A capsule wardrobe for the apple body shape

by Sylvia

A capsule wardrobe for the apple body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Continuing our Spring series of crafting the perfect capsule for your body shape, we dive deep into the most chic looks and styles for the apple body shape.

The apple shape tends to be top heavy, which is characterized by a full bust and waist, as well as broad shoulders. Apple shaped women are more likely to have thinner arms, legs, and hips (which are great assets to highlight, as you will see below).

The goal is to bring less attention to your fuller midsection, and play up your legs and bust in order to create a well balanced silhouette. You also want to avoid entire outfits in one color, and instead experiment with color and texture in order to create vertical lines.  For our extensive original article on dressing the apple shape, click here.


The most flattering tops for the apple shape are those that that flare out right underneath your bust (which is the slimmest part of the apple shaped body). Don’t go with tops that are too wide, which can be quite unflattering. Select tops that do not cling significantly, but skim nicely over your figure are your best bet.

When wearing with pants, you want your tops to hit just below your hipbone. Wrap tops, drop waist tops, v-necks, and tops with side ruching are the best options for the apple shaped woman.

apple shape flattering tops spring | 40plusstyle.com


The best pant styles for apple shapes are flared or straight leg pants, which help balance out the volume of your upper body. The goal is to create a long and lean silhouette, so pleats, visible zippers, and any other embellishments should be avoided. Medium to high rise pants are best to create a more balanced silhouette, so avoiding low-rise pants is also the best option.

apple shape flattering pants spring | 40plusstyle.com


A-line skirts and structured pencil skirts are the most flattering styles for apple shaped women. A-line skirts are especially ideal as the flare balances out your wider upper body and creates a more proportional look.


apple shape flattering skists spring | 40plusstyle.com


The most flattering dresses will hit below your bust and/or barely skim while slightly flaring out. Your best options are drop waists, a-line, shift, empire waist, and wrap dresses. These styles give you  a leaner profile, and can also be strategically utilized to show off your legs and arms.

apple body shape dresses flatter | 40plusstyle.com


Layers are an apple body shape’s best friend, as they hide and highlight various parts of the body. Tailored jackets that fit the shoulders well and create a v-shape are best. You also want to select single breasted styles. Waterfall style jackets and cardigans are also great, as they camouflage the midsection and create a deep v shape at the top.


apple body shape flattering jackets coats | 40plusstyle.com


When selecting shoes, apple shaped women should definitely opt to highlight their fantastic legs. Select shoes with visual interest, bold colors, or elongating lengths. Strappy sandals, pointed toe pumps, and flats are some of your best bets.

apple body shape flattering shoe styles | 40plusstyle.com


Great accessories for the apple shaped body bring attention to your best assets. Scarves, sunglasses, statement necklaces, and statement earrings draw attention to your bust, neck, and face. Larger handbags that you can carry in hand also draw the eye down and away from the fuller midsection you are wanting to downplay.

accessories flattering apple shape body spring | 40plusstyle.com

Here are 9 spring looks inspired by our capsule wardrobe selections

apple shape spring looks | 40plusstyle.com

40+Style contributor Julia shares one of her capsules for the apple body type

If you like to go shopping you may also want to check out our article on the best shops for the apple body shape.

Which of these pieces take your fancy?


P.S. For many more capsule wardrobes and online training on how to dress for your apple body shape, you will love the 40+Style Club – now open!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Solita de Graaf

Love the A-line dresses and tunics. Nice fit for a pear shape.
Grz Solita
Enjoy my Dutch/English webblog BHL-bySolita.com


The Velvet Runway

Great tips for apples! I think the silk print dress is gorgeous 🙂




I agree with all your apple body shape tips, and indeed have noticed how much better these styles suit me. Unfortunately the great legs is not universal in this shape. If you are shorter, as I am, with heavy legs, what then? Just cover them up I suppose?



Hi Trish, you may enjoy some to the tips in this article. A column of color in particular can help lengthen short legs.



I have always thought I was Apple shaped……I have a bit of a tummy and a 38G bust, slim hips/arms/legs…. but I also have slim shoulders so I don’t really fit the profile…would I be more of an ‘inverted triangle’ shape…and do you have any advice for that shape?

Alice Ferguson



Hi Alice. You can read this article https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-determine-body-shape/ which also contains a body shape calculator. The articles for each body shape are linked in this article.



As an apple shape, I agree with you about the use of layers up top. It makes an outfit look more put together too. I’m not crazy about tops that flare out right under the bust. I think it could easily look like a maternity top. Thanks for the article!




Hi Julia. You are right. Some of these tops are not flattering. It depends on the cut and also personal preferences. Just try out different tops and see what works for you.


Sherry Edwards

I’m loving that white skirt with black polka dots which turn white around the hem. That is so neat and original.



Where can I buy those skirts?



These particular ones are no longer available but you can usually find a great assortment of skirts at Nordstrom http://rstyle.me/ad/f76mcmww



Fantastic article, a big help. Thanks so much. This explains why so many capsules and outfits don’t work for me. One question: I have great legs – dancer legs with nice shape. I get lots of positive comments when I wear skinny pants and leggings. Skinny pants seem to highlight I am just large in the bust area, not large everywhere. What are your thoughts on exchanging the flared pants for a tapered cut or even skinny-fit pants? I also get compliments when I wear cropped and ankle length pants, which aren’t recommended for apple shapes. How do I show off my fit legs as an apple shape?



Yes skinnies can work for some apples. These are just general guidelines and not set in stones so I encourage you to play and see what works for you. Cropped pants are still very much on trend and can be worn when you adjust the top part of your outfit so the proportion within your outfit is still flattering. To show off your legs I would work with layering techniques like wearing a short top and layering a long vertical top over your skinny pants.


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