What Clothing Looks Best on Those With a Bigger Belly?

Rosario Dawson creates flow with a body-skimming tunic in a solid hue.

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Women who carry their weight around their bellies typically have an apple shape. While baring your midriff in a cropped top and low-rise jeans is out, you still have tons of fashionable and slimming options that make your apple shape look more hourglass. As you camouflage your challenging areas, also accentuate your assets by showing off lean thighs or sculpted calves.

Shaping Undergarments

What you wear underneath that fabulous ensemble makes a difference in how balanced your shape looks. Bring in that belly with well-fitting undergarments that have a little stretch. For a more aggressive approach, try shape wear around your midsection, but avoid cuts that cut across your stomach and leave upper belly fat hanging over the waistline. Wearing a well-fitting bra with properly adjusted straps eliminates bra bulge. Lifting your bust also makes your midsection look longer.

Flowing Lines

Women with bigger bellies need clothing that flows across their midsections. However, this does not mean oversized '80s sweatshirts. Excess fabric means excess bulk, so strike that delicate balance of skimming the body without hugging it. A tunic, kimono-wrap top or A-line dress creates the illusion of a longer, slimmer waistline with subtle curves. Choose fabrics that drape elegantly across your figure, such as woven fabric, silk, crepe, cotton blends and linen.

V Shapes

A deep V neckline on your blouse, shirt, sweater and coat flatters your shape. High necklines create a boxy-looking torso, while a deeper-cut neckline makes your upper body appear longer and leaner. Buttoning a V-neck blazer or structured jacket below your bust line makes your apple look more hourglass. Keep the lengthening theme going by skipping bold horizontal stripes on top.

Below the Waist

What you wear below the waist makes an apple shape look more balanced. Accentuate lean legs with straight-leg pants or trouser-style jeans. Show off calves and ankles by rocking platform wedges. A high-waisted pencil skirt makes the grade if the fabric keeps your stomach looking flatter. For lighter, more flowing skirts and dresses, cinch them in with a belt. However, the belt should not hit at your natural waistline. Find the narrowest part of your midsection, typically above your natural waist, to accentuate curves without showing too much belly.

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