A Dress for an Apple to PICK Apples in
September 22, 2022 11:59 AM   Subscribe

For whatever reason, I am suddenly flirting with the idea to get a cute flannel dress to wear in fall with leggings and boots (you know, you've seen the kind). The only problem: thanks to some extensive abdominal surgery years ago AND thanks to middle age, I've got a belly and have a hard time finding something that makes me not look pregnant. Please link me to a SPECIFIC dress? (preferred details inside)

First things first: yes, I have read SO many sites that give advice for "how to dress an apple shape". The problem is that they tell me the kind of dresses to look for, but they do not link me TO those dresses, and I am sick of weeding through the chaff trying to find the specific qualities they suggest I look for (also, I have not found any plaid flannel wrap dresses despite much searching). Such sites also usually assume I have huge boobs to go with the belly, and I don't. So please, PLEASE at least link me to a store with a section catering to apple shapes that has more than two options, OR IDEALLY link me to "here is a dress".

Looking for:

* at least knee length, preferably midi
* plaid flannel preferred, but solid color also works
* more than just a couple colors, please
* At least elbow length sleeves, preferably long sleeves
* Would like to avoid crew necks; scoop or v-necks preferred
* A little blousy on top is actually good
* I need something that DOES have a waist. I have tried using a belt on a shift dress, to "create" a waist, but my belly sticks out too much and the belt rides up on it and it defeats the purpose.
* Strongly prefer ACTUAL cotton flannel, not a tartan-print polyester. (cotton BLEND is okay though.)

Bonus if I can layer it under a cuddly chunky cardigan, because I have a ton of those.
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Does this dress, a buttoned plaid cotton dress, fit all your criteria?
posted by Night_owl at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2022

Response by poster: That WOULD indeed fit the criteria! Literally my only hesitancy is that I wish I had a couple other colors to choose from, but that's the exact shape and style.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

LL Bean
Duluth Trading
Lands End

Most seem to be button front. Don't know if that's a dealbreaker.
posted by XtineHutch at 1:01 PM on September 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kate Kasin ("thick" fabric option) w waist tie; A-line at Woman Within (also at Amazon), reviews warn it runs small; LandsEnd; Mordenmiss Women’s Plaid Midi. Maybe consider knee-length 'tunic' shirts with shaping/self-belts.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:03 PM on September 22, 2022

More Lands End - think about patchwork too!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:05 PM on September 22, 2022

Eddie Bauer has a cotton blend flannel shirt dress in 3 colors.
posted by castlebravo at 1:06 PM on September 22, 2022

I'm an apple and have lots of luck with wrap dresses and shirt dresses, and I also go for scoop and v-necks, so I think I get your criteria. One key thing for shirt dresses is that you want the belt to tie at the smallest part of your waist, which might be right under your bust. If that's too tight on your stomach, what happens if you size up in the dress? That might also help create the blousy feel.

Here's a flannel shirt dress from Lands End.

A lot of these dresses are pretty short, like knee length. So my other suggestion is to get a wrap or shirt dress and then wear a flannel shirt over it. I've seen a lot of videos lately on how to sort of crop a button up shirt by tying it a few different ways, and that link is just one example of many approaches. I was surprised at how well this worked when I did it with a fit and flare dress and a chambray button up.

Here's a midi shirt dress from Target with some nice fall colors.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:09 PM on September 22, 2022

Response by poster: Patchwork might work, but that dress is above the knee so it wouldn't work. The Toad & Co has the same above-the-knee problem.

The Macy's link is mostly above-the-knee options as well, and one is even a CHILD'S dress....

I really would like BELOW the knee, please?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:11 PM on September 22, 2022

Best answer: (sorry, the Toad and Co one has several reviews saying it hits at the knee depending on your height, but point taken)

Longer fit and flare option, maybe not enough of a waist though
posted by the primroses were over at 1:17 PM on September 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

If empire waist is OK, maybe this one from Natural Life. Only one color that's plaid though.
I don't know anything about this company, but I've been thinking of getting this dress myself.
posted by FencingGal at 1:23 PM on September 22, 2022

It's pricey but Kiel James Patrick has two long flannel dresses and a ton of cute shorter ones in case you're willing to pair leggings with them.
posted by jabes at 1:26 PM on September 22, 2022

Response by poster: Last threadsit comment - it was the Kiel James Patrick dresses that spurred this urge, but the only problem is that none of their dresses come in my size! (If anyone can find me something like this in size 16, that is my green plaid whale.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:35 PM on September 22, 2022

Here's another long one from Uniqlo with a tie in the back.
posted by jabes at 1:37 PM on September 22, 2022

Best answer: Eshakti has a flannel shirt dress. No color choices but you can have it made to measure and whatever length you want it.

Actually, maybe don't order that one. It is on clearance and I might need it and I don't want it to run out.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:59 PM on September 22, 2022

Response by poster: So far I am leaning to the Woman Within...I had the brainstorm that a long vest over that, with a belt over both, might be quite nice.

(Although, sorry Jacquilynne, I may also look into the Eshakti...)

I need to take my exact measurements to figure out my size in both cases and then will decide. Thank you!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:12 AM on September 23, 2022

Sadly, we are both too late. By the time I went back to order it, it had already disappeared from the in-stock listings.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:56 AM on September 23, 2022

I have a tummy because I had a giant baby and my skin and belly got wrecked. I got this dress which is neither flannel or plaid, but is reasonably flattering and so comfortable, and nice with tights and boots. I'd like it better shorter, personally. Go to a fabric store, get some flannel, make a big scarf or shawl. The brand has several styles and they all appeal.
posted by theora55 at 7:14 AM on September 23, 2022

I'm on Shein right now looking for coats, and Shein has a ton of plaid flannel coats that look to actually be more like plaid flannel shirt dresses. It might be worth looking in outerwear on Shein and on your favourite sites as well as in dresses.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:17 AM on September 23, 2022

Response by poster: Sorry, one big re-direct that I have tried things from "Mordenmiss" brand in the past and they make me look like a potato. So please no Mordenmiss stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 AM on September 23, 2022

Best answer: Apologies if you have done this already, but I was curious for myself and checked the size chart for the Kiel James Patrick dress. From my read their sizing is slightly off from many of the other brands here, and it’s possible you might comfortably fit their 14. The size chart for a J. Crew 16 gives a 44” bust and a 36” natural waist, while the size chart for a KJP 14 gives a 44” bust and a 39” waist.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 8:41 AM on September 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

If it's not too late, I was just looking at the Garnet Hill catalog and saw this, which ticks off a lot of your boxes except for wide color selection.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:00 PM on September 24, 2022

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