Tips For The Apple Shape

Measurements determine which body shape we have. If your body is most abundant in the area of your waistline, you likely have an apple or an oval shape. I have an inverted triangle shape with a secondary apple shape. My shoulders and bust are the broadest part of my body, but I tend to gain weight first and most in the tummy area.

Women often take an apple shape as their waistlines thicken after menopause. I certainly have! Some tips to flatter the apple shape include wearing V-necks or long straight lines such as those created by a long open jacket, duster, or vest. The designs of a garment can also give the effect of a smaller waistline.

I always use some other tips to avoid shapeless tops worn with pants or skirts with gathers or pleats. When I wear an open jacket, I almost always wear a belt and tuck in at least the front part of a top. That gives the illusion of a waistline while covering most of it. A long shapeless top over a pair of baggy pants may seem like the perfect solution, but it makes me look larger all over, not to mention sloppy. Adding a low-slung hip belt to a long loose top makes all the difference. It gives the illusion that I have a slim flat tummy, which I do not.

The jacket I am wearing in this post is by IC Collection. The lighter panels of print at the sides and the black body with red trim work together to make my waistline appear more slender. The zipper detail on the back gives a fun, modern touch, which also elongates. My jacket was a gift from

The shoes are by Sam Edelman via Nordstrom. The sheer black pantyhose are from White House|Black Market.

  1. Your Hair is looking very good in the last 2 posts. Have you done something different? New Product or new cut? Please share

  2. You are speaking my language today!! I totally turned apple shape after menopause and have struggled with how to dress since! Thank you for posting this. I love the jacket and I love, love, love the purse!

  3. I know current trends leave pantyhose completely out. I am of an age to not care much for this fashion…if you can call it that. It still makes no sense to me to go bare-legged in cold weather. I notice you are wearing sheer black stockings. Can you provide some guidelines for older women and pantyhose?

  4. Oh my gosh, I had no idea a body could morph into two body types. Your posting explains everything that’s happened to my body over the years since menapause. I used to be strictly hourglass in that my bust and hips were the same measurements and my waist was at least 10 inches smaller. Now my bust and hips are still the same, but my waist area is certainly not ten inches smaller, and I now have a lower tummy issue I didn’t have before. Thanks for sharing this information. I now have a much better idea how to dress what is apparently my new shape. May the blessings of Thanksgiving be with you and yours all year.

  5. We have the same body shape, I guess that’s one reason I like your style so much! I’ve noticed you recommend the Long Tankee and the Soma Vanishing back bras. Which do you prefer or is it a matter of what you are wearing over it? I usually wear the Soma minimizer but feel the need for a change.
    Thank you!

    1. I enjoy wearing the Long Tankee from most of all. That is the one I will be buying from now on because it gives me the smoothest line of any. I still have and wear the Soma bras when I am wearing something thicker but I will be replacing them with the Tankees as they wear out.

  6. I’m enjoying and learning from this blog, thank you! it’s inspiring, but difficult to know where to begin …. I’d like to throw out my closet and start again … have you ever done a capsule wardrobe for those starting out on this path? ann lee s

    1. Go through your closet and pull out the things you never wear. Think of having three colors in basic shapes. (Light, dark, and bright neutrals.) They should be colors that you know look best on you. (For example, my colors are black, white and gray.) Arrange what remains by color category and length. We don’t need a lot of clothes. We need basics that can be mixed, matched and worn together or alone. Prints, patterns, and ruffles are memorable and limiting. If you can’t wear it with at least three other things in your closet, it might be a show pony rather than a workhorse. Make sure you have enough workhorses to get you through anything your lifestyle requires. I will do a blog post about this later. Thank you for the question.

  7. Hi, Susan! Thank you for your consistency in posting! You bring a smile to each day. I am a young(ish) reader (just turned 43) and I appreciate you sharing how you bring meaning, purpose, beauty, and joy to your life. I value your example in continuing to let your style evolve as you notice how different things suit you at different ages. Thank you for sharing the journey with us!

  8. Dear Susan,

    Thank you for showing me how to dress my new shape. Until four years ago, I was 5’6″ with a slim waist. Without knowing I had osteoporosis, I lifted something too heavy and compressed three vertebrae resulting in horrific pain and the loss of three inches in height. My current shape is more of an apple (due to the thickening of my waist with age and the added bulk from the loss of inches). I gave away my entire wardrobe and needed to start from scratch. You have been a life-saver.

    Warm regards,
    Carol Spears

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.