The best shops for women with the apple body shape

by Sylvia

Best shops for women with the apple body shape |

If you’re an apple-shaped woman you know that finding clothes made for our shape is pretty tough and most designers do not design with us in mind.

We are often happy just to find clothes that fit, let alone look good. I think this will change in the future, but in the meantime where to shop?

Fall and Winter outfit ideas for the apple shape body |

I’ve found a few places where I find quality items that not only fit, but look good too. So, in the ongoing spirit that this is a work in progress, here are my favorite places to shop.

J. Jill

This is by far my favorite place to shop. They feature soft silhouettes with a lot of elastic waist pants and skirts. I know, elastic waists can be the absolute worst, but I find these are made with the idea of having the waistband be undetectable as well as comfortable.

J.Jill |

Ponte knit cuffed pants – print pencil skirt –  full leg cropped pants

They have a variety of comfortable pants

Whether you’re looking for traditional jeans or leggings or somewhere in-between J. Jill has been my go-to place.

I wear their jeans with the stretchy, traditional waistband and their soft cotton knit pants with the elastic waist. Besides the stretchy waists, the fabric is also stretchy so whether you’re sitting or kneeling down the fabric moves with you.

Their Pure Jill cotton leggings are some of the softest fabrics I’ve felt for pants or even for pajamas!

Their pencil skirts are flattering and so pretty

I’m in love with their pencil skirts. The waistbands are wide and completely enclosed in cotton and the fabric is stretchy and not tight, but still has that flattering pencil silhouette.

They also update their skirts in colors of the season and in patterns too. They have a really nice ponte knit fabric that is easy to wear and easy to care for both in the skirts and in several styles of pants.

I can easily find cute tops that work for our shape

This whole outfit below is from J. Jill except for the shoes. I’m wearing one of their ponte knit pencil skirts I mentioned above and one of their tunics. I own several of their tunics and several made out of the same ponte knit as the skirt and pants. The ponte knit is a heavier knit that skims rather than clings.

the best brands for apple shapes |

Outfit ideas for the apple body shape |

Outfit 1: Hinge utility jacket – Halogen wrap blouseThacker crossbody bag – Thacker crossbody bag – Marc Fisher bootie

Outfit 2: Halogen earrings – Urban Originals satchelBailey 44 asymmetrical top – Kendra Scott layered necklaceSteve Madden leopard shoe – Vince Camuto pencil skirt

I also love how the stores are organized and are such a clean, easy-to-navigate design. The staff is very friendly and helpful which is always a nice touch. They will even hang up your clothes for you in the changing room and are available for changing out sizes. I shop in their petite section and it is fully stocked too.

White House Black Market

This is my second favorite shop. The staff are well trained so if you’re just figuring out your style you can go in and just put yourself in their hands. I like to look through their racks myself, but I always try their suggestions because you never know until you try it!

White house black market |

Kimono-sleeve blouseLuxe suiting jacketPocket detail cover-up

They have pants that have great stretch

As an apple shape you will find most of their waistbands are for other shapes but I have found several pairs of pants here with a stretchy waistband and stretchy fabric as well as fashionable and flattering cuts.

Their sweaters are flattering with high quality knits

I have several of their sweaters, but I own two of their midi coverups in different colors because they are wardrobe workhorses.

I can easily style their sweaters when I want to look stylish, but don’t want to fuss with an outfit. I find the fabric is usually wash and wear and high quality so very little pilling on their sweaters.

Be on-trend with their beautiful jackets

To me, this is what they do best. They feature beautifully cut jackets, that are always so stylish. Even though I’m big-busted and can only fit into their size 16 jackets occasionally, I still always try them on, especially if they have some stretch. If you are smaller than size 16 you can find some very flattering jackets that can be worn open for a great look.

Shop here when you have some time and are in the right mind set to put yourself in their hands. Their in-store sizes go up to size 14 and they have size 16 available online.


Though Loft doesn’t have a lot of items that work for our shape, especially pants and you really have to look for tops, I find they have lots of sweater options.

I find some of their tops are cut with some structure so they don’t look like a tent and they have a wide variety of styles.

They, in my opinion, also have the most beautiful patterns and are always on-trend with their colors and patterns so sometimes I will just go in there to buy a scarf to update my wardrobe.

Dress Barn

I have found they seem to target the over 40 crowd and have a lot of tops that are of a cut to make the wearer look slimmer and to play up her assets.

Dress barn |

Soft wrap blazerSharkbite-hem cardigan – Floral blazer

Their prices are reasonable and they always have a lot of selection. I have found jackets here that have a lot of stretch and my most favorite faux leather moto jacke is from here.


This store often has clothing for younger women, but I find they have a great selection of work/office pants that have various waist sizes and recognize that just because your waist is bigger doesn’t mean you don’t want comfort.

They also have reasonably priced jackets that fit my size 16 top and larger sizes. You don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money here for a trendy item or two to freshen up your wardrobe.

These are the national chains that I have found have a decent selection.

Of course you can go to department stores and hunt for clothes and I know there are some cute little boutique shops that have options for our shape.

When I go into a store I’m not familiar with, I look at their staff. If they are around my age and they have a variety of shapes, especially similar to mine, then I’m hopeful that I will find some flattering outfits.


For more tips on the apple body shape and how to dress it, be sure to download our free guide below or check or article on how to dress the apple body shape!

I’d love to hear your suggestions of stores where you’ve found a nice selection for apple shapes. Please let me know in a comment!


3rdprofilepicJulia is 49 and lives in the Midwest of the United States. She contributes articles on style and dressing to 40+Style, specializing in features for woman with the apple body shape.


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The best shops for women with the apple body shape |

Feature image by Julia of When the Girls Rule blog

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura Aronson

Thank you SO MUCH. This is very helpful. I’ve recently decided that J Jill fits me still best with its simple profile. And now you confirmed that they can fit me, too.


2 Melinda

Great post. Apples are tough especially with a larger bust.


3 Lilly

The bulk of my clothing comes from J.Jill but I’ve also had luck with Garnet Hill, especially for holiday/special occasion clothes, Eileen Fisher, pricey but also good for special occasion wear, Gap, which goes up to XXL/18-20, and Old Navy, but you really have to shop judiciously


4 Greetje

I love Julia. I follow her blog off and on. She is a very nice woman with humour. I love humour.


5 Pamela

Hi Sylvia and Julia – great feature ladies. I’m a petite pear shape and it’s often difficult to think outside the box to cover all your readers. I was in touch with Julia and lost her details – would you be kind enough to give me her blog details please?


6 Karen

Univeral Standard is a new on-line brand that targets women in the size 10 to 26 range. Many of their styles work beautifully for my apple shape. They have created several “basics” that have a bit of an edge or twist for interest. Some designs are too young for the over 40 crowd, but many work for all.


7 BusyVP

I respectfully have to disagree on your comment about Loft pants. I find their marissa cut to be perfect for my apple shape. The waist band is in proportion to the hips so if you don’t have much differenct between your waist size and your hip size – try the Marissa fit pants.


8 javen roper

I have an apple body shape and would like to find shops in my area to buy
clothes for my body type. I’m on a tight budget, so I’m looking for clothes
that are affordable and stylish. I live in Cumberland County, NC.


9 diane

I am surprised I dont find many v neck tops. They are elongating for plus size like me. I also love Soft Surroundings.It is a little pricey but they have many tunic lengths and unusual styles.


10 Donna

I went to Soft Surroundings, and so excited for the beautiful tunics, and long summer dresses I saw, I didn’t even care about the higher prices for some nice pieces,,,,,,but they only go to size XL,,,,,that is not a plus size at all, and really, an apple shape fitting into a designer XL,,,,,,not hardly,,,,,I was so disappointed and my hopes got high I am so tired of the same old styles from all the cheaper discount clothing sites,,,,,,,,,,,,,,patterns that are for old women, stripes going horizontal,,,,,come on designers, make vertical stripe clothing for ladies in plus sizes!!!!!!!!!!!!


11 Jeanette

I haven’t ever been to a Soft Surroundings store but I know their catalogs and website carry plus sizes (up to a 3x).


12 Lisa B

Anything for Uk shoppers?


13 Sylvia

Some of these brands are available in the UK too. Other brands to consider are Winsor London, Boden (, Jigsaw ( and Hobbs (


14 Janis

Anything for Canadian shoppers?


15 Patty

I have an apple shape. My biggest problem is finding pants that have a high enough waist. The short waist pants fall under my tummy. Very uncomfortable. I have found some pants at Chico’s and at Macy’s . Anyone else have this problem?


16 Julia

Hi Patty! I find Talbots has pants that fit the waistband in the right spot and if you’re open to “outside the box” thinking, I’ve tried and been happy with maternity pants. Really! The hips and butt fit well and the stretchy belly fabric is almost like smoothing fabric under a shirt. Then you don’t have that dreaded dent in your midsection for the waistband. Good luck!



17 Nana

Never thought about maternity pants!


18 Ann

Your post is really good, But what is best for apple shape body, with a small bust. i feel my belly is bigger than my boobs. In-fact I don’t by bra’s as I cant find any that fit. There either to big on the boobs, but fit the back. or too tight on the back but fit the boobs. what would you suggest?


19 Sylvia

I would go to a bra specialist store for help. You definitely want to find the right bra to get the girls as high as possible. This post has some adviced for highlighting the best as well.


20 Jan

I found Kohl’s Bali Bra: Comfort Revolution Full-Figure Front-Closure Bra is a great fit and has some smaller sizes, so don’t let the name fool you.


21 Donna

Go online at soft surr. and J Jill.for plus size. I love both.


22 Amy

My body is a nightmare for buying clothes. My belly is large but not nearly as much for my arms and bust. Neither for my bottom or thighs. My thick waist and belly put me in the 3xl range and on top of that, I’m nearly 6 feet tall. I can find tops thanks to tunic lengths but Jean’s and slacks are nearly impossible. If they fit my waist, they look like jodhpurs on my thighs. It seems that plus and tall are two words that seldom go together. Help!


23 Sylvia

Hi Amy, You may find some helpful tips in my article for tall women I also mention a few shops there that are especially for tall women.


24 Esther

Besides being an apple shape, I have slender thighs. Still searching for the perfect pair of pants that don’t bag & sag in the thighs.
I’m 5’3″ & short-waisted. It’s very difficult to find tunics that don’t hit at knee level. HELP!!


25 Amber and And

I have the same body type as you plus im only 5′ 1″. It is so difficult to find clothes.


26 Sally

I disagree on the navy top on the model above. It looks ill-fitting around the boob – bursting out and not in a good way. You can see the seams on the bra and it almost goes to a Uni-boob situation. Navy is a good color but the top was an “almost there” situation. I think people would also find the non-breathable fabric an issue. I wish people could rate fabrics because a lot of plus sized clothes are made in some synthetic that could double as a light rain repellant top. However in the steamy seasons, not so funny. If I’m large, I don’t need unbreathable fabrics.


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