A popular article at 40+ Style is how to hide your belly with clothes, where I share 11 ways to hide your tummy effectively with the right kind of tops, dresses, cardigans and jackets.
Many 40+ women develop a tummy and they would rather not show too much of that to the world.
And why would you, when you can easily hide it with the right tops!
I’m keeping track of the ideal tops to buy right now to hide your belly. Many of these will look good on all women over 40.
As you may know, I’m a great fan of draped and asymmetrical tops myself.
The best tops to hide your belly
Here is a full list of all the best tops that are doing a great job at hiding the belly.
You can use embelished tops to draw the attention away from the belly.
Look out for tops with some embellishment close to your face and neckline. That way, you draw the eyes upwards and away from your belly, putting the focus on your face and decolletage instead. This beaded embellished casual v-neck top doesn’t cling and does a great job focussing the eye upwards.
Patterned and printed tops to camouflage your belly
Another good tip is to look for a top which is still dressy, but which has some pattern. This confuses the eye so that the shape of your tummy isn’t so defined.
Prints are very effective in hiding bellies and you should definitely consider adding a few in your wardrobe.
I’m currently loving this printed top from Amazon ($21.99). Black and white is always on trend and super versatile. It’s great to wear on its own, doesn’t cling and can easily be layered with a jacket or cardigan too.
Tops that show of the shoulder
Another good way to take the focus off your belly is to put it elsewhere! You could choose cold shoulder, or off the shoulder tops to place the attention on the parts of your body you like and away from those parts that you aren’t so keen on.
Below, this cold shoulder top, with a scoop neck will draw attention upwards.
Tops that don’t cling
Make sure your tops don’t cling. Clinging is enemy number one if you don’t want to show your tummy. Instead, you want fabrics and tops that loosely drape over your belly.
To avoid clingy tops, make sure that you don’t buy your tops too tight.
Also be careful with a lot of synthetic fabrics. Natural materials like cotton and silk are often better.
Woven fabrics usually don’t cling and can be very useful in hiding bellies.
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.
A cross over top is very effective and this one creates asymmetrical vertical lines which is an extra bonus.
Below is a variation a regular t-shirt that is much more interesting and more effective at hiding bellies.
Tops that drape in all the right places
A draped top can be very effective in hiding bellies. This is also a very useful method in dresses. So rather than plain soft tops that show every bubble on your body look for draped tops instead.
This asymmetrical hemline flowy tunic Top drapes beautifully and has a few hiding belly assets all in one. It’s embelished at the top, has a beautiful drape and is asymmetric.
Asymmetrical tops are very effective in hiding bellies. Not only are asymmetrical tops hip and timeless they also do a great job in creating very flattering vertical lines.
Especially those tops that start on the left and then go vertical down to the right.
Wearing jeans underneath can let your hero pieces, like this asymmetrical top (below) stand out. This piece can easily be layered with a longer cardigan or shorter jacket and is the perfect canvas for a statement necklace (which further distracts from your belly.
Layering in general is super effective to hide bellies. However, in summer you don’t want to wear too many layers. Layered tops to the rescue. Very good at hiding bellies they look super hip too and can be easily layered with a sleevless vest, caridgan or jacket.
This layered chiffon cami comes in many different colors.
This layered top will enable you to create many outfits. You can easily layer it with a cardigan, jacket or sweater, but it can also be worn very stylishly on its own.
The advantage of this top is that it drapes nicely over your belly and hides it perfectly. It’s not too long so will not cut your body in half and has an asymmetrical hem which makes it extra flattering!
Tops that create long vertical lines
long vests or cardigans
If you find asymmetry is too edgy for you or you prefer a more traditional way to hide your belly, opt for vertical lines. These can be very effectively created with long (sleeveless) vests and cardigans. Not only do these hide bellies, they are very effective in lengthening and slimming too.
Below, a patterned shirt will take attention away from your belly, while the longline cardigan will create nice long lines.
The longer your cardigan, the longer and leaner you will appear, although you usually don’t want to go longer than 2/3 from the height of your shoulders to the bottom.
Short straight cardigans will hide your belly too, but will have an overall more boxy silhouette.
Instead of a cardigan you can choose a verst. A long vest is perfect for creating long, lean vertical lines, but you can opt for shorter waterfall vest too.
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.
Layer your (sleeveless) top with a sleeveless vest. This super affordable sleeveless vest from Azules can be combined with many tops and will look great over skinny pants and jeans. It has the benefit of being asymmetrical too which makes it even more flattering.
Jackets for layering
Layering is one of the most effective tools to hide a belly so it’s essential to have a good jacket or blazer in your wardrobe.
A gray jacket can make many casual looks just a bit more chic and is an easy layering piece.
I’m loving this cotton blend jacket that has a collar with a twist. That makes this classic jacket just a bit hipper. The short length will make it easy to wear this jacket with both your pants, skirts and dresses.
Wear it with your gray pants, your skirts or jeans.
The best brands for tops that hide the belly
Stella Carakasi: lots of non-clingy asymmetric tunics. **Enter the coupon code 40PLUS15 for an extra 15% off all orders and receive free shipping in the US! One use per customer.
Covered Perfectly: Pauline wanted to hide her belly effectively and decided to create her own tops. Lots of great options here. There is a special line for plus size women too. ** Special offer for 40+ style readers, use 40+ at checkout for 20% off!
Eileen Fisher: Beautiful long tunics and (sleeveless) vests in natural fabrics that create long and lean lines. They have a special line for petites too!
Vince Camuto: makes a variety of draped, layered and asymmetrical tops that are really flattering.
What is your favorite top to hide your belly? Do you have any favorite brands?
- How to hide your belly with the right clothes
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- How to dress for the apple body shape
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