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How do you style a large belly?

In my job, I often receive questions about how to magically make certain things disappear or appear on the body. The question I hear most frequently is, “How do I style my large belly?”

What kind of tops should you choose if you have a protruding belly and feel uncomfortable? There are certain requirements that the garment must meet. The top should, of course, not pinch or tighten anywhere; it should feel comfortable. It should also not fit too loosely, as a shapeless garment can do more harm than good. But I know, it can actually be difficult to find suitable clothing. You may sometimes need to go up a size, but then there’s a risk that it will be too loose around the bust and shoulders. Through trial and error, I have learned what works, and here are my best tips.

My best tips

1.  Consider the drape and shape of the garment

A-line garments are preferred. If the garment fits well around the shoulder area, it usually works well over the belly too. The garment should cinch slightly under the bust and hang loosely downwards, directing attention to the narrowest part of the body. Choose soft fabrics that drape nicely. Make sure you have good underwear. Avoid balloon-shaped garments that narrow down under the stomach and buttocks.

2.  Divide with vertical lines

Experiment with wearing a vest or a draped shawl. Let them hang loosely. The vertical lines created by these garments visually separate the body and create optical illusions. Layering can be very effective, as long as the models are good.

3.  Draw attention to your neckline and face

This doesn’t mean you need to show more skin (unless you want to), but rather, I suggest choosing a nice cut for your neckline or a beautiful necklace. Emphasizing the shoulder line helps balance the proportions of your body. A V-neck or a deep oval neckline works particularly well.

4.  Loose-fitting garments

Wear adequately loose-fitting clothes, but avoid excessively voluminous fabric and tent-like styles that do not accentuate your shape at all. Shapeless doesn’t mean the same as slim.

5. Exciting details

Select garments with that extra touch – such as cleverly designed pockets and vibrant colors.

Patterns are more forgiving than solid-colored garments because even the slightest shadow is visible on a solid color. With patterned fabrics, these shadows are not as easily discernible. If you feel uncomfortable wearing solid-colored tops for this reason, adding a vest, cardigan, or jacket can be a good solution.

In the following videos you will find more tips (only in Finnish and Swedish)!

Hugs, Marie

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