How to camouflage your tummy

photo of a shift dress

How to camouflage your tummy is a common question that I hear as a fitting room stylist. I understand the struggle that women can experience dressing to camouflage a tummy. Unfortunately, the common but misguided solution is to cover the tummy up by wearing oversized clothing. The typical ensemble involves a two-piece (1:1) ratio, which results in a boxy look. This post touches on just a few of the many tips and tricks available to camouflage a belly or muffin top.


1) Apply the rule of thirds in fashion

Applying the rule of thirds, to your style is easy to understand and to use. By applying the rule of thirds to your style you can make your legs appear longer or your torso appear longer by alternating the ratios. The most flattering way to wear the ratios will likely depend on if you are long-waisted or short-waisted.

Long-waisted or short-waisted

Because I am long-waisted, I typically wear 1/3 on the top and 2/3 on the bottom to make my legs appear longer. If you are short-waisted, you will want to do the opposite. I find high-rise pants are the most comfortable and flattering to earn if you have a protruding belly. They comfortably slide over the belly and sit above the belly crest at the narrowest part of the waist. They are much more comfortable than mid-rise pants, which sit smack dab in the middle of my stomach!

2) Choose asymmetrical tops & sweaters

It’s easy to see how the top on the left with its diagonal line and front pleats can minimize a tummy. Asymmetrical sweaters and vests can also do the same thing. The length of the top is important. To camouflage a belly, tops should end above the crest of the belly or hang below the hips and buttocks. If you are a triangle shape, select a style that is short above or at the hip with the cascade or drape in the front.

3) Choose styles that bypass the waist

Choose styles that bypass the waist; consider sheath and shift dresses. High waistlines like an empire waist are an excellent option for hiding the tummy. You can break up the straight line of the dress by choosing a cropped jacket, sweater, or blazer cut to support the rule of thirds.

4) Wear clothing with diagonal lines and rouching

Diagonal lines do an excellent job of minimizing a tummy. Look for shirts, dresses, and sweaters with diagonal lines or stripes to hide your tummy. The rouching in the dress below is perfect for disguising a less than flat tummy!

Beth Ives outfit of the week. Wearing a Talbots shift dress with a diagonal stripe  and rouching..

I have presented just a few tips that address this topic. For more ideas and suggestions book a free style consultation.

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(1) Comment

  1. Sage Style Tips for the petite woman over 50 * MyPetiteStyle says:

    […] the more attention you will bring to this area of your body; instead of trying to hide your tummy, look for styles that bypass the waist or select high-waisted styles that sit above the belly. Avoid […]

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