The last time it was my turn for a Wardrobe Wednesday post, I promised to highlight each one of the four female body shapes – pear, apple, hourglass and rectangle — and discuss what to look for when shopping, as well as what to stay away from. Because, lets face it: We’d all like to accentuate our best features and subtly hide the ones we’re not so fond of — especially when it comes to picking clothes for a portrait session.
I've already featured the pear shape, which you can find here. Next up? Apples!
Typically apple-shaped women have:
- A fuller face and neck
- Broader shoulders
- Fuller breasts
- A fuller, undefined waist
- Narrow hips
- A flat rear end
- Shapley legs
It’s all about balance
The goal is to lengthen and elongate your torso in effort to slim the appearance of your shoulders and waist. Ideally, you want to draw attention away from the tummy area and draw attention to your best attributes which include your breasts and legs. Focusing on your assets and emphasizing your positives will make you look slimmer.
There are certainly going to be lots of options at almost every women’s clothing store, but when it comes to apple shapes, simple is best. I searched a variety of retailers to compile the following suggestions just to give you a visual idea of what to look for when shopping:
For apple-shaped women, start with the right bra. Your breasts are one of your best features, so make sure you have the support you need. You have lots of options when it comes to tops. Look for V necklines, which will pull the eye away from your shoulders. Wrap-around tops are also an excellent choice. Look for shirts that have a cinched waist. And this year's big belt trend is perfect for you! Belts slim down your tummy and give the illusion of a smaller waist. Concentrate on choosing tops with darker solid colors. If you want a little pattern, find something that is darker around the midsection with a pattern at the top, bringing the eye up toward your chest and face and diverting attention from your middle.
You want to choose jeans that have a flat front and a rise that is lower than your natural waist. (Basically opt for low-rise jeans without pleats or crazy front pockets.) On the flip side, look for jeans that have back pockets with flaps. This will help give some curve to a flatter rear. Jeans with subtle fading will add shape to your thighs. Boot-cut and flared legs will give you a longer, leaner look. When in doubt, apples look best in simple designs, rather than overly excessive details.
Skirts and dresses
Play up those nice legs with shorter skirts! About 1 to 5 inches above the knee is perfect. Skirts should be fitted at the waist and flare toward the hem line. This will balance out your top and bottom by giving you more of an hourglass figure. Dresses should have gathers under the breast to direct all eyes to your waist. Textures like chiffon and silk are great options for your skirts. Here's where you can get a little crazy with bolder colors and patterns -- just keep them on your lower half.
You can wear a chunkier heel. This will actually help balance you upper body. Wedges are a perfect shoe for you. If you are shorter, pointy-toed shoes will give the appearance of a longer leaner look. Avoid stiletto heels becaues they will make you look out of proportion. Sleek shoes with a thicker heel will work better visually.
What to avoid
Stay away from tops that are too baggy and have puffy or full sleeves. They will only make your shoulders and arms look bigger. Avoid bold patterns above your waist. A wild print will make you look big and wide on top, which is the opposite of what you should strive for. never wear bottoms that are too tight because this will also make you look bigger on top. Never wear pants that have a pleated front and avoid high-waisted pants entirely. Stay away from jeans with very dark washes as it will only make your hips appear smaller. And, finally, stay away from tapered legs. You'll only make your top half appear bigger than it is. Oh, and not like this is an issue, but NO SHOULDER PADS. One word: Linebacker.