The adorable apple is next on the list as I continue refreshing the body type guidelines. If you’re still unsure of your body type or the concept of body types in general, read this post for background information.

Two important points before I begin:

  1. These are only guidelines: Don’t get too hung up on following the information here in the strictest sense. But we all have to start somewhere in order to dress in flattering ensemble combinations and getting your head around the guidelines is a great starting point. Once you have a firm grasp of the guidelines, you can bend them in clever ways and still look fab. That’s the challenging and fun part.
  2. There are 5 simple archetypes: My philosophy is to define a few simple body types and then be flexible when working with them. No, you are probably not exactly an apple, but you might be an hourglass with apple tendencies. Or you’re a rectangle who carries extra around the midriff. Either way, it’s all about choosing and applying the relevant sections across the various body type guidelines to help dress your unique body.

You are apple shaped when you are well-proportioned but carry weight around the tummy area and are therefore without a defined waistline. Rectangles also have a less defined waistline, but the apple body type is curvier and rounder all over. You have relatively slim limbs and can either be small or full chested. Your slim arms and legs are an asset, but you do need to think about how to balance them with the rest of your body.

I’ve dressed many apple shaped body types and it comes down to dressing the top of the body in one of two ways. You can either strive to create a more emphatic waistline, or you can embrace the waist-less trend by wearing voluminous tops or/and dresses. Both looks are equally stylish when the correct variables are in place.

Define the waistline by adding structure

  • Wear the best possible bra. Lifting the bust line will start the waist definition process.
  • Even if you’re small in the chest, you’ll look best with low-ish necklines like V’s, scooped necks, cowl necks, open shirt collars and boat necks. The lower neckline helps to accentuate the long lean line.
  • Wrap tops, mock wrap tops, tops with front/side ruching, and tops with front knot detailing are very flattering. The strategically placed folds create curvature.
  • Look for tops with lots of sleeve detail like flares, slits, gathers, embroideries and cuff treatment as this will attract attention to your slim, pretty arms.
  • Look for tops and dresses in patterns and with texture. They have better “camouflaging capabilities” than solid colours.
  • Woven tops can be magical. The rigidity of form fitting garments made of woven fabric will skim the contour of the body instead of clinging to it like jersey knits do.
  • Look for cotton, viscose and merino wool blends in fine gauge knitwear. Their thicker texture is less clingy than drapey jersey knit and therefore more flattering.
  • The length of your tops should either catch you just below your hipbone or a few inches above crotch point when you wear jeans or pants.
  • You can sport the leggings look with the right A-line dress or tunic because this vibe is about the dress and not the leggings.
  • Sometimes tucking tops into a fairly high rise pencil skirt has a flattering girdling effect, so don’t shy away from tucking tops into skirts. This is a fabulous look on many body shapes and I do it often.
  • You look best in single breasted structured jackets with V-shaped lapels that button below the bust line because the “V-shape” that is created in front of the body has an hourglass effect. Make sure that it’s snug on the shoulders and nipped in at the waist. Also, leaving your jacket open creates a slimming vertical line down the front of the body.
  • Your body works well with most lengths of jacket, but try not to go shorter than the top of the hipbone.
  • The easiest way to define the waistline is to layer a structured and tailored jacket over a top because it draws attention away from the midriff and creates curves in all the right places. Waistcoats and cardigans can have similar tailored effects, but aren’t quite as structured. Unfortunately this strategy requires cooler weather but it’s hands down the most effective.
  • Your body type showcases many dress silhouettes extremely well. Bias cut dresses, sheaths in woven fabrications, weighty jersey dresses with front knot under bust detailing are good options because they create a waistline but skim over the extra bits. Dresses with center front ruffle details, belted shirt dresses, and mock wrap frocks with plenty of side seam rushing will also work.
  • Belted trenches (at any length) and classic single breasted coats with tailored lapels at both thigh and knee length look fabulous.
  • If you can get your head around wearing waist-defining belts, try to find your sweet spot. It’s often a little higher than your natural waistline so that your belt hits the smallest part of your torso. Try belting a woven blouse or tunic over a skirt or pair of pants with a part elastic belt. The woven top won’t cling and the stretchy belt provides comfort as you move through the day.

Surrender the waistline with strategically positioned volume

  • You’ll look narrower in a tailored silhouette, but it’s fun, carefree and liberating to surrender the waistline from time to time. And when you do, you’ll simply draw attention to other parts of lovely you. It is also a good option if you are self conscious about drawing attention to your waistline.
  • Select tops, shirts and blouses that float away from the waist, but that are structured on the shoulder and sometimes at the hem. Think empire cuts (with or without gathers), banded tops, swing tops and trapeze silhouettes. Volume in the right place can be your friend because it doesn’t cling to the midsection. Remember that you can also layer a structured jacket or cardigan over a top that floats away from the waist. That way you’ll create a tailored look over a voluminous layering piece. Quite a fun arty vibe.
  • If you like the look of sack-like tunics and dresses, you’ll be able to wear certain very specific styles. If they’re straight or A-line in silhouette, slim in the sleeves or sleeveless, structured in the shoulders with a scooped neckline, fairly short in length, and in soft drapy fabrics, chances are high that they will work. A word of warning though: voluminous silhouettes  look wide from the side even when they are cut well. So you have to be at peace with that.
  • If you like fashionable boxy styles like boyfriend jackets, boyfriend shirts and billowing blouses, wear them in fairly drapy fabrications and pair the look with sleek bottoms. Add heels to the look and you’re good to go.

Add volume to your bottom half to balance out proportions

  • Structured pencil skirts look fantastic on your frame. Keep them  knee-length  and the side seam cut straight down from the hip. Bias cut skirts, trumpet skirts, and paneled A-line skirts are also good choices.
  • Sometimes skirts can be more flattering than pants and walk shorts, especially when they are pencil in shape. They elongate the leg line and break up the torso, which looks very attractive.
  • Wear higher rise pants, jeans and skirts for that good old girdling effect. The right shapewear helps if you’re comfortable wearing it regularly, but no worries if you’d prefer to leave it off. Wearing the right rise length and tops will work too.
  • Choose flat front, straight leg, boot cut or flared pants/jeans and avoid pleats and gathers.
  • Choose bottoms that have stretch. This will keep your midriff comfortable and give you optimum shape.
  • Knee length walk shorts are great and you might prefer them to sleek clamdiggers that add volume to your hips and thighs.
  • You are the shape who can rock a pair of cargo pocket pants. I vote choose a style in soft silky fabrications, but rigid cottons will also work.
  • Avoid wearing overly tapered pants as this will accentuate your thin legs and make your top look larger. Opt for a straight leg and match with shoes and boots of your choice. But tucking skinny jeans or leggings into knee high boots will absolutely work because the volume that is created by the boots balances out proportions.
  • If you don’t have a pair of trouser jeans get a pair right now. It’s a must for apple shaped body types.

If you have further tips on how to flatter the apple shaped body type, let us know. If there are further questions on how to wear items when you’re hourglass shaped, let’s hear those too.