Dress Styles To Hide A Tummy

There are many reasons why one would want to hide a tummy. For me personally, it’s usually that time of the month when I’m a little more bloated or after eating soy (I have a freak intolerance and soy seems to show up in unexpected places resulting in me looking about 3 months pregnant after consuming it!) though I also remember trying to conceal my tummy when I was pregnant and not ready to share the news or after having my babies and still trying to loose the extra weight. Either way, I have written a few style tips for hiding your tummy here and in this post, I will share about particular dress styles that hide a tummy. Ladies with tummies, dresses are your best friend! But not all dresses. You really want to think about dresses that focus on your other assets aside from your tummy and ones that provide extra fabric around your middle. This will ensure that they are comfortable and flattering.

A-Line dresses

A-Line and Empire Line dresses are the best to hide a tummy. These styles are where the top of the dress (bust and shoulders) is more fitted but there is more fabric from under the bust down. A-line got that name because if you were to lay the top or dress down, it would roughly make the shape of an A or a triangle with the top smaller and the rest flaring out. Here is a great example from Jeanswest which I feel would be super flattering around the tummy and with a small amount of definition with the little belt, it brings the waistline up which lengthens the legs:

Another great option is this dress available from Modcloth:

What I love about this dress is that though it’s not petite, it is sleeveless (which is a great way for petites who have proportionally smaller shoulders to avoid having sagging shoulders). I also love the pleats that are very slimming and provide great vertical lines for height. A great A-line petite option is from Boden here. Super cute, extremely versatile and available in some great colours.

Empire Dresses

Empire dresses are usually associated with formal dresses but they are very similar to A-line but the fabric falls straight down rather than flares out. For some petite options, check out this dress from Boden that is a casual empire line dress or this one. Both of the Boden dresses come in petites and you can check the size guide for each garment to check if you need a petite size or regular (they also have talls/longs!).

Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are great for creating an illusion of height. Look for maxi dresses that are all the one pattern or colour and incorporate diagonal or vertical lines if you can. Horizontal lines on a petite aren’t great and really not good for someone who is wider because the vertical line is drawing the attention horizontal making you appear wider rather than vertical, making you taller. I am in love with this dress that I found at Modcloth:
It has some additional features that really make it work including that fabulous diagonal vertical line which brings the attention vertical and really gives more height. It also comes in some bigger sizes (upto 4 XL) and some really small sizes (XXS) but unfortunately this dress is not a petite item so you may need a hem! (But check the size guide for measurements). Here is a more casual one from Rusty which is super cool too:
I would recommend wearing a fitted cropped vest or jacket with the one above. More styling tips about jackets can be found here and here. Another fun maxi dress here:
(For petite maxi dresses, consider this one or this one from Boden).

Wrap Dresses

I really like wrap dresses in general. I feel like they are super flattering and work for so many body shapes. They work to hide a tummy because diagonal lines are quite slimming and usually, the V brings the attention to the bust area and also there is often extra fabric around the middle which can hide a tummy. Here is a great one from Boden (that comes in a range of sizes including petite, regular and long). Here is another one I love particularly for ladies with nice legs!

There are many more designs that work but these are just a few. I had so much fun shopping for these styles. Feel free to share what you have found in the comments 🙂 More style tips for hiding a tummy can be found in my previous post here.

How to dress to hide a tummy

There are many reasons why you would want to dress to hide a tummy.  Perhaps you ate too much, it’s that time of the month and you are bloated, it could be your body shape or where you are carrying a bit of extra weight. I remember being in the early stages of pregnancy and trying to conceal my tummy as I wasn’t ready to tell people. I also remember my usual style not providing enough coverage after having my children as it can take some time to loose that tummy after having a baby! Whatever your reason, I have researched different design lines, colours and patterns and here are my tips for how to dress to hide a tummy.

A-Line

A-line are garments that are fitted up the top and flare out at the bottom. You can get a-line dresses, tops and skirts. All of them are good for hiding tummies if styled correctly. A-line got it’s name because if you imagine laying the item flat, you would see that it makes a shape of a triangle or the letter A (if you can see the two bottom parts of the letter A as your legs!). The part of the top or skirt that flares out can hide a lot and people are unaware what’s underneath as the shape just looks like part of the clothing.

Focus On Vertical, Not Horizontal

The advantage of focusing on vertical design lines is that it can not only make you look taller (so good for us petites), it also naturally takes the attention away from the horizontal which is definitely what you want when you are trying to hide the wider parts of your body such as your tummy! The dress above has sneaky pleats which create vertical lines, bringing the attention up. Here is another example of an a-line dress with vertical lines in the pattern as well as navy blue where the buttons are:


I have written more styling tips to bring the attention vertical in this post and this post.

Belts and Waistbands

Skinny belts are not a great option if you are trying to hide a tummy unless you are an hour glass or a pear shape and have a defined waist that is quite a bit slimmer than the bit of your tummy you are trying to hide. Either way, if you are wearing a belt on your waist (to actually hold up your pants/skirt), consider wider belts and wider waistbands too because you can really hide a lot behind them! Many people with a bit of extra weight wear their pants below their tummy but actually opting for a higher waisted pant can actually be more slimming as it can provide some coverage. I would also encourage you not to put a belt all the way around the widest part of your body without covering some of that area with a longer top, vest, cardigan or the “French Tuck”. A French tuck involves tucking just some of your shirt into your pants but leaves the rest of the shirt untucked so there is more fabric that can hide where your body ends.

Jackets

Many people with a bigger tummy (or bust) make the mistake of trying to find jackets that do up and unfortunately by doing so, they are sacrificing fit in other places and what ends up happening is they can just look bigger all over. To avoid this, simply wear jackets or cardigans undone that fit your shoulders and wear a dress or the same colour on the top and bottom to create a smaller silhouette underneath the jacket. Cropped jackets or vests can still look great if you are wearing a longer top (think tunic length) or dress underneath.

Avoid…

I know it’s tempting but avoid wearing short tops or tops that sit at the top of your pants or skirt as they may creep up and show the very part of your body you’re trying to hide. Also avoid wearing tops that are tight and fitted around your tummy (it’s just not as comfortable either!). I would also encourage you to avoid wearing big bold patterns on the top half of your body as they will just bring attention to that area. Opt instead for darker colours on top (you can still wear colour! Just go for bright, rather than light). There are so many other great designs that work for you, so avoid those that don’t if you can.

Show Off Your Other Assets!

Think about the other parts of your body that you like more such as your bust, legs, shoulders,  booty and find ways to draw attention there. This naturally brings the attention away from your belly! You can do this by colour blocking like this:

See how this brings the attention to her bust and stunning décolletage? Or by wearing a V-neck which shows some cleavage 🙂 (Hey, flaunt it if you have it girls!!)

Asymmetry


Asymmetrical lines seem to confuse us, which is a good thing when you want to conceal what’s underneath! The above top is also A line in that it is more fitted up the top and looser down the bottom. This is a really flattering design though I would encourage you to pair a looser fitting top with a more structured bottom such as more fitted pants or a pencil skirt (if it’s not too tight around your tummy and the top is long enough to hide that part if it is). The same rule works in the other way around too. If you have more looser skirt or pants, wear a more fitted top (as demonstrated by the green dress above).

Wear Dresses

I have shown a few examples of dresses in this post. This is because dresses are super flattering because they create a seamless line all the way down your body and you can create some really beautiful silhouettes with the right design lines. Having said that, not all dresses work so avoid fitted ones and go for ones with more fabric under the bust. I have another post that goes into more detail about the types of dress styles that I think work best but for now, here are some great examples:



I particularly love this green number because it also has a vertical/diagonal line with the lighter green which is really slimming and brings the attention up vertically which also creates more height. The above dresses are not in Modcloth’s petite range so be sure to check the size chart before purchasing or adjust the lengths to work. More petite styles in this post.

Peplums

A really fun option to hide a bit of a tummy is a peplum top. The reason this works is because the fabric flares out where the tummy is and you can hide a bit of a gut underneath without anyone knowing the difference!



I hope this information has helped you and you can feel more confident to wear clothes and designs that really bring out your best features (concealing the ones you don’t love as much). For more dressing tips, consider reading this post on dress styles to hide a tummy or this post on body shapes. If you have any other tips or questions please comment them below or reach out using the contact form 🙂

Thanks for reading,