Ten Non-Boring Tops that Hide a Belly - Pretty Real

Ten Non-Boring Tops that Hide a Belly

3:05 PM

I have a gut. It's super annoying because my stomach was never my problem area (see the proof). And also because my "baby" is two. I'm working on not feeling the need to hide my imperfections but I think there's a happy spot between being ashamed of our bodies and being oblivious to how clothes flatter or flaunt our flaws. I've been told repeatedly that people "can't believe" I have a mom pooch (For the record, I hate that term but it's really the best way to describe it). I've even felt the need to show it off to prove I'm not just fishing for compliments. And then there's the awkward moment where a friend is like "Oh, you're right. It is ridiculous." haha. Rather than turn sideways bump-picture-style, I've decided to take the disbelief as a compliment. I'm very intentional about wearing shirts that flatter. Gone are the days of slim fitting tees and waist cinching garments. But that doesn't mean I'm going to don a baby doll tee every day either. Here are some of my favorite silhouettes and pieces (many of which I own a version of) to flatter plus an explanation of why they work.

Top Row, Left to Right: Denim Distressed Shirt. Flannel Plaid Shirt. Crochet Over Size Top. Ruffle Top (I have this one- love it and it's currently 40% off!). Chiffon Blouse.

Second Row, Left to Right: Check Smock TopTiered Ruffle BlouseSlub Swing Top. Jersey Tassle TopEmbroidered Blouse.
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Tips to Choose Pieces that Flatter Your Body
- Avoid tight tees and tanks if you're self conscious about your middle. You should feel confident in whatever you're wearing. When I wear something tight, I end up slouching, which makes things worse.

-Mind your posture. Speaking of slouching, I want you to do something. Stand in the mirror sideways, as you'd normally stand (probably a little slouched) and look at your belly. Then stand up as straight as you can- shoulders back, chest out. It feels counter intuitive- like you're sticking your stomach out but it's the opposite. Check out your stomach now. Looks smaller doesn't it?! Posture is everything!

-Invest in a good bra. I had a great chat with a group of my mom friends about breast implants. You know why some of us were interested in them? Because after babies and nursing our chests shrunk while our stomachs got bigger. Buh Bye hourglass. The result is an out of wack profile. Bigger chest help make the belly look smaller by comparison. So if like me you don't have an extra 8K lying around or don't want to go under the knife for cosmetic purposes, work with what you've got! Get a great bra with a bit of padding and some wire and stand tall. (And also if you have suggestions on such a bra, shoot them my way because I desperately need a good one!).

-Shop for these silhouettes. After realizing my belly wasn't going away (even when I'd lost more than the baby weight), I got caught in a 'empire waist' rut. But as you can see from the ten tops above you don't have to wear empire constantly. Each of the shirts pictured fall into a handful of acceptable shapes/silhouettes to camouflage a bit of pudge around the middle. They are:

Button Down
Empire Waist
Side Slit
Swing Top (or Dress)

Side slit didn't make the photo above but here is an example (from here). I have a couple of these and love them! Because the side is split the front goes down over your belly without pulling tight over it. The result is a slimmer looking middle.

-Invest in Spanx. Which I have yet to do. Preaching to myself people.

-High waist pants/jeans are your friend. There's a reason they're called mom jeans. I love my high waist jeans (pictured below). Worn with a slightly cropped top like this one, they really minimize my middle. They're so versatile and the extra support helps. If you find the right pair they'll be structured but with enough give to be comfortable.

-Layer. Scarves, vests, and jackets all add visual interest so there's no zooming in on your problem area. They can also balance out the disproportionate issue I talked about earlier.

I follow all these tips (ok, I need to grab some Spanx and a good bra!) and they work. So here's the deal- I personally am self conscious about my stomach. I know there's this 'love your body' approach that might frown upon pointing out a figure flaw. I'm in no way suggesting everyone should heed these tips. If you feel confident rocking a bikini or a tight tee, go for it. I personally don't and I'm okay with that. When I am uncomfortable enough it will cause me to ACT and get rid of this extra weight (I'm looking at your diastis recti!). Which is a good thing because fat around our middle is the dangerous kind. These tips have helped me to dress and feel more confident and I hope they do the same for you. So...

Did I miss any tips? 

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  1. Finally able to get here from my phone. Great article!

  2. Loved this write-up. I'm a big believer in wearing the right styles for my body type! It doesn't mean that I don't love my body. It just means I'm being realistic and practical about my body shape. You definitely found some super cute tops!

    xo - Beth - Tall Fashion Adventures

    1. glad I'm not alone in that! ha! I also love my body and marvel at what it's capable of (giving birth!), but yeah don't want to flaunt the chub! This was a fun post for me- the challenge is in not buying every shirt on the list. ;)