Boho, Boho: it’s off to work I go, LOOKING FABULOUS

Boho: Best Dresses for Apple Shaped Women

What is “Boho”?

Boho is short for “Bohemian chic”, a fashion style drawing inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the Hippie movement, and actual Bohemian gypsies.

It peaked in modern times in the mid-2000s. Celebrities like Sienna Miller, the Olsen Twins, and Lindsey Lohan were the poster children of the Boho chic look.

What we’re left with now is a style of dress that’s whimsical, flowing, and makes a statement.Best of all, apples look AWESOME in Boho, making them among the most flattering dresses for apple shapes.

There are hundreds of thousands of beautiful regular and plus size boho dresses and styles, and we’re gonna look at what makes them so ideal for apple shapes in detail.

Let’s hone in on what makes Boho dresses so great, and more about the unique history of this movement. My goal is to motivate readers to give Boho a shot, especially if it’s out of your comfort zone.

Because, what’s the fashion thing all about if not trying new stuff and seeing all the extra ways we can look awesome?

What Counts as a Boho Dress?

Boho dresses feature whimsical design, loose-fitting and flowing fabric, and uniquely feminine touches. The best shorthand of all might be “classy hippy”. Yeah, we’ll go with that: classy hippy.

Boho dresses can be maxi dresses, gowns, sun dresses, or even shifts and tunics. The term is really more of a description of the overall feel of the dress, rather than a way to identify a specific cut or a specific fabric. In other words, you know it when you see it.

Why Boho Dresses for Apples?

Apples look good in boho dresses because of the loose and flowing nature of the design. Boho dresses are rarely fitted around the midsection; when they are, it’s with loose elastic gathers, or a loose, or optional, belt.

What this means is that the style is both freeing and forgiving for women with wide waist measurements. The Boho dress doesn’t dictate what your figure should be, or crush your body into in any specific shape – rather, it allows you to exist as you are, in total comfort.

Plus size boho dresses can be particularly liberating, for those of us plus-sized women used to wearing dresses only when compressed and smooshed by shapewear.

With boho dresses, there’s no need. Plus size women can let it all hang out in boho dresses. Enjoy the freedom!

Why Comfort is Important – a Digression

Digital Photo File Name: DP289717.tif
Online Publications Edited By Steven Paneccasio for TOAH 12-18-2015

This last point about comfort ties into what I said about the history of the Boho look – it got its start in the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of famous artists in the mid-1800s, mainly in England, whose art depicted women from history in loose, simplistic flowing gowns, in contrast to the fashion of the day.

The Pre-Raphaelite movement was intensely popular, and some upper-class women began to wear dresses emulating the styles they saw in these new paintings.

I’m so comfortable!

So, you had some rich English ladies who liked art and wore loose flowing gowns in the mid-1800s. Why does this matter?

When you think of mid-1800s fashion, what immediately comes to mind? THE CORSET. THE BUSTLE. Tight, constrictive garments that made women sick and crippled their ability to move freely.

In rejecting contemporary fashion in favor of loose, flowing, comfortable gowns, the Pre-Raphaelite art and fashion movement was the true beginning of modern feminism. 

But corsets and bustles are pretty, right? I mean, all these women are wandering around today in waist trainers and they say it’s safe and it looks so amaaaazing and feminine and Kim Kardashian–

I’m gonna cut you short here. Stop it. Corsets are bad. Read this article, the actual title is: “Here’s How Corsets Deformed The Skeletons Of Victorian Women“.

Being a Well-Dressed Apple isn’t just a Fashion Statement, it’s an Act of Feminism.

Boho dresses were one of the first acts of feminism through fashion, where a small but powerful group of women said enough is enough, “I’m not going to injure myself in order to conform to how you say society says I should look, and I prefer comfort”.

More importantly, what they said was something we apples need to hear: “I can be attractive and comfortable at the same time.

This is relevant for apples who may have endured being told that we were “wrong”. Not that the CLOTHES we were given to wear were wrong, but that we, our bodies, were wrong.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have a big hefty middle finger for anyone who tries to tell me that these days.

If your oppression starts in your closet, before you even step out the door, imagine how that colors the rest of your day.

If you feel like sh*t in your clothes, which are the first-level “container” we put ourselves in each day, that influences our experience in all our other “containers” and environments: home, school, work, shared public spaces.

Oppression is a loaded big word, and I fully acknowledge it’s nothing like what women faced in the past.

We are very lucky these days that we don’t have to deform our ribcages or have ribs removed or give up any hopes of breathing deeply or participating in sports in order to be dressed in a way that society says is acceptable. It is a different world now than the world of corsets and bustles survived by our great-grandmothers.

But there are still messages, everywhere really, for all women really, that if your figure isn’t a certain way (let’s take Sir Mix-a-lot’s 34-24-36, for example), that you are somehow culpable, that this is your fault.

I have observed that apples get more of these negative messages than any other body shape, and this is probably because we look the least like the hourglass shape that our society holds in the highest esteem.

So, apple sisters, we need to rock out with our middle fingers out to the world when we hear that sh*t.

Because we have better things to do than enable shapist or sizeist bigotry, or ever accept comments about being too much in the middle, or not “curvy” in the right places, or, because of how we look, somehow undeserving of good clothes.

Boho dresses are one way to exist in comfort and look sexy and feminine, without having to squeeze into something that doesn’t work for us or feel good on us. And they have a cool history!

The oppressive fashion norms today are not corsets and bustles, but rather jeans that slice into our bellies, dresses that might fit one place but no others, or just those damn go-to nasty old sweatpants or scrubs that hide us and render us fashion-invisible.

Apples: we don’t need to be invisible. Wear a boho dress and enjoy it.

Pssst – All the stock images in this post are links to the dresses, please click if you like anything! And check out my pinterest for even more Boho chic looks for apple shapes – I’ve got a ton of suggestions.

*NEW*  – check out this awesome online store for more Boho ideas, for missy and plus sized both!

Here I am, practicing what I preach in my FAVORITE Boho dress!

Thoughts on Boho dresses, history of fashion, feminism, or what things you find oppressive or freeing as an apple shaped woman?

I’m excited to hear your feedback and look forward to continuing the conversation.



12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love Boho dresses! It is the freedom and their colours what make them a fashion statement.
    And I agree with you, women should wear what they feel comfortable and happy into, independently of what the fashion industry dictates.
    Do not get me wrong, from time to time I like to wear a fashionable item too, but only if I feel comfortable on it!
    Go Boho!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Isn’t it nice to be comfortable? The great thing about Boho dresses is that they’re usually both comfortable AND fashionable, why not have the best of both worlds? 🙂

  2. Great post on Boho dresses!
    I personally like wearing trousers most of the time except the summer. At that time I wear shorts or dresses (some Boho).
    I agree with you that we can look good and feel comfortable and confident in wearing Boho dresses.

  3. Love this article as it speaks to so many women who would never otherwise admit to being apples! I love boho fashion and really enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

  4. Hi Penelope, great article. I have to agree that flowy non restrictive styles do look better than something too clingy. I think this could work well for the pear shapes as well. I have a hard time finding ready-to-wear clothes that fit comfortable and often have to make adjustments myself at home. I’ll be sure to check our your Pinterest.


    1. Hi Angie, thanks for the great feedback. Yes, pear shapes also look good in flowy, non-restrictive clothes – but they also have the option of wearing tighter ones if they want (you lucky pears!). Have fun on Pinterest, I’m ADDICTED to it.

  5. I did not know that Boho was actually a really old trend! I thought it was really recent. I am definitely letting my mom know about this style. She is a plus-sized apple and thinks loose clothing makes her look pregnant and fat. But you have a lot of examples that are actually beautiful. Thank you very much fir the post!

    1. Hi Adriana, thanks for chiming in! Glad you learned something from this post, and definitely pass it onto your mom – we apples need all the good tips we can find!

  6. I absolutely adore Boho dresses. I think they are a great fashion choice no matter one’s body shape. Love inspiring women who may feel pressure by the media. Everyone is beautiful and should celebrate themselves.

    1. Glad you’re in the fan club with us 🙂 I would agree, I think they tend to flatter every shape but they do extra favors for us apple shapes!

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