10 sure-fire ways to hide your belly with the right clothes

by Sylvia

wide tops to hide belly
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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

1. Don’t wear tight garments over your belly

If you want to look stylish and highlight your strenghts, 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.

2. Leggings with wide 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!

how to hide your belly with tunics | 40plusstyle.com

3. Opt for layers with long cardigans or wear jackets

If you wear several layers or add a nice modern jacket, emphasising a vertical line your belly will not be noticed at all.

How to hide your belly

4. Don’t emphasise your tummy by adding accessories like belts

No need to draw attention to your midlife tummy and belts will do just that.

5.Dresses or tops with an empire waist line can be your best friend

These tops highlight the the thinnest part of your top body, which you gives you a great silhouette.

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.

how to hide your tummy | 40plusstyle.com

7. Get knitted tops that have some ruching or draping element on the belly

This will disguise and hide your belly. Patterns (not too big) will work too.

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.

hide your belly with tops from Covered Perfectly | 40plusstyle.com

Tops available at Covered Perfectly. Receive 20% off your first purchase when using the code 40+ at checkout!

9. Wear garments with vertical lines

These are always more flattering and disguise any fatter areas. Vertical lines will lengthen you and make you slimmer. A open cardigan adds a nice vertical line, as do garments with vertical prints.

10. 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!

Here are some tops that are available in shops right now.

Anything that I forgot? What are you sure-fire tips for hiding that belly? 

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Fonseca

Great tips! Thankfully my waist is still pretty slender, but it probably won’t be that way forever. Better wear my belts now!

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Sylvia

Yes! I too am going to do my best not to lose my waist but when (peri)menopause sets in, you don’t know what’s going to happen….

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Nanne

Excellent tips! The tummy area is no problem for me so far, but I guess at some point it might be. My butt and thighs, on the other hand…..several of your clothing tips work wonders for that, too:)

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Sylvia

Yes those too are my ‘problem’ areas as well. Should write an article on that….

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Cynthia

I love the long olive/camel cardigan. Where’d that come from? I might need one!

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erin

Being at the perimenopause/menopause stage in life, I find this article very useful, and helps me to confirm that I am on the right track in avoiding clothes that are too clingy and tight, not tucking in my tops etc.
Love your website! Thanks for sharing :)

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Sylvia

Hi Erin, Thanks for your feedback! Also thanks for linking up to my site and your kind words. Really appreciate it!

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Robert

Depending on the outfit that i’m wearing! The tummy area can be a problem! I’ve already incorporated some of your tips in my everyday life style.. But with certain outfits! Shapewear seems to work the best for me. Providing that your comfortable,shapewear can be a great addition to your wardrobe…

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Sylvia

Great to read that some of my tips have been helpful to you. What I love about shape wear is that you can still wear some outfits (like tight dresses) that would not have looked good otherwise. Great for special occasions!

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thefashionistachic

Just make an effort to stay away from foods high in sugar and processed foods.

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Sylvia

Very true, but with hormone imbalance and all kinds of other things, I know that many women over 40 find it difficult not to accumulate fat around the belly. But yes, I would say eat less and eat healthy and hopefully that will keep the belly fat off!

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thefashionistachic

Trust me I am no stranger to the difficulties with hormone imbalance, extra belly weight! Like so many of us the hormone imbalance affects our mood which for me results in emotional eating. My weakness is chocolate and rich desserts. I have yo yo most of my life.. But I found myself the happiest when I let go of the refined sugars and processed foods. My waist line improves, my skin glows and my mood improved immensely. You know I have a cousin a few year younger than me. She claims that I refuse to get old or I am not acting my age. She believes being over 40 is an excuse for letting yourself go. I believe to the contrary. Do we have to put a little more efforts? Yes, we do but at the end of the day it’s all worth it. Poor Madonna is getting so much flack for being fabulous at 50, she is 10 years my senior and boy I sure wish I could move like her. She’s my hero!!

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Sylvia

It is definitely something I need to do as well. I have heard from so many women that refined sugars make them ill and I also find that I would be healthier without them. So thanks for reminding me that it really makes a difference! I also agree that you should work harder to stay healthy and in top shape after 40 and I’m a big Madonna admirer! I will write about this in the future, I’m sure.

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Sylvia

Your comment inspired a new blogpost from me. Did you read it? http://40plusstyle.com/madonna-how-are-we-supposed-to-age/

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glitterqueen

I seem to have a figure of a pot bellied man! My problem is wide shoulders,
small bust, large stomach, slim bottom and legs.
5ft 9in tall. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Sylvia

It sounds like some belly hiding tops will come in handy for you. Since you have nice legs you will want to put your attention there. Get well fitted straight or slightly flared pants and combine with a belly hiding top. Empire wast tops would work well for you. Combine with an A-line jacket to balance out your shoulders and give you more of an hourglass shape. You will also look good with a slight A-line skirt. As will an empire waist a-line dress that highlights your legs. Good luck! and if you need more help you can always post more questions in the style forum.

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RailGrl

Thanks for the tips. One peeve of mine; I don’t understand how all the belly-hiding tips I read talk about tops flowing from empire waists. They make me look like I am pregnant! I get asked when the baby’s due!

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Sylvia

Yes, all tips do certainly not work for everyone. These tips are just guidelines. Our bodies are all slightly different, so play around a bit with the advuce and see what works best for you.

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laughingcrow

My only issue is the shape wear. I have Gird. My stomach area has chronic swelling and shape wear makes that issue worse.

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Sylvia

Yes it’s not for everyone. I seldom wear it as I find it too uncomfortable. The right underwear like good camisoles can already make a big difference…

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SnappyFit Concierge

Hi Sylvia!

I came across your blog whilst researching our article for – “5 tips on ‘No worries’ Sexy “. Great blog ! I’m absolutely going to bookmark your page – you have really nice tips that we can really learn from. Thanks, Sylvia and keep up the great articles ! :)

Sincerely,
Sin Ning

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Teresa

Great job on this article – very helpful and realistic!

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jessie

Thank you so much for sharing. I had a personal surgery last year and menopause hit in a hurry. I’ve gained 25#s and can’t hide the pop belly anymore. Losing weight is a hard with being a Mom though I workout. Its discouraging to be only 32 and struggle with the body of what looks like a much older woman. I look forward to giving these tips a go!

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Sylvia

Good luck Jessie. Let me know how you get on!

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Lunza

Is there any place that makes shirts for TALL plus-sized women?

{commence rant}

I’m 5’9″, around size 28, apple-shaped and long-waisted, and the worst problem I have dressing is finding tops that are long enough to camouflage the lower part of my stomach — even so-called tunic-length shirts made for average height women can be too short. I also have relatively slim legs in proportion to my midriff, so my pants are either tight in the waist and fine in the legs or fine in the waist and baggy in the hips. Seems as though in the ’90s when “leggings” weren’t a dirty word, I could find shirts that were long enough and wear leggings with them and I was content. I know that was 20 years ago and things sag, but I weigh less now than I did then, and … anyway. :)

{end rant}

Any recommendations? Thanks!

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Sylvia

Hi Lunza, Covered Perfectly has a plus size section. You may like to check if they have any tops that would be good for a tall women: http://coveredperfectly.com/plus-sizes.html I also found this shop that has a tall plus page: http://www.onestopplus.com/Plus-Size-Tall-Plus.aspx?nop=10000&DeptId=18975
Good luck finding some great tops!

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Linda Todd

Yes, I have a belly. Always have but it does get less noticeable at times. I try to wear tops, skirts, pants, dresses that hide this feature. It is very annoying and I do not wear belts or blouses tucked in as a general rule.

Thank you enjoyed finding your website. Interest information and good advice.

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Sylvia

Welcome Linda. Hope you will enjoy the many articles and inspiration!

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Tammie

Just found this site. Love it!! My problem I have all my weight in belly, and no butt. 5 ’10 and it’s hard to find shirts long enough. Also I’m always pulling my pants up because they won’t stay up. Any suggestions?

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Sylvia

Stretch pants can help but in the end the only real solution is to have your pants altered. You may also like to read this additional article with specific guidelines for tall women: http://40plusstyle.com/how-to-dress-when-you-are-tall/

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Carol

I agree with the comments on empire waists, they tighten at the top of the belly, making the belly pouf out and looking pregnant. I ant imagine how this works on anyone. Also read an article that belting a tucked in top (large belt) then wearing an overblouse or one of the draped jacket tops slendarizes your whole body. Anyone try this?

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Sylvia

Not all empire waist tops are created equally though. Yes some can make you look pregnant but some can really work.

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ailsa

I am 5ft tall and im apple shape im all belly and no bottom aged 43. Please help me

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Sylvia

Hi Alisa. My best tips are already in the article. Other articles that may help you include http://40plusstyle.com/how-to-dress-when-you-are-short-petite/ and http://40plusstyle.com/how-to-hide-your-belly/

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Gloria Beatty

Wear Empire Style??

That’s the very last thing I would do. Am I the only one that looks pregnant wearing these clothes?

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Alice

Great tipsim always struggling I have had five kids I do have a spare tyre for a waist and it’s worse during times of bloating etc. the problem I have though is I live in a tropical climate so layering with jackets etc is out of the question and a lot of synthetic fibres can be very hot. Sort of limits the wardrobe a bit.

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Sylvia

I do so too and it’s definitely more challenging. It’s even more important to buy the right tops that are not clingy. You could scroll through the section what I wore (under style) to get some inspiration for dressing in a hot climate.

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