Reader Question: What tops will mask my middle?

Here’s the latest fantastic question from an equally fantastic reader:


My body/clothing challenge is that my weight is disproportionately stored around my middle since I had my baby. So if you look at me from front-on, I look like a well-proportioned size 12/14, but if you look at me from the side or in the wrong clothes, I really do look kind of pregnant and I actually wear more like a size 16/18. Any ideas for what cut/length/etc of top might work for someone of my body shape so that I don’t look pregnant?  Thanks for any thoughts you can offer!


For someone who stores most of their weight in the middle (whether naturally or post-partum), the key is to find tops that will cover what you don’t want emphasized (the tum) while not appearing too big and baggy. Often women will choose large, billowy styles and end up looking like their clothes are swallowing them whole.

Here’s what to look for instead:

Images from left to right:,


Seek out the right neckline above all else. A good neck will help to draw the eye upward towards your gorgeous face and away from any not so fabulous areas. Generally speaking, V-necks and deeper scoops are the best (just don’t go so deep that you enter scary cleavage zone).  They frame the face and create a longer line. Plus, they offer an ideal backdrop for an amazing necklace or set of earrings. Again, this will work to bring attention up.


Images from left to right:,


Next, you should focus on detailing that’s going to successfully camouflage your middle without adding bulk. The best accents for this are thin tiers (a.k.a. flat ruffles) or subtle ruching. These details prevent the fabric of the shirt from clinging directly to your body.


In addition to tops themselves, nothing makes you look slimmer and more pulled together than a classic, structured blazer that flares out from the waist. Wear it unbuttoned over your ensemble, and it will automatically hide that annoying middle.


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[tweetmeme] One Response to Reader Question: What tops will mask my middle?
  1. Sue
    November 2, 2011 | 4:58 am

    Thank you, Bryn. These pictures give me a great idea of what to look for.

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