Many women after 40 experience weight gain on their bellies, especially those going into perimenopause or menopause. Your waist may disappear and you will start to develop more characteristics of the apple body shape. Luckily there are many things you can do to hide that belly, so that it doesn’t come in your way of looking fabulously stylish!
How to hide your belly – my 10 tips
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1. Don’t wear tight garments over your belly and choose tops with ruching or drape
If you want to look stylish and highlight your strengths, it is best not to wear tight tops. They will accentuate every fat bubble you have and draw attention away from you and your fabulous clothes. Rather choose tops that have some draping or ruching.
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2. Wear leggings or skinnies with wide, draped or asymmetrical tops
Leggings can be your best friend. They will fit comfortably around your belly and tuck it in a bit. Also, with so many wonderful tunics and long tops to choose from, you will look fabulous. Noone will notice your belly! For more tips and examples on how to wear leggings check this article.
Another length I like in warmer weather is just below the knee. These Second Nature Capri leggings from Stella Carakasi are super fab. Not too thin and very stretchy and comfortable. They are also great for tucking in your tummy. Worn here with the printedAttitude is Everything tunic and the long camisole in serene.
3. Create vertical lines with long cardigans, jackets and ponchos
Layering is very effective to disguise a belly. You can add a cardigan or a jacket. Waterfall or straight designs can both work and will create a nice vertical line which will lengthen you and distract the eye from your belly.
The longer your cardigan, the longer and leaner you will appear as is clearly illustrated by the model with the shorter hair who looks a lot slimmer with the long cardigan. Short straight cardigans will hide your belly too, but will have an overall more boxy silhouette.
Right now long vests are very popular which are perfect for creating long lean vertical lines. Check out this article for lots of options on how to wear a long vest.
4. Don’t emphasise your tummy by adding accessories like belts right on top of them
No need to draw attention to your midlife tummy and belts will do just that when you belt too low.
However, higher belts can be effective for some women by drawing attention upwards. This can work especially well if the top has a print or an asymmetrical detail like the ones in the example below. It will give you more shaping while still hiding that belly.
5. Choose dresses that don’t cling or / and have a draping element
Make sure that your dresses don’t cling around the tummy area. Dresses with a draping element around the tummy area often work.
Asymmetrical dresses work well too as they draw attention away from the belly and create a vertical line.
Dresses that don’t cling with patterns are also great to hide the tummy area.
6. Wear tops over your skirts and pants and don’t tuck them
Tucking draws attention to your (non-existing waist again) so better to avoid that. However, pay attention to overall balance and don’t let your top end at your widest point of your hips as that may be unflattering.
7. Layer like a pro
It’s easier to hide your belly in winter as you can layer your clothes. Creating vertical lines with cardigans (as discussed above) works really well, but you can also wear sheer or softer fabrics underneath a shorter sweater.
8. Don’t wear garments that are bulky around the tummy area
You don’t want to make that area even bigger with pockets or other embellishments. However, a vertical loose drape as shown in the black blouse above could work as it elengates and does a good job at hiding.
9. Choose asymmetrical tops
Asymmetrical tops create vertical lines that are great for disguising tummies.
Layered tops will work too, especially when they have an asymmetrical element.
10. (elastic) flat front stretchy pants and leggings can really help suck in that tummy!
Flat front or elastic pants and leggings can also help streamline your tummy and avoid any muffin top.
I love my Stella Carakasi knee-high leggings for summer and long leggings for winter. The fabric of these leggings is strong enough and the rise high enough to really tuck in your tummy. They are perfect to wear with your longer tunics and tops.
Their ankle pants look more like regular skinny pants but are also elasticated and cover the belly really well.
Brands of pants with high rises or elasticated waists recommended by women in the 40+ community are:
11. Wear shape wear
I could have put this on top of the list, but for day to day dressing I think most women would prefer just to wear their clothes without this. But shape wear can really flatten or hide your belly in many cases. Have a look at some of the tips given in my article on shape wear for some wonderful tips from other women over 40. Shape wear can really have a place in your dressing, but it’s important that you still remain comfortable in it!
Some recommended brands
- Eileen Fisher: has a high variety of long vests, layering tps and asymmetrical items
- Covered Perfectly: affordable tops with plenty of draping in all the right places
- Stella Carakasi: lots of unique asymmetrical designs that lengthen and losely drape and hide that belly!
Here are some tops that are available in shops right now!
What are your tips for hiding that belly?
P.S.: If you carry most of your weight around your belly, you are most likely an apple body shape. Download our extensive guide for many more tips on how to dress for your shape!
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