An easy guide to dressing for an apple body shape

Dressing for an apple body shape is easy once you know the basics.

red apples on a pink background to signify the apple body shape type
(Image credit: Getty)

Good news - dressing to flatter an apple body shape is surprisingly easy. It’s all about making the most of your body type - starting with showing off those enviable arms and legs.

What is an apple body shape?

Apple body shapes tend to carry most of their weight on the top half of their bodies, with an ample bust and a curved stomach. They have slender arms and legs and a relatively small bottom. So far, so simple. However, apples can be confused with an hourglass body shape

“The apple and the hourglass are very similar,” explains stylist Susie Hasler. “The main difference being that the hourglass has clear waist definition, and the apple tends to gain weight easily on their tummies. Apples also have a much smaller frame, so their shoulders and their hips tend to be narrower than those with an hourglass figure.”

Remember - body shape isn’t dictated by clothing size. You could be a size 6 apple, a size 26 apple, or somewhere in the middle. 

Apple body shape outfit ideas

Enhance your apple body shape by dressing to accentuate your curvy bust, slim hips, and slender legs while minimizing your tummy. By highlighting your best bits, you’ll naturally draw attention from the parts of your body you might feel less confident about. 

Open-collared, scoop and V-neck tops, tunics, and dresses will all work to create the illusion of an elongated torso, showcasing your bust at the same time. Drop-style earrings, draping scarves, vertical stripes, and handbags with long shoulder straps will make you look taller and leaner too. 

You’re lucky enough not to have to worry about the dreaded bingo wings, so wear short-sleeve and sleeveless tops with confidence. The same goes for slightly shorter hemlines too. 

As for your slim hips and legs, emphasize them with tops and jackets that finish at the hipline. Anything longer, and you run the risk of making your legs appear shorter.

 The best clothes for an apple body type

Loose and flowy dresses are great for apple shapes, as not only do they disguise rounder tummy areas but they can also create length and add shape to the figure. It's also good to look at lower-cut tops or slimmer trouser cuts to accentuate more flattering body parts and divert attention away from rounder mid-areas.  

It pays to invest in plus size shapewear, too - smoothing any lumps and bumps for a more streamlined silhouette.

Best dresses for apple body shape

  • Wrap dresses: Not only is a wrap dress comfortable to wear for apple shapes as you can decide how tight or loose you want to wear it, but the wrap detail tends to diguise rounder figures for a more flattering look.
  • Empire line dresses: These types of dresses help to add a more flattering hourglass silhouette to your shape, as they clinch in and accentuate the waist.

Best tops for apple body shape

  • V-neck tops: A v-neck top will draw attention to your neck and chest area and away from rounder middles so are a great option for apple shapes.
  • Longline tunics: The loose and flowy fit of longline tunics makes this a comfortable option for apple shapes while disguising rounder figures.
  • Waterfall cardigans: Long cardigans lengthen the silhouette while the waterfall detail adds definition to the waist and diverts attention from rounder shapes.

Best bottoms for apple body shape

  • Skinny jeans: Apple shapes tend to have slimmer legs so wearing skinny jeans is a great way to accentuate this feature—opt for a high waist to add some definition to the waist.
  • Bias-cut skirts: This is a flattering wear for apple body types to wear as it elongates the silhouette while cutting off the torso at the waist so distract from the round shape 
  • Mid-rise, slim leg trousers: Like with skinny jeans, slim leg trousers accentuate the legs for a more flattering look and the mid-rise can cut off the torso for a less rounded shape.

What looks are “unflattering” for apple body shapes?

As an apple body shape, there’s nothing that you strictly shouldn’t wear. If it makes you look and feel fabulous - buy it! That being said, there are a couple of styling missteps that crop up time and time again.

Firstly, avoid the temptation to buy bigger. Sizing up might mean the fabric breezes over your stomach, but it’ll make the rest of your body look larger in the process. “Instead, try to go for a heavier and natural fabric that doesn’t cling too much,” advises aesthetics specialist Dr. Galyna Selezneva.

If you choose the right cut, you shouldn’t need to size up. Clothes with plenty of movement, like bias-cut skirts and empire-line tops, are your friends here. As are softly gathered wrap-style midi dresses and flowing maxi dresses. They all suit curvier tummies, while semi-fitted waterfall-style coats and jackets are particularly flattering. 

Secondly, don’t try to create a waist with a belt or detailing. It’ll not only serve to make your stomach look larger but be uncomfortable to wear too. Draw attention to the narrowest parts of your figure instead, with a statement sleeve or jazzy trouser. 

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.