Dear Fashion Guru,
I recently began reading your blog and let me tell you, you have given my wardrobe the shot in the arm that it’s needed for quite some time. Thank you for telling all the mommies out there that we don’t have to wear the mommy uniform!
I have a problem that I know you’ll be able to help me with. I am fairly average in height and weight, but all the fat in my body seems to congregate in my gut. I’ve always had a bit of a pot belly, but after having my daughter three years ago, my belly has taken on a more–shall we say–rotund appearance. Because this is the only place I carry weight, I am sometimes asked if I am pregnant. This is not the fashion statement I want to be making.
So here’s my question: Without resorting to a muumuu, what styles would best camouflage my belly?
How many of you were nodding along as you read Shannon’s letter? Something about growing a person inside you changes your midsection forever. So let’s talk about how to look less like you’re still making people and more like a hot mama.
Shannon wants to start with a great bra, one that gets the Girls up where they should be. When your boobs are hanging low, it makes a large tummy look even larger. She should have a bra fitting, done by someone who really knows what she’s doing. Nordstrom has bra fitters, as do many specialty lingere boutiques.
blouse by Old Navy, $19.50
Once she’s got a bra, Shannon can think about tops. She should look for something with an empire waist, for starters; this will draw attention away from her stomach and up to her pretty face. She can choose a cami with some detailing, and wear it on its own for evening or under a cardigan or jacket for day time. She can also look for great blouses; if she’s concerned about the V neckline, she can layer them over a tank or tee. She can also look at some cool longer tunics that are fitted through the shoulders but looser across the stomach. Again, she should look for nice detailing around the neckline.
Shannon wants to look for tops with detailing at the neckline, to draw the eye up. A V neck will do this, as will some ruching or ruffles. She can also add a choker or short necklace, in a contrasting color to her top, or a pair of dangly earrings.
The same rules apply for dresses; look for something with an empire waist and either a tank or V neck top. Keep hemlines near the knee. Or opt for a fabulous blouse and a pencil skirt with some great heels.
dress by Banana Republic, $128.00
Shannon wants to look for jackets that hit just above the hip; this length makes her legs look longer. She should choose a one-button jacket that comes in at the sides, creating an hourglass shape (rather than a basketball shape). For everyday, it’s fine if Shannon’s tops are slightly longer than her jacket, but only SLIGHTLY, like an inch or two. No long tunics under short jackets. Just no.
Girls with a little extra around the middle should avoid anything that is cut very slim through the body, as well as wrap tops and belts, both of which will draw the eye to the mid section. Tops should hit either at or slightly below the hip. Anything shorter will, again, make the midsection the focus of attention. Turtlenecks are probably not the best look for Shannon; she would do better with a crewneck sweater in the winter.
Finally, Shannon wants to make sure that her pants and skirts fit properly through the stomach. Any extra muffin top will only make her more self-conscious about her stomach.