Figure Flattery Guide: What to Wear to Flatter Your Tummy

June 27th, 2008

How do you best dress to flatter your tummy?  Direct attention away from your middle, and create the illusion of a long vertical line.   To create that long vertical line, look for drapey fabrics, open (especially v-neck) necklines, vertical detailing, and monochromatic and tonal outfits, and stay away from clingy fabrics and fabrics that are excessively stiff.  To direct attention away from your middle, avoid highly defined waistlines, cinched waists, and belts.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your tummy:

Pinstripe Two Button JacketJackets & Coats

Single breasted styles
Semi-fitted styles
Straight-cut styles
Jackets that reach below the derriere
Deep V-necklines
Tailored styles
Subtle A-line styles
High armholes and natural shoulders for a leaner look
Biker jackets

Look at the tailored shape, the single breasted style with a deep v-neckline, and the the high armholes.
Pictured: Pinstripe Two Button Jacket | $198 at Ann Taylor

Solid Jessie BlouseTops
Long tops
Empire-waist styles
V-necklines
Tunics
Cardigans
Untucked shirts

The empire waist style, the v-neckline, and the flowy nature of this long top are going to flatter your tummy.
Pictured: Solid Jessie Blouse | $78 at J Crew.


City Fit Buttery Twill TrouserPants & Jeans
Pants without waistbands are preferable
If you wear a waistband, wear one 1" wide or smaller
Pants that sit slightly lower than your natural waist
Flat-front or side zip bottoms
Pants without pockets

These pants are soft, drapey, and their flat-front silhouette is especially flattering for those of us with a tummy.
Pictured: City Fit Buttery Twill Trouser | $69.50 at J Crew.

Brushstroke Print Sydney DressSkirts & Dresses
Styles without waistbands (or narrow waistbands)
Flat front skirts
Dresses that obscure the waistline
Coat dresses
Subtle A-line shapes
Empire-waist styles
Semifitted shift dresses

This patterned dress not only obscures your tummy, but the fitted bodice and the a-line shape is incredibly flattering.
Pictured: Brushstroke Print Sydney Dress | $165 at J Crew.

Entry Filed under: Figure Flattery Guide, Women

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kay.  |  June 27th, 2008 at 6:31 am

    i bought heaps of empire waist babydoll stuff, but actually i found that it had the opposite effect. everyone assumed they were maternity wear and that i’m pregnant argh!! how can i hide my tummy while avoiding that soon-to-be-mother effect?

  • 2. eternalvoyageur  |  June 27th, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Great tips, but you need to elaborate more. For example when it comes to empire waist styles, things like type of fabric, cut, rusches or lack of them, etc determine whether you do manage to hide your belly or you just look pregnant.

  • 3. Trisha  |  June 27th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    We actually do have a post about how to wear empire waistline tops without looking pregnant!

    http://www.omiru.com/index.php/2007/05/15/qa-how-to-wear-empire-waist-styles-without-looking-pregnant/

  • 4. RobynT  |  June 28th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    i love this post. my tummy is my arch-nemesis and i’ve always found a-lines, empire waists, shifts, and blazers to be my friends.

    the only problem i have with cardigans is that they pull between the buttons. i can rarely find a button-up cardigan that fits well.

  • 5. Trisha  |  June 30th, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    RobynT - I have the same problem with cardigans…I have no waist, and inevitably, when the shoulders fit, the waist does not. I usually wear them unbuttoned.

  • 6. Marybeth  |  December 17th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I have this problem since I had uterine cancer a few years ago. I gained my menopausal weight immediately in my tummy. The rest of me pretty much stayed the same. Arg! I found a dress at Chadwicks that works lovely for me.

    http://www.chadwicks.com/clothing/The-Origami-Dress-Compare-at-5999.aspx?PfId=152960&DeptId=8217&ProductTypeId=1&PurchaseType=0

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