Holden:

Drew Barrymore:

Queen Latifha:

Catherine Zeta-Jones:

Dawn French:

Jamie Lee Curtis

Reese Witherspoon:

Jill Scott

Conclusion

Please use the information in this post and others as a starting point.

Try some of the clothes I recommend for an apple shape and see how they work for you, if something looks a little off or doesn’t do what you want it to do, try a variation until you find what works for you.

The more you experiment and look at your shape and how clothes alter it, the better you will get at making an educated decision about the styles of clothing you want to wear.

After 18 years of dressing women, I’m still learning and discovering new ways to style an apple shape, so don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work.

Instead, praise yourself for not settling for clothes that don’t look how you want, and for taking steps to improve!

If you have any questions or would like to hire me to help you build your perfect collection, you can contact me here.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll probably find these posts useful:

the best dresses for an apple shape

An apple shaped women wearing flattering pants to illustrate the best pants for an apple body shape

the best pants for an apple shape

An apple shaped women wearing a flattering pair of jeans

the best jeans for an apple shape

Hi, I'm Niki

author and personal stylist

Over the past 18 years I’ve freed thousands of women from the frustration of disappointing outfits, by showing them how to dress to make the most of their shape, and helping them build a closet that's easy to use and fun to wear.  My blog shares the tried and true tips and knowledge I've developed, to help you stop wasting money on disappointing clothes, and build a closet you enjoy wearing.


You can find out more about Niki here

And you can get in touch with Niki here