Shabby Apple Boutique: Fit to Flatter

A Dress for Every Body

By, Emily Bell McCormick and Athelia CK Woolley
Founders, “Shabby Apple”

Dresses are in this season and are a perfect one-piece outfit for women that need more simplicity in their lives.
Every woman deserves to feel feminine and beautiful in a dress, whether or not she looks like a runway model. And in the fashion world today, most dresses are designed for runway-model body-types. The founders of Shabby Apple disagreed with this practice and designed a line of dresses that flatter every figure. Dresses are designed for women who are pear-shaped, apple-shaped, curvy, short-legged and who have every other figure variation. They’re unique and stylish, just as every woman can be.

To display how different women can look their best with what they have, we have five models of different body types and we’ll demonstrate how to accentuate the good and deemphasize the not so good. Each model had a picture taken of her ‘before’ wearing a basic black dress, a dress often considered “safe” for everyone to wear. We then dressed each model in a dress the specifically fits their body type and accentuates their femininity.


Kate is our example of someone who has a beautifully curvy figure. As an hourglass, you should show off curves without ‘giving away too much information’ by dressing in extremely tight, clingy fabrics. We put Kate in a light cotton-poplin dress. The fitted skirt is straight enough to show off the curves on her hips but has just enough A-line to provide ease through her thighs. To accentuate her small waist, she pairs the dress with a thick red belt. Finally, the detailed ruffles at the top paired with a plain skirt on the bottom give balance to her curvy lower bottom, draw attention up to her bust line and waist.


Rochelle has beautiful legs and arms and often tries to deemphasize her middle section, making her our example of an ‘apple figure’. The ‘basic black’ dress in the before shot emphasizes the wrong areas for her, bringing attention to her middle section and not her arms and legs. We chose a chocolate brown tie-waist dress. The lace detail at the top comes into a slimming V, emphasizing her shoulders and narrowing the waist. The empire waist
cinches just below her bust line (typically the smallest part of the mid-section) giving the illusion of a small waist. Also just below the bust line, the skirt flares into an A-line, covering her troublesome middle-section. The length falls to her knees and displays her beautiful lower-legs. The cap sleeve covers any trouble-some upper arms but are still short enough to show off the thin arms that often accompany apple figures. Overall, the short puff sleeves broaden her shoulders, the V-neck and empire waist slim her mid-section, and the A-line skirt creates an hourglass-like figure.


Katie has a beautifully thin waist and womanly hips. Because she is only slightly pear-shaped, she looks okay in the basic black dress of the before shot. But, when dressing to flatter her figure, she looks even better. This dress is a wrap design made of stretch cotton poplin. The wrap allows her to tie the dress tightly at her waist to perfectly emphasize her thin middle. Right below the waist, the dress flares out in a circle skirt that deemphasizes her lower half. The puff sleeves and collar accentuate the neckline, again drawing attention away from her lower half while making her waist look even smaller.


Pheobe is thin and willowy, without womanly curves. To bring out her curves, she wears an apple-green, jersey knit dress. The color and detail of the dress draw attention to her. The ruching on the hips gives her the illusion of having rounder hips and the gathering at the bust puts emphasis on this area, again giving her the appearance of having more curves. Finally, the ruching on the sleeves and the bow at the collar add feminine touches to the outfit, achieving the goal of making the pencil figure more feminine.

Kristen, a runner, is an example a woman with an athletic body. Square shoulders and muscular legs. When wearing the basic black, she can appear unfeminine. We dressed her in an Asian-inspired dress. The dress comes in at the waist and is cinched with a tie, giving Kristen a more curvy appearance. The shape of the skirt hugs her hips and flares at the knee, adding feminine curves. Flared sleeves deemphasize square shoulders. Finally, the patterned fabrics are great to hide figure flaws.


Shabby Apple is an online dress company that offers figure-flattering, moderately-priced designer dresses and accessories. teaches women how to accessorize in different ways to make the same dress appropriate for different occasions. Shabby Apple launches three new lines of dresses a year; in March, August and November. Shabby Apple is women-owned and women-operated and donates a portion of its proceeds to aid education for women in Africa.

Join us for our Spring Opening Gala on April 26. The party begins at 7:00 with a fashion show at 8:30. Email us at for more information.

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