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BellaOnline's Women's Fashion Editor

Hiding Belly Fat to Look Slimmer Instantly

Whether it is genetics or overindulging in goodies, a large waistline or belly fat can be a major fashion bummer and bring down your self-esteem. Some women give up on looking fashionable or hide in tent-sized clothes to make a big belly disappear. Neither are good options! If you're suffering from a bulging stomach, there are still ways to look fashion fabulous. You can achieve this by wearing the right clothes to disguise your tummy.

The Foundation - We'll start with the obvious. Trimming suck-me-in tank tops and underwear are widely available to help you look your best. The right shapewear will smooth away fatty bulges and help you feel prettier in your clothes. Spanx is a well-known and reputable brand, among many others. Choose items that are well made. Otherwise, the bands might be too tight, causing unsightly bulges. If you'd rather skip shapewear, a nice poly blend tank will help smooth out your figure under blazers, sweaters and tops.

It's all about the right fit - You may have heard this before, but it's definitely worth repeating: Size is just a number. A size too small is the major culprit of the undesirable muffin top where your pants will squeeze the fat right over your pants. Is this really what you want? On the other end of the spectrum, don't buy clothes that are too big in order to hide your belly. Dresses and tops that are too big will not fit right at the shoulders, bust or hips which will make you look sloppy and larger.

Say no to mom jeans - Another fit issue worth mentioning is the rise of pants and jeans. Rather than choosing pants that sit at the waist or are high rise, go for a pair that is mid-rise and will sit slightly below the waist. This is a very modern and desirable fit that works for most body types. Nice mid-rise jeans or trousers in a straight leg or boot cut will help you appear longer and thinner.

Choose the right fabric - Stay away from clingy materials, even if it looks nice on a hanger. I'm not just talking about tight nylon fabrics. Even something as innocent as stretch cotton can accentuate a large belly if it's too fitted. Your best bet is to go with a woven fabric that does not stretch at all. A cotton blend with slight stretch is okay if the fit is loose and flirty. And of course, flattering jeans and pants with the right amount of stretch can go a long way in terms of smoothing and comfort.

Keep your shirt untucked - Unless you're tucking in your shirt under a closed blazer, you should choose tops and blouses that can be worn untucked. Tucking in a shirt over a bulging belly will draw attention to the area, especially your lower belly. Also, it makes your torso appear shorter and wider. Tunics and hip length A-line tops will give you a feminine look while lengthening and hiding belly fat. Also, don't forget about trendy Bohemian tops. Just make sure it's not too short because you don't want to widen your appearance.

Say yes to empire waist - Dresses and tops with an empire waist that are fitted at the bust and loosely flared at the waist are very flattering. This type of fit will help you feel confident and comfortable because there is nothing clinging around your problem area. Avoid empire waist dresses and tops that are overly elastic under the bust. Otherwise, it might look like maternity wear or accentuate fat around the rib cage or under your bust line. Small ties, belts and ribbons are perfectly okay. Just tie it off center and to the side to take attention away from your center.

Invest in a nicely tailored blazer - A great fitting blazer will bring out your feminine curves and hide a fat tummy at the same time. With the right fit around the arms and shoulders, you'll get lots of wear out of your blazer. Try a loose and flirty top with an open blazer, or a smoothing tank top with a closed one-button blazer. Just remember that too many buttons close together will gap when you sit, so stick with a one or two button blazer.

Color blocking and contrasting - Try a darker color top under a brighter colored cardigan. You'll create a long line instantly. Or perhaps a black tunic top with a pair of lighter pants. The eye will be drawn to the brighter parts of your body which de-emphasizes your belly. Color blocking is a hot trend right now. Try a black blouse with fuchsia pants or a teal green shirt with a bright blue blazer. Color blocking creates visible lines and contrasts that are both slimming and stylish.

Nothing you wear will ever banish belly fat, but with a little fashion know-how, you can look great and feel more confident while you work your way to becoming healthier and trimmer.

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