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The Apple Shape Wardrobe: 7 Best Sleeveless Options for Summer

I don’t wear a lot of sleeveless, but when the temperatures are crazy high, it’s good to have some options. Here are the most flattering sleeveless looks you’ll find for an apple shape.

1. Low neckline halters

The red and white polka dot dress I’m wearing above is an example of a low neckline halter. They are always flattering on apple shapes. When choosing halter tops, make sure the top isn’t cropped and the length of the top hits about mid hip. Also a straight hemline is more flattering than a round hemline because it accentuates the wideness of the hip area. If you are choosing a halter dress, typically right above the knee lengths are the most flattering. Here are some good examples of great low neckline halter tops:

2. Thick straps instead of spaghetti straps (unless it’s a low neckline halter)

Since apple shapes tend to have wider shoulders and more narrow hips, adding bulk to the straps has a slenderizing affect because the vertical line it creates is more visible than a spaghetti strap. This tie strap top below with its deep neckline, billowy (not tight) body, and thick tie straps would be super flattering:

3. Sleeveless options with a covered, high back and a low, deep neckline

Many apple shapes like myself not only carry weight in the upper front torso, but also in the back area. I will never have that gazelle neck. Sometimes I feel like I have a hump right in the upper back where my neck ends and my back begins. For this reason, I always feel more confident with tops that don’t dip low in the back. I prefer a low neckline and a high back line if that makes sense. This sleeveless top is an example of that:

This is another example:

4. Sleeveless peplum tops that cinch the waist

If you add to the triple combo in #3- high back, low neckline, thick straps plus peplum bottom– you’ve got a winner! Just make sure the top cinches right at the waist before the peplum area, otherwise it’s going to look unflattering and boxy. Here’s a bad example where it doesn’t cinch at the waist. Here are good examples:

5. Racer back tops

If you can find a racer back top that has thick sleeves and isn’t tight around the middle, this kind of top is a great sleeveless option. The actual racer back feature covers a thick back hump. Here’s an example.

Here are some other flattering racer back options:

6. Sleeveless options with smocking in the waist area

Smocking right in the waist area is super waist cinching. Here’s an example of below the waist smocking that is not flattering. If it’s right in the waist area and then is not a cropped top, it automatically flares out and covers a tummy, creating a peplum effect right below the waist. This top is a good example:

You also don’t want a billowing out effect either above the waist like this, or a billowing effect above and below the waist like this.

These are other good options:

7. Empire waist sleeveless tops

Empire waist has the affect of lifting up the waist (great for anyone who has a short or high waist like me) and keeping the stomach area from being too fitted. Here are some good options:

If you’re in the market for some warm weather sleeveless looks, remember to look for options that have either a halter, racer back, empire waist, smocking in the waist, or peplum, and always look for thicker straps, a high back, and deep neckline. I hope these tips help!

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  • 12 pieces = 35 outfits
  • tips for choosing each piece specific to flattering your shape
  • picture of author wearing each outfit so you can visualize the items on an apple shape

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