If you have a big belly, one of the best ways to disguise it is to wear a dress that has a slimming effect for the mid section. I know this from first hand experience, as I carry weight on my tummy just like you. Besides, I also have a petite clothing line, so I style models of different body types and sizes every week in our photo shoot and fitting.
Below is my assistant Bianca, a typical curvy girl who carries weight in the tummy.
The key is to wear dress styles that have enough space in the belly area and use designs such as ruching or peplum to hide the midriff.
It is critical to avoid any dress styles that are clinging to your stomach because they will only make your big belly look more obvious. Here are the best dress styles to make your belly look slimmer.
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The Classic Wrap Dress
Hands down, the most flattering dress style for a big belly is the ever beloved wrap dress.
While it’s a great style choice for all body types, when you have more of a belly it has a really incredible way of flattering your midsection effortlessly. Not to mention, they’re so comfortable and easy to wear.
To give some insight as to why this is a flattering dress style for a belly:
- It starts because of the way wrap dresses give a subtle cinched detail to the smallest area of the waist.
- This detail is HUGE in drawing attention away from a big belly and giving the illusion of a smaller waistline.
- Not to mention, most wrap dresses come with an v-neckline that helps to bring more focus to the top portion of the torsos (away from the belly)
- The V neck and elongate that area to make your shape appear longer and slimmer overall.
Fortunately, there are more than one dress options that are ideal when dressing an apple body type.
When dressing a big belly, the right dress can provide the illusion of a slimmer waist and elongated body. One of the dress silhouettes that can help to achieve that is the a-line silhouette.
- Because of the natural shape of an a-line, where it starts with a defined waist (at the smallest part of the waist) and subtly goes out away from the body, it gives that same emphasis to the actual body when it’s being worn.
- A-line not only creates a more defined, smaller waist but it also helps to mask the appearance of a larger midsection by skimming that area of the body and bringing more of the attention away from it.
- When wearing A-line silhouettes it’s important that the fit is correct to really make the most of the dress style. If the fit is off it can have the reverse figure flattery effect.
Dresses with Ruching
If you want to disguise a heavier midsection, nothing works better than dresses with ruching.
If you are not familiar with the term, ruching is a gathered overlay of fabric strips that are pleated, fluted, or gathered together to create a ripple-like effect.
The reason ruching works so well to conceal the big belly is that they can “confuse” the eye as to whether the additional volume from the gathering is due to the fabrics or the midriffs.
Therefore, it is important for the ruching, the gathering of the fabrics, to be around the area you want to conceal.
One of the best ways to make your belly area appear slimmer is to wear a peplum dress.
The key is to make sure the ruffles of the dress are the right length so that they can completely cover up your belly.
On the other hand, if the ruffles are not long enough, they can actually create more bulk around your belly and draw more attention to the area of your concern.
The reason is the top flares out around the waist with ruffles draping down, which covers the stomach and makes your midriffs appear smaller.
Empire Waist Dresses
Similar to the other dress styles mentioned, an empire waistline is another one to favor when dressing a big belly.
- It’s a great silhouette for an apply body shape because it, once again, brings all the focus to the smallest part of the waist.
- Another reason it’s something to favor for your body shape is that it’s drapey under the waist definition, which helps to camouflage a tummy without adding a lot of bulk.
- Not to mention, thanks to the raised waistline detail it makes your shape (particularly legs) look super long and thin and by default it gives that look to your entire shape.
When trying an empire waist, just make sure that the fabric underneath the waistline isn’t TOO flowy or billowy as this can add bulk to the stomach area – which isn’t something you want to do with a belly.
Stick to empire waist dresses that continue to fit fairly close to the body throughout, but aren’t super tight. This will give you a great middle ground to the dress that enhances your shape.
The Shirt Dress
Another super classic dress silhouette that’s perfect for women with a big belly is definitely the shirt dress.
Much like the other dress styles mentioned on this list, one of the key figure flattery factors here is the cinched waist that helps create a structure to a big belly.
However, what makes this style different from the others – and the reason it’s so flattering – is because of all the detailing around the collar and arms of the dress.
Between the collar, buttons, and long sleeves that often come in a shirt dress – all these elements bring the focus further away from the midsection and towards the top half of the body instead. This is fun little trick stylists use to give balance to the body.
Midi Length Dresses
Believe it or not, longer-style dresses are a fun (and flattering) option for a big belly. Dress styles that bring attention away from the midsection are ideal for an apple body type. Midi dresses offer this benefit thanks to their longer length.
Not only does the added length draw the eye away from the midsection, but they often offer a lengthening effect to the body – as long as they fit properly! Petite women have long been told to avoid long dresses and skirts but the truth is, midi dresses can look incredible regardless of your height.
The key factor to ensure so that it is flattering is that the length rests in just the right place which is above or below the widest part of the calf.
This will make the body appear longer, with the added midi length, without chopping the leg line in a place that shortens it.
Another element to pay close attention to with midi dresses is that there is SOME sort of waist definition – this is what is going to help further enhance and cater to the midsection.
Now, the waist definition doesn’t have to be super defined or distinct like with an empire waistline – just as long as there is some element that brings some attention to creating the illusion of a waist.
This is a forgotten styling trick by many, but printed dresses are incredible for masking problem areas – big bellies included.
Anytime you want to ‘hide’ your midsection without wearing a shapeless garment (which should be the goal the majority of the time!), try opting for dresses with fun prints on them.
Because prints are such a bold style statement it takes a lot of the focus away from the midsection and distracts the eye.While prints are a great distraction, it’s still important that the dress fits properly and is overall still flattering on your shape.
Skater Dress Style
Another great dress style that will instantly de-emphasize a bigger belly? The skater dress!
It’s another silhouette that many apple bodies tend to avoid, but should try to favor instead. The skater silhouette graces over the stomach area in a way that masks it, while simultaneously hugging the top portion of the body which gives this really great balance to the body while being worn. The skater silhouette is similar to an a-line, but the difference is the waistline is generally a bit more defined and structured and the skirt tends to flare out a bit more dramatic than the typical a-line style.