Body Types Part Two – Apples and Column Shapes by Jo Bayley

In last week’s Fashion Elixir we discussed four body shapes women generally fall within.

This week and next we will discover fashion do’s and don’ts for those who are either a delicious Apple or a statuesque Column shape.

With great deliberation I have chosen these two body types together.

Next week we will concentrate on the hourglass and the pear because they also cross over into each other.

So lets get underway!


Those of us who aren’t this shape may think “why do they need help?”.

Columns like Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman, are usually tall and athletic looking with long legs.

We may all be a little jealous of those pins, but what this body type lacks is definition of a waistline.

It is all about creating a waist.

This body shape doesn’t have much difference between the bust, hips and waist ratio, we need to provide an optical illusion to give a softer form.

If you are a column with your height in your legs and a shorter body, you may like to balance this out with a structured blazer.

Make sure the length ends just where the wrist fall when your arms are by your sides.

This will draw the eye down and create a longer torso, in a good way.

Another great look is the 3/4 length coat with a loose belt.

With your height you won’t get swamped and the belt provides a curvier look.

If you already have broad shoulders be careful of shoulder pads.

You don’t want to look like a super hero!

A full skirt with a fabulous belt at the waist will give fullness to the hips, giving an hourglass illusion.

A dress or jacket with a peplum works. A-line skirts are excellent too.

Pocket detailing on pants, like True Religion jeans are perfect to create shape.

Tops with round necks are best as V necks can add unwanted length.

Ruching, panels and, if ruffles are in for the season, feel free to indulge.

All these provide an illusion of shape.

Feminine, floaty fabrics add shape and softness to what is sometimes a more boyish figure.

Columns can do layering extremely well and bias cut dresses are fabulous for creating curves.

Most runway looks are designed for a column shape.

So if this is you, don’t be afraid to experiment a little.


The apples of the worlds usually have a full bust, waist and back leading to slim legs.

Two things are crucial to an apple shape, colour placement and underwear.

Firstly, underwear is THE most important investment.

This is a rule for everyone, but for an apple it is critical. It will slim and define your silhouette.

Secondly all over large prints aren’t great, either is all one colour.

We can create illusion of shapes by colour placement.

Think of those fab colour block dresses that are the perfect trompe l’oeil, instantly hourglass and 5 kgs lighter!

How fabulous!

The things an apple needs to play up are those fantastic legs and bust.

Shorter skirts are your best friend, as are leggings.

Skirts with fluted hemlines are ideal.

They draw the eye away from the tummy area and highlight slim calves and ankles.

If you are going to wear pants go for a side fastening option and a flat front.

Keep away from bulky fabrics and waistbands as they only add unwanted inches to the tummy area.

It may sound odd, but gathering or ruched middles for t-shirts are superb.

Confusing the eye into not knowing what is fabric and what is body, is the best trick.

Empire line dresses create balance and definition.

Definition around the neckline or from the hips down will draw the eye to an apples best assets. 3/4 sleeves showing lovely wrists are heavenly.

Combining plain and print, or plain and texture, breaks up and re-shapes this body type.

A coat in a contrasting colour worn open is an excellent choice over an outfit.

The straight duster style is best.

Just be careful where the hemline falls.

If you are on the shorter side, go for a style that finishes above the knee, taller ladies can go a little longer.

Just a note that I will add to next week too, the wrap dress is everyones best friend!

If you find a good one, buy two. Universally flattering, it is worth every cent.

Join me next week as we discover Hourglasses and Pears!

Ciao xxx

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