Every woman, no matter their size, has insecurities. And at a time where the world is celebrating body positivity and the fashion industry is becoming more inclusive, women everywhere are taking to social media to share a new-found love for their imperfect bodies. This movement is the biggest breath of fresh air and has brought new light into the way women view and talk about their bodies. However, for some, this movement can feel scary as not everyone can jump onto the self-love train because they still struggle with accepting the reflection they see in the mirror. Don’t worry–you’re not alone. In fact, everyone participating in self-love struggles with accepting themselves and embracing parts of their body they aren’t fond of. Self-love is a journey, not a destination, and sometimes the route can look unconventional and different from others.
A part of the body most women struggle with is their tummy. And whether you’re on a mission to shrink it down, make it appear a little smaller or maybe just looking for a style that complements your midsection as you learn to embrace your body, here are some dresses and style hacks that can help you feel your most confident.
Black Looks Good on Every Body
Naturally, black is a color that enhances and contours every type of body shape. And what’s more, an all-black ensemble typically looks sharp and expensive.
- Go for a Fitted Look–When you want to reduce the attention drawn to your midsection, your natural instinct may be to wear oversized clothes that don’t emphasize the belly. However, with black, you can wear a curve-hugging plus-size wrap dress and it will accentuate your body and give you a bombshell look. Don’t be afraid to try a style that hugs your curves. Oftentimes, this style can be more flattering than choosing a loose-fitting outfit.
- Embrace Horizontal Black Stripes–If you love wearing stripes, but dislike how it can give the illusion that your body is wider than it is, try a maxi dress with thin stripes. This allows you to embrace the patterns you love while elongating your figure. Slimming black striped dresses can also be paired with anything–meaning you can dress it up or dress it down for any occasion.
- Add Emphasis–If black isn’t in your wardrobe vocabulary, and you enjoy embracing lighter colors, try adding in black patterns that create emphasis and may cover areas of your body that you aren’t fond of. Dresses with thick, bold lines or patterns can also take attention away from your tummy.
Wrap and Cinch the Waist
Draping, wrapping and cinching are all design methods that can draw emphasis to or away from a certain part of the body. It’s kind of like an optical illusion. But when choosing a dress that wraps or drapes, it’s important to know where to wrap and drape to create the most flattering look.
- Try a Tie Waist–Anytime you can take a flowy dress and add a point of emphasis with a tie waist, you will always create a look that is both comfortable and flattering. Dresses with a tie waist balance a fitted look with a dress that’s a little more whimsical and loose-fitting.
- Wrap Your Way to Gorgeous–Plus-size wrap dresses are every curvy girl’s favorite style! These dresses cinch, wrap and drape in all the right places to minimize and contour the midsection. Wrap dresses with asymmetrical lines guide the eye down the body, creating a look that is both effortless but also seemingly sophisticated. The wrap style is versatile and can work for midi, mini and maxi length dresses, as well as plus size rompers and jumpsuits.
- Short, Sweet and Oversized–While creating a point of emphasis can be critical in forming a shape that you love, loose-fitted dresses that flow can also be great for hiding your tummy. Oversized dresses can be flattering if you go for a mini fit. The magic is all in playing with length. If you go for a longer length, your body may get lost in all the fabric, which we don’t want. Keep it short and sweet!
Elongate Your Figure
Plus size maxi dresses are perfect if you are looking for a flattering style that doesn’t draw too much attention to the tummy area. Plus, maxi dresses are almost always the most comfortable and easy to accessorize with.
- Off the Shoulder–If you love wearing maxi dresses, but still feel like they don’t draw attention away from your midsection, try switching up the style. Going with an off the shoulder maxi dress could take the attention away from your tummy and draw it up to your beautiful shoulders!
- Add a Slit–It’s not always about hiding the parts of our bodies that we don’t like. Sometimes we just want an outfit that we can put on that makes us feel beautiful and radiant. And maxi dresses with a slit do just the trick. It’s almost like putting on a pair of your favorite heels–a slit makes you feel sexy and confident. And when you look good, you feel good!
- Repeat the Advice Above–Maxi dresses come in many different styles, and if this length of dress is your sweet spot, stock up on wrap maxi dresses and slimming black maxi dresses. Not only do these styles flatter your figure, but they also make for stylish, beautiful looks.
Looking Good, Babydoll!
Have you ever heard of a babydoll dress or fit? It’s a style that is fitted at the top and looser at the bottom. And typically, these dresses come in a mini fit. Plus size babydoll dresses are a perfect style if you are looking to minimize your midsection. These dresses don’t cling to the body—in fact, they are pretty oversized and they balloon out at the waist. However, the mini or short fit keeps them from drowning out your figure completely. Look for these characteristics in a babydoll dress to ensure you find the most flattering fit!
- Emphasis Below the Bust–Not all babydoll dresses have a point of emphasis, which is fine, but if you want a babydoll dress that hides your tummy, look for a babydoll dress that cinches right below the bust. This is the perfect area for the dress to emphasize if you are looking to take attention away from the midsection.
- Opt for a Mini Fit–As mentioned above, the most flattering babydoll dresses have a shorter, mini fit. Babydoll dresses can also be midis—depending on your height. The rule to live by here is just to make sure the dress doesn’t fall below the knee!
- Go Bold with Ruffles or Patterns–The great thing about a babydoll dress is that it’s going to look good on your figure no matter what embellishments it may have. This is a style where you can go as bold or as minimal as you’d like. Usually, if you are trying to minimize your tummy area, you would stay away from ruffles around your tummy, but with a babydoll dress, you can embrace ruffles.
Make a Statement with Asymmetry
Plus-size midi dresses with an asymmetrical hemline can distract the eye from a tummy pooch and asymmetrical dresses are also visually intriguing. Depending on where the asymmetry takes place, the silhouettes this style creates are usually flattering.
- Hi-Lo–Have you ever seen a midi dress that’s shorter up front and longer in the back? These are called Hi-Lo dresses and they fall in line with asymmetry. This style also plays a visual trick on the eyes. It takes away emphasis from the tummy and places it on your legs. So, if you love your legs, strut your stuff in a Hi-Lo!
- Fitted Bottom–Opposite of the babydoll dress, which is fitted on top and loose on bottom, is the fitted asymmetrical midi dress. This dress is stunning because while it is fitted on top, it’s loose in the midsection, and it’s fitted on the bottom. This style is not only flattering for your tummy, but your whole body. And depending on the material, it’s usually a very comfortable style.
Accessories and Additions That Go the Extra Mile
No outfit is complete without a little bit of accessorizing, and accessories also play a big role in highlighting and lowlighting parts of our bodies that we may want to show off or minimize. Here are some accessories that will take your look to the next level and flatter your curves, while also helping you minimize the appearance of your tummy.
- Heels Go a Long Way–Topping off any look with a pair of heels can help elongate your figure, which in turn helps to minimize the appearance of a visible belly line or lower tummy pooch. Wearing heels also helps you to stand up straight and mitigates any slumping or slouching that may put even more emphasis on the stomach area.
- Cardigans Are a Girl’s Best Friend–If you need a little extra help in covering up your midsection, plus size cardigans not only add so much personality to a look, but they also help in contouring your body. While an open front cardigan will do the trick, try and find a style that buttons, clasps or closes at the front for extra coverage!
- Statement Jewelry Draws the Eye in–When you want to minimize areas of your body, it’s not always about covering up or making the area look smaller. A lot of times, you can achieve this by distraction. Adding some eye-catching statement jewelry to a look can create a point of emphasis that takes attention away from the areas you don’t want to show off.
- Ponchos and Shawls to Heat You and Your Look Up–If you’re located in a colder area during the winter months, pair plus size ponchos or shawls with your favorite dress for a cozy look that hides your midsection. The best styles of dresses to pair with ponchos and shawls are asymmetrical midis, minis or fitted maxi dresses.
No matter where you are on your journey through self-love and body positivity, remember to always take care of yourself and your needs first. Whether that means prioritizing looks that feature your best assets or rocking your flaws unapologetically, where you are is where you are meant to be. Invest in looks and styles that make you feel your best–and forget the rules!