A stomach pooch can occur on women who are slim, curvy or anywhere in between, and can make women feel self-conscious at the beach or poolside. However, a belly is easy to conceal with today’s stylish suits that fit any taste and flatter nearly every figure. Ruching and contouring can mask a belly, while a shapewear suit can flatten it entirely. There are even belly-slimming styles for bikini fans.
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Ruched fabric is gathered to create depth and texture. This technique is used in many types of garments, such as blouses and gowns, and also found on bathing suits. A one-piece bathing suit with stylish ruching across the front -- particularly over the belly area -- conceals a stomach pooch well. Ruffles, pleats and other gathered or heavily textured bodices also camouflage tummies very well.
Texture is stylish, but not essential, for hiding a belly in a one-piece bathing suit. Diagonally contoured patterns, draping or color blocking can also appear to whittle the stomach. Curved or straight diagonal lines of stitching or fabric across the bodice, or diagonal areas of contrasting colors, draw the eye away from the shape of the belly. However, straight vertical or horizontal stripes should be avoided, as these highlight any unwanted curvy areas. (See reference 2)
For women with just a small stomach pooch, a monokini may fit the bill, highlighting desirable areas while covering the belly. A monokini is a one-piece bathing suit that is open on the sides and in the back, with just a panel down the front of the suit connecting the bikini-style top and bottom. Monokinis can have large or small front panels -- some with ruching or other chic accents -- and can be chosen to match the wearer’s desired amount of coverage.
Just like control-top pantyhose and body shapers, shapewear is available in bathing suits. Suits with shaping tummy panels flatten the pooch. Since shapewear suits are made with curvy women in mind, they may include other figure-flattering features like contour stitching, pleats and attractive necklines.
Believe it or not, versions of the bikini provide excellent options for women with stomach pooches. Two styles stand out in particular. Tankinis, which have long, tank-shaped tops, tend to be loose fitting around the stomach area, easily hiding tummies. A tank top or a regular bikini top can be paired with a high-waisted bottom that not only masks the belly but offers an attractive, retro look. A wide waistband paired with a high waist accentuates the pooch-concealing effect, and some come with added tummy-control panels.