Shopping for dresses can feel like a nightmare if you don’t love your tummy region. When it comes to covering a stomach, certain clothes may definitely be unforgiving. There are many types, however which do a better job of covering or camouflaging the tummy. To conceal your tummy, we’ll show you all the best dresses.
You can find plenty of choices and ideas below, whether you are looking for a formal belly-hiding dress or a day dress that flatters the tummy region.
Of course, though this article focuses on flattering dresses for the tummy, there are many clothes that can be used to cover the tummy.
Be sure to read all our tips for hiding the right clothes from your belly as well.
Lingerie to go under your clothing and undergarments
First of all the lingerie and undergarments you want to go under your dress, though they are nothing to do with the dress itself can make a big difference to the way it looks. With the right lingerie, even the best dresses that cover your tummy can perform better.
This could mean anything from making sure the bra and panties you wear match together and build straight lines under your dress to choosing shapewear for a special occasion, depending on whether you’re dressing comfortably and want to be comfortable, or whether you’re going out for the evening.
You don’t need to wear form in general (I don’t use it), but you have to pick underwear that doesn’t show any ugly lines. It also helps if you cover your tummy with your panties.
Take a look at the best big-bust bras and the best small-bust bras, too.
Of course, for a special event, you may want to wear some shapewear.
It always helps to tuck your tummy in.
These Spanx body shaping shorts tuck in the tummy as well as thinning thighs and provide your rear with some uplift.
Check our post on the best shapewear for women over 40 years old as well.
The finest dresses to cover parts of the tummy
However, without the need for shapewear, there are plenty of dresses you can wear that conceal the belly.
Those that skim (and not cling) over the places you don’t want to highlight are the best clothes to cover your belly.
As several of you will be moving into the cooler months, a sweater dress might be a smart idea.
It can either be really flattering for sweater dresses or they can look boxy and cling to any lump and bump. In a light sweater, choose a dress that drapes rather than clings. It is safer not to pick knitwear that adds unnecessary weight, such as cable knits. Wear it with your leggings or your skinny trousers.
Sandra (above) chooses a sweater dress which in many different ways, is flattering. The neckline draws the eye upward the belt cinches below the bust instead of around the waist, vertical lines are used in the material and it does not cling. With her wrap, she adds vertical lines as well.
Use this comparable sweater dress, scarf and leather boots to recreate her outfit.
A-line tunic sweater dress, Doublju cowl neck
There’s no denying this year was a very different year for us all. However you’ll be searching for a special dress if you’re still organizing any formal activities or even smaller gatherings this year.
This one by Alex Evenings covers the tummy and by using the outer layer, produces a flattering column effect down the centre.
Alex Evenings embroidered cocktail dress with a mock jacket
Mock Jacket cocktail dress embroidered by Alex Evenings
Cover a tunic and legging combo from your tummy
When you want to mask or conceal something, layering has always been a good choice. And it can be an excellent choice to wear a dress over trousers.
When it comes to covering a stomach, a flowy tunic or trapeze dress will work wonders if you wear it over leggings.
If you choose the right leggings or pants (check our recommendation for the best tummy control leggings), they will help to tuck in your tummy and create a more streamlined silhouette. The loose material of the tunic will drape over areas you are not so keen on.
In its cowl neck tunic and leggings, Dayle (above) looks fabulous. You could always swap sandals for booties, depending on where you are in the season.
Check out the printed tunic dress you can wear with these leggings and sandals that are identical.
This Amazon casual t-shirt dress (below) has a huge number of reviews. I’d wear leggings and a necklace with a contemporary message.
Dress in T-Shirt
New leggings needed? Then make sure to review our post on the best leggings for women over 40 years of age.
Vertical dresses with designs are perfect for covering the tummy
Vertical stripes, rather than around your tummy, have a slimming effect, pulling the eye up and down.
This wrap dress’s stripes run vertically rather than horizontally, which should help to take your midriff away from the spotlight. The belt can be attached to the smallest part of your tummy.
VERO MODA stripe cover midi dress | 40plusstyle.com The Best Dresses to Conceal Your Tummy
Midi Dress VERO MODA Stripe Wrap
Hide your stomach with clothes with prints
A better way to hide a belly is to pick a patterned dress because the patterns confuse the eye, pulling the eyes up, down and around and away from any bulge in the belly.
Caroline (above is wearing an 80s-style on-trend dress that cinches just below her bust.
Check out this floral dress, pumps and headband that are identical.
Best Tummy Hiding Dresses – Karen Kane Printed Cascade Dress
Karen Kane’s Cascade Printed Dress
Try an asymmetrical dress with elements
You know how much I love asymmetrical wear, I’m sure.
A perfect way to take attention away from your belly is to go for an asymmetrical dress. A dress with asymmetry, giving a slimming illusion, may generate vertical and diagonal lines.
Depending about how much of a stomach you like you need to cover, you can pick a more tailored or looser dress.
This is the dress that I ordered for myself.
To cover your tummy, try a dress with asymmetrical elements
COS knot drape dress combination
For your body, asymmetrical clothing is really flattering. Consider adding asymmetrical pieces to your wardrobe, even though you don’t want to downplay your tummy but another area of your body.
For the best asymmetric clothes, be sure to review my recommendations.
Empire Wear Waist
What works for one woman is not always going to work for the next, so this is just about experimenting with what works for you. Some women complain that they look pregnant in these kinds of dresses, while others find the perfect tummy hiding dress for them.
By drawing attention to the slimest part of your body, which would be the part directly under your bust, and skimming over your belly instead of clinging, an empire waist dress could work for you.
If this is a part of your body you like, you can also choose to highlight your breasts with an empire dress.
Bev (above) selects a dress with a tiered empire waist that she wears with booties. You might also add tights or leggings if it’s especially cold where you are.
With this identical coat, booties and fedora, you get her look.
Swing wear Levaca
In all the wrong places, a shift dress in the correct fabric (natural is best) won’t cling. Over your midsection, it will skim and show off your thighs.
This Karen Kane style (below is amazingly flexible. You could wear leggings or skinny jeans, and it would look perfect with booties on it, or you could dress it up for evenings with chunky jewelry.
Karen Kane Blouson Shift Sleeve Dress
By layering your dress, cover your tummy
In terms of different tops and bottoms, it’s simpler to think of layers.
But over a dress, you can certainly always add a trendy layer.
To add elegance (and tummy camouflage) to your outfit, select a long, sleeveless vest. This causes a slimming impact in the middle of a column of color, and two columns on each side, breaking up your silhouette so that your stomach is not as visible.
This cardigan with a sleeveless vest can easily be layered over a shirt. For instance, you would build a flattering column of color down the middle of your outfit if you popped this over your favorite little black dress.
For a flattering, trendy effect, Kylie demonstrates how you can add a sleeveless vest over your dress.
Use this comparable dress, vest, booties and leggings to recreate her look.
Shirtdress for shirt
A dress with a shirt may be a nice choice to cover a stomach. You may opt to wear a dress with buttons down or a waistband.
Deborah (above) opts for a buttoned shirtdress that skims and teams with on-trend peep-toe booties rather than slings.
Check out this shirtdress, booties and earrings identical to that.
I like this NIC+ZOE (below) dress that features a flattering v-neck. The pattern is modern and helps to hide the tummy. To add some oomph to your look, you might team up with red accessories.
Printed trench coat dress by NIC+ZOE
Draw your eyes to the neckline
You will take the emphasis off your middle section by drawing attention upwards to your neckline, and hence your face.
This dress from Alex Evenings (below) features embellishment that draws attention away from your tummy to the neck and shoulders.
Cold shoulder popover cocktail dress by Alex Evenings
A wrap dress is a style that no matter what your shape or size, will fit the vast majority of women. The way the belt binds to the most slimming effect can be adjusted slightly, and the v-neck is also a flattering choice.
Her leopard print wrap is worn by Melissa (above with a motorcycle jacket.
With this identical wrap dress, motorcycle jacket and sandals, recreate your look.
Floral wrap dress from Scotch & Soda
Floral wrap dress from Scotch & Soda
Drapes are the greatest buddy in the tummy!
It can either highlight or hide a belly depending on the way a drape falls on you.
Before you find one that works for you, it can be a matter of experimenting a little.
Look for a dress that has a flattering draped effect, but does not add or draw attention to extra bulk around the tummy region.
Karen Kane dress for faux wrap
Karen Kane faux dress wrap
Frills and ruffles may also conceal tummies.
Hiding a tummy could be a smart idea for a ruffle dress
You can pick frills or ruffles that produce a variety of results, just as with the draping you want.
By getting ruffles on your sleeves, you might for example, attract attention away from your tummy. Just make sure you don’t fall sleeveless in the same place as your belly, if you do.
Or, rather than around, you might find a dress that has a frill or ruffle pulling the eye upward and downward.
Anita (above is wearing a beautiful red dress with frills that flow around the body diagonally.
Steal her look with this dress and sneakers that are identical.
Tummies can be covered by frills or ruffles on dresses
Tahari fake dress wrap
To cover your tummy, use layers
Layers are still useful for covering a number of issues” that you are not interested in.
Some clothes also come with clever layers built in, such as this dress below, which would be ideal for any formal events you are invited to for dining out or for wearing flat sandals more casually during the warmer months.
Ltd. S.L. Asymmetric chiffon overlay dress fashions
Ltd. S.L. Asymmetric chiffon overlay dress for fashion
The best clothing for covering your stomach
When it comes to concealing an abdomen, pleating can have a lot of benefits.
The pleats mean that it is not close-fitting to the dress. Plus, pleats produce a sequence of vertical lines naturally.
Cassie (above is wearing a motorcycle jacket in her pleated maxi dress. At the bottom of the dress, the lighter colors tend to pull the eye away from the area of the tummy.
Check out these Amazon and Eliza J pleated dress choices that you can wear with this identical moto jacket and sneakers.
Halston Heritage’s dress below features pleats and a blouson effect, which will help to conceal a bit of a belly.
Folded dress to cover your stomach
Pleated wear by Halson Heritage
Puff sleeve dresses are on the trend right now in particular. If you look at the key trends for winter and fall 2020, you can find that voluminous sleeves are a big feature of many runway shows.
This Lark & Ro dress ticks several boxes of “hide a tummy.” It’s got a v-neck, a wrap style, and a flattering way of draping. At the bust-line, the puff sleeves stop, which will attract publicity rather than your tummy.
Gathered puff sleeve wrap dress by Lark & Ro
Katharina is wearing a dress with a blouse and a long cardigan.
Another choice that can work for some females but not for others is a blouson dress. As well as draping over the tummy, the blouson top will create the illusion that your top half is a little bigger, which makes your waist look smaller.
Katharina (above) brings a lovely mix of navy and yellow colors together. Remember, a flattering column effect is produced by the long cardigan that can elongate the figure.
Use this comparable dress, cardigan and pumps to get her look.
Jenny Packham Chiffon Flutter Sleeve Dress
Dresses for Summer
Maybe you’re returning to where you live in the summer, or maybe you’re lucky enough to be holidaying in warmer climates. You’ll find inspiration below in that case:
Best summer dress for tummy hiding
In women over 40, belly bulges are very common. I still have a belly bulge, even though I’m very thin all over and I’m not interested in highlighting it.
Even if you have not previously had a problem with this region of your body, it’s very normal to grow a tummy at peri-menopause or menopause.
One easy way to conceal this belly bulge is to pick a broad and drapy dress like the dress I’m wearing in the picture above.
It’s also really flattering as the dress fits snugly at the top and is meant to go big, and no one needs to know you have a tummy.
The dress I’m wearing above is Stella Carakasi, but it’s not available anymore. Below is a dress with tie dye that can conceal your belly as well. As it is short at the front, it would be a nice choice to wear with leggings.
Shirtdress Karen Kane tie dye
Karen Kane tie shirtdress for dye
You can also choose a summer dress or beach dress that you can wear over your swimwear or for an outdoor evening dinner, similar to the dress above.
The best way to cover your tummy might be a dress with asymmetrical detailing.
Swing tunic dress TINYHI
TINYHI swing wear tunic
When choosing dresses to cover your tummy, strong brands to look out for:
Evenings for Alex
About Eileen Fisher
Karen Kane Karen Kane
What do you think are the best tummy dresses to hide? What worked out for you?
14 With the right clothing, Sure-Fire ways to cover your belly
To cover your tummy, the best tops
Best pants and skirts for your belly to suit and conceal
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2 thoughts on “The best dresses to hide your tummy”
I want to add some more tips. As we know that Dark is the best light absorber and due to its this property, it helps to hide the curves. So wearing dark colors and wearing uni-color pants and shirts, helps to not dissect your body in different sections.