What should you wear to make your stomach look smaller?

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are having trouble finding clothes that fit your body type, have no fear. There are plenty of fashionable clothes you can wear that will camouflage a belly pooch or a little extra weight. Learning a few tricks of the trade and having confidence is all it takes. Fashion stylist Sam Saboura sums it up in his "My Body My Style" online video when he says clothes should, "Hide your flaws, play up your assets and make you feel good."

Shirts and Jackets

Wearing shirts that have a V-neckline help you look skinnier by lengthening the look of your neck and keeping the focus on your face. Try to stick with lighter colours so people focus on your upper body first. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, hosts of TLC's "What Not to Wear," suggest wearing a structured blazer or jacket to give your shape more definition.

Dresses and Skirts

Saboura suggests choosing patterns that are scattered throughout the dress and bright colours at the top of the face because it can take attention away from the belly. London and Kelly recommend wrap dresses or styles that have a thick waistband because they accent the thinnest part of the body. This takes the attention away from the belly, creating the illusion that you are taller or thinner. Also, sticking with A-line skirts is a good idea due to the narrowing at the waist.


Always wear the size you are, and avoid trousers that are too tight so that your stomach doesn't bulge out. Wear trousers so the waist hits just below your belly button and skip the low-rise styles. Even if you are a size 14, you won't look it if you wear the proper fit. Choose darker colours for trousers for a more slimming effect.

Fabrics and Patterns

Stick to lighter weight fabrics -- bulky ones such as tweed can make you look heavier. Vertical stripes will create a leaner look as well.


Pantyhose or stockings with a control top hold your stomach in while helping you have good posture at the same time. Body shapers such as Spanx, Kymaro or Maidenform are another option for camouflaging a bulging belly. And TLC's Kelly highly recommends getting a proper bra fitting so your bust line is where it should be, with adequate room between your chest and stomach.

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About the Author

Melissa O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2010. Her work has been published on various websites, including Her writing focuses on topics in design, photography, history, living green and healthy cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Jersey City University.