How to dress the apple body shape

by Sylvia

how to dress apple body shape |

Are you an apple shape and wondering how to dress your apple body shape?

In this updated article adapted for spring and summer, we are going to look at the apple shaped body and how to dress it.

As a quick reminder you have an apple body shape when:

  • You have no defined waist
  • Weight tends to form on the stomach
  • Average to large bust size

This is a body shape that often develops after 40 when you start to experience symptoms of (peri)menopause and may gain weight around your waist.

What is flattering for the apple shaped body?

To be honest this is not the easiest body shape to dress as many women with this shape will be well aware of. Some women tend to cover it all up with loose garments, which in most cases is not the right thing to do as this can simply make you look larger.

But, you will find that fall and winter can be the best seasons to dress the apple shape because you can play with layers to create long, lean lines and skim over your belly.

Having said that, you can still add lovely layers in spring and summer too.

What you DO want to do is to create the nicest silhouette possible. For many apples, you can do that by creating the illusion of a waist, highlight your cleavage and create nice vertical lines. I also like the looks of a straight silhouette, but with the use of lots of vertical lines for a long and lean silhouette.

Below are some rough guidelines of what will and will not work for many apple shaped women over 40.

apple shaped women

You probably assume that most celebrities aren’t an apple shape, as this can be a tricky shape to style.

But, the fact is there are lots of female celebrities with the same body shape as you. They have just learned tricks – or their stylist has taught them – how to dress to flatter their shape.

These women tend to carry their weight around their middle, but have great legs, so you will often see them choosing an outfit which shows off their legs for red carpet events.

For inspiration, you can look at celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kate Winslet and Amy Schumer.

Which garments are good for an apple body shape?

Tops for the apple shape

  • First of all, since a lot of attention is going to be drawn to the top part of your body, get yourself a well-fitting bra. You don’t want your bust and your tummy meeting each other.
  • Tops that highlight your body at the slimmest point which is often just underneath your bust. They should have enough space for your belly but not be too wide.
  • Buy t-shirts that are ruched in the middle. This will confuse the eye and you can’t tell that there’s a big tummy underneath.
  • Get Tops with a V-neck to break up the size of your chest and create a vertical line.
  • Look for tops with a thicker texture that don’t cling so much. Woven tops can be great.
  • The best height for tops is just below your hipbone (when worn with pants)

Tops for the apple shape body |

Faux wrap topPaisley tunic shirtBack pleat blousePleat front tank top

As you are likely to have a larger bust size, look at this article on the best bras for large breasts: bras which are supportive AND stylish.

  • Patterns tend to look very good on an apple shape body as they flatter and camouflage.
  • Tops should cover the whole belly area and end just below the hip bone.
  • Tops that draw attention to your arms with e.g. flares, a flit or embroidery will draw attention from your belly
  • Asymmetry in your tops helps to create vertical and slimming lines.

Dresses for apple shaped body

  • Dresses should have their waistline just below the bust or at your thinnest point.
  • You can also choose shift style dresses which skim over your waist rather than emphasizing your thicket point
  • Another idea is to look for dresses which have ruching, draping or layers
  • You can try wearing a shorter tunic style, like the navy dress below, over a pair of skinny pants or leggings.

Dresses for the apple shape body |

Sleeveless trench coatRuched sleeve wrap dressTexture faux wrap dressV-neck dress


For more shoppable ideas, check out this article on the best tops to hide a belly, which features plenty of inspiration.

Clothes for apple shape – to create a long and lean silhouette

You can use the clothes you wear to create the illusion of a leaner waistline. You will see below that while Julia has chosen a jacket which ends around her midriff, she has also created a column of black with the rest of her outfit, which has a slimming effect.

Your eye is actually drawn to the width of the black inside the jacket rather than the width of the whole outfit.

Her use of a v-shaped necklace also has an elongating effect. Plus, the pop of color with her yellow handbag draws the eye away from the tummy area.

How to dress the apple shape body |

  • You can layer with a long cardigan or a long sleeveless vest
  • Make sure the top underneath is not too short
  • Try to have v-necklines with your long long jumper or tops underneath the layering piece
  • Longer tops and jackets that skim the body can be worn with leggings or skinny jeans
  • As an apple shape, you will find a number of jackets can work for you as you can layer to draw attention away from your belly. Just make sure that your jacket does not end at your widest point.
  • Make sure that the jacket fits the shoulder perfectly, so choose the size for your shoulders, not your belly. If you can’t close the jacket, you can always use a scarf to fill the gap if you like.
  • Choose tailored jackets that have a nice v shape at the top.
  • Opt for a single-breasted rather than a double-breasted style.

Outerwears for the apple shape body |

Long open front cardiganLinen blend blazerFaux leather jacketSleeveless trench vest

Bottoms for the apple body type

  • Get trousers that have zippers at the side to avoid adding extra bumps on the front.
  • Trousers should be flared or straight and not cling to tummy or thighs unless you are opting to create the long and lean silhouette using vertical lines (see above). Avoid pleats.
  • Also choose jeans that are tailored and either straight or flared. Trouser jeans are ideal.
  • Pants with a high rise will create a nice silhouette.
  • It’s best to get trousers with some stretch for extra comfort and a good fit.
  • Choose skirts that have their zippers at the side.
  • Structured pencil skirts work well, but keep them at knee length. Make sure to add the focus to the top with the tips above.
  • Make sure that any pleats of skirts start below the belly to avoid adding extra volume.

Bottoms for the apple shape body |

Denim leggingsAnkle skinny jeansPencil skirtBoot leg pants

Accessories to go with your apple body shape clothes

Of course, you can choose whatever accessories you love as you don’t have to worry about how your accessories fit your waist (apart from your belt!).

But, thinking strategically about your accessories can help you to draw attention from the area of your body you aren’t so keen on (your belly or waist) and either upwards or downwards.

Choosing a statement necklace or scarf can draw the attention up to your face, while opting for colorful or patterned shoes can draw the eye to your legs.

Because you are likely to have great legs, you can wear strappy sandals to show off your ankles.

Accessories for the apple shape body |

Bucket toteCrossbody toteStatement collar necklaceLong tassel necklaceWedge slingback sandalPoppy sandalPrinted scarf

What not to wear if you have an apple body shape

  • Big puffa jackets – these will only make your midriff look wider.
  • Big shapeless garments that don’t show any waist or don’t use vertical layers. You can, however, use tunic dresses as a base to create long, lean lines with layers.
  • Bulky trousers with lots of pockets and zippers at the front.
  • High necklines. A v-neck will be more flattering.
  • Tight clingy T-shirts
  • Avoid wearing everything in one solid color. Better to mix color with a texture or to use several layers in different colors to create vertical lines

How to dress the apple body shape

A capsule of 9 outfits using the pieces above

If you aren’t sure how to put together the individual pieces for the apple shape, here is some inspiration for you.

These outfits feature lots of tricks which can provide a more flattering silhouette for the apple.

You can see layering, asymmetry, the use of cardigans to create long columns, and the use of accessories to draw your eye upwards.

A capsule wardrobe for the apple body shape |

Want more tips?

You will also enjoy this video with lots of tips from stylist Ruth Essex.

More (older) ideas for apple shaped women

Jackets and sweaters for the apple body shape |
 How to dress the apple body shape |


Stylish outfit tips on dressing the apple body type |

 Classic and chic looks for the apple body shape |

Fall and winter outfits for the apple shape

If you are currently in fall or winter in your part of the world, this can be a great season for you if you are an apple shape as you can use lots of lovely layers to draw the attention away from your tummy.

Look out for tops with detailing around your neckline and those which drape or have ruching.

Here are some ideas for the colder months, although many of these outfits can be adapted for spring too.

Fall and winter outfits for the apple body shape |

Stylish outfit ideas for the apple body shape |


For many more tips and images, also see this article on how to hide your belly.


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


Do you have an apple body shape? What styles do you find fit and flatter your apple shaped body?


Enjoyed this article on how to dress the apple body shape? Save it on Pinterest!

How to dress the apple body shape |

Feature image by Julia of When the Girls Rule blog

1 Lily Li

My first time here. I love this site.

2 Sylvia

Great to have you here Lily. Hope to connect with you more on the site or style forum!

3 Debbie

Love this site, just over 50 and still looking for tips on clothes…

4 Sylvia

Welcome Debbie and enjoy!

5 Teresa Fujtia

Cud you please use a model that actually has an apple shaped body?

6 Sylvia

Yes, of course I would like that too. But we are dependent on the images that clothing manufacturers sent out and they all tend to be young and thin. We don’t have the budget to create our own photo shoots with hired models.

7 queenbeetv

Budget Smudget, just go out an find someone with an apple shape, fix their hair and makeup or find an apple shape woman who’s good with her makeup and hair and photograph her yourself and post it.

Also, the best thing for apple shaped women is to buy men’s jeans in their waist size since they tend to fit better and then you don’t have any flesh squishing out over the top of the jeans(the skinny jeans tend to work best since they are tighter in the crotch area). My mom is an apple and she does this and the pants fit much better than women’s jeans. You never have an issue with the waist being too tight.


I agree with Apple shape and men’s Jeans. I have worn men’s jean often in my life and when I do, I have a much easier time finding a good fit.

9 Chris

Since the title of this site has the word “style” in it, I’m going to suggest you seek some more stylish options for jeans. Please ladies, DO NOT wear men’s jeans if your goal is to look stylish. Although they may be practical to cover up your bottom and comfortable in your waist, men’s jeans on you are not stylish. I repeat, men’s jeans on you are not stylish! You can achieve the same goal by buying WOMENS jeans in your waist size – Lee, Levi’s, and Lucky are all available by waist size. Some other brands with ample stretch to accommodate a thicker waist are Old Navy, Chicos, and Karen Kane. These are listed from less to more expensive. JC Penney also carries several brands of stylish jeans which fit well on us apples. Teen apples (think daughters & granddaughters) can find a good selection of tops, bottoms & dresses at JC Penney as well. If you think we adult apples have trouble shopping, try shopping for an apple shaped teen!

If your shopping options are limited, please do yourself a huge favor and become comfortable with online shopping. It will open many more brands and styles to you. Many sites offer free shipping and returns like Zappos & Shoebuy both are .com sites. Jjill and Chicos have extended sizes and styles at their online sites beyond what they stock in stores and offer free shipping options. JC Penney and Kohls same thing, more sizes & styles online. Amazon is good too, especially if you know the brand & style you are looking for. They run lots of shipping specials and Prime members always have free ship options among a long list of other benefits.

Get online. Order some choices. Try on in your own space with your own lighting, shoes, accessories and what does work gets returned. It’s no more trouble or expense than driving to the store, spending time trying things on and leaving frustrated because you can’t find anything to fit you! I finally have my 72 year old mother convinced of this, but we had to ease into it. She didn’t believe me when I told her she could return what she didn’t like with free return shipping. She was wearing clothes from the 80’s because she dreaded going shopping and didn’t have the stamina after two knee replacements.

All that said, I’ll leave you with this… you are far too smart, beautiful, and resourceful to wear men’s jeans. You don’t need to do that to yourself.

10 Sylvia

Thanks for the feedback Chris. All sound advice!

11 queenbeetv

Hi Chris, I beg to differ. You are correct about most men’s jeans, but when I was writing about men’s jeans, I forgot to specify that they should be the trendy men’s skinny jeans. They are very stylish and they look very good on apple shaped women. That being said, I would advise women to try the skinny jean men’s jeans, as the non skinny/ regular men’s jeans tend to not look as good since the legs will be far too large for most apple shaped women who tend to have thinner legs relative to their waists.

I happened upon this insight accidentally. A friend gave me a pair of khaki men’s skinny jeans for a hipster/ metrosexual guy. They were size 32 with narrow legs and ankles with some spandex added and they fit my mom like a glove and look fabulous on her. They come up just a little below her navel and they are her new favorite jeans.

My mom wears a size 32 mens and and now she always gets the trendy “skinny” style men’s jeans and she looks great in them, much better than the women’s jeans which always tend to go in at the waist even slightly no matter the size.

I will tell her to try the brands you have mentioned though. Levi’s has a type of jeans called Curve ID which is sized according to waist hip ratio and the Levi’s Slight Curve Curve ID jeans might fit apple shapes well

My mom also tends to do well with wide banded women’s jeans that fit at the hips and avoid the whole waist issue entirely. Those types of jeans seem to fit well on all women regardless of shape or size.

Anyway, I still swear by men’s skinny jeans for apple shaped women. Metrosexuals are very stylish and the worst style offense anyone can make is to wear something that does not fit well. (it does not ever look good to have ones middle squeezing out over a too tight waist)

I myself do not care is something is not for my gender. If it fits well, I will wear it. Did you know that J. Crew sells “boyfriend” jeans for women? This is to imitate the fact that some stylish women wear their boyfriend’s jeans. Maybe those jeans would work for the apple shaped ladies.

Anyway, thanks for your response, even though I don’t agree. 🙂 I do agree though that manufacturers should cater to apple shaped women more than they do since there seems to be a lot of them around. Even at Lane Bryant, it seems everything is styled and fitted for voluptuous pears. (At least that’s what the mannequins in the windows look like)

12 Jennifer

I have always been an apple and these are THE most specific and helpful tips for dressing my body type. Thanks so much for the info.

13 Sylvia

Great Jennifer. Very happy to read that they were useful to you!

14 Babita

Dear Team
Greetings from India
Thx a zillionnnnnn for your useful tips.
A big bear hug.

15 Sylvia

Thank you!

16 Jules

I’m an apple shape with big boobs, can you advise please?

17 Sylvia

Hi Jules, You will want to go for a lot of v-neck clothing in both your tops, blazers and cots. Go for empire style tops and dresses (with v-necks of course). Go for straight pants. If you have good legs, try to put the emphasis on those. For further questions or to look at your specifically you can also go to the style forum.

18 Sherri W

I wonder if I am a true apple shape. I have a belly and I am blessed up top. When I where comfortable empire waisted tops, I get asked when I’m due! Help, please!!!

19 Sylvia

Hi Sherri, There are few women who fit exactly in this category. It’s just too broad. In the body shape bible (found on my list of style books as a goblet (a guess as I don’t have details about the rest of your body). It’s important for you to choose empire waist tops and dresses but they need to be fitted (can’t be lose). Go for deep v necks, a fitted aline coat and fitted short jacket. Tops cannot be too long. Very slight a-line skirts or tight skirts with fluted hemline are good for you too. Hope that helps.

20 Kim

Thank you so much for your tips on dressing. I not only have the curse of gaining weight in the waist, (a lot of weight) but I have the most horrible hot flashes to boot. Trying to dress to hide my increased weight gain, and big belly has lead me to lots of layers, but with the hot flashes it’s unbearable. You’ve given me some ideas to play with.

Thanks, keep up the good work as there aren’t many out their addressing the issue of an aging body and how to dress fashionably.


21 Sylvia

thanks for the nice feedback Kim. Good luck in finding out what works for your new shape and coping with your hot flushes….

22 queenbeetv

Hi Kim, hot flashes tend to occur more when you eat foods that are high in phosphorous like coffee, black or green tea, sodas (esp colas and dr. pepper), legumes, peanuts, corn, soy products (incl tofu) and wheat. The body gets hot in trying to burn off the excess phosphorous. (Before menopause, excess phosphorous is excreted in the menstrual blood, and after, it builds up in the body and attracts calcium to it (soft tissue calcification which can lead to pain and stiff joints) and this also can increase the size of the stomach (eg visceral fat). Eating foods lower in phosphorous will help with the hot flashes and also help keep the stomach size down. I have got my mom on a lower phosphorous diet and she has already lost 10lbs and 1 pant size. (Although she fought me tooth and nail though because she didn’t believe me and she did not want to give up her black tea in the am.)

Another thing that can help with the hot flashes is to take Advil (ibuprofen) before you eat (if its ok with your doctor for you to take ibuprofen as some people have allergies to certain meds). At any rate Advil/Motrin/ ibuprofen “eats up” excess phosphorous and so can help with the hot flashes when taken before a meal because it will “eat up” the excess phosphorous from the foods. You can also take it at other times to help with the hot flashes. I take two Advils a couple times a day for this. It is also good to take the Advil with Country Life Lysine with B6, since taking any meds uses up your body’s store of Lysine and when you use up your Lysine, you also use up your B6, so the Country Life Brand accommodates for this by including B6 with the Lysine. Alcohol also “eats up” excess phosphorous, so that is why some women have found that a drink with dinner helps with their hot flashes, but if you are like me, and do not drink, Advil/Motrin/ibuprofen does the trick.

I would still watch on the high phosphorous foods though. A paleo sort of diet is best for this issue. No grains, coffee, tea or sodas and just eat salads, lean meat and potatoes. Meat is high in phosphorous, but it is full of essential amino acids that help the kidneys excrete excess phosphorous better and potatoes are very low in phosphorous and high in B6 and are not all that fattening when steamed or baked and eaten with a bit of olive oil, salt and rosemary. Also, the live enzymes in raw salads (lettuce, tomato, cilantro, celery) help with digestion. And avocados, which are rich in glutathione (strongest antioxidant there is) help support liver function which also helps you digest food better and clear excess phosphorous better.

Also stay away from foods high in MSG because MSG really depletes stores of B6 in the body and without B6, the body cannot properly metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates and they then get stored as fat and not used for energy, so you gain weight and also feel tired and so do not move as much which only adds to any additional weight gain on top of the metabolic weight gain from depleting B6.

Those Healthy Choice type frozen meals are low fat, but not really so healthy because they are all chock full of MSG. Best to cook for yourself as so many foods have MSG which is also disguised on labeling with names like: Yeast extract, natural flavorings, hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast extract aka all MSG.

Bake or steam up a bunch of potatoes beforehand to keep in the fridge and heat up and eat or add to your green salad. And use olive oil or coconut oil and a slice of lemon squeeze which is less acidifying to the body than vinegar. You can also get coconut oil that does not have a coconut smell or taste. Also, get a Romertopf clay baking oven and bake up a free range chicken surrounded by potatoes, turnips, and squash and you can have that for a few days, and invest in some good glass “tupperware” to take the stuff to work. Eat better and save on fast food purchases.

And last but not least, support your metabolic system by taking a good highly absorbable B Complex vitamin with Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Chloride (magnesium oxide which is what most stores sell is not readily absorbable by the body) For the B Complex I recommend taking Country Life Co Enzyme B Complex, as it is highly broken down and easily absorbable even for people like myself who have absorption issues. The bottle says take two per day, but for most people, one is probably ok.

(Also, regarding B vitamin depletion which can lead to metabolic syndrome, it is good to be aware of a common mutation that many people have which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease etc which can also be indicated by apple figures. This mutation is called the MTHFR mutation. It can cause folate deficiency (which can cause b3 and b6 deficiency) and so everyone should get tested for it, especially since many common medications can further deplete folate and should not be taken by anyone with this mutation. For more information on this, please watch Dr. Neil Rawlins’ video on youtube or visit Dr. Ben Lynch’s MTHFR website)

As for the magnesium, I would recommend taking Solgar Brand Magnesium Citrate. The USRDA is 2 tablets per day, but as most people are deficient, it would be best to start with 1/4 tablet to 1/2 tablet per day and gradually work up to two per day. This seems to work best for people. These two vitamins can be ordered from They seem to have the cheapest price I’ve found for the Country Life Co Enzyme B Complex. If you can’t take a Magnesium Citrate, another good magnesium product is Trace Minerals Research Liquid Ionized Magnesium Chloride. This is also a good product since you can take magnesium in very small amounts if you need to if you are very chemically sensitive. This magnesium liquid, which comes in a blue bottle, comes with a dropper and one drop equals about 1 mg of magnesium. It doesn’t taste very good, so you add it to orange juice or another high vitamin C juice, as vitamin C helps with magnesium absorption.

You can also get topical (not to eat/ingest) magnesium oil to rub on the skin and absorb it that way. A good one to get is Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil. I have tried others, but this one seems to be the strongest. It is only to be put on the skin, and it really helps to rub it on tired or sore muscles or joints. On first application you can feel heat or tingling, but that is only because it is working to clear out toxins. As with anything new, try only a small bit in case of allergy or sensitivity. Some health food stores also carry samples of this topical oil.

Also, I would recommend not to take any calcium supplements at all, as apple type stomachs (visceral fat larger stomachs) with thin legs are an indication of soft tissue calcification that has situated itself in the stomach area. In general, it is best for anyone over the age of 30 not to take calcium supplements. They cause lots of health problems and unfortunately many doctors are not aware of this. If you are taking calcium supplements, and want to stop, I would advise to start taking magnesium and vitamin C (helps detox excess calcium) first and then go down gradually on dose of calcium, so as not to have too rough a “detox” as one can experience pain from the calcium as it is leaving the system. Calcium increases nerve sensitivity and muscle contraction, so as excess calcium is leaving cells and muscle tissue it can cause pain and muscle contractions.

I’m not sure if you have seen Dr. Christiane Northrup on PBS, but you might have noticed, she tells women to take Magnesium, but does not mention calcium at all. She is being polite and not actually coming out and telling people that the whole calcium supplementation thing of the last half of the twentieth century has been one of the biggest health blunders of the whole medical community. A good book to read on this subject is The Calcium Lie: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Could Kill You. This book is written by Dr. Robert Thompson and it is very informative on “soft tissue calcification” and all the health problems it causes including heart disease and making your body into more of an apple shape. Another good book is, The Magnesium Miracle written by Dr. Carolyn Dean.

So in conclusion: Get tested (and treated) for the MTHFR mutation, avoid excess calcium, and excess phosphorous (which floods calcium into cells), take a good highly absorbable B complex vitamin with Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Chloride and Vitamin C (which “chelates” calcium from soft tissues) and eat a whole food, home prepared, semi paleo diet. These things can all help with hot flashes and accumulation of visceral fat in the stomach area.

23 queenbeetv

Oh yeah, since I can’t edit my above post, the USRDA (US Recommended Daily Allowance) for Magnesium is 400 mg/ milligrams per day (which for Solgar Magnesium Citrate is 2 tablets).

The Trace Minerals Research Liquid Ionic Magnesium is 100mg per dropperfull, but since it is liquid and gets in quickly, I would not take more than 200mg at a time(2 dropperfulls) , cause it can make you feel weird/ woozy from too much/ too quick.

If you have Diabetes like I do (I am 50 and Type 1 for 33 years) the USRDA for magnesium is 600mg per day. And sometimes you can take more if you are very stressed but that is rare and it would be best to stay between 400-600mg per day. If you take too much it can cause diarrhea.

Magnesium Oxide also causes diarrhea in very small amounts because Magnesium in the Oxide form is nearly impossible for the body to absorb(only 4% bioavailable). That is why many people think Magnesium is just a laxative. Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Chloride are the best absorbed forms of Magnesium. And stay away from Magnesium Aspartate (or any vitamin that has Aspartate in it) because Aspartate is a neurotoxin. Read Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book on Magnesium for more info.

Also, if you are very chemically sensitive, it would be best to start out with about only 4mg of magnesium per day. You can get that by taking a 100mg pill of Magnesium Oxide(4% of 100mg is 4mg) or by taking 4 drops of the Trace Minerals Research Liquid Ionic Magnesium in a glass of Orange Juice or some other fruit juice.

I have known only one person to have problems with magnesium like that and she is very small 5’4″ 100lbs and very chemically sensitive and been in psych wards a couple of times. Everyone else who has started taking the magnesium has been ok with it. She, of course, is just overly chemically sensitive and that is probably at the root of her mental anxiety issues.

Also, stress and excessive meat intake “eats up” magnesium. People generally should not eat much more than 4oz of meat per day (deck of card size amount of meat).

24 Kim

Wow, thanks for the tips, your an walking encyclopedia. I also liked your suggestion of wearing men’s jeans, great idea!


25 Tee A

Hi Sylvia,
Thanks a lot for these tips. I presume I am apple shaped because I have very large bust,I wear 34E/F,bust is 40,waist is 34,hips is 42 and my bum is not raised so much. I tend to wear a lot of dresses that are gathered in at the waist and fall all the way down over the hips and below the knee a little and people always tell me I’m fatter when I wear such. I rarely wear straight dresses because it doesn’t fit me. I have knocking knees so I don’t like wearing above the knee dresses. I want to make a mermaid dress with prints/floral material,will this fit me?

26 Sylvia

Hi Tee, You actually have more the shape of an hourglass. It’s hard to give precise advice because I don’t have all your measurements but a mermaid dress is usually very good for this body shape. Have a look at some of my suggestions for the hourglass shape and for further questions and feedback I actually recommend my style forum:

27 rachel

Thanks so much, I’m 39 and have always dressed like a teenage tom boy and am finally trying to break out of this. I am a size 10/12 apple shape and have no clue how to dress. so I’m impressed with the tips. Thanks again

28 Sylvia

Great to know that these tips helped you Rachel. Welcome!

29 Bianca

Thank you for your tips and advice on clothing for us apple shape women. Well I am 21 years old, with two children. Well growing up I was always on the bigger size. Well I try so hard to find jeans that will fit me right. Of course I am an apple shape and mostly all my weight is at my top half. I have no hips, so when I try on jeans they don’t fit well on my waist, and or they fit well but on my legs the jeans are way too loose and makes me look ugly. I work in an office and I need stylish office looks for me and of course everyday. I do own many pairs of dresses that have the waist band under my breast and I love the way it gives me curves when in reality I don’t have.

Can I please have tips on what to look for in jeans to fit me correctly and office work clothing. Thank you in advance!

30 Sylvia

Hi Bianca. Yes fitting jeans and pants can be tricky. Look for pants that are flat at the front (no pleats) and have a wide waist band. Look for a mid to high rise. You can try to go for stretchy material which may help with fit issues. But otherwise you should look at a tailor for help. Find jeans that fit your waist and have them adjusted at the hips. Good luck!

31 Petra

Hi Sylvia, thanks for the update on my shape – the apple! I find good shape-wear undies are marvellous 🙂 I have just decided to stop wearing baggy hip-length tops (with leggings) and instead dresses that are V or scoop-necked with an empire line – such a brilliant style for apples! If I can work out how to send a photo I will do so! Thanks again.

32 Greetje Kamminga

I think I am between an apple and a ruler: bust and tummy of an apple, normal waist thanks to the sucking device of the plastic surgeon, no hips, no bum. You tell me.
I do recognize a lot of things in your advice which helped me before.
One thing though. You say: “Trousers should be wide or straight and not cling to tummy or thighs.” But I don’t mind that because I am usually wearing tops covering my hips and bum. Like the bottom, middle photo in your selection (of Robbi & Nikki), usually a little bit flared. And then it is better to have trousers which cling to my tummy. As I am not showing my tummy anyway. You are darned right about a zipper at the side. Not easy to come by though.

33 Sylvia

Yes good point Greetje. But you are not really an apple. More an inverted triangle with a bit of a tummy.

34 Greetje

Thanks Sylvia, it is getting better all the time hahaha.

35 33

I have a suggestion for apples when it comes to overcoats: cape

Not the long one but the version that falls to the hip bones. It covers a multitude of sins and is very easy on and off regardless how thick your sweater or how many layers you have on. It is surprisingly warm, too (sort of creating a heat cocoon).

The trick is to wear boot cut pants or skinny with knee boots. The swingy cape will direct attention to your trim (relatively speaking) bottom half.

It is essentiall an A line for the upper body when you wear a cape coat.

A waterfall lapeled jacket (with fabric that has some weight) will create similar illusion.

Good tops for apples should be A line, too. The kind of silk/chiffon/polyester/jersey shell that falls above the hip bones that’s like a mumu for the upper body. As long as it is not too blousy (not oversize) and clingy (not undersize), paired with pencil skirk to the knee (short shirt doesn’t work too well unless the legs are slim and shapely) and a waterfall lapeled jacket, the silhouete would be as professional and put-together as can be.

Just my two cents 🙂

36 Sylvia

Some great tips. Thanks!

37 Carol G.

I’m a petite who used to have a boyish figure (small hips and bust and not much of a waist) The apple bump is now placed on top of this. Sometimes, advice that works for a straight apple type figure conflicts with those that suit a petite or those with smaller bust.

There may be people who exactly fit one body type or other, but for those of us with kind of mixed body types, the challenges are different.

38 Sylvia

That is very true Carol. In the end, each body is different. That is why these are rough general guidelines. What you can do is just to see what applies to your body and see what clothes create the nicest silhouette for you.

39 Lesley King

Dear Sylvia,
First time visiting your site, and I am not sure if I am apple or pear. Some dresses I wear I’m definatley a pear but tend to have the dreaded roll above jeans/ pants if shapewear is not always worn. the shapewear rolls, I’ve tried many brands. I lived in scrubs for 23 years and now seems that I tend to wear alot of leggings with short dresses or long sleveless tops. Help !!!! I really like vintage styles / chic and I am 46 y/o. I have no idea how to put a wardrobe together, I feel like I always look frumpy, where do I start?

40 Sylvia

Welcome Lesley. Great you found us! The best place to start is my style course and e-book as it takes you through a 10 step process to find your style and find out what works for you. It requires some self-work, but it can really help ‘finding’ yourself and your style again. There are also hundreds of articles on the site that can help. If you want to ask more specific questions, then you can upload your photos / questions to the style forum. Be sure to be as specific as possible there. Good luck in finding your style again!

41 Silvia

Hi, I have an apple shaped body with medium busts, broad waist and very skinny legs. Can u pl suggest what kind 0f clothes should I wear?

42 Sylvia

I think the tips in this article give lots of great advice for your Silvia. If you want more advice, you need to be a bit more specific about your style and personality and perhaps include pictures and ask your question in the style forum.

43 Michelle

Was wondering how to dress so I don’t look fat and frumpy as this puts me on a downer everything I wear just makes me look fatter I am an apple with really big boobs mid roll and fat stomach my legs are thin can’t find anything that even flatters my shape I would really like to wear a dress for summer I just don’t know what to wear please help me I am 52 years old and my kids are embarrassed when going out with me

44 Sylvia

A lot of the tips above apply to you Michelle. Define your bust, wear a longer top with subtle draping or ruching and highlight your legs.

45 Therese

What is the best brand of pants to suit apple shape, thanks therese

46 Sylvia

Many women like Not Your Daughters Jeans but it would be great to get some feedback on this from other apple shaped women!

47 marion clark

Hi how do I find out what style suits me im 12 to 14 on top and 8 on bottom with very slim legs
Im in my fiftys

48 Sylvia

Many of the tips mentioned in the article will apply to you Marion. Try a few of the suggestions in shops and see what works.

49 Lisa

Hi there, I realise this advice is mainly for over 40’s but many of us younger ones have the same body shape…for our entire lives… and as a size 8 in my early 20’s to a size 12 in my late 30’s I have always struggled with these issues. If I were a designer, I would design one thing- beautiful jeans for the women with a wide waist and slim hips and legs.

Your advice to wear a slight bootleg may help, but the simple fact is that the jeans in that shape simply do not fit the slim hips, flt bottom and skinny legs. On occasion I have found a single pair in a flatteing style only to have them disappear from the rack in the next season. Many women with this body shape know what they are meant to do, and will spend lots of money to by a single perfect garment, but I’m firmly of the belief that items-mainly jeans- for this body shape DO NOT exist. The rest of the wardrobe is easier with lots of trial and error.

If I had a fashion advice website for women with that body shape, I would shop shop shop and advise on labels who do this shape well (hint, levis new shapes have done no favours for their range)
Please help.

50 Sylvia

As you say, it is hard to find jeans that fit well for this body type, as every woman is different. Very often a tailor will either have to adjust the hip or the waist. I welcome anyone who visits this page, to comment with their recommendations if they find good brands.

51 Jaunnette

I can’t say I found these helpful. Not because they aren’t good advice… For dressing “slim” or “faux-slim” anyway. But it makes me a bit irked when so many of the tips are “hide the tummy” “slim the waist” “confuse the eyes” or “creating the illusion” of anything.

I’m not slim. I’ve never BEEN slim and as I get older I move ever further from the mark. This doesn’t mean I find anything wrong with someone being slim, or wouldn’t mind dropping weight. But when all the advice is “Your shape is undesirable, you should try to hide it as much as possible with these optical illusions!”… Well at that point, any advice I might have found useful is shadowed by my irritation of the blaring inadequacy of my body shape.

I apologize if this seems snappy, but this article made me rather unhappy. Though I was annoyed before I read more than the headline simply because you couldn’t rummage up a single photo of a woman with anything but a thin figure, while trying to tout the clothing they wear for an “apple” shape.

52 Sylvia

Although I understand the sentiment of your comment, I have never met a woman who wants to highlight her tummy or appear bigger than she is. Also please note that not all apple shapes are big. Some are slim but just have a big tummy. These articles concentrate on showing you how to give you the nicest silhouette, not to ‘make you as slim as possible’. I believe every woman can look fantastic, regardless of her body shape and size. As for the photo, it would probably be best that I don’t use any models at all, so you could just concentrate on the shapes of the clothes. I’m sorry that this article made you feel unhappy. That is of course never my attention. I have found though that these articles ultimately make women feel happier about themselves, as they realise it is not the body that is the problem but the way they dress it. Choosing the right clothes can make a world of difference in overall appearance.

53 Becca

I am an apple, but my tops are 26W and my pants are Misses 16. I have no hips or gluteus. My issue is, not all apples can wear straight or flare legged jeans. If I try to wear straight or flare legged jeans, I look like I am wearing pants 4 sizes too big. How do I camouflage how much larger the top is, when Skinny jeans are the only style of jeans that fit?

54 Sylvia

Try to get something as fitted as possible. Something that fits tighhly over your bust. A slim fitting empire waist could work.Also, straight or flared jeans can also be bought in fitted versions. If you buy something that snugly fits your legs than flares out a bit a the knees then that could work too.

55 Lisa Rainford

Hi Becca, my advice would be a bit different to Sylvia’s, having a similar body shape to you, and knowing the frustrations that this particular body shape entails, but if your top is really that disproportionate to your bottom I’d have to say give up on trying to disguise your shape with illusion and I would say choose longish tops in either fitted or flowing styles that flatter your bust and your tummy and your colouring, and wear them over tights, or slim fitting jeans, forget trying to achieve balance with a flared leg, it can also look plain silly.

And you know what? Focus on the ‘flattering’ aspect of dressing your shape, choose colours that light you up, to draw the eye of others up to your smiling face and make your hair and eyes up in a pretty way, and wear lovely earrings to bring attention up to where you want people to look. Apples are frustrating to dress, but a lady of any shape, who loves herself is a happy thing to see 🙂

56 Becca Martin

Thank Lisa & Sylvia, I have given up trying to equalize the top to the bottom and wear pants that show off my legs and tops that minimize the tummy and emphasize the cleavage…. because I have a lot of it!!

I do have one more question. I have been in a casual construction office for 2 years now, and am moving on to a business casual bank office. I have to cover my tattoos, which are mostly on my legs. What are good ideas for Business Casual that will flatter an Apple, cover the tattoos, and not make me live in my own personal sauna all day long? Yes hot flashes are rampant! Any help would be great…

57 Tina Boomerina

Marion, forget jeans. Wear leggings with tunic tops over the elastic waistband. If you’re like me, you’ll never be able to breathe when you wear jeans… or else the butt will sag and make you look like a retard. Jeggings, Baby, jeggings.

58 che

thank you for the great info. Love it!

59 Tanya

Thanks a lot for great ideas!
I’m a middle-age short woman (5’0″), 112 lbs, 36″-33″-39″. What would you recommend? Petite size is a must, but often even petite is too big. I usually wear size 4P or 6P jeans with sweaters, but have no idea what would be good for special occasions. I like dresses, but so far couldn’t find anything looking good on me…
Any suggestions? Thanks!

60 Sylvia

Sizing and silhouettes are so different for each brand. My best advice is to try things on and see what feels and looks good and try some of the tips above and see what works for you.

61 Olga

New to this site and I didn’t know there were so many ‘apples’ out there, especially, short, disproportionate apples like me. I’m 5’2″, 152 lbs, size 14 – 16 top, size 8 bottom and 54 years of age. Upper arms are bumpy, gluteus is flat, legs are skinny and even post-breast reduction, my top is 38D. I know that this reads like a description of a cartoon character, and sometimes I find humor in this, but not when shopping for clothes.

One-piece bathing suits and dresses are a nightmare for me and tailoring everything I purchase is not in the budget. Even shapewear is troublesome … I either can’t breathe and jiggly bits spill out wherever they can, or the crotch is hanging down to my knees. Petite stuff doesn’t work, regular sizes don’t fit around arm holes, and plus sizes look like tents on me. Empire items often make me look pregnant and I haven’t found too much to help in this area. These body issues only started to be extreme when I hit menopause and now everything is tougher.

Even with the above whining ;-), I still love fashion and have fun with new styles. I’ve found that Dressbarn stores offer enough items so that I can at least attend special occassions without embarassment or becoming too self conscious (sp ?).

Love reading all the tips and hope to learn more, and offer more, as I go.

Thanks, Olga

62 Sylvia

Thanks for the feedback Olga and the tip. Keep having fun with fashion. That is so important!

63 Julie

I’m still having trouble finding what is proper for me to wear. Not only am I a 44 year old ‘Apple’ but I’m also only 5’1″ and weigh about 148 lbs. I feel horrible about myself and struggle every morning on what to wear!! Any other suggestions please???

64 Sylvia

Hi Julie, Sorry to hear that you feel this way. I’ve written 100s of articles on this site to help so you may start browsing the articles to get some inspiration. Start with articles in the how to dress after 40 cateogory (e.g how to dress when you are petite). You may also consider my style course to find your own unique style and get more confidence with dressing for your body type. Good luck!

65 jayne

wow…am glad to read your article…great tips..jayne from Kenya

66 nancy

can u give me ideas on a wedding dress.I am 57yrs 5 2 and a size 16.

67 Sylvia

A wedding dress is so personal and there are just so many options Nancy. I would suggest just going to a good shop and choose dresses that suit your style and personality. Make sure sure you get a good sales assistant that can assist you.

68 Becca

Nancy… just remember to fit the larger parts of you because you can always take material away in alterations but it’s difficult to add material in. Find a style you like and DO NOT FRET about what “size” you have to buy. I’m an Apple and alteratioalterationist and deal with this question a lot!

69 nancy

thanks for ur comments,what about length remember i am 57 and second time round.x

70 Becca


Even though you are 57 and this is round 2, you are welcome to wear any length or style you are comfortable in. Being 5’2″ tall, I would stay away from POUFY gowns or TEA Length. Both will make you appear shorter. A-line is always good and you can do knee or full length. I did a halter Full skirt Organza for my Renewal and I’m 5’6″ and at the time I was 300 lbs… but I bought it to fit me no matter what the SIZE was…. a 34 BTW!

71 nancy

Thanks Becca I will let u know how I get on.x

72 Karen Elizabath

I am 60 and just found out that I am an apple, sort of, I love patterned shirts and black or grey pants. Unfortunately I love yoga pants because they are not tight and flow but am not sure where it is alright to wear them, I love them around the house and out in the back yard when walking the trails left by the deer etcetera.. I also love long dresses and skirts but never know what tops to wear given my apple shape!! I now know that clingy tops are out but what sort of material is best cotton, polyester, linen or what would you suggest? I am also petite.. and I do like the longer tops and skirts and dresses but always worry about tied in waists on blouses and tops because they make me look terrible and ‘dumpy’.. Therefore if you can give me any advice about dressing to go into town and on the town, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much,

73 Sylvia

Hi Karen Elizabeth. There are lots of ideas on this site so I would suggest you browse through the archives? You may like to start with these articles and The what you wore section also offers lots of inspiration.

74 Brookie

Whoever made this, I would like to first start off by saying thank you. I appreciate the advice. Although, there are some things that can be corrected from this article. First of all, the apple shaped body is actually one of the five body shapes out there. Thus, not only does it occur as women get older, but its a shape that women like me are born with. Also, apple shapes should not wear bell bottoms or flares because all that really does is accentuate the skinny legs. Instead, wear bootcut or slim. And if you are skinny and apple shaped, its ok oto wear skinny jeans, just make sure they are high rise and dont spill out the fat around your mid. Btw, hi. My name is Brooke and im 16 years old. I havent been diagnosed but i may potentially have BDD, and its caused me to have very high insecurity of my apple shaped body. Ive always wanted to be a model but thats a dream in the clouds. Thank you for making this article, but unfortunately it hasn’t helped me feel better about myself. I realize that everytime i read these articles, it only talks about how to disguise this body shape by wearing clothes that will help to do just that. I cant accept this huge flaw that i have because this body shape is simply not sexy. Because ive come to this conclusion, i am planning on getting fat transplant surgery. Now, im actually not fat at all but where the healthy fat is is where my tummy is. Plus my hips are very inverted and my legs are not proportionate to my upper body. And i know what you guys are thinking, “Oh exercise will do the trick.” But the truth is is that exercise only will help to lower the mass of my tummy, but it will not help to increase the mass of the hips i dont have or the butt either. Once again, thank you for making this article for the apple shaped population, but it failed to help gain my self esteem.

75 Sylvia

Hi Brookie. Sorry to read that you don’t feel happy in your body right now. Of course it would be difficult for this one article to overcome that. What I like to say though is that this article is not meant for people to ‘disguise’ their body shape. Rather it’s meant to provide guidelines to dress your shape in the most flattering ways. I say guidelines because I feel that you can almost wear anything, no matter your body type, so long as you create the right balance with your clothes. What IS very important though and the key to looking good is that you accept your body type. Your body shape is not a ‘flaw’. All bodies are beautiful and you will be beautiful if you are happy with yourself, confident with your body and learn how to dress it well. I know this is easier said than done, but I encourage you to visit This website is all about body confidence and feeling happy with the body that you have and has 100s of articles on this topic. I wish you good luck on your journey to self acceptance!

76 Giedre

I am looking to purchase a dress for my mom .She is petite 1.64 cm and she has bigger breast and not so small waist she is wearing size 44 european. what do you think about wrap dress with print .Its black with beige colors very elegant Valentino wrap dress. Would you suggest wrap dress for her.
thank you so much

77 Sylvia

Hi Giedre. Yes that could be a good option. However, please make sure that the dress fits well around the bust and that it drapes nicely over the belly area. There are quite big differences in the way that wrap dresses fit. Good luck!

78 Danita

Hi, I have always been a big girl. I think I am the Apple shape but am not quite sure. I have a big belly, my breasts aren’t very big at all, big but flat bum, thick thighs and calves, and large arms. What shape would you think I am? I’m over feeling frumpy and fat, I just want to feel confident! I find if I wear shirts that cover my big flabby arms that it just swamps me and makes me look bigger than I am. Do you recommend shape wear to help minimise my big tummy? Thanks in advance!

79 Sylvia

Difficult to tell from your description. Did you try the body shape tool on this page? I wrote an article about shapewear here I’m not a huge fan of shape wear though and think it’s important to find clothes that WILL look good on you. You may like to join the upcoming style challenge where it’s all about discovering what suits you

80 kissmetoad

I am an apple, but I am a size 6 apple. Why all the black pants? I have tiny legs and a BIG bust so black pants and a floral shirt (in ANY style) just makes me look more top heavy . The difficulty for me is finding tops that are plain and bottoms that are not black. This is especially true for fitness clothing–all the pants are black, black, and black!

81 Sylvia

You are right that pants in other colors can look even better for many apples. I hope to create a new outfit collage for apple type body shapes soon.

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