My style tips for real women like me (short, overweight, apple shaped)

try on outfits with this virtual stylist

http://www.joyofclothes.com/style-me/

24 of the best online shopping sources for plus-size clothing

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/12/plus-size-clothing-online-shopping_n_3492535.html

great news for plus-size ladies

Plus-Size Workout Clothes: Brands That Are Leading The Way http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/04/plus-size-workout-clothes_n_11263842.html

The First-Ever Place For Plus-Size Shoppers To Buy Consignment http://www.refinery29.com/2016/07/118014/resell-xl-new-plus-size-online-consignment

How plus-size women are constructing a new normal http://www.thefader.com/2016/03/30/fat-shaming-is-dead

No longer ignored, retailers catering to curvy women http://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/30/plus-size-apparel-brings-opportunity-to-retail.html

As Plus-Size Fashion Gains Popularity, Retailers Play Catch-Up http://www.npr.org/2015/07/09/421144403/plus-size-gains-popularity-retailers-play-catch-up

4 Ways The Fashion Industry Is Embracing The ‘Plus-Size’ Movement http://elitedaily.com/women/fashion-plus-size-movement/1182723/


Do you cringe when you look at yourself in photos? Do you have bumps and curves in all the wrong places? Is clothes shopping a depressing chore for you? Do people ask "when are expecting"?! Then, my friend, you and I have a similar dilemma.

It is an uphill battle trying to find appealing outfits for someone 5ft 3in, overweight, apple shaped and 50-something. My main source of advice has been the Internet. The tips I usually find are useful but when the examples are designer outfits for celebrities I don't have much to go with.

A petite size is a standard clothing size designed to fit women of shorter height, typically 160 cm (5 ft 3 in) or less

Apple-shaped women are fuller around the middle. If they gain weight, it shows up around their belly and upper body. They’re usually larger-breasted and their upper arms and shoulders are broader, too. Their legs tend to be thin and their butts tend to be flat.

No wonder I've been frustrated with my appearance. I've come to understand that my short and round body type is the most challenging to clothe -- a fine line between frumpy and cutesy. I'm sure there are many of you who feel the same way.

After years of trial and error, I found a few nice pieces that I rely on, they never fail to make me feel confident. And I figured out why they work. So I hope my thoughts in this hub will help you out.


my choice for everyday shoes

mary janes with concave heel
mary janes with concave heel
comfortable lightweight sandals with adjustable straps
comfortable lightweight sandals with adjustable straps
comfortable suede loafers
comfortable suede loafers
leather multi strap slide sandal with fully padded contoured foot bed
leather multi strap slide sandal with fully padded contoured foot bed

the low down

When I look up styling tips typically I see these recommendations:

The main goal is to create the illusion of a trim waistline. Choose tailored tops, dresses and sweaters. They trim the silhouette, as opposed to boxy tops, which exaggerate a wider waistline. A plunging neckline lengthens the neck and minimizes the chest and torso. Tops and dresses featuring ruching or shirring at the middle or side define a large waistline. Wear straight wide and flare leg pants, which balance the bottom of the body.

These tips are useful:

  • Wear properly fitted bras that support the bust
  • Dress in one color / hue / shade to give a uniform look
  • Wear clothes that fit properly (don't sag or bind)
  • Select garments with vertical lines
  • Choose V- or U-shaped necklines
  • Avoid bulky fabrics
  • Avoid sheer or clingy fabrics
  • Avoid styles with extra bulk: frills, pleats or ruching
  • Avoid bright colors and large patterns
  • Avoid belts altogether
  • Choose pants without cuffs, bulky pockets, or pleats

But these I find are not practical for me:

  • Avoid oversized handbags > I have a lot of stuff to lug around
  • Wear high heels > having bad feet rules out high heels for me for everyday wear

The empire waist top is often recommended for the apple shaped body. The idea is to emphasize the bust and therefore diminish the stomach region but it doesn't work for me. In fact the cinching or gathering below the bust draws attention to my rounded mid-section. It only works if you have a flat tummy, or if you can flatten your torso with a body shaper.

I recommend jersey and knit fabrics with a little spandex for tops, they provide maximum comfort and moveability. For apple shaped ladies, dark colors with no pattern is best. And it is true that hip-length tops are more flattering than waist-length tops (think of how waist-length tops slide upward when you lift your arms up, hmmm?)

Another tip -- "pants should be cut lower than the waistline" -- doesn't work for me either. I get a muffin top when I wear pants cut lower than my waistline. Loose fitting pants that sits at the waist and hang straight to the floor is better.

When shopping online, stay away from clothes that include the following phrase in the description: "emphasize your feminine curves" -- because you want to de-emphasize your curves. Descriptions that include "easy-care stretch fabric", "comfortable and effortlessly stylish" are good.

Wear shoes that are comfortable with good support. Sensible shoes don't have to mean ugly shoes, there is lots to choose from these days. But comfy is key because feeling good is essential to looking good.

The best news is you can wear dazzling necklaces to emphasize your neckline. Medium sized pieces that lie flat work best for you. Don't go too chunky -- this will make you look top heavy.

Lavish A-line gown with rosette motif and sequins
Lavish A-line gown with rosette motif and sequins
Elegant evening dress. Beads and sequins form an intricate pattern. Slim-fitting silhouette drops to an ankle-grazing hem.
Elegant evening dress. Beads and sequins form an intricate pattern. Slim-fitting silhouette drops to an ankle-grazing hem.
A cool and modern black and white jumpsuit.  Empire-waist cut features a contrasting inset for the ankle-sweeping skirt.
A cool and modern black and white jumpsuit. Empire-waist cut features a contrasting inset for the ankle-sweeping skirt.
White embroidered lace with black matte jersey.  This gown has a long, graceful silhouette.
White embroidered lace with black matte jersey. This gown has a long, graceful silhouette.
easy fit long-sleeved blouse with lace overlay
easy fit long-sleeved blouse with lace overlay
tunic in a polyester-elastane stretch fabric, with bead-encrusted V-neckline for an elegant look, front pleats give it a draped silhouette that won't cling to your curves
tunic in a polyester-elastane stretch fabric, with bead-encrusted V-neckline for an elegant look, front pleats give it a draped silhouette that won't cling to your curves
color blocked tunic
color blocked tunic
sexy sleeveless top
sexy sleeveless top
v-neck, tunic length blouse -- loosely fitted with a generous cut for comfort
v-neck, tunic length blouse -- loosely fitted with a generous cut for comfort
open jersey cardigan
open jersey cardigan
relaxed hoodie
relaxed hoodie
cotton/polyester fleece relaxed sweatpants with flat elastic waistband -- no drawstring, pockets or cuffs
cotton/polyester fleece relaxed sweatpants with flat elastic waistband -- no drawstring, pockets or cuffs
comfy, stretchy wide legged denim pants:  all around elastic waist, drawstring, slash pockets, stitched cuffed hem
comfy, stretchy wide legged denim pants: all around elastic waist, drawstring, slash pockets, stitched cuffed hem
classic fit lightweight cotton canvas pants with elastic waist
classic fit lightweight cotton canvas pants with elastic waist
casual stretch cotton pull-on Bermuda shorts with knit waistband
casual stretch cotton pull-on Bermuda shorts with knit waistband
extremely comfy relaxed fit cotton-poly velour pants can be dressed up or down -- the thin elastic waistband won't fold over at waistline
extremely comfy relaxed fit cotton-poly velour pants can be dressed up or down -- the thin elastic waistband won't fold over at waistline
handkerchief tankini top
handkerchief tankini top
nylon-spandex one piece swimdress with tummy control lining
nylon-spandex one piece swimdress with tummy control lining
relaxed fit shorts: 98% Cotton/ 2% Spandex, elasticized waist with drawstring
relaxed fit shorts: 98% Cotton/ 2% Spandex, elasticized waist with drawstring
split V-neck henley, soft lightweight burnout jersey in all-over stripes with drop-shoulder, rounded hi-lo hem
split V-neck henley, soft lightweight burnout jersey in all-over stripes with drop-shoulder, rounded hi-lo hem
jersey knit top with handkerchief hem, three-quarter sleeves and pleated details
jersey knit top with handkerchief hem, three-quarter sleeves and pleated details
basic relaxed t-shirt with split neck and curved hem
basic relaxed t-shirt with split neck and curved hem
cami with front and back pleats -- and lace trim along the neckline, armholes and bottom hem
cami with front and back pleats -- and lace trim along the neckline, armholes and bottom hem
cami with spaghetti straps: crochet detailing at yoke, eyelet details along front, swingy A-line silhouette, soft medium-weight linen blend
cami with spaghetti straps: crochet detailing at yoke, eyelet details along front, swingy A-line silhouette, soft medium-weight linen blend
breezy chiffon skirt cut with a fluttery handkerchief hem
breezy chiffon skirt cut with a fluttery handkerchief hem
sharkbite skirt
sharkbite skirt
classic straight-leg cut pants tailored for a smooth, clean fit in seasonless crepe, elastic insets discreetly hidden at the side waist , zip fly with hook-and-bar closure, back welt pockets
classic straight-leg cut pants tailored for a smooth, clean fit in seasonless crepe, elastic insets discreetly hidden at the side waist , zip fly with hook-and-bar closure, back welt pockets
casual yet elegant pull-on straight-leg pants  with  elastic waistband, no pockets (70% viscose rayon, 24% nylon, 6% spandex)
casual yet elegant pull-on straight-leg pants with elastic waistband, no pockets (70% viscose rayon, 24% nylon, 6% spandex)
basic relaxed jersey swing dress with V-neckline
basic relaxed jersey swing dress with V-neckline
this trendy caged mesh dress works perfectly for apple shapes -- oversized fit  falls generously over the body, the bold pattern gives structure
this trendy caged mesh dress works perfectly for apple shapes -- oversized fit falls generously over the body, the bold pattern gives structure
crinkle-chiffon maxi dress with split neckline and elasticized waist
crinkle-chiffon maxi dress with split neckline and elasticized waist
relaxed jersey sleeveless swing dress, scoop neckline with beaded embellishment, cutout back with an embellished beaded trim and a dipped reverse hem
relaxed jersey sleeveless swing dress, scoop neckline with beaded embellishment, cutout back with an embellished beaded trim and a dipped reverse hem
sleeveless chiffon swing dress with stone embellishment on chest
sleeveless chiffon swing dress with stone embellishment on chest
elegant draped chiffon high/low dress
elegant draped chiffon high/low dress
sleeveless dress with A-line silhouette, colorblocking  and high-low hem -- the stylish hemline  emphasizes the legs
sleeveless dress with A-line silhouette, colorblocking and high-low hem -- the stylish hemline emphasizes the legs
sophisticated 3 piece pantsuit with glitter details and mesh sleeves
sophisticated 3 piece pantsuit with glitter details and mesh sleeves
lace trim top in a lightweight rayon knit with floral lace overlay,  scalloped hem, gathered shoulders and deep scoop neck
lace trim top in a lightweight rayon knit with floral lace overlay, scalloped hem, gathered shoulders and deep scoop neck
soft knit top with sheer chiffon at the yoke, short sleeves and hem
soft knit top with sheer chiffon at the yoke, short sleeves and hem
short sleeved viscose/spandex top with ombre effect
short sleeved viscose/spandex top with ombre effect
hip length blazer with long lapels, mock pockets at front, and vent at back
hip length blazer with long lapels, mock pockets at front, and vent at back
relaxed fit open front velour cardigan
relaxed fit open front velour cardigan
hooded jacket
hooded jacket
fleece peacoat
fleece peacoat
classic long wool coat
classic long wool coat
wool blend A-line walker coat
wool blend A-line walker coat
A-line water-resistant poly color-block jacket with button-tab sleeve cuffs and detachable hood
A-line water-resistant poly color-block jacket with button-tab sleeve cuffs and detachable hood
comfy, classy low wedge slip on pumps
comfy, classy low wedge slip on pumps
block heel ankle boots with  zip back fastening can be  dressed up or down
block heel ankle boots with zip back fastening can be dressed up or down
low suede block heel ankle boots with cutout design and zipper back -- style and comfort at its best
low suede block heel ankle boots with cutout design and zipper back -- style and comfort at its best
cage wedge sandal
cage wedge sandal
stylish platform sandal with chunky heel and  slingback strap,  molded and shock-absorbing sole make it comfortable, mix of leather and elastic laddered straps, 3 inch heel, 1.5 inch platform
stylish platform sandal with chunky heel and slingback strap, molded and shock-absorbing sole make it comfortable, mix of leather and elastic laddered straps, 3 inch heel, 1.5 inch platform
slingback sandal with peep toe and stacked heel is shock-absorbent, flexible and slip-resistant, adjustable strap with buckle closure, leather upper/textile lining/rubber sole, 2.5 inch heel
slingback sandal with peep toe and stacked heel is shock-absorbent, flexible and slip-resistant, adjustable strap with buckle closure, leather upper/textile lining/rubber sole, 2.5 inch heel
suede open toe bootie with 2 inch heel
suede open toe bootie with 2 inch heel
perforated leather open toe booties, 2.5 inch heel
perforated leather open toe booties, 2.5 inch heel
black suede wedge pumps. 1.5 inch heel
black suede wedge pumps. 1.5 inch heel

remember

you are in good company

here are a few celebrities you may not realize are apple-shaped

Drew Barrymore looking elegant
Drew Barrymore looking elegant
Sultry Catherine Zeta-Jones
Sultry Catherine Zeta-Jones
A toned Jennifer Hudson
A toned Jennifer Hudson
Yes, sexy Elizabeth Hurley is an apple-shaped beauty
Yes, sexy Elizabeth Hurley is an apple-shaped beauty
Kelly Osbourne has never looked more stylish
Kelly Osbourne has never looked more stylish

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

Denise 3 months ago

Finally, after visiting many "How to dress if your short and apple shaped"

sites- You get it. Thanlk you


Taranwanderer profile image

Taranwanderer 4 months ago

Short, apple-shaped Black women are my absolute weakness. Can't even see any other type of woman when an attractive one of this variety is in the room lol.

https://bellatory.com/fashion-accessories/Dress-to...


Diana Abrahamson profile image

Diana Abrahamson 4 months ago from t Francis Bay

Great ideas for the curves. Everyone can look beautiful if correctly clothed for their height and body shape!


Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 4 months ago

This is excellent - and real. Thanks for looking out for all of us.


Missy 4 months ago

The photos of the tops are skinny girls. It would be helpful to see apple shaped women in the tunics, etc.


Tranquilheart profile image

Tranquilheart 9 months ago from Canada Author

Hi Vicki, you're very welcome. I'm so glad you found my hub helpful. Cheers!


Vicki 9 months ago

Bar none this is the best article on how to dress my apple shape! Thank you!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 23 months ago from South Africa

Thanks for this very useful tips, tranquilheart. I am 5'4", apple-shaped and overweight, compelled to make my own clothes because I just can't manage to find something in the shops that suits my body and my pocket.

I would give a toe and a finger for Elizabeth Hurley's apple-shape!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working