Updated: Jul 15
Along with the Triangle (Pear) Figure Type, the Round or Apple Figure is very common in women. Most women who have had children are left with one or the other afterwards. Some lucky women are able to lose that baby fat, however most are unable to accomplish it without starving themselves. Raising children and working make it almost impossible to find the time to exercise and work it off. Heredity also plays a role. Some women are unable to slim down no matter how much effort they put into it.
Fortunately, there are people like me who have learned some tips and tricks to help women look and feel better. Image Consultants and Style Coaches are not just for celebrities. We are trained to teach women of all backgrounds how to flatter their figures no matter which body type they struggle with. Because I get so many questions about how to dress this common figure type, I am imparting a few tricks of the trade to make shopping for the Apple figure a piece of cake.
Create A Waist
First and foremost for this figure type is to create a waist. Because the goal is always to create balance in a figure from head to toe and create the illusion of an hourglass, you need to visually slenderize the broad mid-section as much as possible. You can do this very effectively a number of ways. One way is to choose shirts and blazers with cinching at the waist. Tops that are elasticized at the waist and peplum-style jackets and blazers work wonders for this. Wide belts pulled in tight are effective as well, worn with dresses and tunics. Choose dresses with dark color-blocking in the mid-section, or patterns that are more pigmented (darker) in the waist area. Any style that visually creates a waist is always going to be flattering for the Apple figure.
Use Colour To Your Benefit
Dark colours work especially well for slimming down an area but don't limit yourself to wearing only black. A darker shade of any colour will always do the trick. Be sure to target only the areas of your body you want to conceal or reduce. Remember, dark colours slim; light colours expand. Whatever colour you choose, always ensure a darker shade of that colour sits at your mid-section to create the illusion of an hourglass.
Beware of Texture
The type of fabric you choose to wear is another thing to be cognizant of when you have an Apple figure. Too much texture in the wrong place is only going to add bulk! Heavy wools and knits are not your best bet. Always choose fine wools and knits that drape rather than chunk. If you choose to wear a knit dress, for example, ensure it is cinched at the waist, preferably with fine, vertical weaves, not horizontal cable-knit rows that enlarge the area even more. Sweaters should never be bulky, and definitely not top-heavy. In the dead of winter wear a few thin layers rather than one large, thick pullover style.
The placement of pattern and detail is critical if you want to avert the eye to other areas. To balance out your figure, always use pattern strategically. Large patterns effectively enlarge an area; small patterns scale down and reduce. Use this rule of thumb when choosing dresses, tops and bottoms. If you are a tall woman with an Apple figure, you can get away with wearing patterned skirts and trousers. Wear dark, solid colours on top to slim the mid-section of your body and add a bold scarf or necklace at the decollete. Any detail strategically placed at the top and bottom portions of your body will visually give you the effect of an hourglass. If you are short in stature (under 5'4") with an Apple figure you should never wear pattern below the waist, however. It will draw the eye downwards and make you appear shorter so be sure to wear solid colours there instead. Choose smaller, scaled-down patterns in shirts and tops and keep larger, brighter patterns and detail up around the collar area to draw eyes upwards and away from your broad mid-section.
The choice of neckline in shirts and sweaters can also make a difference in flattering an Apple figure. A deep V-neckline is the most flattering for this figure because it places the focus squarely on their best asset, which is typically a generous bustline. A cowl neck can be flattering, if it is vertically open as opposed to circular. I usually suggest steering clear of round necklines as they only serve to expand upon the round tummy. This figure type requires angles rather than circles, therefore does well with asymmetrical necklines with sharp angles.
Accessories Can Trick the Eyes
Accessories are amazingly effective for drawing attention away from areas you'd like to conceal. Jewel-toned scarves, chunky earrings, or striking shoes are just a few examples of accessories you can use to accomplish this really well. Women with Apple figures can use pretty much any accessory to do this, as long as it is not placed near the mid-section where eyes will be drawn in. If a belt is chosen to cinch the waist in, be sure it doesn't contain too much bling.
Choice of Shoe
Shoes can actually visually affect the overall appearance of a figure. Because the Apple figure is a little too broad in the middle, you wouldn't want to add more "roundness" to it in any way; even below knee level. Round-toed shoes really don't do this figure type any justice. Choose instead a pointed toe to lengthen and slim the leg. If you are short, choose a higher heel, preferably 3-1/2 to 4 inches. Tall women with Apple figures can wear a short heel if they'd rather, but should select a pointed toe as well.
Finding flattering clothing for the Apple figure shouldn't be an effort in futility. If you follow the rules celebrity stylists use, you may actually enjoy shopping again! Be sure to check out my Pinterest page, Bliss & Bling: Styling the Round (Apple) Figure for more visual representations of clothing suitable for your unique figure.