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.
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.
What Counts as a Boho Dress?
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
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.
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.
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!
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.