Body Type

How to Dress to Camouflage Your Tummy

What happened to the days when our waists were slim and our mid-sections were something that seldom crossed our minds? Many of us over 40 struggle with our mid-sections. For some, it’s a protruding tummy; for others, it’s a thicker waist and let’s not forget the muffin top. So, how do you dress to camouflage your belly?

There are two options: The first is to exercise and change our eating habits, which, as you probably know, is not as easy as it sounds. There’s just something about stubborn belly fat. The second option is to dress in a way that conceals – by far the easiest. Let’s talk about covering a tummy and the choices we have available.

Choice # 1 – Undergarments

Undergarments are called foundation garments for a good reason. No matter your age or wardrobe challenges, wearing the proper undergarments are a prerequisite for looking great in your clothes.

When you wear undergarments to hide a tummy, you have several choices:

High-waist panty: This foundation garment works great under pants or jeans. Ensure the top of the garment is under your bra, and you’re not creating extra bumps.

High waist shorts: These shorts create a smooth look (no lines) and are great to wear under clingy dresses, jersey pants, or any garment clinging and revealing.

Slimming Tank:   This tank is also a great choice to wear under pants or jeans. It will slim your waist area and not create bumps anywhere else.

Open-bust camisole: Just the thing to wear with pants or jeans. This is the perfect garment if your bust is small and you’d like to add a little lift.

Choice # 2 – Choosing clothing styles that are slimming and flattering

Choose classes that glide over your tummy and waist and take attention from that area.

Empire Waist Dresses – The remarkable thing is they suit any body type, and they will hide a tummy and drape nicely over problem areas. Be sure to choose them in your best color.

Tops – The best tops to hide a large midsection are in printed material, in a light fabric that doesn’t cling, and in shelters that are not tight.

Jeans –The most flattering jeans for women who want to conceal a tummy are those that end at the belly button or one inch below the belly button. Choose jeans in stretch denim for the best comfort and a more slimming look. Also, buy them in a  dark color.

Guest blogger Sheila Dicks is a style coach who helps women find their best styles and colors so they look and feel fabulous and attract more of what they want. You can find her at

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11 thoughts on “How to Dress to Camouflage Your Tummy

  1. I enjoy the information and tips I get from you. For one year, my body changed due to injuries and not exercising – awful! Before I lose weight, it has been a nightmare to feel good in my clothes. You have helped me to get some of my boldness back. At 61yo, it is a double whammy with extra poundage and natural body changes. Anyway, it would help me if the length of the tops and tunics was posted along with the description. I’m tall, and saying it hits the hip or whatever doesn’t help. We are all so unique. Thank God for that.

  2. Empire dresses do not work for me. They create a dip below the bustline before they go out over my tummy,, making it even more prominent and making me look pregnant. Wrap dresses create the same drop below the bustline and ride up at the waist, taking the front hemline up.

  3. The hints and tips on the site are brilliant, I love the images to show us, ladies, how we too can dress to look good..thankyou Deborah

  4. What about some tips for women over 50 and beyond? Many of us are still in the workforce and need to look good.
    I looked great in my 40’s. I was always model-thin until my 50’s. Now at 56, with some post-menopausal weight gain, I have tried on my first Spanx. At this age, blessed with urinary urge incontinence, I cannot be struggling with that thing in the bathroom!

  5. You speak about how to dress to camouflage the belly while using skinny models! “Real” women are not always shaped that way. Those models can look good in anything, so your points, although well-intentioned, would come across better if using the women with the body that you’re trying to help. I’m 44, and I have no idea where to shop anymore. Clothes shopping has become painful, disappointing, and frustrating. I can’t quite find the right store to fit my body type, which is a curvy size 6 or 8, with the curve on the bottom, not the top. Any suggestions for a store I would like while not killing my budget?

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