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Cocktail Dresses for Apple Shape: A Styling Guide for 2023

Being an apple shape means that your midsection is fuller, with most of your weight concentrated around your waist. Remember, no matter your body shape, you are beautiful just the way you are and there are tons of options to emphasize your beauty.

In this guide, we’re here to celebrate your unique beauty and provide practical tips on choosing the perfect cocktail dress that flatters your apple shape. By understanding your body shape and learning how to accentuate your best features, you can dress in a way that enhances your natural beauty.

We’ll explore various dress styles, cuts, and accessories that can help create a balanced and flattering look for your apple-shaped figure. Let’s get started!

Silhouette Options

A-Line Dresses

A-line cocktail dresses are a fantastic choice for apple-shaped bodies. The classic A-line cocktail dress skims over the abdomen and flares out gently, creating a balanced look.

If you’re hoping to create more contour on your form, opt for dresses that cinch at the waist and flow away from the body. This helps create the illusion of a more defined waistline and can accentuate your other curves as well.

Empire Waist Dresses

Empire waist dresses have a high waistline just below the bust. Look for empire waist dresses with flowing skirts to accentuate your curves while providing a comfortable fit.

Avoid overly tight empire waist dresses if you’re self-conscious about your waist, as they may emphasize your midsection.

Wrap Dresses

Wrap dresses are a game-changer for apple-shaped bodies. They wrap around the body and drape in a way that highlights the bust and hips, making you look curvier. As they offer an adjustable fit, you can tie them as loose or tight as you prefer.

Neckline and Sleeve Options

A silhouette that makes you feel confident is the most important aspect of your dress, but neckline and sleeve options can also make or break a look. Here are some of our favorite options for the apple shape.


The downward-pointing shape of the v-neck draws the eye vertically, creating the illusion of a longer torso. This focus on the upper body helps shift attention away from the abdomen and emphasize your curves.

Off-the-Shoulder or Scoop Necklines

Off-the-shoulder or scoop necklines are excellent options for apple-shaped bodies because they enhance your collarbone and shoulders. This is especially so if you choose a color that stands out against your skin.

Flared Sleeves

Loose, flared sleeves help create a balanced and proportionate look by adding volume to the upper body. Unlike fitted sleeves that fail to make a noticeable impact, fuller sleeves create a visual statement and draw the eye toward arms and shoulders.

Fabric Choices

When it comes to fabric choices for cocktail dresses, opt for materials that drape and flow gracefully over your curves. Lightweight and flowy fabrics like chiffon, silk, and satin are excellent options for apple-shaped bodies. These fabrics help create a smooth and flattering silhouette by skimming over the midsection.

Avoid stiff and clingy fabrics, as they can be unflattering to your body shape.

Color and Print Choices

Color and print go hand in hand. Here are some of our favorite tips for playing with color to accentuate your beauty.

Mixing Light and Dark

Since apple-shaped bodies tend to have thinner legs, opting for light or pastel-colored skirts or jumpsuit bottoms can help draw attention to this area. Lighter shades such as soft pink, baby blue, and mint green are great options.

Pair them with darker-colored tops to complement the lighter bottoms and create a contrast. Colors like burgundy, emerald green, black, or Persian blue help visually minimize the midsection while highlighting your upper body.

Neutral Tones

Neutral tones can bring a different charm to your apple body shape, providing definition and versatility to your outfits.

Lighter neutrals like taupe, beige, and soft gray work exceptionally well with flowy fabrics. These colors create an elegant and sophisticated look while maintaining a light and airy feel.

On the other hand, darker neutrals like navy blue, dark olive, and chocolate brown add depth and richness to your outfit. With a dark neutral dress, you can go bold with your makeup and accessories and still have it look balanced.

Vertical Stripes

Vertical stripes or patterns can be a great choice for apple-shaped bodies. These patterns create an elongating effect by drawing the eye up and down rather than across the body. Stripes that are wider or placed closer together look the best.


Last but not least, it’s time to accessorize!


Wear high heels to help elongate your legs and create a more balanced appearance. Avoid thin heels and flat footwear, as they won’t add much to your look.


Opt for structured options with short handles like a tote and medium-length handle bags. Avoid cross-body bags as they tend to be less flattering.


Choose an elegant pair of drop earrings to draw focus to your neck. You can also wear cuffs and bangles to highlight your wrists and add a stylish accent.


Wearing a medium-width belt above the belly can help define your waistline and create a more proportionate look. Opt for neutral-colored belts as they blend seamlessly with a variety of dress colors.


Wear scarves over your shoulders without tying a knot to create a graceful and flowing effect. Choose a light material, such as linen or thin wool. This will add dimension to your cocktail dress.

Final Thoughts

For those with an apple-shaped body, finding the perfect cocktail dress is about embracing your unique beauty and accentuating your best features. A-line, empire waist, and wrap dresses are excellent choices to create a balanced and flattering look.

Opt for v-neck, off-the-shoulder, or scoop necklines and flared sleeves to draw attention to the upper body. Wear lightweight and flowy materials like chiffon, silk, and satin that gracefully drape over your curves.

To complete your look, pay attention to accessories. We recommend wearing high heels, structured bags with small handles, drop earrings, medium-width belts, light scarf over your shoulders.

Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in whatever you wear. You are beautiful just the way you are, and your unique features should be celebrated. Embrace your curves, accentuate your best assets, and shine with confidence.