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A-line and empire dresses work well with apple shaped bodies. They hide all of your flaws and still manage to show off the good curves! This style narrows at the top and flares toward the bottom, which is why it is flattering for apple figures. Like an empire dress, it disguises your tummy and slims your overall silhouette. Choose fabrics that have a little stretch so it is forgiving to your size. Constricting fabrics might fit, but in a way that shows off your body in an unflattering light. Cotton is the best fabric for plus-sizes because it falls along the body's contours with being restrictive, so when choosing dresses, this should be your first choice in fabric.
A-line has never worked for me, but empire works fine. Soft cottons maybe, but stiff cottons no. Soft dressing is my friend.
I find that empire dresses make apple shapes look pregnant.
I have an apple shape and agree an A-line dress is generally flattering. However, I don't think the empire style is very flattering to an apple shape. If your apple shape includes a big bust, you end up looking kind of tentish. I much prefer a low waisted dress if I can get ahold of one. It skims over the waist and stomach while drawing the eye to comparatively slender hips. It makes the bust and hips look balanced as well.
I feel the same way empire dresses make apple shapes look pregnant.