How to Hide a Big Tummy With Clever Fashion Tricks

March 24, 2008 by Kristie Leong MD  
Published in Style

A big stomach can make you look and feel heavier than you are. Here’s how to hide a big tummy so you can look good in your clothes again.

There are a variety of reasons why a woman might develop a big tummy. This can happen when you’re overweight and tend to store fat in your abdominal region or you may be prone to hormonally mediated bloating. There is also a subset of women who develop bloating and abdominal distension after eating a meal, particularly one high in carbs. In rare cases, a bloated abdomen can be a sign of a serious illness. If suddenly find yourself experiencing abdominal distension you’ve never had before, it’s best to see your doctor. However you want to look at it, a big stomach can be a frustrating figure problem to deal with. Here are some tips on how to hide that big stomach:

Watch Your Posture

Some women suffer from a protruding tummy due to poor posture. This is actually more common than you might think. Even if your large stomach is due to excess fat accumulation, it can be helped by improvement in your posture. Make it a point to be aware of how you’re standing. Learn to throw your shoulders back and pull your abdominal muscles in when you stand and walk. At first this may seem difficult, but over time it’ll become second nature if you practice it regularly. Exercises designed to help your posture can also have a positive impact on the appearance of your tummy. Of course, you don’t want to neglect abdominal toning exercises and aerobics to burn excess fat. These can help to tighten your abdominal region so you won’t need to disguise it.

Choose The Right Undergarments

One trick for achieving the appearance of a tighter abdominal area is to wear a double pair of control top panty hose. This is a strategy frequently practiced by fashion models when they walk on the runway. The slight back pressure of the control top hose against your tummy will also remind you to hold your stomach in and work on your posture. Another more expensive option is to purchase a seamless body shaper which will fit snuggly and seamlessly against your torso, giving the illusion of a tighter tummy. These shapers can be found in department stores or purchased online at

Dress To Hide a Prominent Tummy

The way you dress can have a big impact on the appearance of your stomach. A wrap dress can be quite flattering if you’re sporting a little too much tummy as can an empire style dress with a high waist. Not only will this style help to disguise a plump stomach, it’ll add the illusion of length which will make you appear taller and thinner. Another way to disguise a tummy is to wear a blouse or shirt with a scalloped or fringe edge which hangs down below your tummy. Avoid wearing pants that are too tight or constrictive or pants with pleats which can call attention to the abdominal region. Wearing pants with a print pattern can also disguise a less than perfect abdominal area. Another strategy is to highlight one of your better figure features. Do you have great legs? Emphasize your legs with a shorter skirt and high heels. If you’re showing off a dynamite pair of legs, it’s almost guaranteed that no one will notice your less than perfect stomach.

Keep working on getting your abdominals into shape and while you’re waiting, give some of these fashion tips a try. They can make you appear more confident and assured when you step out in style this season.

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6 Responses to “How to Hide a Big Tummy With Clever Fashion Tricks”
  1. Mary Says:

    I read your article with interest. However, in all the years I have been trying to conceal a big tummy, I have never been able to do so with wrap around dresses. The extra layer of fabric actually adds to the problem and also the problem of keeping it wrapped make me less confident.

    But I did find a solution, a really good one. I now wear dresses with a panel down the front. In all – three front panels….often the middle one a pale colour and the side ones a darker one. It really works. Alternatively, a line of three bottons each side of the middle of a dress can achieve the same effect very well. Another trick is to wear a figure hugging dress, with a neat jacket that hits my back at its thinest part. A small cardigan can have the same effect. Both avoid a side view of how fat I really am ( I’m not, but I have a big tummy). I have good legs, and your tip to just go short and show them off really really works too. My sister has a huge tummy and a very short torso – she wears a neat denim jacket over dresses and it really works for her.

    Just thought I’d share those tips anyway.

  2. Amelia Says:

    It’s a terrible idea to suck in your abominal muscles when standing or sitting in order to give the illusion of having a flat stomach. I used to do constantly suck in my belly so that my stomach would look flat, and I think a lot of other women do that as well. Holding in my stomach at all times prevented me from breathing properly. I started to chest-breath, and this increased my stress levels. My osteopath noticed that I was breathing through my chest (she told me that I was hyperventilating slightly). My osteopath told me that women are more likely to be chronic hyperventilators – or chest breathers – than men are (that doesn’t surprise me!)

  3. karen Says:

    We do not want to do what models do – restrict our bodies with pressure!!! We do not want to look sexy!! We want style and comfort!!

  4. May Says:

    Karen, I do.

  5. SHAKERA, pmb, S.A Says:

    when you suck your tummy in..u nt sup0se 2 sh0w distress in ur face ag nw dnt st0p breathing nt supp0se 2 be under pressure..relaX..Its t0ning d0se tummy muscles..hence givin u better p0sture..less l0wer back aches.. strengthening ur pelvic area..lyk keegal.contract n release.. ladies..gr8 4 seX

  6. PJ Says:

    Long long ago they actually taught us the ladies suck in their stomach – it was lady like. Medical science, however has taught us that it is not healthy.
    I have found that an empire waist actually makes me look pregnant. I favor the slightly baggy blouse made of a drapey fabric works for me while I work on losing the belly.

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