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To add a bit of extra shape and flair to ordinary tops and dresses, the ruching sewing technique creates tight pleats in the fabric. When positioned properly, ruching can do wonders at hiding your less-than-perfect areas and emphasizing your best features. When battling a belly bulge, choose a dress with ruching along the side seams -- this helps to create an hourglass figure -- or around the waistband, which cinches in the tummy while hiding extra bulk.
All-Over Belly Bulge
For a big, rounded belly that starts near your ribcage and ends near your hips, you’ll have to be a bit careful about choosing your ruching. Dresses that feature ruched seams along the sides actually accentuate your belly -- since they hug your curves and shapes around your belly. Although this style can be perfectly cute on pregnant ladies, it probably won’t suit you if you aren’t actually expecting. Instead, look for a dress with a ruched waistband that wraps around the natural waist -- just under your ribcage at the narrowest area of your torso. Below the waistband, the dress fabric should hide your belly bulge as it falls loosely around your waist and legs.
Love Handles or Tummy Pooch
If you’re only dealing with a pesky pooch that wraps around the lower part of your waist or jiggles at your sides, your ruching options are more flexible. A ruched waistband with loose, flowy fabric can still work wonders on your figure. But you can also choose a dress with ruching along the sides. As the fabric gathers around your curves, it actually camouflages your less-than-flattering features.
Some dresses feature a ruching technique that covers the entire dress. The fabric pleats serve as the main design element, which can be very interesting if you’ve got the right figure. Unfortunately, these dresses tend to fit quite tight, hugging your body very closely from top to bottom. If you’ve got a bit of extra bulge -- whether it’s in your belly, hips or thighs -- full ruching will only highlight your negative features. When attempting to hide your tummy, avoid these types of dresses completely.
While vintage shapewear utilized tiny corsets, tight lacing and uncomfortable boning, today’s shapewear utilizes stretchy, smooth fabrics that are lightweight and comfortable. If you can’t find a dress that hides your belly bulge, shapewear could be a wonderful option. Properly fitting shapewear can help smooth and support your stomach -- sucking it in while smoothing it out. For a belly bulge that starts above your belly button, wear a shapewear camisole or shirt. But if you only bulge around your hips or waist, a pair of high-waisted shapewear panties might be all you need.