HOW TO DRESS AN OVAL OR APPLE SHAPED BODY - A PLUS SIZE GUIDE - Sisu & Finn

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The oval, or apple, body shape is one of the most common body types for women to have; and the best way to describe it, is round. With any body type, it’s about understanding your assets and so you can understand how to dress in a way which highlights your assets and downplay the areas you aren’t so crazy about. Whether you’re a petite, standard or plus size woman, here are some tips on how you can best dress for your pear shaped curves.

You Have an Oval Body Shape (AKA An Apple) If...

  • You have a large bust, narrow hips, and a full midsection
  • You have a tendency to gain weight in your stomach, back and upper body
  • Your waist is undefined and the widest part of your frame
  • You also have a full, shorter neck and full face
  • Your buttocks are somewhat flat and your legs are slender
  • Your shapely, graceful legs are your best asset

Typical Characteristics Of An Oval Body Shape

  • You carry weight around your mid-section and chest (eg. big bust, protruding tummy);
  • Your rib cage and back appear somewhat wide;
  • You may have wide or/and fleshy shoulders;
  • You probably have fabulous legs and boobs (you may be well endowed);
  • Your waistline is undefined or has little waist definition;
  • Your hips may be narrow (similar to Inverted Triangle, but your midsection is fuller/wider); and,
  • You have slim (er) limbs (specifically arms).

How Do I Dress To Suit My Oval Shape?

The key to dressing for an Oval body type is to de-emphasize your midsection and create a more defined waist. This is achieved by choosing clothing that add curves and fullness to your lower body and tops that taper to a waist. You have amazing legs so feel free to play with skirt lengths, but don’t go too short otherwise you will further a top-heavy look. Please click on the thumbnails below to learn more about how to dress an Oval body type.

Tips For Dressing Your Body

  • A good supportive bra
  • Define your waist
  • Elongate your legs and breasts
  • Play with prints and colours

Waist Trimming Styling Tools

  • Dark coloured wide belts
  • Clothes that skim past over your midsection but nip right below your bust (eg. empire line, long tops, tunic shirts) lift your chest and make your waist look trimmer
  • Add more volume and structure to your hips including prints, full circle skirt and bias cut skirts
  • Shapewear, especially waist cinchers will do the trick in an instant
  • A good push-up bra lifts up your bust

Items To Avoid

  • Big puffa jackets
  • Big shapeless garments that don’t show any waist or don’t use vertical layers
  • Bulky trousers with lots of pockets and zippers at the front
  • High necklines (you can wear lighter tops underneath a layering piece as shown in the top image)
  • Tight clingy T-shirts
  • Avoid wearing everything in one solid colour. Better to mix colour with a texture or to use several layers in different colors to create vertical lines

Tops For An Oval Shaped Body

Look for tops that will taper your upper body while creating a more defined waist:

  • Square or scoop neck button downs which are nipped-in at the waist and flare at the bottom will help create a more defined waist;
  • Belted tops that flare at the hip;
  • Tailored tunic style tops that nip-in at the waist. Tunics with wide or plunging necks and details around the neck are most flattering;
  • Wear wrap tops with wide, deep V-necks and simple sleeves. Tops should wrap at your natural waistline and flare at the hip;
  • Belted safari-type jackets with prominent hip pockets and a wide and deep neckline add curves to your hips; and,
  • Tailored jackets with wide-stance collars, a nipped-in waist and flared bottom. The first button should be below your bust.

Bottoms For An Oval Shaped Body

Look for bottoms which minimise your bottom half. This can be done by choosing:                      

  • Wide-leg jeans or cargo pants with prominent front and back pockets help to balance your tummy and add curves to your lower half
  • Wide-leg, flowing pants are very flattering on your body type. Wide-leg dress pants with prominent back and/or side pockets will add curves to your hips
  • Fuller flowing skirts that gently skim away from your body will help fill out your hips
  • Straight skirts with a flirty flared bottom look good on your figure when paired with a top or jacket that accentuate your hips

Swimsuits For An Oval Shaped Body

Choose swimming costumes which define your waist and add curves to your figure. Look for:

  • Tankinis with straps that sit mid-shoulder. Tops with an hourglass print are particularly flattering. Never wear dark bottoms with a light/printed top
  • Skirted suits with a light colored bust and bottom that flares at the hip are flattering and help create an hourglass effect
  • One piece swimsuit with an hourglass print are an ideal choice for your figure. Choose suits with dark colored sides and a light, bright or printed middle
  • Swimsuits with wrap-style details will help to define your waist



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