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Best Brands for Apple Shapes – Women Over 40, 50, 60

women over 40 & 50 fashion

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Apple-shaped women are basically shafted by fashion designers, apparel styles, and clothing brands. I know this to be true because I'm an apple. So, here are some fashion tips for women who still look pregnant 20 years after the baby is born.

What should you wear to disguise an apple body?

Read about best brands for apple shaped women -

Plus Size Clothing for Apple Shaped Women

Well, females with this natural body shape are the orphans of the design world.

So, clothing tips for women like us (with a body type that's similar to an apple on two toothpicks) come from all directions: Wear a sheath, an A-line dress, a fitted jacket, a straight-cut blouse, no complicated patterns, and all the other horrid, blatantly wrong ideas that can be found in various articles. (Granted, these suggestions must work for some.)

Anyway, there are many very bad ideas floating around the internet to try to help marshmallow-tummied girls.

So, I'm here to tell you about the...

Best Clothing Brands for Apple-Shaped Women

Most clothing styles are designed for stick-thin models or pear-shaped women.

However, a few well-loved brands for tops and dresses can be relied upon when nothing else seems to fit. Okay, there are other brands that are good, but these are brands that have been good to me over the years.

Sure, I could go online, find a list of clothing manufacturers, and tell you what the retailers want you to hear, but you can find that info on other websites.

So, if you're having a hard time finding something to wear that looks good on your unique shape, and you live in the US, start with these:

For dresses and events:

  • Donna Morgan: Look for cute dresses with twist-waists that fall a little above your natural waistline (not all of them do).
  • Karen Kane: Look for twisty wrap dresses and tops in stretchy fabrics. Kane also has good cascading waterfal (drapey) designs.
  • Maggy London: Maggy London has been good for me in the past, but some seasons are better than others for clothing that fits an apple shape. Look for ruched dresses and waterfall dresses.

For fun boho clothing:

  • Joe Browns: I like Joe Browns' 60s boho vibe. Look for rocker-chic tunics and dresses that look like they came out of Haight Ashbury back in the day. Joe Browns' is a UK company that makes regular and plus sizes.
  • Johnny Was: If you're a former hippie (or a current hippie), you'll like Johnny Was' worldly, jet-setter styles. Look for long tunic tops with groovy florals and cool crocheting, beautiful silk maxi skirts, and fabulous wrap coats. Wait for sales because these beauties aren't cheap. Sizes run large... even the plus sizes.

For Simple Elegance:

  • Rachel Pally: Look for versatile maxi dresses in simple styles. In my opinion, Pally's printed designs look better in real life than they do online, but I like her plain clothing as much as her prints. (I have both.) Her line uses great modal fabric with wonderful drape. I also like her tie tops. All of her stuff is good for day as well as for dress-up. Pally sells both regular and plus sizes.
  • Eileen Fisher: Look for chic, casual tops and dresses that are so unstructured and stretchy they'll fit anyone. These styles are good for work and weekends, but some designs can be dressed up with accessories. If you're a plus size, look for longer tops.

Those are my go-to picks, but we're all different even though we're all apple shapes. Finding the best brand for your bod is just a matter of trial and error.

So, until you find the best brands for your special body, you should explore the internet. Play around online... and look for jersey tops and dresses that have an apple-friendly design. (I will give you tips about what to look for, below.)

I know you can go cheaper than the brands I've listed, because I find cute inexpensive tops all the time. Sometimes they work. Sometimes I ship them back.

Unfortunately, many cute dresses, slacks, jeans, and tops will seem adorable on you... until you try to breathe. I guess they think breathing is overrated.


Fashion Tips for Apple-Shaped Women

Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful:

  • Apples Are Top Heavy: Apple-shaped women are top heavy.  A deep V-neck or U-neck style makes broad shoulders and big chests look thinner.  A touch of cleavage is almost always good, as a diversionary tactic, if you are a woman over 40 or 50.
  • Color Block Trend: Color blocking, done right, will draw people's eyes up to your face or down to your shapely legs.
  • Prints Are Fine: Stretch jersey prints are fabulous for your apple body, and the right print will give good camouflage and confuse your critics.
  • Leggings: This seems counterintuitive, but a long, tunic top over stretchy leggings is a good look for many apple chicks.  I like to make sure my top is long enough to cover all the family jewels, and then I balance everything with some cute knee-high boots.  You can go all rock-n-roll with this look, as long as most of the items you're wearing are made out of great fabric.
  • Wrap Dresses: Wrap dresses, in stretch jersey, are wonderful if they have enough fabric so they will not fall open. Make sure your wrap dresses have flared skirts, for balance, or people will only notice your tummy.


Any designer who decides to make a wrap dress with enough fabric to wrap an apple stomach and then flare out, in a cool, trendy DVF-type of print, will make zillions. If the dress comes in both larger-missy and plus sizes, has no collar, and hits below the knee, the designer will be canonized. (Article continues)

Continue to page 2 of clothing for women with apple shapes.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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32 Comments

  1. jennifer

    I found your article after searching "good brands apple shape". Usually blogs have recycled info, but yours was genuinely useful. It was good to hear reminders about short skirts (and tipping over) and thin heels. I have found that when my weight is down I can get away with much more than when I gain as it all goes to the waist. Great tip about the sheer blouse over the sleeveless - I always noticed short sleeves didnt flatter but didnt connect it to my apple shape! I totally agree the person who designs to our shape will be handsomely rewarded!!! I've daydreamed about inventing a jeans label called "Apple" - I can just imagine how those jeans would fit! So far my best jean brands are Guess and Theory, and J Crew are passable....

    Reply
  2. Tina

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for the tips and I HOPE you invent some jeans for apple shapes. I have a terrible time with jeans.

    Cheers,

    Tina Boomerina

    Reply
    • sandra

      hI
      LOVE ALL YOUR INFORMATION, pLEASE KEEP IT COMING!!!!

      For apple shapes looking for a GREAT fit and reasonable price. Soft surroundings stretch waist boot cut in the denium only. Look scary in picture, nothing like in person. My husband and myself were amazed!!!
      TRUST ME!!
      tips for some reason the denium is the only one that fits well. Also one size smaller than usual
      good luck!! please send me good hints as well:)

      Reply
  3. Hilary

    The article made me laugh with joy someone understands,,,,,, trying to buy a great outfit for an upcoming family wedding in August when I am 59 , hate hot weather and above all my shape, is proving very difficult. So with your advice taken on board I will as they say venture once more unto the breach dear friends and tackle the shops again. Hopefully I will find something that I like will look stylish and suit this young of heart but out of shape grandma.

    Reply
    • Tina

      Hilary,

      I think you will have a great time at the wedding.

      If you're young at heart, you've got it covered. My daughter taught me a trick about group photos. Don't know if you'll be in the official pics, but if you stand slightly behind the others and put your leg forward, maybe put an arm around one of the other people (I think... can't remember the details she told me), then the picture will be super flattering to those of us who used to be skinny but find ourselves buying plus sizes these days.

      My daughter is about a size 4 or 6, but she lives in Beverly Hills... so she's considered obese. haha.

      Have a groovy time,
      Tina

      Reply
  4. TerriKW

    I so long for the St. Genius of the Perfect Plus Size Knit Wrap Dress to appear on the fashion scene! To bad Diane Von Furstenberg didn't gain a few pounds over the years so she could appreciate the pain we feel! Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
    • Tina

      Terri,

      You are so right. Maybe we could drug DVF and force feed her some Twinkies and Ding Dongs for several months. Then we'll all be able to wear her glorious wrap dresses in those gorgeous fabrics.

      Tina Boomerina

      Reply
      • Tina

        Just kidding... If you're a friend of Diane's don't drug her, just tell her that McDonald's cheeseburgers are the key to longevity. And, give her a second helping of pasta when she's at your beach house.

        T

        Reply
        • TerriKW

          Oh, honey, I'm sure DVF did her share of Twinkies & Ding Dongs in her day! Studio 54 was wrap dress heaven...or maybe it was more like Purgatory. I'm just saying....

          Thx for the email comment. Not a blogger, tho. That would require a level of commitment on my part that flew out the window a few years back. My idea of hard work these days is eating bon-bons while watching old Zsa Zsa Gabor movies! C'est la vie!!

          Reply
  5. Bella

    What you wear underneath is important also. Finding it is ideal to the outside look. If you have panty lines and bra lines, then you look like a bad apple.
    I've been an apple for a long time and would love to find a pair of jeans that fit my waist without my muffin pouring out and fit my ass without it looking like I have a saggy diaper on. Thin in the legs because loose legs make me look like a tree stump (Only 5'3"). Oh and yes boot cut or flair. Am I asking too much????

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Bella,

      The only "jeans" I like are jeggings. Everything else is too saggy in my butt. I with I could help. I'm out of town for a while, but I'll try to help you more if I get a chance. If I don't get back to you, please leave another comment.

      However, at this point, the best solution I have to offer is jeggings... they fit like leggings but look like jeans. I have read that some women wear maternity jeans, but on me they would be saggy in the butt. I prefer to wear boots over my jeans and to wear a tunic or a thigh-length jacket. As for bootcut jeans... I will try to ask around, but I don't know if there is anything. If you need bootcut, you might need a tailor. I'm sorry... I hope some designer is reading this. Maybe they will make something for people like you and me. Oh... have you tried men's jeans. I used to wear men's jeans when I was younger. They fit better.

      Reply
  6. Helen Hayes

    Where can the outfit with the animal print, leather jacket and grey pants be purchased.

    Reply
  7. Helen Hayes

    where can the leopard top, leather jacket, and grey pants be purchased that were on your site?

    Reply
  8. Tina-Boomerina

    Helen,

    I think you are talking about the items from the same photo with the leopard top. If you scroll over the photos, a caption will pop up. All of those items are from Fashion World. If you're asking about the leggings in the bottom photo, they are from Simply Be.

    Cheers,
    Tina Boomerina

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Helen, I have tried twice to email you, but it doesn't go through. I will try again later. Also, I am adding you to my newsletter because this article is from last year and you might want more current info. If you don't like the newsletter, just unsubscribe. Sorry I can't get the email to work.
      Tina

      Reply
  9. TIna

    Hi,
    Well I have the added bad luck of being an apple and not having any boobs...so what do you suggest for me?

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Dear Boobless,

      I'm on the road and I've left my thinking cap back at home. My first thought is "cookies".... those little inserts that push your boobs up to give you fake cleavage. My flat friend uses them. I'm not a freaking fashion consultant... but I am an artist, so I'm fairly good at visualizing. A lot of this visualizing stuff depends on how tall you are and how round you are and if you have good hair and.... blah blah blah. Another guess would be to wear a floaty tunic dress (I'm a big fan of Johnny Was when I can find their stuff on sale) and I think you should wear it with a big chunky boho necklace that brings a lot of color around your face and your "cleavage" area. You can try a long, long, long necklace... but in your case, I would look for something around 20 inches or so. Something that sits on your chest.

      I hope you know what I mean. I think that floaty silk (or lightweight rayon, etc, extraordinary fabrics) are worth the extra $ because your clothes move with you and it's hard to pin down exactly where the dress/top stops and the body starts.

      When I get home in a few days, I will try to email you. Right now I'm on a sh*tty little computer and I can hardly type.

      Tina Boomerina

      Reply
  10. Edith Olah

    HELP!!!! Iam not 60 any more but going on 70 and I still like to dress stylish. Have had a Mastectomy and Lymph nodes removed so have ugly fat arms that need covering. ...I am a size 12. Don't have good legs and therefore I don't think jeggings would work.
    Have a long navy dress with Cleopatra collar and a high waist-it is sleeveless-WHAT do I wear with it -thought I would wear it to n upcoming wedding.
    I desperately need you,
    Edith Olah

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Edith,

      I think the Cleopatra collar will draw attention up to your pretty face and that's the most important thing. I'm not sure how you could cover your arms unless you have a tailor who could add sleeves... maybe made of lace or some kind of sheer fabric. I'll email you and if you're feeling a bit wild, you can send a photo.

      But I MUST TELL YOU that I am not a fashion person. I am an artist. ... but I wear clothes, so I probably know as much as most fashion writers.

      I'm sure your arms are not as bad as you think... good God, you're only a size 12, kiddo. But, if you can't cover your arms you could go to one of those spray-on tan places and fake a tan. I've never done it, but my daughter has. Or you could use self tanner but try it WAAAAY ahead of time to make sure you don't turn orange.

      I think a shawl might look weird with a Cleopatra collar, but I'm not sure. Some wedding sites sell lacey boleros. But.... still not sure.

      Edith, I'm sure your legs are freaking fine, too. Do they take you where you want to go? If so, don't worry about your legs. No one else will. If the dress is dark, wear dark stockings.... or you could have a little fun and wear lace tights like the chicks in France.

      A high waist sounds great. And, Edith... don't worry so much. Just smile and have fun. I think the dress sounds adorable and you can always do what I do when nothing else works. WEAR a hat. I might even be able to tell you what shape of hat if I saw a pic of you and/or the dress. Trust me, wearing a hat is the best way on earth to make friends... but then again I have really crappy, baby fine hair. You might not need a hat as much as I do.
      Tina

      Reply
  11. Edith Olah

    Sorry - I DO know how to spell - just not proofread...lol was in such a hurry to hear from you....lol

    Reply
  12. Edith Olah

    I LOVE your articles - just need to find where to buy the clothes/shoes that don't break the budget on Social Security....regards, Edith Olah

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Edith, I remember when you could buy a dress for $5... in the 60's. Oy. The best thing is to buy less and to buy what you really like. Also, play around with stuff at the thrift store or the consignment store. What the heck.

      T

      Reply
  13. Elizabeth Rogers

    Hello there ! Just found your website and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the info and comments. I live in a small town in the Shuswap area of BC and everyone's idea of dressing up is ; cleaner jeans and cute sweatshirts ; fancier sweats. Well, I am originally a City person and am trying to adjust. Hah.Still haven't found a ladies' wear shop to meet the needs of 65+ that does " crisp" Floaty is good in the summer but NOT in polyester...it gets too hot here. So to the point. #1 Cannot say enough good things about Shapeez underpinnings..no lumps, no bumps and doesn't ride up ifn you tuck into your panties/pantyhose. Put it on and you forget you're wearing anything, even in the heat. #2. Sewing. A lot of us Zoomers were taught to sew in school and some of us continued over the years. It seems to be an avenue to proceed with, especially if you like a 'long" line on a short round body AND you get to pick the fabric. Suggestion...choose easy to make patterns and dress 'em up with all the loverly jewellery you've collected over the years. It does you no good in a box or in a safety deposit box. A dear friend of mine finally gave in, got all the 'good' stuff out of the safety deposit box and now keeps it in her husband's gun vault, so no more trips to the bank at the last minute !
    Enough from me...so enjoy the humour in your writing and look forward to your great advice.
    Alpaca...still am giggling about that one.Oh...question..short waisted, long legged, no butt,broad shoulders and big rib cage, 5'4" and big tummy. Any suggestions ?
    Many thanks
    Elizabeth

    Reply
  14. Therry Neilsen-Steinhardt

    Tina, you're brilliant but you are sadly unaware of the apples BEST FRIEND. I refer to the LOng tunics and elliptical tops from the wonderful New Hampshire website JJILL.COM. Most of the clothes in my closet are from J. Jill. The company makes heavenly tops, terrific sweaters, lovely dresses and wonderful outerwear. I also love thier shoes and their jewelry. Am I enthusiastic enough? A lot of older women dress there, and their colors are perfectly blissful. I think you can't go wrong, but it's also great to get your tips too. Check them out and let me know how you like them. Their Wearever line looks very professional and all the pants have elastic waists. Need I say more?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  15. gelean shelby

    I keep looking for the purple and black color blocked top shown on page 1 cannot find the manufacturer. can you help?

    Reply
  16. Tina-Boomerina

    Gelean,

    It's from Fifty Plus UK, but I don't think it's still available. This article is from over a year ago. Sorry.

    I'll look around and double check.

    Tina

    Reply

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