Body Type

Style Question: How to Camouflage Your Tummy

Dear Deborah,

I want some advice on camouflaging your tummy when you are short! I am just over 5′, so I have to take care not to look like a Teletubby!

Thanks for your advice! Sue W.

Hi Sue,

You have a double challenge there! It would be best if you found ways to look taller and leaner and deflect attention away from your tummy.

Look at what you can do to fool the eye into seeing a longer, leaner you.

1. Strategically Use Color to Look Taller and Slimmer

Monochromatic dressingWant to look slimmer in your clothes and hide that tummy area? Here are a few tips to show you how. By dressing from head to toe in all one color (monochromatic dressing), you will create the illusion of looking longer and leaner. Since darker colors recede and make the area they cover look smaller, dark stains like black, gray, dark brown, and navy work well to camouflage that tummy.

If you want to throw a colorful jacket or sweater over the top, leave the coat open to reveal the slimming column of color underneath, as shown here. Make sure your shoes are also the color of your column ( in this case, black) so you don’t break that vertical line.

2. Try a Banded Waistline

A banded empire waist dress or top draws the eye to the narrowest part of your body, just below the bust and away from your tummy.

3. Choose a V- neckline

A V- neckline makes you look taller and slimmer by revealing some skin, making your neck look and entire body length. Also, any top with some detail up at the neckline draws your eye up to your face and away from your tummy. This top is particularly flattering because the sequence at the neckline carries down the front creating that vertical line I talked about that draws the eye up and down and makes you look thinner.

4. Wear a Good Bra

To make your tummy look smaller, wear a good bra that lifts your breasts off your stomach, creating more separation and making you look less like you have a big belly.


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