Dresses for Apple Body Shape: 4 Stylish Silhouettes That Will Show Off Your Curves

May 13, 2018 by Rebecca Carhart

Figuring out how to dress for your body shape can feel daunting, but trust us once you do it will be a lifesaver. After finding the shapes and silhouettes that work on your body type, you’ll never have to wonder if something looks good or waste a ton of time trying stuff on again. Instead of dropping a ton of cash and buying a whole new wardrobe, opt for rental pieces that will save you time and money as you test out different styles. Renting will also help you avoid the overwhelming anxiety that comes along with shopping in stores.

The first step to dressing for your shape is finding out what body type you have. To figure this out, stand up tall and look straight into a mirror. If you notice that your shoulders are wider than your hips, you have a full bust and a wide torso, then you have an apple body shape, otherwise known as an inverted triangle.

Choosing the right separates for an apple shape can be tricky, but thankfully the easiest way to dress for any body type is with a one-and-done dress. To help you find frocks that work well with a larger bust and tummy, we’re breaking down four different dress silhouettes and offering plenty of style tips along the way. Whether you want to highlight your bust or slim down your shoulders, try one of these super flattering dresses.

1. V-Neck Dresses: Draw Attention To Your Bust

LEFT: DRESS THE POPULATION, CENTER: TANYA TAYLOR, RIGHT: FREE PEOPLE

Luckily for you, dressing for an apple shape is easier than you might have thought. The key is to figure out what body part you would like to draw attention to. If you want to play up your full bust, reach for v-neck pieces. They will highlight your ample bosom while at the same time drawing attention away from your tummy and towards your gorgeous face. If you want to draw the eye to your arms as well, stick with summery sleeveless options.

V-neck dresses also help you avoid looking top heavy and will create a vertical line that will elongate you. The shape looks great in a variety of prints and fabrics, so feel free to experiment with different styles and trends. If you rent a v-neck dress in a wrap silhouette, just make sure to choose an option that wraps right under the bust and not across the waist.

2. A-Line Dresses: Draw The Eyes To Your Legs

LEFT: PAPER CROWN, CENTER: SLATE & WILLOW, RIGHT: MARNI

A-line dresses are another great option for apple shapes as they balance out your larger bust while drawing focus towards your legs. This silhouette works for all lengths so you can rock a mini, midi or knee-length frock. How much skin you want to show is totally up to you! Just be sure to avoid maxis as you want your pins (and killer shoe collection) on full display.

The classic silhouette is completely versatile too. You can layer an a-line under a fitted cardigan at the office and then dress it up with strappy heels and some bling for post work drinks.  While darker colors tend to be more slimming, fun prints look great as well. Bonus points, if you can find a dress with an eye-catching twist like a bright pattern or sheer panel at the very bottom.

3. Cozy Shift: Hide Your Tummy

LEFT: SEE BY CHLOE, CENTER: LILY PULITZER, RIGHT: DRAPER JAMES X ELOQUII

Looking for a sleek yet casual dress that is comfortable and will hide your tummy? Rent a chic and cozy shift dress. Shifts work well on apple shapes as they offer more room and comfort in the mid-section, while at the same time keeping you looking polished and pulled together. Since the silhouette skims the outline of your torso, it keeps your tummy hidden while allowing your arms and legs to really stand out.

The silhouette is great for weekends as it is more laid-back than others and is not restricting. Perfect for those busy days full of errands and brunch. But don’t think shifts are just casual wear. They can easily be dressed up for work when paired with a tailored blazer and pumps. Reach for options that have embellishments or detailing that will draw the eyes towards parts of your body that you want to highlight. Like a bejeweled neckline, ruffled sleeve or fun hemline.

4. Dresses With Voluminous Skirts: Slim Down Your Shoulders

LEFT: JIL JIL STUART, CENTER: CYNTHIA ROWLEY, RIGHT: VERA WANG

Headed to a formal event and looking to make your broad shoulders look slimmer than they actually are? Try a dress with a voluminous skirt. A dress with a sizable bottom will help balance out the your wider upper body and create a more proportional look. Plus nothing says black-tie glam like a ball skirt.

You’ll want to stay away from dresses where the skirt portion starts flaring from the mid-section and instead stick with pieces that flare out at the top of your hips. This will help your waist look smaller, thus creating an hourglass effect. Since the voluminous bottom makes your shoulders appear smaller, you can even rent a strapless or off-the-shoulder silhouette but be sure to invest in a good strapless bra that will keep everything in place.

Just remember, not everyone’s body is exactly the same. We like to consider this guide as a jumping off point to help find the right dress for you. What works for some might not work for others, but you should always have fun trying out new styles.