Photo: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
No matter what your size, a great pair of jeans can give your style a sexy edge. But unless you know how to work around it, a big belly can be a denim deal-breaker. Doing jeans right when you have tummy troubles is all about choosing shapes and cuts that bring the bod into balance, and then getting the rest of your look to fall into line.
Muffin top is a real problem when you have a big tummy, so you'll want jeans that hit high enough on the bod not to create any unsightly bulges. An inch or so below the belly button should be just right -- any higher and you're veering into "Mom jean" territory. While it may not be fun to buy jeans to fit the biggest part of you, it's important not to skimp on size when you're trying to hide a belly. Too tight, and the waistband will dig into the skin, causing lumps and bumps where you need them least.
The Perfect Cut
Even if you've got great legs, you need to skip the skinny jeans in favor of a more substantial cut. Going too narrow on the leg will only highlight a big belly, undoing all your tummy-trimming moves in one fell swoop. A boot cut jean is a good option, though this cut tends to work best when your legs are on the lean and mean side. If you have some meat on your thighs, you'll want to try a trouser cut jean. The fuller leg will balance out your bod and help take the spotlight off a too-jolly belly.
When it comes to denim, what goes on behind the scenes can make a ginormous difference. So don't be afraid to trim some inches off that mid-section with some well-placed shapewear, or to buy jeans that are especially designed to suck in a tummy.
Your Jean-Friendly Look
While hiding a big tummy may seem like your number one concern, successful camouflage requires a whole body approach. So it's as much about choosing a top that flatters as it is about getting those jeans just right. An empire-waist top that nips in under the breasts, drapes over the tummy and then hits at the top of the thighs is a good option with jeans, as is a tunic-style top with an eye-catching look-at-me print. And whether you go with heels or flats, avoid sneakers like the plague and opt instead for shoes that are big and bold enough to make your upper bod look in proportion.