Editor’s note: This is a series in which we help Styling You readers solve a particular wardrobe or clothing crisis with a little advice and some shopping suggestions.
Emma’s plea is for guidance in how to hide post baby belly.
I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 3 month old, and I’m a size 16ish curvy hourglass shape with too much sand sitting in the middle of the hourglass after having two children. I have broad shoulders, ample bust and hips. Some of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe are from Metalicus, Sussan and Sacha Drake. One look I would like to master is the tunic and leggings as I think this may hide the tummy. However, I need to get the layers right for my 165cm frame. Having two kids I wear a lot of flats and more casual outfits for day.
I absolutely love Emma’s description of an hourglass with too much sand in the middle! Many of us can relate to that, I’m sure.
Let’s not focus on hiding the tummy so much as emphasising the waist and/or showing off an impressive rack. A little positive spin can make you feel better – and we’re all about positive body image at Styling You.
Emma’s suggestion of leggings and tunic tops is an excellent one. Let’s think outside the box and include flat fronted denim leggings (yes, the dreaded jeggings – just make sure they’re made of stretchy fabric, not opaque stockings printed to look like denim – those are the work of the devil!). Jeggings now come in an amazing range of colours and patterns – I love my NYDJ jeggings.
Extending on this theme, Emma could also wear stretchy tube skirts (or the infamous Condom Dress tube maxi dress) over opaque footless tights. As we head into summer, ditch the tights. Or opt for flat front jean short styles. The flat fronted style of pants, especially those that pull on or have a side zip, slim the tummy by reducing bulk.
Great tops to wear with leggings, jeggings, tube skirts and dresses that also do a fab job of disguising a tummy include tops with ruching, patterns, empire lines, panels, hi lo hems, peplum, kaftan, kimono and wrap styles. The tummy disguising tricks from these tops are legion and include visual illusion, showing off the bust, flowing gently over the tummy and emphasising the waist.
Keeping the underneath layer mid to high waist will help by streamlining the figure. Emma can go one step further by wearing a smoothing slip or camisole underneath.
One of my favourite fashion magic tricks is Spanx footless tights. They’re just like wearing an ordinary pair of footless tights but have a higher waist line so they don’t dig in to create more lumps and bumps.
Cropped jackets and cardigans are a great choice for a top layer as they perform a couple of fashion magic tricks. They visually narrow your figure and draw the eye in to your waist, enhancing the hourglass appearance – they disguise upper arms too, if that is your bete noire.
Whilst leggings and tunics are very practical for a young mum, dresses are also a great choice for tummy disguising – and equally practical. Look for empire line, ruching and wrap styles. Maxi dresses are easy to wear with the added benefit of not having to do your legs if you’re in a hurry!
1. Two Blue Maxi by Verily $79 | 2. Privvy Stretch Belt by Motto $39.95 (on sale) | 3. Botanical Print Swing Dress by Sussan $99.95 | 4. Soft Feather Print Pants by Katies $39.95 | 5. Tassel Beads in Aqua by Verily $40 | 6. Ultimate Jean Shorts by Katies $19.95 (on sale) | 7. The Tube Skirt by Metalicus $59 (on sale) | 8. Skinny Premium Ultimate Jeans by Katies $49.95 for denim $24.95 for colours | 9. Mint Maxi by Verily $99
1. Cropped Jacket by Verily $69 (on sale) | 2. Sleeveless Lace Peplum Top by Katies $49.95 | 3. Crochet Bolero by Katies $24.95 (on sale) | 4. Eyelet Linen Tunic by Sussan $69.95 (on sale) | 5. Assets by Sara Blakely Fantastic Firmers Shaping Tank from Target $34 | 6. Black and White Satin Kaftan by Katies $59.95 | 7. Tassel Beads in Blue & Yellow by Verily $40 | 8. Sleeveless Print Tunic by Katies $49.95 | 9. Shrug by Verily $69 | 10. Facet Bead Necklace by Sussan $24.95 (sold out online) | 11. Scarf Print Cardigan by Katies $49.95
Now it’s your turn. Do you have a tummy you’d like to disguise? Any tips you’d like to pass on?
Kim-Marie Williams is the Editor, Stylist and Consultant at KimbaLikes.com, where she chats about Family | Fashion | Frivolity – the things Kimba Likes! A retro cute stylish individual with a passion for fashion, a beauty junkie and opshopper extraordinaire. Offering style tips and reviews and sharing life, love and laughs on KimbaLikes.com, Kimba recently celebrated her Big Four Oh My Gods, and is enjoying the confidence which comes with knowing your own style. You can find @kimbalikes all over the social media landscape, sharing her latest bargain as her life mantra is Never Pay Retail.