How to dress to hide a tummy

I wrote this post as I literally had women asking me this question. Actually it surpises me how many women want to know how to dress to hide a tummy. I did some research on it and wrote this article but also, I want women to feel empowered to express themselves in what they put on their body, not hide parts that they are ashamed of. As women there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way, be a certain size etc but I hope you know that there is more support than ever for women of different shapes and sizes as beauty is so subjective. I also know that the right outfit that brings attention to the parts of your body you like the most can make all of the difference in how you feel and confidence is sooo sexy so that’s why I am writing this! Also, I know that it is not just out of shame that women want to hide their tummy. I remember being in the early stages of pregnancy for example and trying to conceal my tummy as I wasn’t ready to tell people our news. 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! So whatever reason, here’s some style tips that will hopefully help you to feel more confident in your body.


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. 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 conceal. 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.


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.


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 bring attention away from. 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,ย  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 dรฉcolletage? Or by wearing a V-neck which shows some cleavage ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hey, flaunt it if you have it girls!!)


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.


A really fun option 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 assets. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading,

10 thoughts on “How to dress to hide a tummy”

  1. this is a great article. Since i’m a little bigger in size I always find it harder to find clothes to hide my tummy. It seems to be the only part of my body that doesn’t fit clothing right. Thanks so much for these tips. I never realized how easy it could be to hide my tummy. I will be referring back to this when shopping for new clothes.

  2. Hi Ranae,

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips, it’s just what I was looking for right now! I love the idea of wearing darker colours on top to avoid drawing attention to that area!

    Why does that seem to be a thing that happens during random times of the month?!


    1. Hi Sarah. Yes I feel ya with the monthly bloats! Haha. Thanks for stopping by. Wearing the same colour on top and botttom is a great option for tummy hiding too! Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ’—

  3. Great article and you have provided some good ideas which I will look into.
    After having 2 kids and being over 40 I now have the dreaded muffin top! It’s good to know there are styles which tastefully hide these issues. I particularly like the green top, it’s very flattering. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh no! Not the dreaded muffin top!! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜‚ Have you tried wearing higher waisted pants that sit over that and help it to be a bit flatter? Also consider that your pants may be too tight around the waist! You may need to size up. Sizing is a crock tho! Never worry about the number and go with the feel and the look! We can get so caught up in the number that we sacrifice comfort and a good fit! (I recently bought a size large pair of leggings because they fit the best! Clearly Iโ€™m not large tho! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ). Otherwise, hopefully some of these tips will help you too! Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated x

  4. Great tips Renae!! Sorry I have been off the grid for 2 weeks, and now I’m back. One of the (many) frustrations of menopause is your tummy gets fat and pudgey, so I love to hear of ways to disguise it!

    1. Pudgey gives me a really clear visual! Haha. I hope you know how beautiful you are despite the tummy and you have found some ways to dress and feel that beauty!

  5. Oh my goodness, those frocks are gorgeous! Thank you for this really helpful article! I loved the look of the under bust pleats in the first dress. Colour blocking, yes… ๐Ÿ™‚ And it seems that the French tuck is another win ! I actually stopped holding my stomach in and relaxed when I read this, haha!
    Warm wishes
    Lyndal Jane ๐Ÿ™‚

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