Finding outfits that flatter our unique frames is one of the most important things we can do to look and feel confident. This guide will show you the best ways to highlight an apple or circle-shaped body simply by choosing the right clothing. Once you have all the information, dressing your body shape becomes easy. Stay with us for clothing suggestions, style tips, and general guidelines to feel great about your apple shaped body.
What is an apple shape?
The apple shape—also referred to as a circular or round shape—is determined by your measurements. Here are some characteristics that often apply:
• Your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips are fairly uniform—but your shoulders and hips may be slightly narrower.
• Your waistline is rather undefined.
• You have a large bust.
Not sure if this description fits you? Watch our body measurements video and grab a measuring tape to find out which body shape you fall under. We also have style tips for tall body types, plus sizes, and petite figures.
3 tips to dress for your body type
Before we jump into the specifics of how to dress an apple-shaped body, there are a few universal tips we’d like to share. These are important to remember regardless of what shape or size you are, because they’re designed to help anyone create a proportioned frame.
1. Balance it out
Body shape is almost entirely based on your bone structure—not your weight. Use your outfit to balance your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.
2. Draw the eye
Use lines to focus the eye where you want it to go. They can help you create curves, lengthen, or emphasize your favorite parts of your body.
3. Think about color
Your eye is also drawn to patterns and light, bright colors more so than solid black or navy. Keep this in mind when choosing separates.
What to wear if you have an apple-shaped body
Now that we’ve established a baseline, let’s get specific. Here are the best tops, jackets, pants, dresses, and accessories to complement an apple-shaped frame.
Best tops for apple shapes
As a general note, we recommend looking for pieces that accentuate your shoulders, neckline, or bust. Tastefully, of course.
Specifically constructed to create a more defined waistline.
Arms and shoulders get a boost of volume with airy sleeves.
Reveals your collarbone, which helps break up a uniformly shaped top half.
Has a built-in waist that flows out, adding some curve to a less defined area.
Best jackets for apple-shaped women
Jackets and blazers are your new best friends, because they add structure and shape. Not to mention, we’re always fans of the stylish third piece.
Jackets without closures flatter your frame by adding long vertical lines.
2. Long vest
An excellent layering piece that also creates vertical lines to lengthen your midsection.
Pair long outerwear with an above-the-knee dress for an unexpected combo.
Single-breasted styles elongate your chest and neckline even while buttoned.
Best jeans for an apple-shaped figure
Whether you’re aiming for comfort or to flatter your apple-shaped figure, here’s what to look for.
1. Straight or slim
A great option if you don’t love super form-fitting pieces.
The slightly flared hem balances out a curvy silhouette.
Very on-trend and highlights your legs. A high-rise pair also creates a waistline.
Mirror any volume created around your shoulders with flared-leg denim.
Best pants for apple shapes
We love anything that makes our legs look longer. We have a few options for you to try depending on your fit preference.
Define your waist and draw the eye to your lower half all in one go.
Like high-waisted styles, these also accentuate your middle for a well-proportioned shape.
They float a bit off your body if you’re not comfortable with a tighter fit.
This more relaxed style creates a consistent shape through the leg.
Flattering dresses for an apple shape
Look for styles that draw attention to your shoulders and legs, as well as those that will create a more defined waistline.
1. Empire waist
Brings your waist higher than its natural placement for a dramatic look.
Bare skin tends to draw the eye, so show off those shoulders when you have a chance.
A more fitted cover-up that creates a waistline.
Drapes softly so the fabric emphasizes the body without clinging.
Stylish accessories for apple shapes
Statement pieces are meant to be seen. Therefore, wear one where you want people to look.
1. Pointy-toe shoes
The number one way to create a long legline, whether flat or heeled.
2. Statement earrings
Be bold and draw attention to your neckline. Bonus points if you wear your hair up.
Wear one to cinch your waist in a dress, skirt, long jacket, or high-rise pant.
Best swimwear for an apple-shaped figure
Define your shape and accentuate your favorite features.
A classic silhouette with a ruched torso defines your waist.
2. Halter tops
Deep necklines create a vertical line, elongating your body.
3. Tie-waist sarong
A more fitted cover-up that creates a waistline.
4. Sweetheart neckline
Underwire offers built-in support for a full chest.
Outfit ideas for apple shapes
General tips are great to have in your back pocket when shopping, but seeing them in action makes it easier to visualize. Check out three outfits we’ve built from the items suggested above that look great on an apple-shaped body.
Everyone needs a go-to jeans-and-top outfit. And yes, cropped tops are absolutely fair game—as long as you play with proportions. For example: Puffy sleeves fill out your shoulders, and a square neck opens up your top half. If you’re concerned about your midriff peeking out, high-waisted jeans take care of that, and elongate your legs. We recommend finding jeans that hit just underneath the hem of your top. Find all the jeans made for your frame in our denim guide.
Take a look at this outfit—can you see the fabulous high waistline it’s creating? You can achieve this by playing with lengths. Tucking a V-neck top into a pair of high-waisted pants makes your frame look much longer, while creating a more defined waist. An open-front, hip-length blazer with vertical stripes elongates, too.
Out on the town
Wrap dresses are flattering but not restricting, and the perfect shape to carry a bold print. Add a statement earring and try wearing your hair back to really highlight your neckline. As far as your shoe, nude pumps, wedges, or heeled sandals disappear into your legs and make them look longer.
Want to know more?
We’ve compiled answers to some FAQs about dressing an apple-shaped body. Click the questions below for more style advice.
Choosing a high-rise, straight-leg jean makes your legs look exponentially longer, especially with a cute, pointy-toe shoe.
We embrace prints for everyone. They’re a bold way to make a style statement, regardless of shape.
We never want to say you’re not allowed to wear something. But if you want to create a balanced frame, we wouldn’t suggest super skinny pants or leggings with oversized tops. You want to create a defined top half, which this combination doesn’t do.
Yes, but the wrong fabrics and styles could counter that effort. Look for pieces like shift dresses and dolman tops that won’t cling to areas you wish to conceal.
It’s all about the style and shape of the dresses you buy. Sheath and shift dresses hang straight off your shoulders so they won’t hug too tightly. Fit-and-flare and wrap dresses only “cling” to the waist, then flow out around your legs.
Of course! If you want to wear crop tops, try adding volume elsewhere to the outfit. Crop tops with an empire waist create the illusion of a more defined midsection. A-line skirts or wide-leg pants also have the same waist-narrowing effect.
Apple, circle, oval, round—whatever you like to call this shape, you can play up your favorite features with flattering, on-trend outfits. The most important thing to remember is balance. Emphasizing your shoulders and legs ensures that your entire frame receives an equal amount of attention. Visit the Nordstrom Blog for additional tips for styling, beauty and activewear.