Makeover Your Tummy: Holiday Edition

Ladies, when it comes to bodies I can count on one hand the women I've met who are happy with their tummies. If you are like almost every woman I have ever made-over, and we are talking hundreds and hundreds, you probably feel that your stomach could use some work. But instead of beating yourself up in the mirror day after day, I say embrace your size and shape and let your clothes work for you rather than against you. So, as we head into the holidays (oy!) here are my top 5 tricks to tone down your tummy and add some glam to your holiday look.

MORE: Makeover Your Butt: 4 Ways to Get Your Fanny Looking Its Best


1. Ruching

  • Essentially ruching is just a fancy word for gathered fabric. The great thing about it, though, is that when strategically placed across the tummy (usually horizontally or running from under the bust to the hip) ruching is fantastic camouflage for any lumps, bumps, or generally unwelcome tummy issues.
  • Lauren Ralph Lauren Cap-Sleeved Dress, $194; Macy's.

2. V-Lines

  • “V” shapes are your absolute most essential tool when using clothes as a device to highlight your best features and play down your not-so-fantastic,. When I use the term Hourglass to describe an “ideal” body shape what I am basically trying to achieve is two V’s joined at their points. When clothing has this visual shape built in (think wrap dresses, v-neck tops, structured jackets) you are tricking the eye into a seeing a small waist and wider-set shoulder and, or, hip.
  • Kelly by Clinton Kelly Faux Wrap Dress, $68.50; QVC.

3. Opposites are Attractive

  • Women often ask me what colors they should be wearing but what’s more important is WHERE you use color. In the dressing game, bright and light colors attract attention and dark colors disguise; several designers have realized this. Placing dark colors on the sides of the garment and lighter/brighter colors in the center help create a narrower shape by making the eye see a narrower portion of the body while the darker sides recede.
  • Alfani Printed Fit & Flare Sweater Dress, $69.65; Macy's.

4. Full Skirts

  • Sometimes when a woman has a tummy it can make her hips appear disproportionally small. Remember: It’s not about what size you are, its about creating a visual proportion where your hips and bust are similar sizes and the waist appears narrow. To offset a larger tummy by counterbalancing a smaller hip, add volume with full skirts. This creates the illusion of parity with your shoulders and makes a waistline look tinier in comparison.
  • Harper & Liv Embellished Skater Skirt, $70.99; Macy's.
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5. Structure, not Sloppy

  • If you remember one thing, let it be this: baggy, oversized clothing does nothing but make you look baggy and oversized. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times, “I feel fat so I just wear sweatshirts so no one can see.” Guess what? That sweatshirt is making you feel terrible and not hiding a damn thing. Burn it. Instead, use clothing to give you the shape you want. Build up a shoulder with a small shoulder pad, choose pieces that skim and float away from the body, and wear structured items that have a slight amount of stretch and a serious amount of hold. Flimsy stretch fabrics like tee shirts, sweats, and light knits don’t do anything to conceal a tummy, instead look for more substantial fabrics that fit and conceal.
  • Kelly by Clinton Kelly Hidden Placket Blouse, $59.75; QVC.
  • Kelly by Clinton Kelly Pull-On Ponte Pants, $53.50; QVC.
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