Do you ever feel like you’re getting the same message over and over again and just not listening? Lately, these words of wisdom keep coming up for me.
- Drink more water.
- Quiet time needs to be quiet time. Turn off the distractions.
- It’s now or never. Life is short.
Well, that got deep real quick.
One kind of message I never ignore, however, is the kind I get from you. And that’s why I’m mixing it up a little for today’s episode of the Ageless Style Show, and turning the Question of the Day into the topic of today’s video.
This question is so common I’m amazed that I haven’t tackled it before. I knew it was time to discuss this topic when I had the same question twice in a single day.
“I have gained 10 lbs all in my stomach and hips. I am short 4 11 and I feel like I dress to cover up?”Nancy, 69
“I have a stomach that sticks out, like I’m constantly bloated, I also have big hips but I’m short at just 5 foot and everything that’s cut to disguise these areas either makes me look bigger or shorter.”Sarah, 39
So what DO you wear when you’re curvy in the tummy and hips AND petite? Here, strategies that will work for you at any height, with tweaks for those of us who are petite.
Find Your Dress Silhouette
If you’re trying to downplay a full tummy and hips, you may find it a lot easier to do so with a dress than with separates. The right dress doesn’t draw a line across your middle and can skim over curves in a flattering way.
One dress silhouette to try is a straight or shift style dress. These are cut in a straight line from underarm to hem, and in the right material and size, won’t cling to curves. Choose a length that is flattering to your vertical proportions. Too long and they can look tent-like.
For Petites: A curvy petite will find the Fashion Fit Formula to be exceptionally helpful.
In addition to a straight and slightly tailored dress, like the one above, a short and flowy dress can also work if the look is balanced with an open neckline, for example, or a shorter length (see center pic, below). A fit and flare dress is also universally flattering. Make sure the fitted part ends just above the full part of the tummy so that it will flow nicely over that area and not cling.
Another flattering silhouette is an empire style, but only if you don’t have a full bust. A waistline that hits higher, above the tummy and hip area, can highlight a smaller part of your torso without clinging to curves. If you do have a full bust, go for a slightly adjusted waistline, just above the tummy.
Girl with Curves in a top and skirt. The skirt’s waistband hits at the slimmest part of her waist and skims over curves. Girl with Curves in an empire style from Nic & Zoe
Try a Statement Top
A pretty top draws the eye upwards and highlights your lovely face. Look for a top in a light or bright color or interesting print, or try one with design details like fun sleeves or a trendy horizontal neckline. When paired with a darker bottom, particularly one that doesn’t cling (the new wider leg silhouette is magical here) you have a winning combination.
Curvy Girl Chic in a flowy pants and a bold top and jacket Girl with Curves in a square neck top with flowy pants
Try a Long Jacket Over Monochromatic Outfit
A simple but very effective outfit formula is to try a long lean topper in any color over a monochromatic base outfit. This works with virtually any color combination, but the key is to choose a different color for the jacket. The long lines of the jacket visually erase the sides of your body, making you look longer and leaner.
Petite Pro Tip #2
The monochromatic trick is especially lengthening for you, but keep the jacket shorter and less voluminous for the ultimate lengthening trick. Mid-thigh is a great length.
Katya in a sleek black outfit topped with a fun printed jacket Gabi Fresh in a black comfy outfit topped with a long vest
Show Off Your Favorite Part
The key to choosing clothes that skim over curves without swallowing you up and looking tent-like is to create balance by highlighting a favorite part of your body, whether it’s your pretty arms or toned legs or lovely neckline. Head to toe coverage plus flowy fit is a very hard look to pull off, so this tip is key.
Sell Eat Love shows off her pretty arms Mommy in Heels highlights her legs in this outfit
Try Vertical Stripes
While many women are wary of horizontal stripes (and admittedly, they can be tricky to pull off), vertical stripes are super easy to wear and naturally elongating. Whether you try a bold wide look or slim subtle stripes, the look is instantly slimming.
Petite Pro Tip #3
Vertical elements of any kind are going to be especially flattering, whether they are vertical stripes or a long jacket over a monochromatic outfit.
Maddy Gutierrez in a colorblocked striped dress Caralyn Mirand wears subtle vertical stripes
Consider Everyday Shapewear
Shapewear isn’t just for special occasions, anymore. Comfortable, breathable, and very wearable, the new shapewear options are designed to give you just a little control and support every single day. They have the ability to smooth out lumps and bumps and make you feel more confident in your clothes, and there are everyday options for every budget.
You can find all of these options and more in my Lingerie Catalog.
A lightweight shaping cami is an everyday essential under light or clingy tops Ruby Ribbon provides full bust support (great for larger busts) and tummy control with comfort Dream Slim shapers available on Amazon Amazon cotton shaping underwear
I hope you find these strategies to be helpful to flatter a full tummy and hips. Which of these techniques have you tried? And what is your current go-to strategy for flattering your shape?
I LOVE seeing new concepts in beauty that truly solve a problem, and that’s why I was so excited to stumble upon Subtl Beauty. What a modern, elegant, and minimal solution for everyday makeup. For a makeup minimalist, this might be all you need. For the rest of us, it offers a streamlined way to travel with our favorite shades.
After answering a questionnaire, you are color-matched with foundation, powder, concealer, and bronzer in a single, convenient, and very pretty stack. Definitely worth checking out if you have a cluttered makeup drawer.
This week’s makeover is more of a revelation about personal style than it is a classic before-and-after style makeover, and it’s from one of my original members, Crystal. Crystal is a beautiful homeschool mom of 4 with a Style Dial Blue body type and Clear coloring. Crystal has mastered her color palette and knows how to flatter her body type, but she was struggling to find her personal style
She found that the clothes that she loved on other women were not the clothes she wanted to wear herself. And this was a revelation. You can admire a variety of styles without any of them being right for you.
This distinction eludes many of us for years.
Just because it’s beautiful (on IG, in a catalog) doesn’t mean it suits you or expresses your personal style. And the older we get, the more clarity we can have when it comes to what we truly love and what feels like us.
Know the difference between the clothes you like to look at and those you like to wear.NM
I shared this in Nada’s Ageless Style group yesterday (if you haven’t invested in her course yet, what are you waiting for?).
Thought I’d share here too for you ladies who may need some inspiration.
This is my favorite way to dress for summer!
I’ve tried so many other styles out of fear that THIS style would be too boring and make me less of a fashionista.
After working with Nada Manley and going through her list of essentials, I finally realized that I truly just LOVE the simple basics on her Essentials list and could create an entire wardrobe off of that list alone!
So that’s what I’m doing. Sticking to a classic style with clean lines and simple pieces. I accessorize with statement jewelry sometimes and always make sure I have a fun bag to amp an outfit up when I feel like it. Makes it SO EASY to go from casual day at home to errand-appropriate in a split-second
Thanks for inspiring me to embrace my simplicity, Nada!
Simple isn’t boring!Crystal
Crystal’s go-to everyday outfit The everyday outfit + fun accessories