Get your mojo back with the best dresses for apple body shape women. Find out which silhouettes are slimming and flattering for apples.
I’d wear dresses every day if I didn’t have to shave my legs.
Dresses are great for my apple body shape because they show off my toned legs, they’re easier to shop for than pants, and they’re more forgiving when I’ve eaten a few too many cookies.
But not all dress shapes are created equal.
So in this blog post, I’ll share the best dresses for an apple body shape and which ones to avoid.
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Read This First
While I offer guidelines about the best dress for an apple body shape, the one rule to remember is that you should wear a dress if you love it and it makes you feel good about yourself.
The best dress for your unique body is the one that makes you feel confident, stylish, and beautiful.
Most of the dresses I own follow the tips I’m about to share because they’re flattering on my apple body. There’s a reason I feel good in them.
But I also have a few outliers. They shouldn’t work, but they do.
So keep these guidelines in mind when you’re shopping, but don’t be afraid to try on a wild card if it catches your eye. It may look completely awful, but it also might surprise you.
How Do I Know if I Have an Apple Body Shape?
Apple body shapes are characterized by a roundness to their upper half (waist, bust, and shoulders) that is larger than their bottom half (hips, butt, and legs). Your waist, bust, and hip measurements are similar, or your waist is the largest measurement.
Just like the fruit, there are many varieties of apple shapes. Their roundness may come from a large bust, a wide back, a thick stomach, or a combination of the three.
And while most people think apples are plus size, they can also be slim or mid size. They can be short, tall, and any height in between. Their torsos can be normal, short, or long.
Apple Body Shape Characteristics
Apple body shape traits include:
- a thick waist;
- narrow hips;
- a flat butt;
- slim legs;
- broad shoulders;
- a wide back; and
- a large bust.
An apple’s waist may be larger than her bust and hips, or it may be similar in measurement.
Apple body shapes also tend to gain weight disproportionately in their middle compared to the rest of their body. Their legs often remain slender even when they gain weight in their waist.
Similar Body Shapes
There are several body shapes related to the apple. While much of your body shape is determined by your bone structure, you may shift into different body shapes if you gain or lose weight.
If you’re still unsure if you’re an apple, here are three similar body shapes with explanations about what makes them different.
Like apples, rectangles are also characterized by fairly uniform bust, waist, and hip measurements. But unlike apples, they are more proportional throughout the body.
A rectangle’s butt and legs are “normal” in size and complement their bust, waist, and hips. An apple’s butt tends to be flat and her legs are skinny compared to the rest of her body.
Apples tend to be more square than rectangle, meaning their measurements are wider.
In addition, many clothes are made for rectangles, so they have a much easier time finding clothes that fit well than apples do.
Inverted triangles have shoulders and/or a bust that is larger than their hips. Their bodies are widest at the shoulders and narrow to the hips, like an upside-down triangle or the letter V.
While apples may also have broad shoulders, their torsos are straight or round and don’t narrow to the hips.
Pears have hips that are wider than their waist, bust, and shoulders. The difference between apple and pear body shapes is that pears are rounder and heavier in their bottom half (hips and legs), while apples are rounder and heavier in their upper half (shoulders, bust, and waist).
The Best Dresses for Apple Body Shape Figures
Try one of these flattering dresses for an apple shape body when you need a new outfit.
1. A-Line Dresses
The A-line dress is slim through the shoulders, bust, and smallest part of the waist, before flaring over the stomach and hips. This dress style adds volume to an apple’s bottom half, which balances her top half. It can also help create the illusion of curves with a fuller skirt.
The best A-line dress for an apple body shape will flare out from the narrowest part of the waist. If it hits any lower, it will emphasize the wider waist.
2. Shift Dresses
Shift dresses are great for apples because they follow the straight lines of our body so we aren’t trying to force curves that aren’t there.
They’re an easy and comfortable way to look put together without looking like you’re trying too hard. Plus, they’re forgiving if you gain a little weight.
But shift dresses shouldn’t be too loose because then they look sloppy and ill-fitting. Think Goldilocks: not too big and not too small. I often size down when a shift dress is designed to be oversized.
The shift is a timeless silhouette. I still wear shift dresses that are older than my eight-year-old daughter. They don’t fit quite as well as they did before I had kids, but they’re still stylish and on trend.
Other Dresses for an Apple Body Shape
While shift and A-line dresses are the best dress style options for apple shape bodies, there are other flattering dresses for apple shapes.
1. Tie-Waist Dresses
I love tie-waist dresses for apple bodies because they add a subtle feminine shape to our bodies.
There are a few things to remember with tie-wast dresses:
- The tie or belt should be the same color or print as the dress. You don’t want a contrasting color because it’ll draw too much attention to your waist.
- The tie or belt should hit at the smallest part of your waist. The smallest part of your waist is usually a few inches below your bra band and a few inches above your belly button (depending on the length of your torso).
- The dress silhouette through the top and smallest part of your waist should be slim but not tight. If the dress is too large, gathering it under a tie or belt will bunch excess fabric around your middle and make you look larger.
Think shift dresses or a-line dresses with a tie waist.
2. Smocked and Cinch Waist Dresses
Smocked and cinch-waist dresses have the same benefits as the tie-waist dress. They should also hit at the smallest part of the waist with a slim top and a fuller skirt. (Are you seeing a theme here?!)
The smocking and cinching also provide a little more give than dresses with structured waists. They’re more comfortable to wear because they stretch on the waist, or they can be tightened or loosened depending on your waist size.
3. Shirt Dresses
There are several styles of shirt dresses that work for apple body shapes.
- A shirt dress in a shift silhouette;
- A shirt dress in an A-line silhouette; and
- A shirt dress with a tie-waist belt.
Dress Styles To Avoid for Apple Body Shapes
I’ve tried on a lot of dress styles, and there are some that rarely, if ever, work for my apple shape.
1. Some Wrap Dresses
People describe Diane Von Furstenberg’s classic wrap dresses as flattering for all body types, but I disagree.
The silhouette is too form fitting and the jersey fabric is too clingy. Many wrap dresses are designed this way, and they don’t flatter apple body shapes.
The best wrap dresses for apple body shapes hit at the smallest part of your waist. The top is slim, while the skirt flares out from the wrap. The silhouette is A-line, and the fabric is not clingy.
2. Babydoll and Swing Dresses
Babydoll and swing dresses are typically fitted through the shoulders and then flare out from the bust. When your bust is large, the dress poofs out from the chest and looks like a tent. These dresses make apples appear larger than they are.
Oversized clothes of any kind generally don’t flatter apple shapes.
Some babydoll and swing dresses work if the fabric is heavy enough that it hangs in a straight line from the bust down the stomach.
3. Ruched Waist Dresses
Ruching adds bulky fabric to your waist, drawing attention to the thickest part of your body. This is the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Plus, ruched dresses are a common style for pregnant women and can make apples look pregnant when they’re not.
4. Sheath Dresses
A sheath dress is a form-fitting dress that hugs the natural shape of the body. It’s tighter than a shift dress, and doesn’t add the right shape to an apple’s body.
5. Bodycon Dresses
Bodycon, which stands for body conscious, is a dress style that is stretchy and tight-fitting. You can’t hide anything in a bodycon dress.
6. Blouson Dresses
I’ve seen different definitions of a blouson dress, so let me explain what I think it is (and why it’s not good for apple body shapes).
Blouson dresses are fitted through the waist, hips and legs but have a billowy top. It looks like a pencil skirt with a tucked-in oversized top.
This dress style makes the top half of the body look larger, which is the opposite of what apples want to achieve.
Slimming Details To Look For
Now that you’ve learned about the best and worst dress styles for apple body shapes, let’s talk about some additional details that can really make a dress stand out.
1. Vertical Lines
Vertical lines are slimming and elongating. They make apples look taller and thinner by drawing the eye up and down rather than side to side.
What types of details make vertical lines? Things like pleats, v-necks, vertical patterns, buttons on a shirt dress, and tie-neck tassels.
V-necks are the best neckline for apple shapes.
They create a vertical line and draw the eye inward and down. V-necks are also great for showing off necklaces or some tasteful cleavage.
3. Contrasting Details on a V-Neck
Because apples tend to be wider and rounder, we want to look for details that bring the eye inward. Contrasting details on a v-neck, like a different color or pattern, help accomplish that.
4. Simple Sleeves
Your top half is naturally heavier, so you want to keep the sleeves simple. While huge, poofy sleeves are very on trend, they aren’t flattering on apple body shapes because they add bulk to your upper body.
5. Slim-Fitting Tops
Your top should be slim. This doesn’t necessarily mean tight; it means well-fitting.
6. Belts in a Matching Color or Print
Belts in a matching color or print create a subtle curve without drawing too much attention to the waist.
7. Tiered Dresses
The horizontal lines of tiered skirts are a great way to balance your larger upper body by adding volume to your bottom half.
8. Fuller Skirts
Again, you want to add volume to your lower body. Just like tiered dresses, dresses with full skirts and a slim top balance the shape of your body.
9. Structured Fabrics
Apples should wear structured fabrics because they help camouflage lumps and bumps. They don’t have to be heavy like a ponte knit (although it’s a great fabric for the colder months), but they shouldn’t cling like modal.
10. Monochromatic Colors
Wearing one color is my favorite styling trick for apple body shapes because it is sleek and slimming.
11. Subtle Prints
Big, bold prints can make you look larger than you are. Look for subtle prints that don’t add bulk to your body. I especially like dresses with a solid base color and a small, quiet print.
Shop Dresses for the Apple Shaped Body
Final Thoughts on the Best Dress Style for an Apple Body Shape
After years of wanting laser hair removal, I’m finally doing it. I’m five sessions in, and I already see a huge reduction in hair growth.
This means that my legs will be hair free just in time for summer.
And I’ll be wearing a lot of dresses.
This post is about the best dresses for apple body shape women.