A popular article at 40+ Style is how to hide your belly with the right clothes, where I share sure-fire ways to hide your tummy effectively with the right kind of tops, dresses, cardigans and jackets.

Now I’m going to specifically look at the best tops to hide your tummy.

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 tops to hide your tummy will look good on all women over 40.

As you may know, I’m a great fan of draped and asymmetrical tops myself. And, that’s definitely one option you can choose to hide a tummy.

Why you might develop a tummy

Of course everyone is a different shape and size. However, many women, no matter whether they are naturally smaller or larger tend to develop a tummy during peri-menopause or menopause.

So, you’re definitely not alone if you want to cover up your tummy.

Strategies to use when choosing a top to hide your tummy

Below are some quick tips on what to think about when choosing tops to hide your belly.

There are reasons why I’ve chosen the tops in this article and that is because they do one of two things (or both) to disguise your tummy area.

Strategy 1: Draw the attention away

The first tactic you can use to “hide” your belly is not to hide it at all, but instead to make sure that everyone focuses on a different part of you.

So, when you’re looking for tops to hide your tummy, you could do this by ensuring that you have a flattering neckline, or that the neckline has some embellishment. For example, the lace neckline top (below) draws the eyes upwards. Reviewers say it goes well with any pair of pants.

Or, you can do this through the use of asymmetry, which confuses the eye.

Another way to do this is to look for patterned tops.

These draw the attention away from your belly as the eye doesn’t know where to focus on a pattern, so tends to dot around rather than looking at your tummy.

Tops to hide your tummy - BISHUIGE Pleated Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

BISHUIGE Pleated Tunic Top

Strategy 2: Look for flattering fabrics and styles

The second thing you can do when choosing a top is to make sure that it drapes across or flows over your belly in a flattering way.

Make sure the material in your top isn’t too thin or clingy. Instead, look out for draping and ruching, like on the draped tunic top (below), which reviewers say is stylish and comfy.

Tops to hide your tummy - DJT Tie Dyed Hankerchief Hemline Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

DJT Tie Dyed Hankerchief Hemline Tunic Top

The best tops to hide your belly

Now that I have talked about what you are trying to achieve or find when choosing a top to wear to disguise your tummy, below is a full list of all the best tops that will do a great job at hiding a belly.

You’ll see I’ve updated all of these tops for winter and fall as many of you are now heading towards the warmer months of the year.

I’ve also been inspired by some of the fall and winter trends for 2022. You’ll notice that these tops all use at least one of the techniques described above – they either draw the eye away from the tummy area, or they use clever draping and ruching to disguise a belly.

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.

It’s great to wear on its own, doesn’t cling and can easily be layered with a jacket or cardigan too.

Tops to hide your tummy - Stella Carakasi Illusion Tunic | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Illusion Tunic

Tops to hide your tummy - Stella Carakasi New Mood Top | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi New Mood Top

Tops to hide your tummy - Cestyle Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Hemline Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

Cestyle Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Hemline Tunic Top

Tops to hide your tummy - Nandashe Scoop Neck Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

Nandashe Scoop Neck Tunic Top

Tops to hide a belly - leopard print | 40plusstyle.com

Kimba @kimbalikes above opts for an animal print top that she wears over her jeans.

Recreate her outfit with this similar leopard printed top, jeans, flats and sunglasses.

Embellished tops to hide your tummy

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. The Karen Millen top (below) draws attention to your face and bust, while the peplum styling helps to disguise a tummy.

Tops to hide your belly - Karen Millen Embellished Peplum Dip Hem Bandage Knit Top | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen Embellished Peplum Dip Hem Bandage Knit Top

This embroidered tee below doesn’t cling and does a great job focusing the eye upwards to the shoulder rather than to the belly.

Tops to hide your tummy - Romwe floral embroidery cuffed tee | 40plusstyle.com

Romwe Floral Embroidery Cuffed Tee

tops that show off 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 one-shoulder top will draw attention upwards, and would look lovely styled with jeans for a casual look, or with a midi skirt.

Tops to hide your tummy - Simlu Banded Waistband Off The Shoulder Top | 40plusstyle.com

Simlu Banded Waistband Off The Shoulder Top

Tops to hide a belly - Sharryn wears a boat neck black top | 40plusstyle.com

Sharryn @thestylishwoman above (read her style interview here) opts for a look that would be perfect to draw attention away from your tummy area. Instead, you can see that you look at her neckline, and her statement earrings draw the eye to her face.

Steal her look with this similar top, pants, sneakers, handbag and earrings.

V-neck

A V-neck is a good option for disguising a tummy. the v-neck will show off your neck and decolletage while creating a elongating effect.

Tops to hide a tummy - NINEXIS Crossover Side Wrap Surplice Top | 40plusstyle.com

NINEXIS Crossover Side Wrap Surplice Top

Tops that don’t cling

Woven fabrics usually don’t cling and can be very useful in hiding bellies.

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.

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.

This Stella Carakasi tunic (below) drapes beautifully and has a few hiding belly assets all in one.

It has a beautiful drape and is asymmetric. You can unbutton the neckline to the most flattering effect for you.

Stella Carakasi Tiburon Tunic | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Tiburon Tunic

Tops to hide a belly - Sara in a long denim shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Sara @style_designco above wears her long denim shirt over jeans.

Gt her look with this similar denim top, jeans, sneakers, crossbody bag and earrings.

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 LARACE top (below) drapes over the belly thanks to handkerchief styling. Reviewers say it is flowy and runs true to size.

Tops to hide your belly - LARACE Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

LARACE Tunic Top

Asymmetrical tops to hide your tummy

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.

This asymmetrical top below is a flattering style, and the darker color helps to take the attention away from your belly.

Asymmetric tops to hide your tummy - Karen Kane Colorblock Asymmetric Top | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane Colorblock Asymmetric Top

When the weather cools down, you could look out for a sweater with an asymmetric style.

BTFBM Turtleneck Asymmetric Hem Oversized Sweater | 40plusstyle.com

BTFBM Turtleneck Asymmetric Hem Oversized Sweater

Deborah in an all-black outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Deborah @deborahgates_ above (read her style interview here) chooses an all-black outfit and adds a pop of color with her signature red lipstick. You’ll find more inspiration in this article on how to wear black over 40.

Get her look with this similar tunic top, pants, sandals and earrings.

Layered tops

Layering in general is super effective to hide bellies.

This makes hiding a belly during winter and fall much easier than during summer.

But, if you are in part of the world that is heading into summer, or you are going on vacation, you can still use layering.

Layered tops to the rescue. Very good at hiding bellies, they look super hip too and can be easily layered with a sleeveless vest, cardigan or jacket.

A layered blouse 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 (below) is that it does the layering for you.

Umgee Layered Cuffed Sleeve Tunic | 40plusstyle.com

Umgee Layered Cuffed Sleeve Tunic

crossover

Or, you could try a crossover style like the Karen Kane top (below).

Karen Kane Crossover Hem Tie Top | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane Crossover Hem Tie Top

pleated

A top with pleats like the scoop neck choice from Amazon (below) could be another good choice. The pleats create a draped effect and add extra material which drapes over the belly area.

MANER Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

MANER Tunic Top

Or, you could try the pleated, henley style (below), which comes in lots of different color choices. Reviewers say it is flattering and high-quality.

Halife Henley Pleated Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

Halife Henley Pleated Tunic Top

For warmer weather, you could opt for a pleated sleeveless top like the chiffon blouse (below).

Timeson Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Timeson Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse

Fonda wears a lace top | 40plusstyle.com

Fonda @savvysouthernchic above chooses a top that features lace and ruffling at the top, while skimming over the belly with an empire style.

Check out this similar top, crop pants, mules, crossbody bag and hoop earrings.

Don’t be afraid of adding a waist

You can think about hiding your belly by skimming over it, or by creating a waist for yourself at your slimmest part to give the illusion of an hourglass figure.

You could do this with a top which has some elastic to create a waistline, or a tie.

Just make sure it doesn’t tie at the widest part of your tummy.

The belted option from Amazon (below) features a v-neck and draping. To add a little extra glamour, you could add a lace camisole underneath.

ACEVOG Lightweight Draped Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

ACEVOG Lightweight Draped Cardigan

Tops with vertical stripes

I’m not someone who thinks vertical stripes are a magical solution when it comes to hiding a belly.

In fact, you can find that a long cardigan in a block color worn over a top with horizontal stripes works very well too.

But there’s no doubt that vertical lines can draw the eye up and down rather than across if you choose a flattering style.

Stella Carakasi Crossroads Tunic | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Crossroads Tunic

Timeson Chiffon 3/4 Sleeve Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Timeson Chiffon 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

Ruffled or peplum tops

This is one you have to be careful with.

Choose the ruffle in the “wrong” place and it can actually emphasize your belly rather than disguise it.

You can either opt for a ruffle that skims over your belly to disguise it, or a ruffle in a different place altogether to draw the eye away from the tummy.

If you choose a peplum which dips in at your narrowest point and then skims out, or ruffles which are in strategic places to divert the attention from your middle section, they can work.

SSOULM Peplum Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

SSOULM Peplum Blouse

GRACE KARIN Wrap Peplum Blouse | 40plusstyle.com

GRACE KARIN Wrap Peplum Blouse

The best tops to hide your tummy | 40plusstyle.com

Jennifer @iamjenniferhicks above wears her striped peplum top with her jeans.

Check out this similar top (other options here and here), jeans (plus size option), booties, handbag, necklace and earrings.

Empire waist

These work for some women but not for others.

An empire waist is what is traditionally thought of as pregnancy wear and, if you do have a round tummy, it can be an unflattering option.

But, if your belly is more wide – so kind of a muffin top – rather than sticking out at the front, it can definitely work.

That’s because an empire waist will generally highlight the area just below your bust, which tends to be the slimmest point on your torso if you have a bit of a belly.

SoTeer Empire Waist Pleated Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

SoTeer Empire Waist Pleated Tunic Top

LOMON Smocked Long Sleeve Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

LOMON Smocked Long Sleeve Tunic Top

Choose tops that emphasize your bust

Do choose tops that emphasize your bust rather than your waistline like this tunic from Amazon (below).

That way the eye will be drawn upwards rather than to your tummy, and often you find if you have a bit of a belly, you have a great bust.

Just make sure you wear a well-fitting bra.

Bulotus Zip Front Tunic Top | 40plusstyle.com

Bulotus Zip Front Tunic Top

Tankaneo Knotted Top | 40plusstyle.com

Tankaneo Knotted Top

If you have a bigger bust take a look at the best bras for large breasts that are stylish and supportive.

Two in one top

You could choose a shirt that features knitwear and a shirt in one.

Stella Carakasi Two In One Chameleon | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Two In One Chameleon

Tops that create long vertical lines

1. Long 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.

Stella Carakasi Go To Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Go To Cardigan

The open front cardigan (below) also features draping, which is a good tummy-hiding mechanism. One reviewer says she loves the style so much she bought it in 11 different colors.

Urban CoCo Drape Front Open Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Urban CoCo Drape Front Open Cardigan

Also read our article on how to dress if you are petite.

Extra inspiration on using layering to hide a tummy

Below, you can see more outfit ideas on how to you can hide a tummy with layers or patterns.

A sleeveless cardigan can be a good option during warmer months, while you’ll want sleeves when it’s chillier.

The longer your cardigan or jacket, 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.

Long cardigan outfit idea to hide your tummy | 40plusstyle.com

JJ Perfection Open Front Long CardiganTimeson Chiffon Layered Toprag & bone Wren High Waist Ankle Slim JeansDelicious Adena Block Heel BootieHOBO Darling Leather Crossbody BagRosemarie Collections Ombre Polished Resin Set

Short jackets and cardigans will hide your belly too, but will have an overall more boxy silhouette.

Short jacket worn with shirt and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Smart Range Mila Kunis Biker Leather JacketCOS Macramé Shirtbone Wren High Waist Ankle Slim JeansJOY IN LOVE Low Heels PumpHOBO Darling Leather Crossbody BagCOACH Chubby C Crystal Stud Earrings

Jona in a red and black outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Jona @the50plusgirl above wears a shorter cardigan over her long black shirt.

Get her look with this similar shirt, cardigan, pants, booties, bag and sunglasses.

2. Sleeveless vests

Instead of a cardigan or coat you can choose a vest, which is a good option when the weather is warmer.

A long vest is perfect for creating long, lean vertical lines, but you can opt for a shorter waterfall vest too.

Even if the weather is a little warmer where you are, you can still layer a sleeveless vest over a sleeveless vest to benefit from tummy-hiding layers.

This Stella Carakasi vest can be combined with many tops and will look great over skinny pants and jeans.

It has the benefit of being draped too which makes it even more flattering.

Stella Carakasi Take Note Vest | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi Take Note Vest

Kylie wears a long open vest | 40plusstyle.com

Kylie @kylish_aus above wears a long vest over her pleated top and jeans.

Steal her look with this similar blouse, long vest, pants and booties.

For more options on wearing vests, you may like to check out this article on how to wear a long vest.

3. 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.

Jackets can make many casual looks just a bit more chic and they are an easy layering piece.

CHICWISH Open Front Knit Coat Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

CHICWISH Open Front Knit Coat Cardigan

Romwe Waterfall Collar Wrap Coat Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Romwe Waterfall Collar Wrap Coat Cardigan

Or, you could choose a draped or asymmetrical poncho like the options below.

Fomolom Knitted Poncho | 40plusstyle.com

Fomolom Knitted Poncho

PULI Large Cross Front Poncho | 40plusstyle.com

PULI Large Cross Front Poncho

Josephine wears a blue poncho | 40plusstyle.com

Josephine @chicatanyage (read her style interview here) adds a colorful touch to her black outfit with her poncho and gloves.

Check out this similar sweater, poncho, pants, slip-on sneakers and leather gloves.

4. Try a shapewear camisole

When you think about shapewear, you tend to think about the kind of thigh-slimming Spanx worn by celebrities on the red carpet.

But, you could wear a camisole underneath your tops to smooth out your tummy.

SPANX camisole | 40plusstyle.com

SPANX Thinstincts Convertible Camisole

The best brands for tops that hide the belly

When you are looking for tops to hide your tummy, it can be easiest to have some brands in mind.

Here are some of the best.

Stella Carakasi: lots of non-clingy asymmetric tunics. **Enter the coupon code 40PLUS15 for an extra 10% off all orders and receive free shipping in the US! One use per customer.

J.Jill has a large variety of tops. This layering top will look good on its own in summer and be used as a first layer in winter.

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.

Karen Kane: usually has a good range of draped and cross over tops.

City Chic: A good option for evening wear as well as tunic-style tops.

What is your favorite top to hide your belly? Do you have any favorite brands for tops to hide your tummy? I’d love to hear your own recommendations.

Continue reading:

  1. How To Hide Your Belly With The Right Clothes
  2. How To Look Taller And Slimmer
  3. How To Dress For The Apple Body Shape

Like this post on the best tops to hide your tummy? Share it on Pinterest!

The best tops to hide your tummy | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Jennifer @iamjenniferhicks

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