Best dresses for apple-shaped bodies


The best dresses for apple-shaped bodies are those that balance out the proportions of their silhouette by adding curves and that emphasize the lower body, shoulders and legs while creating a more defined waistline.

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Which dresses for apple-shaped bodies are best?

Choosing outfits that flatter your body shape is the key to looking and feeling your best. A fairly common body silhouette is the apple or the circular or round shape. Apple shapes tend to carry their weight around their midsection, with a big bust and broad shoulders, but their arms and legs tend to be slimmer. 

If you identify yourself as an apple shape, we’ve got the best information on how you can identify the best apple body shape dresses, as well as a roundup of our favorites, including popular ones like Alex Evenings Compression Embellished Ruched Sheath Dress.

What to know before you buy dresses for apple-shaped bodies

Measurements and shape tendencies

Apple shapes are often confused with other body types such as hourglass and pear. To confirm if you fit the description, grab a measuring tape and check your measurements. Look out for typical dimensions of an apple body shape. Remember that body frame determines your bone structure and less on your size and weight. While the apple shape is commonly associated with the curvy type, a petite or slim person can still fit the description. You may also have a secondary body shape if you lean towards other types such as pear, hourglass, inverted triangle and rectangle. 

Basics for dressing your body type

Knowing the universal rules for dressing a specific body type will make it easier to find the dresses that best suit you. Regardless of what size or shape you are, the end goal is to create a proportioned frame that is aesthetically pleasing and makes you feel confident. 

1. Draw the eye to the right places: Use the lines of an outfit to direct the eye to where you want it to go. This will emphasize certain body parts, lengthen and create curves.

2. Create balance: Use the fit and proportion of an outfit to balance the different parts of your body, such as your hips, waist, bust and shoulders.

3. Use color the right way: The human eye is drawn to fabrics with light and bright colors, more so than ones that are solid navy and black.  

For apple shapes specifically, you want to look for outfits that add length and elongate your frame. They should also have some structure to create a more contoured look.

Strengths of the apple body shape

Every shape has pros and cons, and the most confident dresses know how to make the most of what they’ve got. Acknowledging your flattering parts will motivate you to choose dresses that highlight your features that you’re proud of and that you would like to show off. 

Best style of dresses for apple-shaped bodies

The apple body shape appears top-heavy due to a full chest and upper body and an undefined waist. The best dresses are those that balance out the proportions of your silhouette by adding curves and that emphasize your lower body, shoulders and legs, while creating a more defined waistline. The right dresses will skim over your body without clinging. These styles of dresses are the most flattering for women with apple- shaped bodies.  

Wrap dress

The wrap dress has maintained an iconic status for many decades now because it looks good on everyone who wears it, no matter their body type. It’s also a versatile garment that anyone can wear for any occasion or setting. Those who have an apple shape will love the design of this dress because of the defining tie that cinches the waist and the V-neck that elongates the upper body.

Tailored shift dress

The tailored shift dress has a loose fit and is relatively straight, which works well for an apple-shaped body type frame. Thanks to its clean and simple lines and flattering cut, the dress subtly accentuates the midsection providing comfort and definition.

Empire waist

The sweetheart neckline on the empire waist style of an empire waist dress plays up the bust and neckline, which lengthens the upper body. The raised waistline fitted just below the bust flares creating a silhouette that floats away from the hips and waist. This gives the appearance of a longer torso, offering a balanced look for apple-shaped bodies. 

Midis and maxis

An effective way to flatter a rounder shape is by using vertical lines. You can achieve this by wearing longer, loose-fitting dresses like midis and maxis. Regardless of your height, the dress length is an essential consideration for this style. Look for midi’s that reach around mid to lower calf and maxi’s that touch the top of your feet. 

How much you can expect to spend on dresses for apple-shaped bodies

Whether you’re apple-shaped or another body type, the amount you spend on dresses ultimately depends on the quality of the material you desire. Expect to spend more on designer clothes made with premium materials and lesser on budget brands that focus more on affordability versus garment quality. Expensive dresses like the wrap dresses popularized by iconic fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg cost around $1,000 and above. If you find this price tag too steep, you can find plenty of wallet-friendly alternatives that provide a flattering look. There are mid-range dresses that run from $50-$500 and inexpensive ones that range from $15-$40.

4 ways to accessorize dresses for apple-shaped bodies

Wearing the right accessories will instantly elevate your look and add more balance to your proportions. Wear one of these four statement pieces to add extra dazzle to your dress. 

1. Statement earring: Large earrings with intricate designs are perfect for drawing focus to your neckline. 

2. Belts: Wearing a belt that cinches your waist adds definition and shapes your silhouette.

3. Nude shoes: These neutral-colored shoes will look good with almost any dress, with the added benefit of elongating your legs. 

4. Pointy-toe shoes: You can wear either flat or heeled shoes in this style to create a long leg line. 

Best dresses for apple-shaped bodies FAQ

What are the most flattering necklines for apple body shape?

A. The ideal necklines for the apple body shape are the ones that take attention away from the fuller midsection and that break up the chest vertically, such as the V-neckline. A wide neckline can make the shoulder appear wider. Look for necklines with embellishments and details on or around them to keep the eye focused on the upper half of the body and away from the torso. Avoid narrow and high necklines that narrow your chest and hide your chest. 

What are the best types of sleeves for the apple body shape?

A. Choose outfits that have sleeves that accentuate your arms and upper body. These styles take the focus away from a wider midriff. Sleeves that have details such as gathers, cuffs, slits and draped fabrics can create this effect. Other options are flared and loose sleeves that create volume on the upper body. You can also highlight your shoulders with shoulder pads and cap sleeves.

How can I prevent dresses from clinging to my middle?

A. It all comes down to the shape and style of dress that you pick. Select dresses, such as sheath and shift dresses, that hang straight off your shoulders and don’t hug too tightly. If you prefer a more fitted look, you can go for wrap and fit-and-flare dresses that hug your waist and flow out around your legs.

What are the best dresses for apple-shaped bodies?

Top dress for apple-shaped bodies

Alex Evenings Compression Embellished Ruched Sheath Dress

Alex Evenings Compression Embellished Ruched Sheath Dress

What you need to know: This cocktail dress has a ruched asymmetrical waist that creates an hourglass shape.

What you’ll love: The wrap style V-neck is elegant and highlights the collar bone. The side embellishment adds a touch of glamor to the outfit. The dress has a flattering cut that fits the body well.

What you should consider: Some buyers said that the dress was cut small. You must consider the embellishment of the dress when accessorizing.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top dress for apple-shaped bodies for the money

Amazon Essentials Women’s Cap-Sleeve Faux-Wrap Dress

Amazon Essentials Women’s Cap-Sleeve Faux-Wrap Dress

What you need to know: This affordable dress has a wrap design and A-line skirt that balances body proportions.

What you’ll love: The dress has a soft and stretchy blend of elastane and viscose. The skirt gently drapes over the hips providing a comfortable fit. While the tie closure is visible, it doesn’t add bulk to the waist.

What you should consider: The V-neck line is slightly low cut. The dress isn’t available in lighter, solid colors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Women's Nine West Sleeveless Button-Front Tiered Dress

Women’s Nine West Sleeveless Button-Front Tiered Dress

What you need to know: This flowy, tiered dress has a modern flair and natural movement.

What you’ll love: The spacious A-line cut makes this dress a favorite for those who want to get into vacation mode. The lightweight, cool-touch material feels soft and comfortable on the skin. The tiers and drop waist give off bohemian vibes.

What you should consider: Tall wearers will find that dress takes on a baby-doll style when they try it on because of the short hemline.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s


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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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