What to Wear if You Have an Apple-Shaped Figure - dummies

What to Wear if You Have an Apple-Shaped Figure

By Jill Martin, Pierre A. Lehu

Apple-shaped women are fuller around the middle. If they gain weight, it shows up around their belly and upper body. They’re usually larger-breasted and their upper arms and shoulders are broader, too. Their legs tend to be thin and their butts tend to be flat.

An apple-shaped woman.
An apple-shaped woman.

As an apple, you want to emphasize your strong points (your bust and legs) while camouflaging your weaker ones (your midsection), keeping it all in balance. Since the idea is to draw the eye toward those parts of your body that shine and away from those that don’t, you want to show off your great legs.

  • You can wear patterns, just follow these guidelines. Any large pattern is going to draw attention, so don’t wear a large pattern on top. Wear a small, subtle pattern on top, or save the patterns for the bottom. A great print skirt with a solid sweater set is a great way to express yourself while also flattering your figure.

  • If you have a fuller chest area (and are comfortable accentuating this area), draw attention to it. Doing so keeps straying eyes from your midsection. Wear a sexy V-neck. (Ooh la la!)

    Wear bras that support your bust. And any straps on your tops should be wide enough to cover your bra straps.

  • If, like most apples, you have great legs, short skirts are in order. If you’re in the office, the shortest your skirt should be is just above the knee. If you’re going out for a night on the town, go a little higher!

  • A-line skirts also work with your figure. Since they flare out from the waist, A-line skirts offer balance and proportion to your upper half.

  • If you don’t have much of a backside, and you want to give the illusion that you do, wear pants with back pockets. Your jeans should have a rise lower than your natural, wider waist. Don’t wear pants with pleated fronts, as that only makes your middle look larger.

    Don’t wear pants that are too tight, even if you have good legs, because that makes your top seem extra large. Remember, while you want to emphasize your better attributes, the challenge is to do so while also keeping your overall look in balance.

  • Go for longer jackets. Your jackets should be on the long side, never ending at waist level. Make sure they come down to your hips to create a long, lean line right over your waist and tummy area. And opt for single- breasted jackets that you can keep unbuttoned. A double-breasted blazer that needs to be buttoned to look right only makes you look larger on top.

  • Opt for drop waists. A dress or top with a drop waist (that narrows down at the point of your hips instead of your true waist) bypasses any constricting fabric around the tummy area and makes your torso appear longer and leaner overall.

This ilustration shows an outfit appropriate for an apple-shaped woman. It hides the problem areas and accentuates the positive features.

An A-line skirt is a great cut for an apple-shaped woman.
An A-line skirt is a great cut for an apple-shaped woman.

If you’re an apple with great legs, you can get away with anything on the bottom, even knits. As far as your top goes, stay with materials that offer more structure, like a straight cut cotton blouse, or something blousy like silk. Both of these camouflage the midsection. You want to avoid tight knits on top because they cling and accentuate this area.