Some Very Timely Style Advice: How to Disguise Your Tummy

Lots of exciting things to look forward to as we age – but more weight around our middles isn’t one of them! When we’re over 50 we often develop thickened waists and larger tummies due to hormonal changes at menopause. This article has lots of timely style advice (anyone else suffering from pandemic poundage?!) on how to disguise your tummy so that you look more svelte and feel more comfortable and confident.

Getting the basics right

That means good posture – stand with your shoulders back and your mid section will automatically look better. Shapewear – not the heavy duty stuff particularly, just softer bodies that make you look and feel more streamlined. Wear a bra that fits really well – it will uplift your breasts and make you look slimmer. As someone with a large-ish bust, I’m a fan of the all-day comfortable Flexifit crop top (don’t let the name put you off!) which supports and minimises without uncomfortable underwiring.


Skim not stick

Steer clear of clingy clothes – our age group’s mantra should be “skim not stick”. Saying that, if you have great hips/legs then go for a tighter pair of trousers or skirt, but pair it with a softly feminine top that has flowing fabric.

Wear the correct size

Some of us mentally struggle to go up a size when we’re clothes shopping but it’s the best thing you can do sometimes as the outfit will be more flattering. It also works the other way, wearing oversized clothes make you look, well, oversized.

Draw attention away from your middle

Patterns are great camouflage because they distract the eye as it tries to absorb all the detail. The larger the print, the smaller the body according to fashion experts.

Never wear a tiny belt around the circumference of your stomach as draws eyes to your waist. If you love belts, make sure they are wider ones and wear them nearer your hips.

Wear bold statement jewellery – necklaces and earrings work particularly well at distracting the eye away from your tummy and up to your face.

Detail is good (ie frills or a ruffle) as it draws focus towards your slim shoulders and/or wrists.

Think longline & peplum

Longer tops are elongating and don’t cut you off at the waist. Modern Rarity V neck jumper from John Lewis MORE INFO and pale pink blouse by V by Very MORE INFO

Anything with a peplum also works well because it skims until it gets to your waist then flares out at tummy level. Sweetheart neckline top from Bombshell (available in other colours and sizes 8 – 22) MORE INFO V neck top by Banana Republic MORE INFO

Flattering styles

The ideal figure is an hourglass. So consider wrap dresses which are universally flattering and disguise a thick waist. Multi coloured wrap dress from Boden SHOP NOW

Fit and flare dresses are designed to fall in all the right places – you can’t go wrong with one. The toffee coloured dress above is from M&S SHOP NOW

Empire waistlines – with a seam that falls just below the bust area – draw attention away from your abdomen. The rest of the fabric flows and skims over your tummy and is the last thing people notice.

Leave it open

JD Williams suedette waterfall jacket £50

A longer layer on top, when left open, is very slimming as it draws the eye up and down the body rather than to the mid section. It also lengthens your body and looks really chic.

Bottom layers are important too

The optimum bottom layers if you’re trying to disguise your tummy are trousers without pleats at the front. Same goes for pleated skirts – if you’re thinking your tummy will have more room to hide its bulge, the opposite is true as the eye is drawn to detail. To minimise your tummy area stick to flat fronts, no side pockets and skirts that are pleated from the hip, not the waist. Try high rise jeans, they hold you in place and, with stretch, are comfortable too. And choose dark colours as they minimise attention. My current fave pair is the Sophia straight leg from M&S. They have plenty of stretch, are available in several colours, are reasonably priced and super comfortable to wear. Oh yes, and they will flatter almost any body shape. Well done M&S. MORE INFO

Check out our Fashion category for lots more style tips and fashion finds for women over 50.