How to Dress an Apple

Okay, so we aren’t REALLY going to dress apples! I am not Amelia Bedelia.

But some of us tend to be a little, um, thick in the middle, and it takes some skill to camouflage this discrepancy in proportion. After all, a flattering fit is all about creating the proper proportion.

When I gain weight, it goes right to my middle. I’ve learned over the years some tips and tricks to disguise it, but I’d love to hear your input. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Balance.

To balance out the proportion, add bulk to the bottom and/or top (depending on which is the bigger issue). For instance, a chunkier shoe or a tall boot helps balance out a thicker middle with wider shoulders. Uggs are great for this body type. Also, a boot cut or flare pant leg work just as well.

Not that most models need help in this area, but this outfit works well. The boyfriend cardigan also helps camouflage a thicker middle.

2. Structure.

As much as I love flowy, filmy dresses and tunics, these only exaggerate the problem. Instead, opt for dresses and jackets with structure. This is why I love a sheath dress with a lot of structure at the waist. Thicker fabrics are best. Like this sheath from Kenneth Cole. Gorgeous.

3. Wide waistbands.

Pants with a wider waistband tend to hold in some of the extra, um, stuffing, and create a smoother silhouette. I especially like when the button closure is on the side and not right in the middle, like the Sloan Fit flared pant at Banana Republic.

Bonus deal: Use code BRJAN25 for 25% off your order at Banana Republic. You are welcome.

4. Cardigan or wrap sweaters

Cardigans help camouflage a thicker middle (see the photo from #1.) Fortunately right now they are all the rage. I always opt for one when I’m feeling bloated or heavy around the middle, which used to be often.  Now with gluten free, notsomuch anymore!!

I like these too, but the tie at the waist can work for or against you.

It can cinch you in a bit, but I feel that it just draws attention to the fact that I have no waist. What do you think?


I know some people think they need the pleats to have room for the extra stuff, but no no no. They just make more volume where you don’t want any. Go for a nice smooth flat front, and if you feel the need to hide under more volume, wear a stylish cardigan instead.

6. Shapewear.

When in doubt, shapewear is your friend. I have an extensive collection of shapewear, and I’m not too proud to wear them. I reviewed my favorites last year at Chic Critique.

What advice would you add for dressing an apple shaped figure?