How to Dress to Flatten the Tummy

How to Dress to Flatten the Tummy

If you've got a belly bulge, it's tempting to toss on some loose-fitting pajamas and hide out at home all day. With the right outfit, though, you'll look like you've dropped the pounds without dieting or doing a single exercise. Instead of hiding, you'll be excited to show off your flattering new look.

Choose garments made of thick fabrics, such as cotton, rayon blends or silk. Avoid fabrics that are very thin or clingy, such as stretch fabric, lightweight knits, viscose or satin. They'll accentuate your shape rather than hide it. Also stay away from fabrics that are too shiny or textured, such as fur, leather, suede and crushed velvet.

Put on a wide belt if you're wearing a loose shirt or dress. The belt will pull any loose fabric taut, so you'll look slimmer. To stay comfortable, wear a flexible belt, such as one made from soft leather.

Choose clothes that play up your assets. For example, if you have toned shoulders, opt for a sleeveless garment that will show off your arms. If you like your legs, stick with a flattering skirt or shorts that make them look great.

Avoid garments that have embellishments, such as busy patterns, fringe, sequins or brightly colored waistbands, around the midsection area. Choose a garment that has embellishments elsewhere, such as the shoulder or chest area, to draw attention away from your belly.

Wear a paneled skirt or high-waisted wrap instead of a pencil skirt. A-line skirts work well for hiding belly fat, too.

Pair patterned tops with solid-colored, high-waisted skirts or pants. Geometric and abstract floral patterns, as well as vertical stripes, work best. Avoid wearing horizontal stripes, ball-shaped prints or bumpy, textured patterns. Choose garments with a medium-sized pattern instead of a very tiny or large print, since both of these pattern sizes can make you look larger.

Choose colors that make you look slimmer. Black is almost always a good choice, but don't wear all black in the daytime. In the evening, try wearing a black dress paired with a colorful piece of jewelry. Forest green, navy blue and other dark shades work well, also. Bright primary colors, neons, pastels and white garments can draw attention to your midsection, so wear them sparingly.

Opt for straight-cut or boot-cut jeans when you wear denim. Don't go for "skinny" jeans; they can actually have the opposite of the intended effect. You should also avoid high-waisted and very baggy jeans. Low-rise jeans accentuate your tummy instead of hiding it, so avoid them. Dark-colored and thick denim works better at hiding your stomach than lightweight denim.

Put on shapewear under your clothes. The high-waisted bike short style slims your tummy as well your thighs and hips. Other ideal styles include tummy-shaping tank tops and high-waisted briefs. For all-over coverage, choose a sheer shapewear slip. You may need to have shapewear tailored so it fits you just right. Stomach-flattening or waist-control tights work, too.

Use pretty accessories, such as a hat or a sparkling necklace, to draw eyes away from your stomach. Other options include bracelets, sunglasses, brightly colored scarves or a handbag.


If you'd like to slim down your stomach, eat plenty of healthy protein, vegetables and whole grains. Swap your soda for water — the carbonation in soda can make you look bloated.

When you're standing or walking, stand up straight. Slouching makes you look larger than you really are.