Hey there! Today we are going to look at what to wear to flatter the round or apple shape the best and how to style outfits for this shape! Last week we looked in detail at how to style the hourglass shape and I will link it HERE if you want to check it out!
If you are reading this post it may be because you either think or know you are a round shape. If you think you are round or apple shape and have not done your measurements than I would recommend this post and video HERE to help you with that and to get an explanation of each body shape to see which one or two best fits those measurements.
The round or apple shape is when your waist measurement is larger than your bust and hips, which makes the waist undefined. The shoulder and bust may also be wider than your hips. If there is no weight gain the waist can be the same size as the hips and bust which could make you look like a rectangle or your shoulders could be broader and you would look like an inverted triangle. This shape typically has a larger bust as well and narrow hips with nice slim legs. Weight gain is mostly in the midsection instead of all over.
I think there is one large misconception of this shape. This misconception is that to be round or apple shape you have put on weight in your midsection and therefore have become overweight. Some even think this shape is always plus size. This is not the case. You can absolutely be apple shape and not be overweight. There are plenty of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore that are round or apple shapes and not overweight. In fact, lots of us would say that they look dang good! Due to the way they dress they can even appear to be hourglass shape but in reality they are not. Interesting right!?
There are varying degrees of the round or apple shape, so as you go through this material just think about how much “rounding” or how much larger your waist is compared to your other measurements. This will be the determining factor for what you choose to put on your body. The more variation in your measurements the more you will want to follow the recommendations for the apple shape. If you are an apple shape like the ladies mentioned above you can probably “bend’ the rules a bit and maybe add some recommendations from a secondary body shape like the hourglass or inverted triangle.
Also, before we get started I want to reiterate the same thing from my other posts in this series and that is to take these recommendations as just that and use what recommendations work for you. Even though you might fit into this shape description you will still be shaped just a little bit different than someone else in this shape. Get what I’m saying? So, please take what works for you and just have fun with it. Fashion and style should be fun and not complicated, so do what works for you and what you prefer.
If you want a printable list of items from this post you can download this PDF!
Here is the video if you would like to give it a look!
Round or Apple Shape Style Focus:
- Distract from the lack of waistline.
- Highlight your assets; bust, legs and arms.
- Try to create curves and fullness to the lower half of the body.
Generic Style Tips That Work for Round or Apple Shape
- Bold prints including vertical stripes are a great option on a dress or full body piece because they will distract from any one focal point.
- Non-clingy fabrics are best.
- Dark colors on top help minimize the midsection.
- Light colors and prints work well on the bottom. They draw the eye down.
- Layering with jackets, cardigans or vests that stop at the hips or go past the hips are perfect for this shape.
- Ruching or draping fabric around the midsection look great.
- Belt placement is best on the smallest part of your midsection which may be above your natural waist.
What & How To Style
The best necklines for the round or apple shape are open necklines. The open neckline will help the upper body appear smaller and less broad. It creates a line that draws attention away from the midsection; which is the goal in dressing the round shape. I have seen some people recommend a plunging neckline and I think that is fine if that works for you. The idea is to highlight the bust area because it is one of the best assets of a round shape.
- Off The Shoulder
Sleeves can make a difference in how the upper body looks. The focus needs to come away from the midsection, so sleeves with some type of detailing are great options. Statement sleeves are very on trend right now, so you should be able to find lots of options out there.
The only sleeve that is not great on the round or apple shape are fitted sleeves. They are usually not flattering on the arms.
- Detailed Sleeves – embellishments, bows, pleating, ruffles, etc.
- Cuffed or Tied
- Off The Shoulder
Blouses, Tops and T-Shirt Styles
The best style tops are going to flow away from the body instead of fitting snug on the body. You want to bring focus away from the midsection, so your eye should be either drawn up towards the bust and shoulders or down towards the hips and legs. There are many ways to accomplish this and you will need to decide what fits your body best and this will heavily depend on just how much larger your midsection is than your bust, shoulders and hips.
Some of the best styles for this shape will be flowy and A-line, tunic length or styles that cinch at the waistline. Darker colors on top can help make the midsection look smaller.
- A-Line ( Swing & Trapeze)
- Flowy & Lighter Materials
- Hip Length or Tunic length
- Darker solid colors or small prints that will help camouflage
- Longer Boyfriend Button Downs
Jackets, Blazers & Cardigans
The round or apple shape looks the best layered. Wearing a jacket, blazer, cardigan or even a vest over your tops and dresses helps camouflage your midsection and even create some shape. The more structured the jacket or blazer the more shape they will provide even when worn open in the front.
Jackets & Blazers
- Hip Length and Longer
- Fitted & Structured
- Wear Open
- Fit Shoulders
- Single Breasted (Single Button)
- Denim Jacket
- Moto Jacket
- Tweed Jacket
- Utility Jacket
Cardigans make great layering pieces for someone who is round or apple shaped. This shape actually looks best in cardigans that are flowy and longer, as opposed to structured and shorter. Go for hip length or longer and even long duster cardigans that reach the ankles! When worn with a heel or espadrille wedge the duster cardigan can even make someone look taller!
A sleeveless vest in styles like the cardigan will also work well; they are just a little bit harder to find.
- Waterfall Styles
- Shawl Collar
- Drapey and Flowy
- Lighter Knits
Pants and jeans can be a little bit of a challenge for the round or apple shape. I hear all the time that high-rise is uncomfortable because it puts pressure on the midsection and low-rise is equally uncomfortable because of the “muffin top”. The only thing I can say about these challenges is to keep trying stuff on. A mid-rise would be the best option to solve this problem but also depends on how you are shaped. You want to find pants that flatter and don’t accentuate the tummy area. Sometimes high-rise pants and jeans can do this.
Flat front, side zip and pull-on styles would make pants more comfortable and believe it or not they do have jeans that are pull-on style as well. Sometimes heavier materials and lots of hardware come hand in hand and are what makes some of the options really uncomfortable for the midsection. Go for simple styles around the midsection and stretchy materials like cotton and lycra or viscose and lycra blends. Feel free to have fun with pants or jeans that have fun pockets, rips and embellishments on the buttocks or legs. This will accentuate the bottom half and distract from the midsection.
- Flat Front or Side Zip
- Wide Leg & Flowy
- Prints or Embellishments
- Wide Leg
- Choice of Low, Mid or High-Rise depending on your shape
Skirts are best if they flow away from the body without adding too much bulk to the lower half. You want to move the eye towards the legs and away from the midsection and pretty, knee-length flowy skirts will do that. Especially if they have great color or are a print.
- Knee Length or Longer – this will elongate the body and help the upper body look smaller
- Accordion Pleated
- Asymmetrical or High-Low
- Layered or pleated skirts- start below the belly
There are pretty specific options for shorts styles that look the best on a round or apple shape. I would not recommend really short shorts or any tight fitting shorts for this shape so I don’t really have any suggestions for the Other Styles category.
- Flat Front
- Bermuda – Knee Length
- Looser Legs
- Colors Or Prints
- Choice of rise for your body shape – just be aware of cutting off the midsection and getting spill over
Other Wrap Dresses:
Dresses look great on a round or apple shape when they skim over or disguise the midsection. Layering with accessories or jackets can help with styling a dress on your body and make it look more flattering as well. Embellishments on the top and bottom of the dress will also help distract from the midsection especially if the dress is more of a straight style like a shift dress. Flowy and swingy dresses are good options but just make sure they are not too overwhelming on the body. These styles paired with fun sleeves and then an addition of some chunky shoes like an espadrille will help create balance.
- Knee Length to Maxi
- Off The Shoulder
Jumpsuits and Rompers
There are some styles of jumpsuits and rompers that would work but can be a challenge to find. I wanted to give you the best styles for the round or apple shape and I would stick to these. You will need to find loose styles that are not banded or cinched too much in the midsection. Elastic waists or drawstring waist would work the best.
- Wrap styles with loose legs – a faux wrap top half with an elastic waist and loose pants or shorts.
- Wide Legs
- Lose upper body and lower body
- Open Necklines
- Prints or Dark Colors
I hope if you are round or apple shape that these suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out through my contact page or through the comment sections below. Thanks for reading and watching the video!
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