How to Hide Your Belly in a Bodycon Dress
Updated: Aug 22
I think Science has proven that weight gain is inevitable in life as we age. Unfortunately for most of us, that weight tends to be in the form of belly fat and/or love handles.
We all know that one person from High School we swore could never gain weight and then we spot them 20 years later and they look unrecognizable - proving you wrong when you thought only the chubbier girls like you could get a belly bulge.
If you are very comfortable rocking your spandex and bodycon dresses as is, with no concern about your tummy area, then by all means, keep doing you. Kudos to you for having that confidence so many of us seek and aspire to have one day.
If you are reading this post however, chances are you are not that comfortable with your muffin top and are seeking ways you can look drop-dead gorgeous in a tight-fitting dress. In my opinion, there are 3 main ways to rock a bodycon dress without a flat stomach:
1) Wear a good waist cincher or body shapewear underneath
2) Choose a bodycon dress with built-in tummy control
3) Choose a bodycon dress with flattering yet distracting details
This entire post would be summed up by those 3 rules and I'll be breaking each one down as well as providing examples of each. If you are ready to step into a bodycon dress for your next special occasion, regardless of your body type, then you want to keep reading!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.
1. The shapewear route
If your main area of concern is just your belly area, then if you are okay with wearing shapewear, there are some great options for you!
Spanx is obviously the most popular of all body shapers and as someone who has worn them for over 7 years now, I can say without hesitation that they are also the best choice. Spanx shapewear comes in different forms from underwear, to underboob (most popular) to full body and waist cinchers in the form of bodysuits. They all succeed at doing the same thing: causing a slimming effect by holding your belly pooch in and cinching your waist. Are they the easiest things to wear? No. Do they work? Yes.
The more areas of your body your Spanx covers, the more expensive it would be. I've seen some of them that hide back fat, control the tummy, cinch the waist and smoothen out cellulite- that Spanx be working overtime! They are meant to hide problem areas and for most women, those are the belly, waist and back.
If you are wearing a strapless dress, you would want to go for the high waist under garment. I always wear strapless push-up bras or full coverage bras like these when I am wearing Spanx with a strapless dress. This is because you need to tuck the top of your Spanx into the bottom of your bra.
This may cause your breasts to sag a little but a push bra would help to hold the girls up more thus making you still look so well put together. If you are only wearing them for special occasions, it may be worth investing in at least one so you can have that knock out effect when you're feeling extra fly.
If money is a little tight, Amazon has these ones I tried out some months ago. Not as good as Spanx but they were decent enough. I find they work better on women who do not have too much going on in the belly area and have a smaller waist.
Another difference between Spanx shapewear and other brands', and probably one of their best features, is that their shapewear has a built-in hole in the crotch area which you can use if you need to go to the bathroom. You just know a woman came up with this idea because who wants to take off a dress that took 30 minutes to get into only to get all hot and sweaty taking it off when you need to pee, only for a 30 second bathroom break?
Moreover, I have worn some really tight dresses with my Spanx shapewear and am glad to report that you can never spot the lines of my undergarments through my dress. Now how exciting is that? If you are going to wear shapewear underneath your bandage dress or tight clothes, Spanx is the way to go.
2. Go for a cinching bodycon dress
Not all bodycons are built the same. As one who has worn them for decades, I know what I'm talking about. If you are not a fan of huffing and puffing your way into shapewear, I completely get it. You could instead choose to invest in dresses that have that built-in tummy control. The control might not be as good as a Spanx but it would still make a difference.
Generally speaking, bodycon dresses made from a thicker material tend to hold your abdominal muscles in more. Check to see that the materials used contain at least rayon and spandex. These 2 fabrics combined help give a more flattering look by really holding in different parts of your body.
In my opinion, Hervé Léger is the standard and the OG when it comes to bandage dresses. My first bodycon dress in university was a replica of one of their mini dresses I had seen Kim Kardashian wear on one of these late night shows.
If you have some disposable income available, I would say invest in the real deal and get yourself an Hervé Léger. Their bodycon dresses are made from thick fabric and look especially amazing on curvy women by hugging all the right places.
If you cannot afford an Hervé Léger just yet, you could opt for the next best thing which would be a Good American bodycon dress. Not only are the dresses much more affordable, but they also come in a thicker fabric which is flattering on different shapes.
They offer long-sleeved, sleeveless and short-sleeved options for form-fitting dresses so you're bound to find something to meet your taste. The only con is that their dresses don't come in as many colors as Herve Leger.
Most of their dresses come in solid neutral colors which would be a good choice for you if you plan on wearing some fun accessories like a statement necklace. There wouldn't be any distractions from your outfit and you could also play with some great accessories. This would help to elevate your overall look even more.
A third option for you if you are looking for an affordable bodycon dress is Naked Wardrobe. My biggest complain with this brand is they made a bodycon dress so form-fitting, they forgot that we need to actually somehow get the dress on our bodies.
Their long-sleeved dresses are the most difficult pieces of clothing I have ever attempted to put on in my life. At least the sleeveless one was difficult but more bearable. When it was on, it looked fantastic!
My best assets were on display like never before. Getting it on was the hard part. If you don't mind a little pain and struggle to look really cute, (at an affordable rate), then you should give them a try.
3. Choose a bodycon dress with the right details
If sweating while putting on your clothes is a complete no-no for you, then I present to you another great option - using colors, shapes and accessories to your favor. You can opt to wear dresses that accentuate the waist area such as vertical lines or vertical stripes which make you look taller and slimmer.
Another smart choice would be to choose bodycon dresses that have dark colors on each side of the waist. This will create the illusion of a smaller waist, regardless of your size. Body con dresses in dark colours work better in general as dark colors tend to make us look slimmer.
Another bodycon dress style you should choose is wrap dresses. I believe it's common knowledge that wrap dresses are a great idea for women hiding belly fat or a problematic stomach area. This is because they cinch in the waist while gently falling across the stomach - succeeding in bringing all the attention to the waist versus the stomach - genius.
DVF is known to be the inventor, and queen, of the wrap dress and so ladies if you are going to go this route, you better do it right. Wrap dresses are also great for either plus size women or women with a bigger chest because they tend to offer generous fabric on top - enough to prevent a wardrobe malfunction on top. Having some ruching on the front of the dress also hides belly fat very nicely.
High-waisted dresses are also a great solution to wearing a bodycon dress when you're not comfortable with your mid section situation. This is because they sit at the smallest part of your torso, giving the illusion of a higher waistline, and smaller at the same time, without you doing anything except zipping it up.
Don't forget that as mentioned in my post on wearing sleeveless dresses year round, you can always add some layers to your bodycon dress to take attention away from your stomach.
For example, you can wear long cardigans that are either tied at the front or add a wide belt on top to help give you a slimming yet classy look.
Any dresses or sets that feature peplum tops are also a great way to rock this trend whether you're feeling comfortable in your skin or not. Peplum tops hot right at the smaller part of your waist and then flare out, masking anything we do not wish to show the world!
At the end of the day, the right clothes and under garments would make you feel and look more beautiful. I really hope you've figured out the best way for you to rock a bodycon dress with confidence and while sticking to your own personal style.
If all else fails, just suck in your stomach real hard for the duration of your event - just kidding!
Remember to always add a pair of high heels into the equation whenever we are dealing with bodycon dresses because if you're wearing one, you're wearing it to stand out, not hideaway.
Do check out my post: How to look good in a tight dress if you're insecure about wearing one.
For a full list of dresses you can wear to hide belly fat, check out my post: 15 of the Best Stylish Dresses to Hide Your Tummy.
Until the next post,