Business Casual Apple on a Budget

Hello Again~

I did say that Stylish Apples is taking requests! For Amy, today we’re gonna explore a couple business casual looks for apple shaped women.

Difficulty level? We are going to take two expensive but classy apple-friendly outfits for the “business casual” look, and reinvent these same outfits on a budget. Sounds fun, right?

Option #1

Mustard magic” by Birdsnest is a flattering outfit for an apple shape, including a tunic shirt, pencil skirt (the shirt is long enough to cover belly), stylish heels in same color neighborhood as the skirt, and some cute accessories that pop.

Original Prices:
Tunic: $89.95
Skirt: $69.95
Silver Bangle: $129
Silver Earrings: $69
Heels: $119.95
Total: $557.85

Let’s find budget alternatives for this pricey, but adorable, outfit. As usual, I’m going to pick several alternatives for each piece of clothing, in both Missi and Plus sizes.


Included here are two Missi and two Plus options, and two retain the “bell sleeves” look in the example:

Pencil Skirt

I’m also including Flare skirt choices, in both Missi and Plus – each is ok and flattering for apples. Most apples will need to wear shirts long enough to cover the belly with all of these choices:

Heels, Wedges, Flats:

All four of these choices are by the maker Sofft, who has the rare distinction of making high heels that are comfortable enough for my big ass feet to wear and walk around in!

The first two conform more to the style in the outfit example, while the last two are more appropriate for apple shaped women.

Apples can wear wedges and anything that draws attention DOWN to our great legs and feete (so the cork-patterned flats are a great option)


With these bell sleeves, we want to end the visual line of our arms with a bang(le)…so let’s use a bracelent stack. The earrings are pretty easy to replicate and compliment the bracelets.

The Damage?

The most expensive choices for all pieces of this outfit is $219.31. The least expensive choices for all pieces of this outfit totals $111.87.  I’d say that’s a winner!

Option 2:

Ok, we have Apple-friendly 101 here. Wrap shirt, wide-leg trousers, striking earrings, heels and a cute bag.

Shirt: $99.95
Trousers: $89.95
Heels: $119.95
Leather shoulder bag: $159.95
Earrings: $49.00
Total: $518.80

Let’s get to work, and start with the faux-wrap shirt. The original shirt has a unique pattern, which is tough to duplicate. However, the style is easy to find, and that’s the most important thing for us. Plus, solid colors look great and have more versatility for other outfits in your closet.

And now, the pants – first two for Missi, second two for Plus. These will have a very versatile and useful presence in your wardrobe.

Earrings – pick what you like! The second pair is pretty, don’t you think?

Shoes (again, by Sofft, because they fit so comfortably):

Purse (bonus – option 2 is Vegan leather!) – much more affordable and, dare I say, cuter than the example.

The Damage?

The most expensive choices for all pieces of this outfit is $266.88. The least expensive choices for all pieces of this outfit totals $128.91. That’s also a winner!

As always, please reach out with any questions, comments or ideas about this post. Or how you’ve made the business casual look work for you!


16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Those Sofft shoes look amazing! I’m on my feet all day and tend to destroy shoes with my own sheer clumsiness, do you think they would survive that kind of treatment?
    Thanks for some great tips!

    1. Sofft shoes are AWESOME. I literally feel at ease in my sofft heels, which is NOT true for my other heels, to say the least. Anyway I don’t know why they haven’t cornered every shoe market yet. You should give it a shot – you can always send them back if they end up feeling wrong on your feet.

  2. Thank you! These are PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT!!! And how did you know about my big ass feet? Is that an apple-shape standard?

    My husband is going to be SO MAD that I found this site. I’m going to order one of those wrap shirts! Too cute!

    Quick question–Are there any fabrics in particular that I should steer away from (I mean, you ARE tailoring your posts to my needs, so I might as well ask, right?)

    1. I’ve seen a few apples with dainty little feet, actually! But I think most of us have bigger ones, which is probably kinder from a physics perspective at least. The Sofft shoes are literally the only heels I can wear without discomfort.

      Fabrics – generally speaking, avoid thin, clingy stuff. Many “jersey” fabrics are too thin unless it’s a “double” layer. Wrap shirts and dresses made from thin material can pass if they have enough rouching (rouching is the nice way of saying the “wrinkle” look that is created by gathered fabric). But if I’m unsure, I will wear a cami underneath (or even casual shapewear) for more smoothing.

      Happy shopping!

  3. You are so informative, I truly appreciate reading the helpful information you placed on your website, I will be mentioning it to others too!

  4. Hi Penelope,

    Thanks for the great information. I’m a fan of the Tunic and these are reasonably priced. And the heels by Sofft look so comfy, I’ll just have to try them out. Thanks again 🙂

  5. Greetings Penelope,

    What an amazing job in sharing the different styles while providing various price options. I was really liking “Mustard Magic” but then I saw “Forever Love”. Nice!!!

    I was an apple shape for many years, so this would really have come in handy. I really like how creatively you shared this information, it’s definitely needed.

    All the best in spreading the love to the all the apples around the world, Penelope!

    1. Hi Veronica, thank you so much for the positive comment and for liking the site! Yup, being an apple isn’t always so peachy (wink)…but there are ways to make it work! take good care, -P

  6. A very informative website and entertaining at the same time. It’s packed with so much knowledge for ‘apple shaped’ women. All the links I clicked were on point and had me reading for several minutes before I went onto the next one. It’s one of those sites that cuts out the embarrassment of having to try out outfits in high street shops. Had me hooked.

    1. Hi Rose, thank you so much for the positive feedback, really appreciate it! You really hit the nail on the head – this site is an effort to save time and agony IRL shopping, and direct apples in the direction of the more flattering cuts and styles of clothes

  7. This is excellent.. I’m currently looking for clothes to buy my wife and she is an apple, lol.. Did I say that right? Anyways, I’ve been searching the net and man clothing is real expensive but I really like how you seperate the two.. I can surely save money with one of these options. Thanks for doing what you do. I will be telling my wife of your website too.

    1. Hi Jonathan – thanks for the great comment! I’m glad you can appreciate the budget options, and I agree with you completely that clothes are overpriced most of the time 🙂 I hope your wife gets some good info out of my site, thanks for passing it along!

  8. Hello
    Great article on casual apple on a budget, I liked how you showed people how they can save money and still look very attractive with quality outfits.

    You must be a budget shopper yourself, how about some tips for men to save who are on a budget in a article in the future?

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