Let me start with a disclaimer here. I love apples. And pears. And kumquats, pluots, dragonfruit, guavas… You get the picture. I love fruit. Just not as a metaphor for a woman’s body.
Unfortunately, many of my readers use fruit to describe their body type, and then wonder why they struggle. I mean, who wants to look like an apple? I prefer to picture myself a banana. But a straight banana. With lots of hair. But I digress…
So before I dive into flattering your fruit shape, I’m going to encourage you to change the way you look at your body. You are not an apple. You are a supermodel. In the Style Dial system that I use for body type analysis, a straighter body type with a less defined waist, the same body type that many “apples” have, is called a Style Dial 3, and it’s the body type most commonly seen in supermodels. With a straighter shape, you can wear most anything and everything. But as we age, the straight waistline can fill out and start to extend past the hips and the bust, and so choosing flattering styles becomes more important.
Whether you started out with a waistline that was straight or defined, age/weight gain/menopause can alter that so that our waistlines become our widest part. And if this is you, you might be frustrated. Just a gentle reminder, though: Pretty much every woman in the world over 30 (with the sole exception of Jennifer Aniston, who may be superhuman) has to dress to flatter her shape, with its quirks and complexities.
No body is “perfect.” God is never going to apologize for the way he made you, and he made you gorgeous. The key is to find silhouettes that bring out your beauty.
Here, my favorite strategies for flattering your “apple” body type.
(Note: I choose photos of women with relatable body types, whenever possible, but I am limited to the images used by online retailers and brands. Also, these fabulous fashion bloggers were picked for their stylish, flattering outfits, not a specific body type or shape.)
Flaunt Your Fabulous Features
Whether it’s a pretty bustline or slim legs, showcasing the best parts of your body takes the focus off of a full tummy area. Here, a flattering (not oversized, overly flowy or frumpy) tunic is balanced out by slim pants. (Note: With a voluminous top, skinny pants like this might look unbalanced, but as the top has shape and some structure, this works beautifully!)
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Wonder what to wear when it doesn’t quite feel like Fall or Summer? How’s this? I’m wearing a pair of @lyssenewyork zippered ankle length leggings, @nicandzoe tunic jacket/top with the glorious feature of pockets, @donaldjpliner silver sandals and my @somethingnavy sunglasses. The tunic jacket is over a tank so if I do get hot, I can take it off to get cooled down. When it gets a bit cooler I can swap out the Sandler’s for boots. What do you like to wear when the two seasons seem to have joined forces? #fallfashion #fashionover40 #stopstressingaboutdressing #DressWithoutStress #whattowear #styletipsforwomenover40 #fashionover40 #agelessfashion #40PlusStyle #50plusstyle #60plusstyle #stressfreedressing #personalstylist #imageconsultant #style #fashion #lookyourbest #personalshopper #wardrobestyling
Add a Jacket
A jacket, long vest, or kimono worn over an outfit visually narrows your shape and whittles your waistline. Even better when paired with a scarf, a formula you’ll see repeated over and over again on Instagram. (See below for outfit formulas for your “apple” body). It’s flattering, very chic, and doesn’t look like you are trying to hide anything.
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Today I decided to go all out in olive green with last year’s @kutfromthekloth cords and my @lanvinofficial short boots from the consignment store. And to make my camo jacket a little more funky I added four of my favorite pins. I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty spunky! #sixtyoversixtystyle
Wrap It Up
A wrap, gathered, ruched, or draped top is a classic tummy taming style. The ease of the extra fabric through the middle, combined with a vertical neckline, makes these tops almost universally flattering. Just make sure it fits properly so that it drapes, rather than clings.
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Showcasing a couple of my recent purchases from @witcheryfashion — This wrap blouse has just gone on sale (not showing online but check your local store) – it’s super feminine and works so well with my favourite jeans of the season search Knee Rip Jeans Wearing size 12 in both 💙 — Handbag @maxwellscottuk Shoes @merchant1948 —
Create a Column
Everybody knows that black is slimming, but creating a monochromatic line with any color of choice is a flattering look when it is topped off with a jacket in a fun print or color. You’ll have a chic combination that takes the focus off of your tummy and puts it on your great style. (Note: the belt looks super cute in this picture, but skip it over a full tummy and go with a long necklace or a v-neck top instead). When not layered under a jacket, a column of prints or patterns is more forgiving than a solid column.
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Good morning weekend. It’s full dress up day today, vintage faux feather, vegan pants, lace and leopard skin. I’m in heaven. Jacket, blouse and scarf thrifted. I am in LOVE with feathers at the mo. Sorry l cheated and bought a pair of pleather pants. I feel a bit bad as I did try and find a sustainable, consciously ethical pair but I failed. This was a time of what I wanted overcame what I needed. 😬😬. Going to spend some time with the counselling /therapy girls this afternoon which I’m very much looking forward too. Always so great to feel connected and supported in the work we do. I tried my outfit on yesterday as before I go out Its Saturday morning Gym classes and cleaning. I do love a Saturday 😁😁. Have a great weekend guys 🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼 #prelovednowreloved❤️ @astridiwantyouinmylife #sustainableshopping #2outof3preloved @bluebelle66 #thriftstorefinds #shoppinginmywardrobe #ootd #vintagefashion #mindfulness #mindfulspending #mindfulshopping #recycleclothes #upcycledclothing #featherstyle #fitatfifty #fitatfiftytwo #fashionover40 #fashionover50 #charityshopping #upcycledclothing #retroclothing #recycledfashion #savetheplanet #fitolderwomen #50newstart #over40women #discoverunder20k #over50andfabulous #aginggracefully #microinfluencer #50plusandfabulous #ownyourweekendstyle
Choose Longer Tops
To echo a favorite fashion mantra of mine: Don’t point where you don’t want anyone to look. Drawing a line across the middle of the waist will not be flattering, so skip belts, belted dresses and other midriff details. Instead, find a longer top that ends at the high to low hip area, or a top with an empire line, just below the bust. Both will be infinitely more flattering. Although the gorgeous woman in this picture does not have an apple shape, the outfit checks all the boxes for women with moderate apple shapes. The longer length top with vertical neckline topped by a long cardigan.
Move your Waist
One of the most common challenges for an apple-shaped body is that many dresses and tops draw a line right around the middle of the body, your widest part. Instead, move the waistline up, just below the bust, by choosing empire styles that draw the eye upwards to a more flattering spot. (Note: You might want to experiment with this tip because a belt below a full bust can overemphasize it.)
Keep it Vertical
Vertical necklines (v-necks, button-downs, etc.) and vertical accessories, like long scarves and long necklaces, can keep the eye moving up and down, creating a longer, more flattering silhouette.
9 Wardrobe Essentials for Apple Shaped Women
I created a catalog specifically with tummy taming, waist-whittling styles for those of you who refer to yourself as “apples.”
A flattering tunic
A tunic with a drapey, flowy or asymmetric hem is a classic way to minimize a tummy. Look for tops that skim without hugging. You want to strike the balance between flowy and fitted. Either extreme, either oversized or overly tight, is unflattering.
Wide leg pants
Adding volume at the hem makes your waist look narrow by contrast, so choose flowy, drapey, or palazzo pants whenever possible. Petite? Your flowy pant will have less volume than a style designed for taller women. A little volume is enough.
An A-line skirt, circle, or flowy hem skirt has a similar effect to a wide-leg pant—the volume at the hem makes the waist look smaller by definition. Pair your skirts with untucked tops, or try a French tuck.
A wrap top
The combination of vertical neckline and flowy fabric around the midriff magically minimizes the midriff. Just make sure you choose fabrics that have some heft and aren’t too thin or clingy.
Knot front tee or dress
A knot or tie in the front disguises a small to moderate tummy bulge.
A long jacket
A long jacket, coat, or cardigan (particularly a drapy or waterfall style) visually erases the sides of your body, making your whole frame appear narrower, and your waist smaller.
Don’t say no to the new high-waisted pants until you try them. The really hold in a tummy, and when worn with an untucked top, can be very flattering. Or try a pair with built-in tummy control panels for maximum smoothing.
An uneven hemline tricks the eye and disguises a full tummy.
Draping, Ruching & Gathering
As I mentioned earlier, a little extra fabric over the tummy area is amazingly flattering. Look for dresses that are ruched on the sides, draped across the tummy, or
I hope these strategies and solutions have given you ideas for ways to flatter your apple-shaped body. Shop my most flattering finds for your body right here.