Dressing Tips to Hide a Belly and Flatter Your Figure

dressing to conceal a large belly

Are you looking for some practical tips on how to dress to hide a belly and feel more confident in your outfits? You’ve come to the right place! As a professional wardrobe stylist, I’m here to share some tried-and-true strategies that will help you look thinner and flatter your figure, especially if your belly area is your main concern.

So let’s dive in and discover how you can dress to impress!

YES, you can tuck. Try a french tuck like shown above, or tuck along the side, while leaving the rest out to drape over the belly area. Tucking creates shape and proportions that universally flatter, no matter your size.

Create a Slimming Illusion

How can I look thinner with a big belly? When it comes to creating the illusion of a slimmer figure, clothing choices play a crucial role. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

  1. Choose the right fabrics: Opt for materials that have some structure, like medium-weight knits or woven fabrics, as they can help smooth out the silhouette.
  2. Mind the patterns and colors: Dark, solid colors such as black, navy, or deep jewel tones are your best friends. They have a slimming effect and create a streamlined look. Avoid large prints or horizontal stripes on your tops, as they will draw attention to the belly area.
  3. Focus on fit and silhouette: Well-fitting clothing is key! Some women tend to choose looser fabrics with the goal of hiding, but this can backfire and make you appear larger than you are. Look for pieces that skim over your curves without being too tight. A-line dresses, empire-waist tops, and high-waisted bottoms can work wonders in camouflaging the belly.
  4. Layer strategically: Layering can be your secret weapon. Try wearing a tailored blazer or cardigan over a fitted top to create vertical lines and elongate your silhouette. Adding a third piece is crucial in dressing any body type, but especially helpful when trying to dress to conceal a belly.

SHOP IMAGE ONE | TWO | THREE (all from Anthropologie)

Dressing for a Big Bust and Tummy

What dress style is best for big bust and tummy? If you have a big bust and tummy, finding the right dress style can seem like a challenge. But fear not! Here are some tips to help you embrace your curves and feel fabulous:

  1. Opt for V-necks or wrap dresses: V-necks draw the eye upward and these styles can minimize the appearance of large chest and tummy area. V-necks create a flattering vertical line, draw attention upward, and enhance the appearance of a smaller waist.
  2. Embrace empire-waist dresses: Dresses with a seam just below the bust can beautifully skim over the tummy area while emphasizing your bust and creating an hourglass shape.
  3. Look for dresses with rouching or draping: These design details can work wonders in concealing a belly while adding an elegant touch to your outfit. Again, it’s all about illusion and rouching will draw the eye elsewhere.
  4. Choose structured fabrics: Structured fabrics like tailored cotton or stretchy ponte knits provide structure and support, helping to smooth out your silhouette.


Flattering Styles for a Thick Midsection

How should I dress if I have thickness around the middle? Having a thick midsection doesn’t mean you can’t rock stylish outfits. Here are some tips to flatter your shape and boost your confidence:

  1. Opt for tops with draping: The draping details on a top can create movement and distract from the midsection. Flowy blouses or tops with a peplum silhouette can also be incredibly flattering.
  2. Try high-waisted bottoms: High-waisted pants, skirts, or jeans can help cinch in your waistline and provide a smoother appearance. Pair them with a tucked-in blouse or a crop top to create a balanced look. If you can’t stand the look of high-waisted, we suggest a mid-rise but give high rise a chance to elongate your legs, flatter your figure and draw attention away from the belly. Our favorite high waisted jeans to conceal a belly can be found here.
  3. Experiment with layering and proportions: Layering a long cardigan, a lightweight duster or a vest/blazer over a fitted top can create vertical lines and draw attention away from the midsection. Something that hits below the waist will draw the eye downward, away from the belly area. Be sure to pair these type layers with slim-cut bottoms for a chic and balanced ensemble, as proportions is the key to dressing with balance. More about proportions can be found here.
  4. Accessorize strategically: A statement necklace or a colorful scarf can draw the focus upward and add visual interest. This is probably the easiest style tip to draw attention away from the midsection.


FREE GUIDE to dressing your body shape!

Have you gotten our FREE GUIDE to Dressing For Your Body Type? This guide will help you flatter your figure and pick out what to wear on top, bottom and what to avoid for all body types. Get the guide by subscribing to our email list (bottom of our website homepage) and the guide will be automatically sent to you for download.

Need our help styling you? We got you.

If you’re wanting a professional eye and help choosing styles that fit YOUR exact body type, start here to get a free styling consult call to book our styling services.


xoxo, Blair and The Be Styled Team

Written by Jennifer Deyo