A headline caught my attention the other day, it read ‘You Should Be Wearing Maternity Clothes Right Now’ – I was intrigued.
The article went on to tell me that even if I’m not pregnant, or have never been pregnant; that if I’ve put on weight I should be wearing maternity clothes.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading! The suggestion that we all go out and invest in maternity clothing when we’ve put on weight is a little ludicrous in my mind.
The sentiment of the article was totally on point – love who you are now – and I am ALL for that…but you need to know that wearing maternity clothing when you’ve put on a few pounds is not going to help you love the way you are now. Maternity wear is designed to hug, highlight and support a tummy, not disguise it.
What IS going to help you feel more confident and beautiful as you are, is to:
THAT is what will make a world of difference to how you look and feel in your clothes, if you feel self conscious about having a tummy.
And if that sounds good to you, but you don't know where to start, you are in the right place.
Over the past 17 years I’ve helped hundreds of women like you, who want to dress to to hide their tummy, to put outfits together that they love wearing and feel confident in.
And I am sharing my wealth of styling tips and knowledge right here, to help you choose the clothes that flatter your shape and disguise the areas you don't want to show, so you feel confident to embrace your figure and finally start to have more fun with your style while feeling great in your own skin.
Short on time?
here are my top 3 ways to disguise a tummy:
Looking for clothes to hide a tummy? Here are my top 3 picks in 2023
This is a PERFECT choice of top to hide a tummy. The peplum hem flares out just below the waist to add definition to your waist, and cover your tummy.
An empire waist is great for highlighting your narrowest point, and skimming over your tummy. This dress works particularly well as the fabric is a flattering light and fluid weight, so it won't add any bulk. And the off-shoulder strap draws the eye up and away from your tummy, to your shoulders.
A ruffle sleeve is a great way to add volume and width to a pear shapes narrow shoulders, which will help to balance them with your wider hips. Your shape will look more balanced and your waist will look more defined!
6 wAYS TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT WHEN YOU HAVE A TUMMY
When every outfit you put on seems to highlight your tummy, getting dressed can be a disappointing experience that knocks your confidence and leaves you wondering why everyone else but you can look good.
But it doesn't have to be that way! The first step to looking and feeling good in your outfits, is to work on your self-confidence and body-confidence, so I'm sharing 6 things you can do to help that:
DRESS TO SHOW off your best bits iNSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON hiding YOUR TUMMY.
You know how it goes every morning - you put something on, head to the mirror, and check out how your tummy looks.
If your tummy looks hidden, great.
If you think the outfit highlights your tummy, you take the outfit off and start again.
But what about the rest of your shape? What does the rest of you look like in the outfit? Because that's what matters most.
Everyone else sees you as a whole person; legs, boobs, face etc… It’s only you who spends her time looking at your tummy, wondering if it’s hidden or not. So what your tummy looks, and ONLY what your tummy looks like, isn't so important.
If you spend all your time focusing on, and dressing for your tummy, you’re not making the most of your assets and the wonderful things that make your shape so unique and beautiful.
You might also be, inadvertently, drawing attention to your tummy 😬
Do you want to know the what the best way is to disguise a belly? It is to focus on emphasizing your best features; the parts of your figure that you like, and to put outfits together that highlight those areas and draw attention away from the area you want to hide.
Do this and you’ll start to find that putting outfits together is easier…and more successful.
gET A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR BODY SHAPE - AND LEARN TO DRESS TO FLATTER IT
If you learn how to dress your shape and identify the clothes that will fit and flatter you most, you'll turn your body shape into your superpower and make clothes work for you (not the other way round)!
If you haven't figured out what shape you have, or what areas you could be showing off or making more of, I have quite a few things that will help you:
Want me do this for you?
Get my Ultimate guide To Dressing To Flatter Your Shape and I will tell you exactly what your shape is, explain what your unique characteristics, assets and proportions are, and will show you exactly which clothes work best for you, so you can confidently shop for clothes that you love wearing.
GET THE FOUNDATIONS RIGHT, BY WEARING GOOD UNDERWEAR
Your undergarments are the foundation of your outfits…and as you know, you can’t build on poor foundations!
Please don't settle for thin, loose undergarments, that offer you no support or shaping. Do yourself a huge favor and invest in some decent, supportive panties.
I recommend panties that have a higher rise as this will offer you a little support across the tummy.
And I suggest you choose fabrics made from a blend of cotton and elastane as this will offer you the best comfort alongside the best support. Anything that is 100% natural fabric will stretch and loose its shape, so avoid that if possible.
I also recommend having some shapewear in your underwear draw. It doesn't just have to be for special occasions anymore, there are some fantastic everyday shapeware options available that can easily (and comfortably) replace your pantie's when you want something that offers you more support and to smooth out any unwanted lumps and bumps.
Here 12 fantastic shapewear brands that offer a range of light control shapwear fo everyday support and shaping:
Whatever underwear you choose, make sure you get the size right - too loose and they won't offer you support (they'll also bunch up or wedgie you). Too tight and they'll be uncomfortable and will create bulges.
choose the correct bra
A well-fitting bra will not only provide you with proper support, it will also lift your bust to elongate your middle and create a more defined waistline. Both of which will help to de-emphasize your tummy.
If you think you might be wearing the wrong bra size, check out this post. It shares 6 signs that indicate your bras are the wrong size, and it shares a wealth of tips to help you identify the correct size and bra for you.
stop pulling your top down to cover your tummy
If you find yourself regularly tugging and pulling at your tops in a bid to stop them from hugging you and to cover your tummy; what you are actually doing is drawing attention to the area.
You might not even realize you're pulling your tops down, but it's one to watch for, and if you catch yourself doing it, make a note try and refrain from doing it again.
Maintain good posture
Posture is everything. Standing tall with your shoulders back and your head held high can create a more streamlined figure and improve your overall body confidence.
If you don’t believe me try it right now - roll your shoulders back and pull your head up…now tell me you don’t feel better!
7 things you might want to avoid wearing if you have a tummy
I don’t like to give too many rules when it comes to dressing your shape but the truth is, there are some clothing styles and fabrics that are more likely to enhance a tummy than others.
So, if your tummy is making you feel self conscious, here are some things you might want to avoid:
Fabrics that cling are unforgiving if you have a tummy
Clingy fabrics have a tendency to highlight every lump and bump so are particularly unforgiving if you have a belly, especially if they are thin fabrics with next-to-no support or structure.
A much better, more flattering option is to wear thicker heavier weight fabrics that have structure and support - these will minimize your middle whilst creating a little shape.
avoid wearing pleated skirts if you have a tummy
Pleated skirts are difficult to wear at the best of times, but if you’re carrying some weight around your tummy or middle they’re particularly unflattering.
You’ll find the pleated pull around your middle which draws attention to the area, and the extra fabric in the pleating will add weight and volume across the middle, especially high waist styles.
mid-low rise pants and jeans are unflattering if you have a tummy
A low-rise waistband will sit below your tummy and create a muffin top.
And a mid-rise will cut right across the middle of your tummy which will not only create a bulge, but will be so uncomfortable.
A much better option is to go for a high-rise as this will hold you in across the tummy, and add definition to your waist to break up your torso.
If you’re not sure how high a high-rise to go for, try a few different styles on and see which fits best on you. The best high rise for you will depend on whether your tummy sits high or low.
oversized clothing that covers you up will make your tummy look larger
If you have a tummy, avoid tops and dresses that cover everything up, especially if they hang from the bust (under the bust is better).
Oversized clothing WILL hide your tummy, it will ALSO hide everything else so you will end up looking bigger than you are.
If you want to wear loose tops or dresses, choose a style that will highlight some of your assets - so maybe opt for something with a plunging neckline, something that shows off your shoulders and neckline, a style that has shaping at the waist, or a short length that shows off your legs.
Here are some GOOD examples of loose clothing that will flatter a tummy
stear clear of stiff, startchy fabrics
Thick, stiff fabrics will add bulk and weight to your frame, so if you want to minimize your middle, avoid these fabrics. Instead, choose lightweight fluid fabrics that skim your figure. They will be much more flattering.
avoid elasticated waistbands
Pants and skirts that have an elasticated waist will add bulk and volume to your middle to make your tummy look larger than it is.
Avoid details that sit across the tummy
Skirts and pants that have detailing like buttons, zips and pockets, or ruffles across the front as these will add bulk to your middle and draw attention to your tummy. Clothes (especially pants) that have a flat front will be far more sliming.
24 effective ways to dress to hide a tummy.
Here are 24 of my tried and tested ways that you can dress to hide a tummy.
color blocking is a great way to disguise a tummy.
Color blocking is a fantastic way to highlight and disguise parts of your body, especially a tummy.
If you’re not sure what color blocking is - it’s the use of contrasting (or bold) panels to create shape and interest in a garment.
It’s a powerful tool for disguising a tummy, but it’s also a great tool for creating curves, because of this, it’s one of the most flattering ways to minimize a belly.
Here are some brilliant examples of color blocking clothes that will hide a tummy:
wear one color, head to toe to hide a tummy
Wearing different colors can break up the vertical line of your frame, and it’s this that can draw attention to your tummy area. If you wear one color, top to bottom, you create a slimming column that helps to hide the appearance of a belly.
You don't have to wear one item such as a dress or jumpsuit, you can wear separates in the same colour.
And while it's more effective if you stick to wearing dark colours, don't let that stifle your style. If you like to wear bold colors or neutrals, wear them!
print fabrics are a great way to hide a belly.
When you look at a printed fabric your eyes move continuously over the area, and so when you wear a dress or top in a print the same effect happens; your eyes keep moving, rather than focusing on one area…your tummy.
There are a couple of points to bear in mind when choosing prints to disguise a tummy:
For this reason, a regular repeating print will be better at disguising a tummy than a random print.
Here are some great prints to wear if you want to hide a tummy.
lightweight, fluid fabrics are best if you want to hide a tummy.
Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or viscose, which drape fluidly and don't cling to the body.
Steer clear of clingy fabrics such as spandex or polyester that emphasize the belly area, and can also be uncomfortable to wear.
draw attention away from your tummy by highlighting somewhere else.
Often, one of the best ways to draw attention away from your tummy is to draw attention to an area of your body that you like, or are happy to show off, such as your legs or arms. A top or dress with statement sleeves, or a pair of eye-catching shoes can shift attention away from the tummy.
ruffles are brilliant at disguising the tummy area
Clothing that has ruffles strategically placed down the front or side are a fantastic way to add visual interest that draws the eye away from a tummy, whilst seamlessly disguising lumps and bumps.
Here are some fantastic examples of ruffles that will hide a tummy:
draping fabric is a great way to hide a tummy
Fabric that drapes across the middle and down the side, will hide a tummy, create some shape and minimize your middle.
Here are some fantastic examples of ruffles and draping that will hide a tummy:
use layering to disguise a tummy
Layering is your friend, it’s a great way to alter your proportions, highlight what you want to be seen, and disguise the parts you want to hide.
Wearing a tailored jacket, a long cardigan, a kimono, or a long line vest, open over your outfit will draw the eye in to narrow your torso and elongate your figure. It’s a really simple way to disguise a tummy.
ruching details are a great way to hide a belly
Look for tops and dresses that have ruching down the sides and across the middle, these elements are fantastic at disguising a tummy.
These clothes all have ruching that will do a great job of disguising your tummy.
clothes that have Embelishments will draw the eye away from the tummy area
Look for tops with embellishments near the neckline or around the face, as this will draw the eyes upwards and away from your belly, putting the focus on your face and décolletage instead.
tops and dresses that wrap are a great option if you want to hide a belly
Opt for wrap dresses or tops that wrap and allow customization for the perfect fit. They flatter the waistline and skim the belly area without clinging.
tops and dresses that tie will help to disguise a tummy
Tops, dresses and jumpsuits that have a tie waist will cinch you in at the waist to create shape, whilst the tie will hang down to hide your tummy area.
shapewear is a good option when you want to minimize a tummy
Shapewear can provide additional support and confidence by gently shaping and controlling the belly area. There is such a wide variety of options available to use these days so don’t assume that all shapewear is uncomfortable and unattractive!
Here are some shapewear options I highly recommend if you’re looking to hide a tummy:
tie your belt or waist tie to one side when you have a tummy.
If you want to wear a belt, or the item of clothing you're wearing has a waist tie, don’t tie it in the middle as this just adds bulk across your tummy. Spin it round to one side and tie it there instead. It will be far more flattering.
I also recommend that you place it slightly above or below the natural waistline to create a more flattering, elongated silhouette and help conceal a tummy.
the sleeve length matters when you want to minimize a tummy.
The point at which your sleeve ends, draws a horizontal line across your frame, so, if your sleeves end at your tummy, they will draw a line across your middle to make it look larger than it is. To avoid this, opt for sleeves that fall near the wrist, or above the elbow.
asymmetric hems are great at disuising a belly.
Asymmetrical tops are one of my favorite ways to hide a tummy, they are fantastic at breaking up the line across the middle or hips.
an empire waist dress is a great option if you have a tummy.
Empire line styles are always a great choice, they flatter everyone as they highlight your narrowest point just under the bust.
But, a word of caution, try to avoid choosing dresses and tops with an empire waist when the fabric is full and stiff. These have a tendency to flare out and add bulk to a frame, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do.
Instead, choose a more streamlined shape in fluid fabrics that drape well.
choose a flat front
Buttons, hook fastenings, and zippers all add a little bulk across the tummy, so opt for pants and jeans that have a flat front and a side of back fastening instead.
wear a high-rise when you have a tummy
Choose high waist pants and jeans, rather than a mid- low rise. Not only will a high rise be far more comfortable but it will lengthen your legs and provide support and that will hold your tummy in a little.
A low - mid rise style will either sit under your tummy, or cut across your middle, both of which will draw attention to the area, and be incredibly uncomfortable.
a low neckline will help to minimize a tummy
High necklines have a tendency to add bulk and breadth to your torso and middle, so may make your tummy appear larger than it is.
To avoid this, choose tops and dresses that have a low or wide neckline - V necklines, scoop necklines, sweetheart necklines and square necklines are all great styles to choose when dressing to disguise a tummy.
tucking your tops in will help to disguise a tummy.
There are a few different ways to tuck a top in, and all of them are worth trying if you have a tummy:
- 1The one side tuck - if you’re wearing a t-shirt you just tuck one side into your waistband, and leave the other loose - this is a fantastic way to break up the line across your middle.
- 2If you're wearing a button up or cardigan, you can undo the bottom few buttons, and tuck one side of the top into your waistband. Again, this is a fantastic way to break up the line across the tummy to hide your belly.
- 3The front (French) tuck - this is the classic tuck - just loosely tuck the front of the top you’re wearing, into your waist band.
- 4The full tuck - The right way to tuck your tops in if you have a tummy is to tuck your top in, then stretch your arms up so the top is lifted up a little. If you tuck your tops in this way, you will find the loose fabric at your waistband will hide your tummy.
The wrong way to tuck your tops in if you have a belly, is to tuck your top in tightly, so it’s pulling at your waist band. Doing this will highlight your tummy as the fabric will cling to your middle.
peplums are a great way to disguise a tummy.
A peplum (also referred to as an ‘overskirt’) is:
“a flared ruffle sewn into the waistline of a blouse, skirt, jacket, or dress to add extra frill and accentuate the waist” - Masterclass.com
Peplum dresses are my absolute favorite items of clothing for creating a more defined waistline on apple body shapes. This is the perfect example of a peplum dress.
The flare at the bottom of peplum tops can create an illusion of a smaller waist, while the fuller bottom part can cover the belly area.
accessorize with statement jewellery
A statement necklace can draw attention away from the midsection by making the focus point on your neckline.
Opt for bold pieces that are eye-catching, such as a chunky necklace or a long pendant necklace. The focal point will shift to the necklace, rather than the tummy, creating balance in your overall appearance.
vertical stripes will narrow your frame
Vertical stripes are a great way to draw the eye in and down, to narrow your torso and middle, BUT be mindful that if the stripes stretch and distort at all, you will look larger than you are. So, only use this styling tip with loose, fluid fabrics that don't pull across your tummy.
frequently asked questions about dressing to hide a tummy.
Below are some other questions I get asked about how to dress when you have tummy. If you have any others, let me know by getting in touch here.
what kind of tops can I wear to hide my belly?
These are the top three top styles to wear if you want to hide a belly
These are my favorite tops to wear if you want to hide a belly in 2023:
should I tuck in my shirt if i have a belly?
You definitely CAN tuck in your shirt if you have a belly, but whether you should or not is totally up to you.
I’ve often heard clients tell me that they never tuck their tops in for fear of highlighting their middle, but this only happens if you tuck your shirt in tightly because the fabric clings to your middle and draws the eye there.
The flattering way to tuck in your top is to tuck it in, then stretch your arms up so the top is lifted up and out of your waistband a little so it’s looser around your middle. If you tuck your tops in this way, you will find the loose fabric at your waistband will hide your tummy.
It’s worth playing around with different tucking techniques to see what works best for you and makes you feel most confident and comfortable.
I've listed4 of my favorite tucking in methods HERE
how can i hide my mom belly in a dress?
Here are lots of dress styles that do a great job of hiding and flattering a Mom belly. The key things to look for are:
Here are loads of great dresses to wear if you want to hide your mom belly in 2023
Finally, don't underestimate the importance of properly fitting undergarments. Taking the time to find the right undergarments can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your outfit.
the best summer clothes to hide belly fat
Summer can be tricky if you’re wanting to hide a tummy. Fabrics are lighter and thinner, so are much less forgiving than winter weight fabrics.
However, there are some great options available for you , if you now what to look for. So here are some practical styling tips that will help you hide a tummy in the summer
flattering tops to hide a tummy UK in 2023
When it comes to hiding a tummy, choosing the right flattering tops can make all the difference. In the UK, there are many options that can help in achieving a stylish and slimming look.
Here are the most flattering tops to hide a tummy in the UK in 2023:
There are so many techniques and clothing styles that will hide or disguise a tummy, so experiment and see what works for you. But, please don't forget about the rest of your figure, try to identify areas of your shape that you like, that you could show off, and start dressing to highlight these areas, rather than dressing to cover up.
That is the best way to feel good in your own skin, and to embrace your unique body shape.
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