Monday, December 5, 2011

The Wardrobe Project--Dress Your Apple Shape

Why is all this important, anyway…

If you are an Apple Shape, you have nice, broad shoulders like your Hourglass Cousin, yet with slimmer hips and thighs. Your arms and legs are your best feature. Let's show them off!

Waist not? Worry not!

Your slimmest point is just under the bust line. Belts and waist lines will look best on you here, especially when the fabric flows over your tummy, gently skimming it. Experiment with tying a sash or long scarf under the bust line to create a waist. Empire waists, sweetheart necklines, and ruching are excellent details to look for in a top. Apples will want the lines of an outfit to move smoothly from the slim, high waist down to your lovely legs.

Image Source:
An example of rouching, or repeated gathers, at the waist.

Knee length and sleeveless looks show off your thinner arms and legs!

Image Source:
The waist of this top is just under the bust line and the material
drapes nicely over the tummy, slimming it! 

2. Watch the lines in knits and patterns. Fabric without much pattern or with large, bold patterns will flow more seamlessly over your shape; however, lines and lettering can accidentally emphasize our curves by getting partially stretched out of shape. Be sure to check the patterns for distortion before purchasing.

4. Something else the Hourglass and Apple shapes have in common is a longer line between the neck and the bosom than all the other shapes. Break that line! Wherever there is a break in the outfit, a spot where the item ends or the color pattern changes dramatically, your eye tends to be drawn there. Use that tendency to play down the tendency of the eye to follow the lines of an outfit which visually break only at the dramatic curve of your ample Apple bosom. Draw the eye away by using the natural "break" of a neckline. For this same reason, be sure your necklaces fall well within the neckline.

 Neckline Examples
Image Source:
Sweetheart, V-neck and Surplice necklines will be the most flattering for you.
The Jewel and Boat and Turtleneck (not shown) necklines will tend to emphasize a larger bust.

The sleeves end right at the narrowest part of her torso,
visually pointing to her waist. Note that the waist is created by
the blouse right below her chest at the narrowest spot.

Dressing your lovely legs!

You have fine legs, to be sure. Dresses, shorts, pants will all show them off. Be sure to focus on proportion when looking at the silhouette of an outfit. If your legs look too slim and shapely, you may wind up accentuating your Apple instead of  flattering it.
Look for flat front, straight leg, boot cut or flared pants that will balance your top and bottom. Zippers and clasps on the side seam are great for you. Try a mid-rise or higher to keep your tummy comfortable.
Because of your lovely shape, shorts and skirts can be flattering at an inch or two above the knee. Any shorter and you will run into both modesty and proportion issues.

This skirt will show off your lovely calves
while the jacket smoothes over the tummy!

Because of your blessings, you can have a so much fun with hosiery. Show off those legs in colors and patterns. Winter is the perfect time to shop for exciting tights!
Watch that scarves and necklaces do not "point" to your tummy or larger bosom. Be sure to emphasize upwards toward your face with shorter lengths. Bracelets will show off your lovely arms, so have fun with them. Feel free to play with earrings, too.
Your shoes will be part of your balancing act. Use them to further elongate your silhouette by choosing pointed toes and slingbacks. Go for a more substantial heel to maintain proportion with your upper half. 

Although your necklines can plunge, be sure to stay modest! Your ample Apple bosom needs taming! Layer a tank underneath a bold neckline and always be sure to bend over in front of a mirror before you leave the house so that any exposure problems can be *ahem* addressed.

If it is too hot for layering, consider a modesty panel.
It attaches directly to your bra.

Your Bra (No Boys Allowed)

1. Structure and support. Being an Apple Shape, your bra is a vital element of your wardrobe. Like a shoe, it is a structural and supportive element, and nearly as complicated. A good bra will be barely noticeable during the day. A bad bra draws attention to itself by rubbing, binding, or riding up. There should be no gap between your body and your bra at any point, especially between the breasts. With a correctly fitted bra and good posture, the line of your bosom will fall about midway between your shoulder and elbow when your arms are down.

2. Get a fitting. If you have not been fitted in the last three years, go to a lingerie shop and have it done. Department stores may be great for prices but not necessarily for the level of customer service you need. Getting fitted for the right bra is a complicated process for any woman, but especially for a larger busted woman. You need more than average in a bra, so you need better than average service in finding the right one.

3. How many do I need? A woman needs 3 to 4 good bras, which should include at least one nude bra to wear under lighter fabrics and one black or brown bra to wear under darker fabrics. All bras should be hand washed and line dried as part of maintaining your investment.

4. It is an investment, so do not shy away from the price tag. For girls in the larger cup sizes, $30 to $40 is going to be the best minimum price you will find after shopping the sales! A cheap bra may look good in the checkbook, but it is going to look and feel bad on you.

So Go Shopping!
Everyone tries on clothes that don't fit, even your idea of an ideal shaped woman.
Fitting is a process, not a number.

Most women have a few shopping habits to break--shopping for the shape they want rather than the shape they have. This leads to frustration and a feeling that "Nothing looks good on me!" It will take awhile to train your eye to spot the gems on the hangar. Don't give up and don't despair! If you keep picking up clothing for another shape, voice out loud who the item was designed for, "This would look fantastic on So-and-so! She's a Banana," then hang it up and move on to an item designed for you. Everyone tries on clothes that don't fit. Even your idea of an ideal shaped woman. Fitting is a process, not a number.

Nothing breeds success like success. Go have a fun morning with a friend! Take this list, $25, a digital camera (so you can more easily analyze your silhouette in an outfit), and a friend and hit a quality used clothing store (one that only racks gently used items and sorts women's clothing by size) and search for one complete outfit or one fantastic item. Try on items that follow these rules then analyze what looks good and what does not to find out why you love or hate it. Talk over each item and what it does to add or detract from your graces. Giggle when it looks awful! Remember, if clothing doesn't look good--it's the fault of the clothes, not you! God has blessed you, so go bless yourself with a very good time!

For further tips and updates see my Pinterest Board: Apple Shape Fashion.

Not Your Shape?


  1. This article has blessed me so! I can't wait to implement what I have learned. I look forward to more. I wish I could download this in PDF version, so I can take it with me when shopping. Either way Thanks

    1. I am so excited to hear from you! I wish you could take this with you, too. I think I need to work on that! In the meantime, I am over on Pinterest, which has an app, giving ideas for each of the body shapes. Maybe that would help? Here's the board for Apple Shapes

      I hope that helps a little. Meanwhile, I'm going to be chatting up my blogging friends.