Clothes to hide a muffin top; flattering clothes for a big stomach (2023)

Many women experience a midlife spread, which can quite suddenly make it challenging to find flattering clothes that are also stylish. Yet there is no need to panic; there a number of steps you can take that will have you looking fabulous again. Let’s look at some tips to disguise that post-menopause weight gain and the associated lumps and bumps. Yes there are stylish clothes available to hide a muffin top or big belly.

Updated April 2022

What’s the answer? Cover yourself up in shapeless clothes, stay at home in your tracksuit? No, neither of those; you are a dynamic woman with much to offer the world, my aim is to have you feeling great in your clothes, and ready to head out into the world and give them hell. So let’s find clothes that are flattering for a big stomach and have you feeling great.

[This post features links to some of my favourite brands – brands I wear and buy from. In some cases these may be sponsored, or I have included an affiliate link. If you click on an affiliate link and purchase, we will earn a small commission. You won’t pay any extra though and you will help us to keep the doors open]

Get your foundations right – tight undies create a muffin top

Ill-fitting underwear is not only uncomfortable, but it accentuates your muffin top, so take the time and buy the right fit.

When it comes to your bras, the same principles apply. Not having the right fit can result in several things. A cup size that is too small will have you popping out over the top, which won’t look good under tops and dresses. If the band under your bra is too tight, the flesh around your breasts will be pushed down and out, and in the worst case it will meet up with your muffin top.A tight under band will also usually mean any back fat can also look lumpy under your clothes.

Make sure the sides of the bra are sufficient to properly hold you in. A properly fitting bra will not only look better, it will feel more comfortable. Take the time to get properly fitted for a bra and know your preferred brands and sizes – it’s a valuable investment all round.

(Video) Clothes to hide a muffin top; flattering clothes for a big belly

As well as your bra, make sure your knickers fit properly and don’t cut in. The style of knickers you prefer is entirely up to you, I prefer full briefs without thick seaming, but if a G-string is your preference just make sure it is comfortable and doesn’t cut into you. Don’t assume full briefs are necessarily dull and boring. Take a look at the lovely options at Taking Shape including some leopard print undies

Note that I’ve not talked about tummy tamers or shapewear. While I do have some of these and will wear them on a special occasion or under a particularly slinky dress, I honestly find them hot and uncomfortable. Unless they are full body they tend to ride up and create their own problems. I’d be interested to know if anyone has found a brand that doesn’t do this…..

Have the right bottoms for your tops — check those waistbands

It doesn’t matter what you wear on the top of your body if the waistband on your pants or skirt is too tight. It isn’t unusual to find, for example, a pair of jeans that fit perfectly everywhere else, but cut in around the waist. Similarly with skirts. If the waistband is too tight that midriff flesh has nowhere to go but up, which is not what you want. The waistband on the Frockk pants in the image further down this post, with a deep band of elastic shirring, is a good example of one that will be flattering and comfortable.

Clothes to hide a muffin top; flattering clothes for a big stomach (1)

Choose your skirts, jeans and trousers carefully, make sure you have room to move and test them by sitting down rather than just standing up when you try them on. Consider adjustable waistbands including drawstrings and be careful of both firm fixed waistbands and elasticised ones, which pull in too tight. Stretch is great when it has give, but it can be a double-edged sword, so again do the ‘Sit Down’ test.

With jeans, it’s a matter of trying brands and shapes to see what works best for you. Check measurements against your own and consider stretch as well as ‘rise’ (i.e., high rise, mid rise or hipster). Take a look at the Bengajeans from Blue Illusion, there is a reason these have been in hot demand for years. They are also available for Petites who struggle with the length of most jeans. Birdsnest also has a wide selection of jeans to choose from, and the site allows you to select by fit.

Know the shapes and fabrics that flatter a bigger stomach

Be clear on what shapes suit you and flatter your body. I like box-shaped tops and flowing dresses that skim my waistline, but I also make sure they are not too big – I don’t need to add any more substance to my look. I also like anything cut ‘straight through’ rather than waisted. Partly that is because of my lumps and bumps, but also I have a scoliosis and that means my ahem ‘waistline’, bulges far more on one side than the other.

(Video) How To Hide A Larger Stomach - Do's & Don'ts. Apple Shape. With Personal Stylist Melissa Murrell

For me it is the fabric that makes the most difference when it comes to hiding my lumps and bumps. Be it a top or a dress, I will typically look for fabric with structure so the garment holds its shape rather than clings to my body. Linen and linen blends have become so popular in recent years, and it’s a fabric that holds its shape beautifully, including when it is a linen knit. Also add good quality cotton and rayon to your shopping list, as well as bamboo. Similarly with woollen and cashmere garments for cooler weather; good quality wool has enough structure to hold its shape.

Jerseys can work too, depending on the cut, and the thickness of the jersey. Much as I love the look of soft jersey fabrics, I don’t have a lot of these pieces in my wardrobe because they tend to sit against my curves in a way I don’t find flattering. Having said that, tee shirts are a wardrobe essential and I have a growing collection of these in a soft jersey from Styling You The Label. These tees are cut for curves and provide shape without cling.

Also, determine whether tucking in your tops or leaving them loose works for you. I tend to always wear my tops loose and out, although I will occasionally play with a half tuck. Take the time to play with the different options so that you know what works best for you. Not sure how to perfect a tuck? This article has lots of great hints.

Use accessories and features to draw the eye away from your mid-section.

There are lots of ways to do this. Choose outfits with interesting details at the top, perhaps a neckline that draws the eye, or off-the-shoulder or cold-shoulder details. A V-neck can also be great as it shows more flesh and takes eyes up. Wear strong accessories, such as jewellery or scarves. Don’t choose pieces that end at your waistline, you want them to end up high or be worn long, away from your mid-section. A hat can be a great idea too.

Clothes to hide a muffin top; flattering clothes for a big stomach (3)

There are differences of opinion as to whether patterns can flatter or be a problem when disguising a midriff bulge. My opinion is that they can flatter, and in fact hide a million sins, but be careful with your choice of pattern; don’t wear one that draws the eye to your middle and don’t choose a pattern that ‘wears you’. The pattern needs to be of a scale that matches your height and size.

(Video) My style tips to hide a tummy (without shapewear) | Justine Leconte

Know what brands supplystylish clothing that IS flattering for a big belly.

It is in your interest to support the brands that acknowledge real women and older women. Don’t try and shop where the young ones shop, you won’t get the in-store or online support you need, and the clothes will be cut to suit younger, more svelte frames. Look for brands that show clothes on a variety of body shapes, and do buy the best quality you can afford. You are looking for tops and dresses that are flattering, but that does not have to mean frumpy.

Clothes to hide a muffin top; flattering clothes for a big stomach (4)

Some of my favourite places to shop are:

Birdsnest – more an emporium than a store, birdsnest offers it all from clothes, to shoes, jewellery and gifts. Coupled with excellent service, do check them out. Birds Nest also offers fit recommendations for different body shapes and provide loads of advice with each piece. Located in Cooma NSW, Birdsnest is mostly an online store but they offer a no hassles 365 days returns policy – how good is that!

Blue Bungalow – another one stop shop which provides a beautiful array of clothing and accessories. Incredible customer service and delivery too. Located in Newstead Brisbane, put Blue Bungalow on your must visit list, but also don’t hesitate to shop online with them. I just ran through their online selection process for jeans which really helped me to refine possibilities to suit my shape and style preferences. Definitely give them a try, you can even call them for help and place an order over the phone.

Blue Illusion – the place to shop for classic French inspired pieces that will hold a place in your wardrobe for years to come.

Costa Vita Purolino – this Noosa based business specialises in beautiful Italian linen clothing in a mix of prints and block colours. You will find everything from classic to fun from this brand. I regularly model for them and can give my personal guarantee that many of their pieces are very flattering. I also love that pieces from each release work back with previous releases, and popular pieces like the Lipari Dress in pink in the image at the top of this post, are regularly released in new seasonal colours. Ethical manufacturing is also a feature of Costa Vita Purolino

(Video) Dressing Tips to HIDE BELLY FAT and make your WAIST LOOK SMALLER and Feel Confident About Yourself

Cotton Dayz – Cotton Dayz understands the battlewhen it comes to finding plus size women’s clothing that not only fits perfectly but also adds colour and spice to your wardrobe. Embrace your curves and step out in their stunning, stylish colourful designs, everything from work wear to vacation styles.

Frockk – A Perth based brand with clothes ethically made in Bali. Featuring natural fibres and loose lines designed to skim and flatter. Note the wide waistbands which will not cut in. The image above features 4 Frockk designs. Frockk offers a wide range of sizes and their clothes have a casual but stylish vibe with beautiful shapes and fabrics.

Modalia – another source of stunning linen pieces with a European feel. The tops and dresses in particular have beautiful drape and I love wearing this label. All the products are designed in Australia and made in Europe,strictly working with partners certified“OEKO-TEX 100 ® Standard”emphasizing superior quality, individual style and unique design.

Styling You The Label – beautiful Australian made clothes from basics to bling. Showcased on models from size 6 to 20 and of different ages, abiities, ethnicities and shapes. These pieces are cut for curves and fabrics range from linens to easy care technical fabrics. These are pieces you will have in your wardrobe for years. Mix and match with confidence from one season to the next.

Taking Shape Style – a plus size clothing specialist that designs specifically for curvier women from size 12 to 24. A long time provider of clothes to suit women of substance, including underwear and also stockists of accessories, swimwear and sleepwear.

Find more styling tips here


What clothes to wear if you have a big stomach? ›

Go big on top, narrow on bottom

If you like the idea of belly camouflage but want to show some shape too, let opposites attract. Pair any full-cut top, blouse, jacket or tunic with a slim base of trim pants, leggings or straight or skinny jeans (here's where the latter come in handy even if you no longer love them).

What can I wear under my dress to hide the muffin top? ›

Choose high-waist underwear or shorts that can be worn under dresses, shorts, or pants. They instantly flatten your stomach when you put them on. Make sure you buy a pair that fits your body. It should not be too tight or restricting, but also not too loose that it doesn't hide the belly.

What type of dress is most flattering for a big belly? ›

Empire line: When it comes to hiding your stomach, empire line styles are always a good bet. Drawing the eye to the smallest part of your torso by nipping you in directly under the bust, they give the illusion of a higher waistline. The rest of the dress should have a flared or A-line fit that floats over the stomach.

What can I wear to hide my belly fat? ›

How To Dress To Hide Belly Fat – 7 Easy Tips And Ideas
  • Ruffle Or Peplum Tops.
  • Vertical Pattern Shirts Or Dresses.
  • Pleated Skirt And Plain Tops.
  • Tops With Pom Poms Or Frayed Edges.
  • Dark Colored Flowing Dresses.
  • Oversized Tops With Trousers.
29 Sept 2022

What not to wear if you have a big tummy? ›

Don't wear tight or clingy garments over your belly and choose tops with ruching or drape. If you want to look stylish and highlight your strengths, it is best not to wear tight tops. They will accentuate every fat bubble you have and draw attention away from you and your fabulous clothes.

What body shape is a muffin top? ›

Love handles or muffin tops are terms used to describe stubborn fat around the midsection. There are two types of belly fats that cause muffin tops: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat makes up 90% of our body fat, while visceral fat only makes up about 10%.

Does shapewear hide muffin top? ›

If you're looking for 360-degree smoothing, a bodysuit can be the best shapewear for muffin top control and provide the foundation for your clothing. Like our camis and tanks, a bodysuit can be worn with pants or a skirt with no jacket required.

Should jeans give you a muffin top? ›

Bigger jeans in the wrong fit will still give you a muffin top, but they'll also be too big–doubly unflattering! Same with bigger jeans in the wrong rise.

How can I make my stomach look thinner in a dress? ›

Wrap a belt or a sash high on the thinnest part of your waist. While you do not want to draw attention to your belly, most women carry that extra belly fat low. If you wear a complementary belt or sash up at the narrowest part of your waistline, it will highlight your slimmest area.

What Colours make you look slimmer? ›

Black never fails to make you look slim and elegant. Darker shades of colors like blue, purple and brown can also help to hide flaws and create a slimming illusion. On the other hand, lighter colors, like white and khaki, can add pounds and give the illusion of a larger frame.

What clothes makes you look thinner? ›

Outfit Ideas – Clothes That Make You Look Thinner
  • High-Rise Jeans And Flowing Top. ...
  • Long Black Dress Or An LBD To Your Rescue. ...
  • Do A Lot Of Shirts, They Make You Look Slimmer. ...
  • Pencil Skirts That Give You An Elongated Look. ...
  • Here Are Your Options For Bridesmaids' Dresses.
22 Sept 2022

How do I get rid of my muffin top and love handles? ›

Here are 17 natural ways to get rid of love handles.
  1. Cut out Added Sugar. Share on Pinterest. ...
  2. Focus on Healthy Fats. ...
  3. Fill up on Fiber. ...
  4. Move Throughout the Day. ...
  5. Stress Less. ...
  6. Lift Weights. ...
  7. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  8. Add in Whole-Body Moves.
29 Jan 2018

How do I get rid of my muffin top without exercise? ›

21 Ways to Lose a Muffin Top
  1. Boost fiber intake. ...
  2. Ditch refined sugar. ...
  3. Cut unhealthy carbs. ...
  4. Eat healthy fats. ...
  5. Pump up lean protein intake. ...
  6. Reduce juice intake. ...
  7. Reduce or eliminate alcohol. ...
  8. Drink one full glass of water before each meal.
16 Nov 2015

How do I get rid of my muffin top at 50? ›

Trimming the fat
  1. Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. ...
  2. Replace sugary beverages. ...
  3. Keep portion sizes in check. ...
  4. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

Do Spanx work for muffin top? ›

High Waist Control Panties by Spanx 2746 smooths your silhouette and prevents muffin top underneath skirts, dresses, work attire or your everyday outfits. Constructed with a lightweight synthetic fabric blend, they feel light and comfortable, even in warmer weather. A no-slip strip keeps the waistband in place all day.

How can a woman get rid of a muffin top? ›

Running, spinning, Zumba, swimming, boxing, elliptical training and even hiking are all very effective workouts to lose belly fat. Work out as often as you like, but at least three times a week for 30-40 minutes.

Does a waist trainer get rid of muffin top? ›

sorry, no. Waist training with a corset doesn't magically melt body fat, but it can make some big changes to your body! Fat loss is achieved when you use more calories than you bring in to your body - through a combination of diet and exercise. Corsets don't target fat loss, as much as we may like.

Which jeans are best for muffin top? ›

Choose mid-rise or high-rise jeans for the most flattering cut. Mid-rise and high-rise jeans help to support and cover your belly. These jeans are the most flattering shape if you have concerns about your tummy. Avoid wearing low-rise jeans.

How do I make my stomach look thinner in pictures? ›

12 Posing Tips to Make You Look Thinner in Pictures INSTANTLY!
  1. Watch your posture. ...
  2. Tilt your hips back. ...
  3. Show your neck. ...
  4. Stand at an angle, put one leg in front of the other. ...
  5. Lean away from the camera. ...
  6. Don't put arms flat against your body. ...
  7. Bend your limbs. ...
  8. Tuck your legs when sitting down.
5 Jun 2019

What kind of jeans are good for muffin tops? ›

Choose mid-rise or high-rise jeans for the most flattering cut. Mid-rise and high-rise jeans help to support and cover your belly. These jeans are the most flattering shape if you have concerns about your tummy. Avoid wearing low-rise jeans.

What causes muffin top? ›

There are two types of belly fats that cause muffin tops: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat makes up 90% of our body fat, while visceral fat only makes up about 10%. Oddly enough, visceral fat is what makes it so hard to lose that stubborn belly fat.

What's a muffin top look like? ›

A muffin top (also muffin-top) is a slang term typically used to describe a person's body fat that extends horizontally over the edges of the waistline of tightly fitting pants or skirts, visible when there is a gap between the upper and lower garment.

What foods get rid of muffin tops? ›

You need to focus your meals around foods that melt fat, such as avocado, nuts, green tea, yoghurt, berries and water. Though some of these foods are high in fat, they are high in good fats which can help you to lose weight, when eaten in moderation as they help you to feel fuller for longer.

Do muffin tops ever go away? ›

It is definitely possible to lose the muffin top,” Robles says. “However, it is not an overnight fix.” It isn't possible to spot-reduce fat from specific problem areas. But as you lose overall body fat, you'll see your midsection shrink.

Does walking get rid of muffin top? ›

Make an effort to walk more often.

In addition to high intensity cardio and strength training, walking is also a great way to target belly fat. While it may not produce results as quickly or efficiently as more intense forms of exercise, walking more can make a huge difference in the size of your muffin top over time.

How long does it take to reduce muffin top? ›

A general rule of thumb is that 1 pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. That means by creating a caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000 each day, you can expect to lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. Keeping that 1,200-calorie minimum in mind, figure out how much you currently eat by tracking your intake for a week.

Should jeans go over belly? ›

Now, before you start copping grandpa pants that sit above your belly button, don't. But, as a general rule, jeans should sit on the hips, while chinos and suit pants should land just above the hip, which will allow you to tuck in your shirt without worrying about it popping out mid-meeting.


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