best style dresses to hide tummy

The Best Dress Styles for Hiding Your Tummy and Feeling Your Best

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Navigating the world of fashion to find dress styles that offer both style and comfort, while also addressing common concerns like concealing your tummy area, can be a nuanced art. This guide delves into the most flattering dress styles that have been thoughtfully designed to enhance your silhouette. No matter your body type, these different styles approach various types of aesthetics and feels, meaning you can find the right dress for you here!

Best Style Dresses to Hide Tummy

I know how frustrating it can feel to walk in and out of dressing rooms feeling disappointed for not finding what you went looking for. While there’s no one cure for failed shopping trips (I wish), having an idea of what to look for can make a huge difference in your shopping experience and in your fashion decisions.

Turns out, finding the perfect style can be just as much as understanding the different dress silhouettes that work for you as it can be about sheer dumb luck – so we do what we can to prepare in the best ways we know how!

Come along to explore some of the best dresses to go for when you’re looking to seamlessly balance your comfort and personal style.

Empire Waist Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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The empire waist dress is made up of a silhouette that gracefully elongates the body. By cinching just below the bust, it creates an illusion of height and minimizes focus on the midsection, allowing the fabric to flow gently over the tummy. This versatile style is suitable for both casual and formal occasions, making it a real staple in any complete wardrobe. 

When it comes to this type of dress, the material really matters; from breezy chiffons to comfy jerseys, there’s a fabric for every occasion! It’s like they know exactly when you’ve had an extra scoop of ice cream.

For a piece that embodies both the lightness of fabric and elegance of form, the empire waist dress is a real contender that can even transition from a daytime event to an elegant evening event!

Banana Republic Lisa Open-Back Linen Dress

Delicate, feminine, and cool, this gorgeous linen dress makes sure to keep you on top of your style game without making you sweat – literally! Its luxe, breathable fabric allows for air to flow comfortably, and an open back detail gives this look an extra layer of charm. 

An empire waist cinches in just below the chest, flowing straight over the tummy area and keeping you comfortable in every way. Details like volume sleeves, a crewneck, and side seam pockets give this dress even more personality and appeal.

J.Crew Fitted-Waist Shirtdress

Bright, delicate patterns are perfect for the warmer months of the year, and this dress is here to prove it. A cinched-in waist allows this dress to look flattering on your body, while also doing a great job of camouflaging the abdomen region as it flows out for those who want to feel more comfortable throughout the day.

A collared neckline and slightly puffed sleeves give this dress a classic look that has been around for years – there’s no denying a timeless silhouette when we see it! 

DKNY Scuba Midi Dress

For a more sophisticated version of the empire waist dress, this DKNY number is here to show us how it’s done. With a gorgeous but subtle angled cinch below the chest, this dress does a beautiful job of integrating this flattering silhouette in an elegant and different way. 

Featuring a scuba-knit bodice and a satin skirt, this piece is able to subtly emphasize the understated – but very elegant – silhouette of the dress. With a relaxed fit and mid-calf length, this dress can easily accompany you to important events and sophisticated dinners throughout the year. 

J.Crew Plunge-Neck Dress

Handwoven in Ethiopia, this dress features dolman sleeves, a plunge neckline, and an elastic waist that seamlessly defines your silhouette. Elegant and full of character, this navy blue dress does a beautiful job of keeping you comfortable while not sacrificing the style or fit. 

Delicate details further complement this beautiful piece that can easily be styled from a casual day under the sun to a special candle-lit dinner by the water.

Banana Republic Cici Poplin Midi Dress

Enjoy spring and summer in this poplin mini dress that blends a fun and sophisticated silhouette with a more structured fabric. 

Pleating detail starts on the chest, flowing out into just below the stomach. While the empire waist silhouette makes for a flattering fit that hides that region, the pleating details further work to camouflage the stomach area for optimal comfort and great style. 

Fully lined and also featuring a fit and flare look, this dress is the perfect option for enjoying the warm weather and looking your best at the same time. This purple color is a great option for integrating pastel shades and variety into your neutral wardrobe for spring.

Elan Cover-Up Dress

When it comes to finding the best dress style to wear as a cover-up at the pool or beach, there’s no need to settle for something you don’t feel 1000% in. For your next vacation, opt for this maxi cover-up dress in the empire waist silhouette. An elastic band gently cinches in the waist, allowing the fabric to flow freely down to the bottom for that perfect flowy look. 

When choosing a cover-up, many people enjoy opting for something that balances the tight fit of a bathing suit, while also keeping the breezy beach vibe in mind as you enjoy every second of your well-deserved break. 

The fabric in this dress is slightly sheer, ensuring that you stay completely comfortable, cool, and in the right beach mood. A snap button closure at the top of the chest allows you to opt for more coverage, or leave it open to show off your bathing suit as well.

Wrap Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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The wrap dress is often beloved for its adjustable fit, offering a custom silhouette that cinches effortlessly at the waist area with a tie, accentuating all of your best curves while draping over the tummy area. This design not only offers flexibility and comfort but also a universally flattering shape.

While the design of this dress already ensures a great fit for a variety of body shapes, the right fabric can make any wrap dress look like it’s been tailored just for you. From a snug jersey to a silkier alternative, there is always room to accommodate your personal taste. 

H&M Textured Wrap Dress

Made from textured jersey, this wrap dress is all about keeping things simple and sophisticated. Featuring wide shoulder straps and v-neck detailing at the front and back of the dress, this midi piece is a perfect example of how the most simple silhouettes can make for the most sophisticated outfits!

This wrap dress ties beautifully with wide ties on the side, allowing for the fabric to drape gently over the stomach area. 

H&M Wrap-Front Dress

Perfect for tackling those scorching sunny days, this short wrap dress includes a more fitted bodice, cap sleeves, and a low v-neck detail. Wrapping at the side of the waist, this dress also tapers slightly outwards towards the bottom, gently defining your silhouette without hugging your body. 

For an easy and breezy option that will keep you cool and looking great, this dress might be a great choice for you.

Karen Kane Cascade Faux Wrap Dress

If you love the look but don’t want the effort, then this faux wrap dress might be the solution you’ve been looking for! With great stretch and a beautiful wrap-inspired design, this dress is able to hug the body and enhance your figure, all while hiding your tummy at the same time. 

Following the appeal of the classic wrap dress, this design features extra fabric that gathers at the front and to the side, emulating the look and fit of this timeless design. 

Perfect to throw on for any last-minute events, this dress also includes a v-neck detail and three-quarter sleeves for classic charm.

A-Line Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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A-line dresses feature a fitted top and a flared skirt, starting at the waist and flowing outwards. With this silhouette, the natural structure of the dress draws attention away from the midsection and towards the lower part of the body.

This style is perfect for those who want to keep things not too shy and not too loud, finding a happy medium that keeps you looking and feeling your best. When it comes to A-line dresses, the fabric is an essential part to consider.

From more structured, thicker fabrics to lighter, flowier options, the choice of material definitely impacts the feel and final look of the dress. For a more formal occasion, more structured fabrics are better suited, while more lightweight alternatives are great for more casual designs. 

Also because of its design, this silhouette is incredibly forgiving and suits a wide range of body types! If you have been looking for pieces that prioritize proportion, this is a must-have for you.

Struggling to figure out your body type? I created a resource for you that will help you discover your body type and the best clothes you should wear to flatter!

Banana Republic Ivy Cotton Midi Dress

A-line dresses are some of the most popular, best dress styles out there today – and have been for many years! It doesn’t take much to see how this universally flattering silhouette reached its level of popularity and fame throughout the decades, and I’m definitely on board when it comes to incorporating this style into my wardrobe. 

Even dresses that feature different silhouettes tend to often feature an a-line structure, where the waist is cinched below the chest and the skirt tapers out towards the bottom. Whether it be subtle or dramatic, the super common use of this silhouette shows us just how classic it has become.

Fitted at the top and flowy at the bottom – this blue dress is a perfect choice for a number of special occasions. Made from soft but sturdy cotton, this dress naturally has some more structure to it that allows the a-line silhouette to stand out.

Pleated detailing covering both the chest and the tummy area works to add beautiful texture to the dress while also flattering your body in all of the right places.

J.Crew A-Line Midi Dress

A dress that screams spring and summer! This linen design is a beautiful blend of classic style and warm-weather fashion, bringing together soft but intentional elements that give this dress its personality. 

A classic a-line silhouette defines this midi dress, while a high crew neckline and button detailing at the front add the ultimate touches of elegance to this design. Available in both black and white, this dress will easily incorporate many classic looks into your collection – it’s all about styling.

Related: The Best Beach Dresses for Enjoying Your Summer in 2024

Petal & Pup Laurel A-Line Dress

This navy dress features a high slit as a special accent, emphasizing the a-line silhouette of the piece. Tie straps at the shoulders give this dress a more feminine and even romantic feel, while also keeping it elegant and chic with its timeless structure.

Peplum Dresses

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Peplum dresses feature a short, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist, creating a flattering ruffle that conceals the “problem” areas and enhances the hips. On top of their great fit, this style also adds a playful element to your wardrobe, as well as a versatile sophisticated silhouette.

This dress design isn’t particularly picky about its fabric choices, either; pick a stretchy blend for comfort or go for something with a bit more structure if you’re out to impress. 

When special dinners and occasions seem to come up out of nowhere, a good peplum dress will never leave you hanging with nothing to wear! 

Ted Baker Elynah Peplum Dress

Formal and very put together, this peplum dress is the perfect choice for attending an office party or keeping things professional as you take lunch meetings throughout the week.

The subtle but strategic placement of the peplum waist does a great job of hiding the tummy area, while also adding visual interest and character to the dress with an asymmetric overlay. A round neck and short sleeves keep things dressed conservatively and undoubtedly classic with its many elegant features. 

Alfred Sung Strapless Peplum Gown

It’s not every day that we look for a special occasion gown, but if you are, this one is definitely a top contender.

This dress features drop-dead gorgeous peplum ruffles that continue to drape down the back in a sleek, classic, and elegant design. A strapless silhouette allows you to show off your décolletage and bring balance to the overall look, while beautiful satin twill fabric gives this design the structure and texture that take it to the next level. 

Shift Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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Shift dresses are an easy way to embody that effortless, “woke up like this” vibe, featuring a straight fit that’s both forgiving and unfussy for those who are looking for functionality and style.

More specifically, the shift dress offers a straightforward, uncluttered line that falls straight from the shoulders, providing a loose fit around the waist and tummy area without compromising on elegance or femininity (almost like shirt dresses!). This style is particularly appealing for its simplicity and easy-to-style design. 

Like some of the other dress styles on this list, shift dresses look great in a range of fabrics, from breathable linen to stretchy blends, making sure that you look together without the need to constantly adjust your dress. 

Especially for the warmer months of the year, this dress style keeps you comfortable without compromising on style at the same time.

Theory Color Block Shift Dress

Who said shift dresses can’t bring character? This fun and modern color block design brings contrast to the dress’ clean silhouette, making a statement while still keeping things loose and comfy at the same time.

Patterns are a great way to balance dresses that have simpler silhouettes, as they can help to balance out the more understated features of the dress into something intentional and, of course, super chic. 

Banana Republic Mila Mini Dress

Other details can also elevate a simple shift dress in a way that allows you to step up from basic to head-turning. In this case, a strong shoulder accent adds subtle structure to the piece, while a keyhole at the back adds yet another chic and subtle touch.

Perfect for dressing both up and down, this truly versatile dress will become a fast favorite in your spring and summer wardrobe.

Banana Republic Laurel Utility Dress

Made from a linen and cotton blend, this dress exemplifies one of the best uses for a shift dress – a super breezy, easy, and chic to relax in as the sun is beaming down on you.

Featuring a very relaxed fit, this dress isn’t just comfortable, but also features a super elegant look with its beautiful fabric and cut.

Fit and Flare Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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Fit and flare dresses hit the sweet spot, offering a cinched waist and a flared-out skirt that offers a beautiful and elegant silhouette. 

This design hugs the body with a snug fit at the top and a gentle flair from the waist down, making for a balanced look that enhances the waist while camouflaging the tummy at the same time. This style is inherently playful yet balanced, suitable for both casual and formal settings. 

Once again, this silhouette can work beautifully with a number of fabrics, and the chosen material will inevitably dictate the aesthetic of the piece. Like in some of the other styles, more structured fabrics are generally great choices for more formal events, whereas stretchy blends or looser materials are perfect for everyday wear. 

Staud Poplin Midi Fit & Flare Dress

This style encapsulates all of the characteristics of the classic fit and flare dress, tighter on top and seamlessly tapering outwards towards the bottom. 

A corset-style top gives this dress structure and a touch of femininity at the same time as pleated details occupy the length of the piece. The top section of this dress is also an added bonus for those looking to conceal the tummy area, as it provides some more structure along with its beautiful flare. 

Additionally, a square neck detail and cotton material also work to elevate this dress into a truly elegant and classic piece. 

Banana Republic Cici Mini Dress

Pleating detail along the dress, as well as an eye-catching metallic color bring gorgeous movement and personality to this design, as well as a flattering silhouette that shows off all of your best features. 

A plunging neckline makes for an added special detail in this fully lined piece. 

Maxi Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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Maxi dresses are the epitome of effortless style, providing full coverage with a lengthy flow that falls beautifully over the tummy region and the body as a whole. This style is perfect for those who prioritize comfort while still not compromising personal style.

Maxi dresses are naturally elegant due to their length, and can also be your go-to style for when you want to make an entrance (or exit!) that’s both graceful and features an extra touch of style flair.

Banana Republic Ana Pleated Maxi Dress

For those who want color and texture, this maxi dress features a flowy, comfortable silhouette that you won’t mind spending all day or night in. With an empire waist cinch below the chest, this dress is able to define your figure while still keeping its relaxed fit charm at the same time. 

Beautiful patterns and small pleats along the fabric give this dress the visual interest and movement that makes this piece truly special. 

Banana Republic Aurelia Maxi Dress

Dresses with no waist definition are loved by many, and look incredibly chic in this oversized maxi style. With short sleeves, side pockets, and made from linen and silky viscose blend, this dress flows beautifully and keeps you breezy all day long. 

Its ‘blank slate’ feel makes this dress perfect for different styling options, from simple, dainty jewelry to statement pieces that elevate the look. 

Draped Dresses

best style dresses to hide tummy

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Like that friend who always knows your best angles for a photo, draped dresses know just how to cling to your body for a silhouette that’s just as flattering as it is forgiving. It’s about making you feel good from every angle! 

This style features fabric that is gathered, ruched, or pleated in a way that artfully conceals the tummy, offering an elegant solution for those seeking both style and full comfort. The draping effect adds an element of sophistication, making these dresses perfect for both professional events and social settings. 

Banana Republic Mari Draped Dress

Sleek, flattering, and straight to the point. This draped Banana Republic dress gives another face to the traditional little black dress. 

With a front wrap effect, this short style also features a flattering v-neck detail and Dolman-style sleeves that fall over the shoulders. Beyond being comfortable and looking great, this dress is also easily dressed up for more formal events, making it a truly versatile closet staple you can always turn to. 

Draped Skirt One-Shoulder Dress

Often similar to wrap dresses, some draped styles are the best option for those looking for more of a figure-hugging fit that can still conceal certain regions like the stomach – who said that tight dresses can’t feel great on? Other intentional choices can also help you achieve the result you’re after, such as going for dark colors for a more slimming effect.

This beautiful dress does just that, featuring a one-shoulder design and the main event: a tie waist detail. The ‘excess’ fabric along the skirt gathers on the side, draping over the tummy area and working to enhance your figure at the same time!

Finding Your Perfect Tummy-Concealing Dress 

best style dresses to hide tummy
best style dresses to hide tummy

At the end of the day, the best dress for you is the one that brings out your confidence, whether it’s turning a sidewalk into your personal runway or making everyday occasions feel like extra special events. 

It’s clear that the right silhouette, fabric choice, and design have everything to do with finding a dress that’s comfortable, stylish, and flattering at the same time – which is why it’s important to know our options before making a final decision. 

As you continue your search for your perfect dress, use this guide to serve as a starting point for discovering styles that offer both elegance and ease.

Looking for other style tips that help you feel your best? Up Next: Fight the Frump: 12 Easy Ways You Can Fix Your Frumpy Outfits


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.