The best tops to hide your tummy

by Sylvia

The best tops to hide your tummy |

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.

Embellished tops

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.Embellished top to hide your belly |

Beaded Embellished Plus Size Casual V-Neck Top

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.

Printed tunic blouse to hide your belly |

Women’s Paisley Printed Long Sleeve Shirt, 1300+reviews, 4.4 stars

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.

Cold shoulder top to hide your belly |

Lemon Tart Cold Shoulder Top

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.

Crossover top to hide your belly |

Gibson Cross Over Top

Below is a variation a regular t-shirt that is much more interesting and more effective at hiding bellies.

T-shirt to hide your belly | 40plusstyle.comPaper + Tee Women’s Plus-Size V-Neck Draped Top, 82 review, 4.5 stars

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.

Flowy top to hide your belly | | 40plusstyle.comCestyle Asymmetrical Hemline Flowy Tunic , 570+ reviews 4.5 stars

Asymmetrical tops

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.

Asymmetrical tops to hide your belly |

Nic + Zoe Asymmetrical Hem Tank

Layered tops

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.

Layered tops to hide your belly |

layered chiffon cami, 300+ reviews 4 stars

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!

Layered tops to hide your belly |

Chiffon Layered Tank Top, 40+ reviews, 3.9 stars

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.

how to dress if you are petite.

Long cardigan outfit idea to hide your belly |

La Florentina knit vestFrame pocket silk blouse – Eileen Fisher straight leg crepe pantsNina Faux Leather Minaudière – BP block heel sandal

Below, a patterned shirt will take attention away from your belly, while the longline cardigan will create nice long lines.

Long cardigan outfit idea to hide your belly |

Halogen long cardiganBoden silk shirt – Frame crop skinny jeansLongchamp crossbody bagStella + Ruby earrings – Halogen bootie

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.

Sleeveless vests

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.

Vests to hide your belly | 40

Azules Asymmetric Hem Open Vest Cardigan, 600+ reviews, 4.6 stars

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.

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.

Jacket for layering to hide your belly |

Gibson Notch Collar Cotton Blend Blazer, 70+ reviews, 4.1 stars

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?

Further reading:

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The best tops to hide your tummy |

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cookie

I like the ease of shopping at JJill on line for their many misses tops which hide the belly. XL tops come in 30 inches long Wherever has multiple pieces ready to go.


2 Arlene

Hi I never posted before but have been reading your blog for awhile and love it. About hiding your tummy with certain tops, I find that if I go for the floaty, drapey tops make me look pregnant because I’m not small breasted. I can’t wear those loose tops that stick out from my boobs. I turn sideways and I really do look pregnant! I try to find tops that are not tight but don’t have too much material that is loose either. It’s not easy to find the right top for me. I like cardigans and especially the longer ones. I layer them over a tank top or cami. If you have any other suggestions, I’d appreciate it. Thanks Arlene from NJ (I don’t have a blog)


3 Sylvia

More tips here and of course many more in the style club next month 🙂


4 Rhonda K.

I’m in the same boat as you. 🙁



I am so glad to read that I am not by myself. It is so depressing when you are accustomed to being a size 7. Then life kicks in and you wake up with DDD breast and a belly, that looks as if you are 6 or 7 months pregnant. I don’t know what to do. I just know I cannot tolerate seeing my belly. Especially from the side view. Thank you Arlene for your guidance. I am on a major budget due to my disability. Can you please give more suggestions on clothes for those on a budget? Again thank you for all that you do!! FDC


6 Sylvia

Great to read that this was helpful. I would recommend shopping at Amazon. Very affordable and you will be able to find similar tops as discussed in this article.


7 Michele

Lori Goldstein QVC, Umgee t shirts


8 Samantha Blair

Hiding a tummy can be tricky Sylvia.
Lots of tops can make the matter worse (despite being sold to us as a solution).
After 3 HUGE babies I have a few tricks up my sleeve :oP.
The long line vest over a slim outfit is the perfect cover-up.
Thank you for these tips and tricks!!


9 Amy Christensen

These are wonderful ideas! All of which I used to hide my lovely love handles! Thanks for the tips! – Amy


10 nancy

I hate to say it but from the moment I turned 50 I had a belly! I hate it. So these tips come in very handy for me! Thank you.


11 Greetje

Still difficult. I want to hide my upper arms too. Most of the sleeveless tops won’t look as nice if you cover them with a cardigan or such.


12 Hp

I find kimonos are a great option! Wish has the most awesome ones.. lots of beautiful colors.. tassels.. lace.. So much variety. I have lots of them from wish and the prices are great. Just be mindful that you may have to go up a few sizes as I did. Great for covering tops of arms as well.


13 Arlene Shields

Wow Sylvia so much remarkable information about hiding the tummy. Some I do but some I don’t. No more shirts for me. I will be getting suit jackets and vests that give a heightened look. Sylvia if I spend as much time watching g what I put in my mouth as I do trying to camouflage my excess weight I will delete a few pounds. Thanks graciously for your generous brilliant tips


14 Sylvia

Thanks Arlene. Great to read, you found this useful 🙂


15 Kathryn Toft

Hi Sylvia,

Thank you for the useful tips on how to hide my tummy. I do love the layered tops especially floaty fabrics as find these do disguise it better for me wish I could find some that are not sleeveless to help hide my bingo wings. I’m not sure about the asymmetrical tops never thought about wearing them before. I do find that looking for stylish tops to help hide my tummy hard to find especially when your 5’2 and a size 18. I would love to find something that would help give the illusion that I’m taller not keen on very high heels though. I love your blog
Kind Regards


16 Sylvia

Welcome Kathryn! You may find this article on how to look taller interesting


17 Stacey

My biggest problem is finding the right pants, the jeans today have so much stretch that my problem is with in a hour of getting dressed they are rolled down my belly. Im just not sure what to look for, even in dress pants.. I am 5’3 and between a 18/20 plus size. The pants just roll down my belly..


18 Sylvia

I think it comes down to quality and getting a high enough rise (so the pants cover your belly). I’ve been very happy with Paige jeans. Not cheap but (to me) worth every penny. Elastic pants can help too (again, quality matters). Find more tops on that at


19 Martha Recio

I love long shirt not clingy, not a fan of t shirts, I have big chest as well, I ll love to be able to tuck shirt like on a loose linen pants which I love , sometime I do and I feel very conscious about it, when it comes to choose pants or jeans, I like mid rise enough to cover my huge muffin top,


20 AAnn Burditt

I I have severaproblems finding clothes, first I have shrunk to 4ft. 11in. And am bigger at bottom than top ,most alltops are way to long for myself and I wear 2xx but sometimes they are to big at top and not big enough in stomach area according to material, another problem is I need high necks like mock turtlenecks or something that covers back of neck as my severe arthritis can’t stand air to get to my neck because of pain. I wish I could find a really good seamstress that doesn’t charge an arm and leg to make my clothes .pants &jeans in short or petite are also sometimes to long also. Do you have any suggestions


21 Sylvia

As you mention the right lengths are important, so I would suggest to buy fewer pieces but better ones and use the savings to have them alter so that they’re perfect for you. We can offer you personal help through the 40+StyleClub (


22 Peggy Paige

I have a very large belly and very thin legs. I don’t wear dresses because of my belly and thin legs. I wish I knew what type of dresses that would help both problems. I can’t find pants that would fit my (waist ) and thin legs. Chico use to carry a line that addressed this problem but they no longer carry this line.
Why don’t you use models with small hips, thin legs, and large bellies? I’d like to see how the clothes and tops look on women that are less shapely.
I do enjoy this site.


23 Sylvia

Dresses that fit loose around and the belly and go wider at the bottom would work really well for you. We don’t have the budget to feature our own models so we are often limited to my own photos or those of brands. You can read more about that at


24 Lia Cooper

Great suggestions, Sylvia. Hiding a tummy isn’t always easy. Thank you for sharing these tips.


25 Liz Hands

You’re very welcome. Glad you found it helpful. It can definitely be tricky. It’s really about playing around with different styles and creating a different focal point to find tips and tricks which work for you.


26 Nancy

Great suggestions. Have you come across lines of clothing for petites but in larger sizes? I take 14-16 and I am 5’1”. Regular size 14-16’s are not proportioned for my short height. I love dressing in pants and tops in matching color with striped or print open top, such as vest or long cardi. Gives long line without revealing my large waist and “love handles”. So difficult to find properly proportioned clothing with also being short-waisted. Suggestions?


27 Liz Hands

Thank you Nancy – I find Nordstrom can be easiest to shop as you can narrow down by petites and plus size. If anyone else has good suggestions, please leave them in the comments!!


28 Diane Morris

I love your article about hiding the belly. I am a pear shape body type. When I find tops that fall below or around my hips to hide my belly; these tops hang and accent my hips. Yuck. Any advice on the measurement of the top that hides the belly and takes the bottom of the top away from the hip line? I am 5.2″ and a size 8. Thanks..


29 Sylvia

Yes, you want to avoid splitting your body in 2 and stick to a more 2/3 – 1/3 ratio. The correct lengths of top is something we discuss in detail in our course and style club and it’s different for every woman. Join us in the FREE Find Your Style Challenge where you will learn more about this.


30 Barbara

Is it o.k. for plus size apple shape to wear leggings with tunics?
What is a reasonably priced brand of leggings?
Are prints Adviseable ? If so large or small print? Light or dark background ? My friend wears and loves the Lularoe comfort and style ? Would Lularoe suit a 5’8″ size 22 apple shape?


31 Sylvia

Yes, that can be a good look. For tips on what tops work best check
I give recommendations for good leggings at
Prints can be used but I would keep the top very neutral when you wear those.
I’m not familiar with Lularoe.


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