Call it what you will: Muffin tops, love handles or spare tires. If you have that un-fun extra flab around your waist, it could likely use a little middle management. The good news is disguising the area is actually quite easy when you arm yourself with the right clothing arsenal, such as stiffer fabrics, camouflaging prints, high-waisted bottoms, strategically placed pleats and color-blocking. (And trying these muscle-sculpting moves that specifically target the area doesn’t hurt either.)
Ready to get a handle on those love handles? Here are five outfits to take your midsection from flab to fab in no time.
1Dress for Success
Denim is a smart fabric choice when you’re trying to disguise your waist. Material that’s too lightweight tends to cling, which is not what you’re after when you’ve got a roll or two to hide. This dress is loose, but not boxy, which can actually make you look larger, and the darker wash on the pockets offers an illusion effect, making that muffin top disappear altogether. Add a high wedge sandal and a fun, bright clutch that draws attention away from your middle to complete the look.
Topshop moto denim pocket dress, $76
Joie Palo espadrille platform wedge, $155
When you have love handles, reach for a high-waisted pant; low-rise versions only emphasize what you’re trying to minimize. Find a style with a wide leg, which helps balance out your wider middle, and a print, like this black and white Aztec, which provides a flattering distraction. On top, try a long, loose tank that drapes with some added color-blocking to draw the eye up. Throw on a flat sandal and glamorous sunglasses, and head to brunch without giving those waffles a second thought.
Socialite print palazzo pants, $42
Dolce Vita Fabia strappy flat sandal, $76
3Skirt the Issue
Love handles will simply fade away when you don a full skirt in a thicker fabric with pleating that helps flatten out your tummy. Add a long cardigan and tank top—the double lining helps hide bulges—in similar shades for that long, lean look, and nude pumps to keep the whole ensemble sleek.
River Island box-pleat midi skirt, $68
4Short and Sweet
Again, a high waist helps cinch your love handles in, so a denim short will keep your love handles in check while letting you show off those toned legs. On top, wear a loose-fitting blouse in a pretty print—and if it’s a little longer, all the better. For added flair and to draw eyes up to your face and away from your waist, throw on a great floppy hat. Love handles? Where? Not on you.
Beachside Bike Ride high-waisted shorts, $40
There’s so much to love about a maxi dress—it’s effortless, chic, comfortable, versatile—and when you choose one with an empire waistline, it totally hides your love handles. Whether you stick with a simple black or another solid color, or go for an interesting or bright print, the style is just plain forgiving. Accessorize it for day by just adding flip-flops and a tote, or night by pairing it with a great necklace (this one is attached!); a fun, quirky bangle; or a brightly colored clutch to draw attention away from your middle.
Zara printed dress with necklace detail, $26
Kate Spade For the Birds Toucan bracelet, $62
BCBG Max Azria Brannon blue croc sandal, $149