The average midlife woman shopping for blouses is contending with one thing and one thing only: belly bulge. Store racks seem to be filled with absurd options, everything from crop tops to backless shirts to thong bodysuits. Is it too much to ask for a flattering, camouflaging, grown up blouse?
The truth is, there’s a world of tummy-flattering options that mask the midline, and we’ve done the shopping for you.
Throw on a pair of flattering jeans and fill your closet with picks for pretty blouses that will offer you an instant style upgrade.
A real wrap, a faux wrap, or wrapped with a tie belt... the point is, you can wrap at your waist or above (for an empire effect) which makes a waist appear smaller and gives your middle section some welcome wiggle room.
Wrap tops also show the good kind of skin with open, flattering v-neck necklines.
Bonus tip: Play around with the placement of the tie: You can tie it in a bow or a simple knot, place it in front, on the side, or in the back…and if it’s a removable tie, try swapping it out for a belt for a touch of personal style!
Loose-fitting blouses with prints distract from the midsection because prints are camouflaging in and of themselves.
Pro tip? A small-scale print is more flattering than a large-scale print (we like leopard, polka dots, and small florals.) Stripes can also work (thin lines, vertical orientation). And, last but not least, you’d be wise to consider plaids as they’re very on-trend this season.
The tunic is one of the easiest styles to wear and the longer length provides welcome coverage through the midline and hips. For extra comfort and movement, opt for A-line styles or ones with a slit on the side. Also, pay attention to pretty face-framing details like beading or embroidery, and when in doubt size up to give you some extra comfort.
The empire waistline that is. Hitting directly below your bust, this cut works on a variety of body types as it elongates and redirects the eye away from the waist and hips.
Do you have a large chest? This may not be your best option (see wrap styles or tunics, above).
Can’t find an empire waist style you love? Consider peplum tops, which have a similar effect by bringing the eye to the smallest part of your waistline and then fanning out across the hips.
Distraction, distraction, distraction is the name of the game. Little touches like ruching, darting, statement sleeves, and color-blocking work mightily to distract the eye, balance out proportions, and do a masterful job of masking the midline. Statement sleeves are also a winner for balancing larger hips. We encourage you to play around with different details to see what makes you feel great.
All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.