Looking to cover your stomach and still look fabulous? Read on then! This article has a lot of thoughts and suggestions about how a tummy can be stylishly covered.
Why would you want to hide your belly?
A lot of women experience weight gain in their stomachs after 40 years, especially after peri-menopause or menopause.
Your waist will disappear and more features of the apple body shape will start to grow.
It can be easy to do the opposite to make yourself look heavier than you actually are if you are trying to cover up a tummy.
Fortunately, to cover your hump, there are many things you can do so that it doesn’t get in the way of looking fabulously stylish!
Check out my 14 tips below on how to wear the right clothing to cover your belly.
Hiding your belly in winter and fall
Now or soon, many of you will encounter cooler weather, which can be good news for covering your belly, as you can use tons of beautiful layers to create long, smooth lines.
However, adding extra, unnecessary bulk during the winter can also be easy, as you will want to wear warm sweaters and coats. Try to avoid boxy, chunky knit sweaters that just add width and go for draped, asymmetric styles, wrap styles where you can adjust the most flattering effect of the belt, or for an elongating effect, long cardigans.
Foxcroft leopard wrap cardigan
Below are 14 tips to dress for fat tummy.
1. Don’t wear tight or clingy garments over your belly and choose tops with ruching or drape
It’s best not to wear tight tops if you want to look trendy and show your strengths.
They will accentuate and attract attention away from you and your fabulous clothes to every fat bubble you have.
Choose tops that have some ruching or draping instead.
Jenny (above) demonstrates a perfect outfit to conceal a belly from which you can draw inspiration. Due to the difference in lengths between the top and the jacket, her top drapes over the tummy section, though wearing a moto jacket often helps to attract attention away from the belly.
She’s also wearing a pair of yellow sunshine shoes that pull the eye downwards.
With this identical hat, jeans, motorcycle jacket and flats, recreate your outfit.
With the correct tops, cover your belly
A crossover top is very powerful, and asymmetrical vertical lines are created by this one, which is an extra bonus.
Plus, you can pick a top that comes in new colors for the season. In this article on the winter and fall 2020 color patterns, there is more motivation.
Gibson cross front tunic blouse
Below is a draped blouse that, for three reasons, is also efficient at covering bellies because it does not cling to your tummy. It also has a flattering v-neck that can allow the silhouette to lengthen (rather than widen).
2. Wear leggings or skinnies with longer, draped or asymmetrical tops
Your best friend would be leggings or stretchy trousers that tuck into your tummy.
They’ll fit around your belly comfortably and tuck it in a little.
Also, you will look fabulous with so many wonderful tunics and long tops to choose from. No-going one’s to note your abdomen!
With a long sweater and leggings, Julia (above) opts for a chic winter look. You can see that the neckline, earrings and necklace all help to draw the eye upward so that the midriff region is not centered.
Check out a coat, pants, booties, handbag, and necklace close to this one.
Choose the right leggings that tuck in your stomach
I personally love Stella Carakasi’s leggings.
The fabric is sturdy but stretchy and high enough to tuck into your tummy.
You may get them to be cropped or full-length. The 3 knee buttons even make them trendy! For both sports and casual outfits, I wear mine.
Another favorite amongst my readers are the Zella Live in Leggings.
Zella high waist leggings
You can’t beat the Satina high waisted leggings for a really affordable alternative that has 1,000s of positive reviews on Amazon.
Choose the right tunics that make you look good in your leggings or jeans!
Look out for tops and sweaters that are asymmetrical.
Wearing leggings underneath will make the bits of your hero stand out, such as this printed tunic top (below).
With a longer cardigan or shorter jacket, this piece can easily be layered and the design distracts attention from your belly.
Leggings or tummy tuck jeans will work during any season as part of outfits designed to cover your belly.
Karen wears a loose tunic (above) over a pair of jeans.
With this identical tunic, shorts, booties and sunglasses, you get her look.
DJT tie dyed hankerchief hemline tunic top
Doublju cowl neck tunic sweater
3. Create vertical lines to hide your belly with long cardigans, jackets and ponchos
Layering is very effective in disguising the stomach which is much easier to do when you choose to use layers to keep warm through fall and winter. There’s a cardigan or a sweater you may add.
However, depending on where you live, it’s certainly still possible to use this strategy during spring and summer. You could opt for a lightweight cardigan, a sleeveless vest or a kimono rather than a coat.
Waterfall or straight designs can also operate and produce a pleasant vertical line that creates the illusion of duration and distracts the belly from the eye.
Or underneath this cardigan style below, you might wear a block color like navy, black or gray, thus creating a slimming column effect down the middle of your outfit.
Kylie (above) prefers a draped top with a design and tops with a cardigan style elongating waterfall.
Check out this blouse, cardigan, jeans and booties that are identical.
Leith long cardigan
More examples of outfits are below, in which you build a long lean line and cover the belly.
Layering for any season – use a long cardigan or a short jacket
Creating vertical lines with cardigans works very well (as discussed above), but to cover a tummy, you can also wear shorter jackets.
If you pop a biker jacket over a longer top, you confuse the eye so that the various hem lengths cover your belly.
When it comes to covering a stomach, layers are certainly your mate.
CHARTOU suede moto jacket – Treasure & Bond stripe tunic – KUT from the Kloth skinny pants – Dolce Vita bootie – Hobo leather hobo – 8 Other Reasons drop earrings
The longline cardigan below produces nice long lines and draws the eye to your face and away from your belly with the scarf and earrings.
The longer the cardigan, the longer and leaner you can look, but from the height of your shoulders to the feet, you usually don’t want to go longer than 2/3.
Short straight cardigans will still cover your abdomen, but will have a more boxy silhouette overall.
You can layer in summer and winter
In spring and summer, you can always layer; you just need to pick lighter fabrics.
If you live in warmer climates or you are going off on vacation, Sara (above) can give you some inspiration with her stylish, lightweight leopard print open kimono.
With this comparable top, pants, cardigan, sandals and crossbody bag, you get her look.
You can also choose a vest instead of a cardigan. To build straight, slender vertical lines, a long vest is ideal, but you can also opt for shorter waterfall vests.
Layer your (sleeveless) top with a vest that is sleeveless. This Amazon vest cardigan can be matched with several tops and will look fantastic over skinny jeans and trousers.
It also has the bonus of being asymmetrical, so it is even more flattering.
For more options on wearing vests you may like to check out this article for lots of options on how to wear a long vest.
Below is a choice that demonstrates how you can wear it.
In order to give you a longer, slimmer look, tonal shades can be fantastic.
Use your shirt and pants to build a color column, and then add a sleeveless cardigan in a hue from the same direction of color.
MBJ front drape vest cardigan – Ming Wang abstract print blouse – Rebecca Taylor faux leather pants – SARTO by Franco Sarto pump – Tory Burch leather wallet on a chain
It will help to cover your belly by choosing a top in a darker color, while the sleeveless cardigan on top will help build lean lines.
Up to your face and away from your tummy section, a scarf or statement necklace will attract attention.
For all seasons, sleeveless vests fit well.
Read our article on the best shops for the apple body shape.
You might also use a very lightweight cover-up like the examples below if you are in colder climates or going out on holiday.
Rebecca Minkoff dip dye ruana
How about this long chiffon cardigan (below) that would look beautiful worn over patterns or block colors for a lighter burst of color?
4. Don’t emphasize your tummy by adding accessories like belts right on top of them, rather belt higher
You don’t have to resist belts entirely when choosing a suit, top or cardigan.
Just make sure the belt sits a little higher, so at its widest point, you’re not attracting attention to your belly.
Again, patterns can also help to attract attention away from a bigger tummy and this can do the trick in combination.
To see what looks most flattering to you, play around with where and how you clamp your belt.
5. Dresses that hide belly bulge – Choose dresses that don’t cling and/or have a draping element
Make sure your clothes don’t cling to the place around your tummy. Dresses that have a draping feature around the region of the tummy also work.
Asymmetrical dresses often perform well, attracting focus away from the abdomen and forming a vertical line.
It is also perfect to cover the tummy region with dresses that don’t stick and which also have patterns.
Hailey (above) chooses a wrap dress just below the bust (this is actually your slimest part) and opts for a design that can be another perfect way to cover a stomach.
Use this comparable wrap dress, sandals, purse and necklace to recreate her outfit.
To draw attention away from the belly and to create flattering vertical lines, the dress below is draped just right.
If you add a statement necklace at the end, as the eye will be drawn upward, you will further divert the eye from the belly region.
You may also like our article on how cover up your arms if you prefer to wear a dress with sleeves.
6. Wear tops over your skirts and pants and don’t tuck them
To prevent that, tucking draws attention to your (non-existing waist again) so better.
This is because if you tuck your shirt in, you can build a line at the widest part around your tummy.
Leave your top outside of your skirt or trousers instead.
Pay attention to the overall balance, though, and don’t let the top end at the widest point of your hips, as it could be unflattering as well.
For many women, a short blouse which falls loosely on your tummy will work very well.
Fonda (above) is wearing her jeans with her sweater outside. Upwards, the neckline and her necklace attract attention.
You’ll find that my cropped top ends up attracting attention to my waist and not to my stomach.
The look is further intensified by the asymmetrical hem and the fact that I only wear one column of color underneath.
7. Flattering clothes for big stomach – Don’t wear garments that are bulky around the tummy area
With pockets or other embellishments, you don’t want to make the area any larger.
However, as it elongates and does a good job at covering, a vertical loose drape like this cardigan below might work.
8. What to wear to hide a big stomach – Choose asymmetrical tops to hide your belly
Asymmetrical tops create vertical and diagonal lines and break up the silhouette so that tummies are perfectly disguised.
Deborah (above) opts for an asymmetrical poncho that adds charm and warmth. She also adds earrings for declaration and a red lipstick pop that holds the spotlight on her face.
Great shops for asymmetrical items include:
- Eileen Fisher
- Stella Carakasi
9. Use pants that tuck the tummy in
The pants you’re wearing will make a major difference about how big your stomach looks.
Be mindful of not buying pants that end up making a massive bulge in the center of your belly.
Instead, you want to wear higher-rise trousers and a hat that can tuck your tummy in.
Fee (above) selects a well-fitting pair of black trousers, and with a statement necklace in bright red adds effect to her neckline.
Find out what are the best tummy control jeans in stores now.
I already mentioned some of my favorite leggings that are strong enough to do this under #2 above, but skinny pants can do this job too.
You can also consider tummy tucking jeans. Some of these jeans have an elastic waistband, and some have a regular fastening but are made from stretchier fabric with clever control panels.
10. Use tops with prints
Prints are very good at covering bellies, and you should certainly consider adding a couple to your wardrobe.
No-one would notice your tummy if you pair a printed top with one of our belly hiding tips above!
“In her outfit above, Steph (above) has featured a number of techniques for “belly hiding. Her loose top features a polka dot pattern thus ensuring the focus is on her face rather than the tummy region with her necklace and earrings.
Use this comparable top, cardigan, jeans, shoes and necklace to recreate her outfit.
I love this printed top from Amazon at the moment as well (below). It’s nice to wear on its own, doesn’t cling, and a jacket or cardigan can also be quickly layered.
11. Use shapewear
Of course, shapewear such as these shorts tucking the tummy is also very useful in covering the belly, but I only use it for very special occasions as I personally find it uncomfortable.
SPANX shaping briefs
For options on shapewear please read my article on the best shapewear for women over 40.
12. Highlight something else
It’s possible to get so focused on doing so when you think about how to cover your belly that you forget about anything else.
You may not be sure about your stomach, but what about the body parts that you want to do?
Can you show off some cleavage, highlight your shoulders or show off your perfect legs?
Venetia (above) shows off a flattering v-neck, stripe dress with her lovely décolletage.
Check out the dress, sandals, clutch, and sunglasses that look identical.
For instance, the top below features buttons that help to focus on the neck rather than your belly.
If you like your legs, instead of your tummy, you might position the emphasis there. That doesn’t mean wearing a mini skirt, but in order to expose your legs and a simple top, you might wear some lovely printed jeans so that the attention is drawn to your legs rather than your belly.
Or, you could draw it down instead of drawing the eye up (or, of course, you could do both). Instead of your tummy, a pair of bright shoes will place the emphasis on your feet and legs.
It’s more about concealing what you don’t like and concentrating on what you like to do.
13. Think about where your sleeves end
You’re probably concentrating on whether your top or dress drapes over your belly region or whether it clings while you’re thinking about covering a tummy.
Don’t forget about your sleeves, though. You can only draw attention to this region if your sleeves stop right at the point where your belly is at its widest.
Instead, look for sleeves that finish at the hips above or below your belly. The best length of the sleeve for you would depend on the length of your arm and where the abdomen is widest.
Jona (above) prefers sleeves that finish just under the bust.
With this similar top, large leg trousers, booties, sunglasses, recreate your outfit and finish the look with a Gucci crossbody bag.
14. Choose flattering brands
It goes without saying that some stores and brands with supermodel-type bodies are more focused on women, while others are better at designing for women who want to skim over certain sections of the body.
Some of my favorite brands that make belly hiding clothes are.
- Alex Evenings
- Eileen Fisher
- Stella Carakasi
15. Use accessories to hide your belly (BONUS!)
I’m not recommending that you wear a handbag to hide it in front of your tummy! Accessories can, however, be a fantastic instrument to conceal or distract from your belly.
For example, you might wear a colorful scarf to attract attention to your face. Or, to disguise your tummy, you can leave your scarf loose so it drapes down and produces a column effect. Statement necklaces are another excellent way to gain upward focus.
Andrea (above) is wearing a lovely scarf with a loose animal pattern.
With this identical dress, cardigan, shoes, handbag and scarf, you steal her look.
When it comes to your handbags, think about where they lie when you hold them. If you have a shoulder strap bag, for example, that ends at your belly, this will attract attention there.
As you may attract attention to your lovely legs, pick a bag that sits higher up or farther down, or a bag that you hold in your hand. Don’t pick a bag that’s too small because it will look out of proportion.
A tummy-hiding capsule wardrobe
Any of the garments and accessories used in this article are below, combined in one capsule wardrobe. There are plenty of ways you can mix and match to make endless outfits, you’ll see.
For you, more belly hiding inspiration
Below is a capsule for hiding your tummy from the previous season. You’ll see both of these looks are completely timeless.
What are your best tips to hide your belly?
- The Best Tops To Hide Your Tummy
- The Best Dresses To Hide Your Tummy
- The Best Tummy Control Jeans To Give You A Smoother Look
This article contains affiliate links