Best dresses to hide a tummy - according to our fashion experts

We're adding these dresses to hide a tummy straight to basket...

dresses to hide a tummy: Woman wearing green dress with pink bag
(Image credit: Getty)

Looking for dresses to hide a tummy? We've compiled all the best frocks to help you disguise your belly and feel your best.

With more time spent at home, gyms shut and the biscuit tin a little too close for comfort, it's hard to feel your best. So, like a fashionable fairy godmother, we've rounded up the very best confidence-boosting dresses to hide a tummy.

The good news is, if you're struggling to shift that extra weight around your abdomen, you’re not alone. But that stubborn area shouldn’t have to affect your style, whether you're wearing your best jeans or a fabulous frock. Thanks to some simple tricks and tips on choosing the best slimming dresses to hide a tummy, you’ll soon be brimming with confidence, and looking fabulous.

If you have an apple body shape or carry your weight around your stomach, you've probably already spent far too many hours searching for dresses that aren’t going to cling around your middle. And chances are you've searched high and low for the best shapewear too. But it's not all about trying to hide your belly bulge - it's about showing off your best assets instead.

Yes, we're talking about the enviable cleavage and killer legs your pear-shaped friends would kill for. Read on to find out how to hide a tummy and make the most of your best bits. Here's our guide to finding the best dresses for an apple-shaped body on the high street and beyond...

What is the best dress style to hide a tummy?

Wrap

Flattering on all body shapes, a wrap dress is a great wardrobe staple. A well cut wrap dress will fit and flatter up top, before skimming over your middle. The deep v neckline makes them well suited to larger busts, but they'll provide a boost to smaller cup sizes too. 

Empire line

Empire line dresses draw attention to the smallest part of your torso by nipping in directly beneath your bust. The rest of the dress should have a flared, A-line fit which floats over the tummy.

Printed

Don’t shy away from patterns and prints. A busy print acts sartorial camouflage and helps to hide a multitude of sins, including helping to disguise a tummy. Wearing print is also an easy way to inject vibrant colours into your wardrobe.

Sleeve detail

Diverting attention from area's you want to disguise is the oldest trick in the book. Puffed or detailed sleeves create volume and interest, moving the eye up and away. 

Pleated 

Pleats are not only pretty, but they have the added benefit of not clinging to your frame. The vertical lines will also streamline your shape, making you look taller and leaner in the process.  

Trapeze 

Don't be put off by the name, trapeze dresses don't have to be tent-like.  To avoid overwhelming your frame, chose a style that drops down from under the armpit with a gentle flow. The idea is that they don't cling to any part of your body. Midi lengths are especially good for showing off your shoes. 

Best dresses to hide a tummy you can buy now

Boden Eden Embroidered Linen Dress

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Eden Embroidered Linen Dress

Specifications
RRP: £198
Sizes: 6-22
Fabric: 100% linen
Care: Machine washable
Reasons to buy
+Quality embroidery+Long sleeves mean it works for all seasons
Reasons to avoid
-High price point

A perfect example of how to divert the eye with extra detailing, the embroidery across the sleeve and hemline steals focus here. The blue shade will flatter all skin tones.  

M&S Autograph Floral V-Neck Midaxi Wrap Dress

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Autograph Floral V-Neck Midaxi Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: £59
Sizes: 6-24
Fabric: 100% viscose
Care: Machine wash at 40°C
Reasons to buy
+Flattering fit+Detachable belt
Reasons to avoid
-Can come up small

Proving that you don't need to avoid silky fabrics if you're conscious about your stomach, the flared skirt steers clear of any clinging. 

New Look Bright Pink Frill Tie High Neck Smock Midi Dress

(Image credit: New Look)

New Look Bright Pink Frill Tie High Neck Smock Midi Dress

Specifications
RRP: £22.99
Sizes: 6-20
Fabric: 100% viscose
Care: Machine washable
Reasons to buy
+On-trend pink shade+Tiered shape is very forgiving 
Reasons to avoid
-Likely to be too long for petites

Brighten up even the dreariest of mornings with the help of this colour pop dress. The lightweight fabric makes it casual enough for everyday wear. 

H&M Long Chiffon Dress

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Long Chiffon Dress

Specifications
RRP: £34.99
Sizes: XS-XXL
Fabric: 100% polyester
Care: Machine washable at 30°
Reasons to buy
+Available in three prints +Neutral colour will work hard in your wardrobe
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up large

The ultimate throw-on-and-go dress, these trapeze shape offers an easy-breezy way to gloss over your tum. Let the busy print take centre-stage by teaming with simple accessories. 

Jigsaw Vintage Floral Dress

(Image credit: Jigsaw)

Jigsaw Vintage Floral Dress

Specifications
RRP: £175
Sizes: 6-18
Material: 100% viscose
Care: Machine washable
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable waist tie +Floral print works for summer or winter
Reasons to avoid
-Synthetic fabric can be warm to wear

We're suckers for a good print, and this vintage floral one is a real crowd-pleaser. Dress up with pointed courts and a structured bag, or down layered over a roll neck and slouchy boots. 

Zara Printed Satin Dress

(Image credit: Zara)

Zara Printed Satin Dress

Specifications
RRP: £49.99
Sizes: XS-XXL
Fabric: 100% polyester
Care: Machine wash at 30
Reasons to buy
+Includes belt for added definition+Quirky print
Reasons to avoid
-Limited sizing

Bored of florals and checks? This quirky zebra print is a fun addition to your dress collection. The silky fabric gives it a luxe finish so can easily be dressed up for the evening. It has a flattering v-neckline and the belt will cinch you in at the waist. Win-win.

Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Next)

Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: £38
Sizes: 6-26
Fabric: 70% Cotton, 30% Tencel lyocell
Care: Machine washable
Reasons to buy
+Contains sustainably sourced fabrics+An everyday essential
Reasons to avoid
-May come up big

A denim dress is a worthy addition to your wardrobe and this one gets our vote. With its ruffle detailing and cuffed sleeves for extra interest and a wrap style to flatter the waist and bust it’s a no-brainer.

John Lewis & Partners Pebble Print Smock Shirt Dress

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

John Lewis & Partners Pebble Print Smock Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: £39
Sizes: 8-20
Fabric: 100% Lenzing EcoVero Viscose
Care: Machine wash at 40C
Reasons to buy
+It has pockets+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-May be too short

Oh how we love dresses with pockets!  This smock shape is the perfect throw-on style, draping elegantly over your figure. Chic and comfortable, wear with trainers for your weekend getup or smarten up with a blazer for your 9-5. 

Whistles Gingham Dress

(Image credit: Whistles)

Whistles Gingham Dress

Specifications
RRP: £119
Sizes: 4-18
Fabric: 64% Polyester, 34% Viscose, 2% Elastane
Care: Machine Wash
Reasons to buy
+Cute picnic print+Relaxed fit
Reasons to avoid
-May come up short-Limited sizing

Fitted at the bust, this cute gingham number falls loose at the hip for a relaxed and flattering fit. The picnic print is not just for summer either, wear with boots and a leather jacket on colder days.

Mango Buttoned Midi Dress

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Buttoned Midi Dress

Specifications
RRP: £59.99
Sizes: 8-14
Fabric: 100% Cotton
Care: Machine wash at 30
Reasons to buy
+Bold hue+Easy to style
Reasons to avoid
-Limited sizing

For those ‘nothing to wear’ days, this frock makes dressing a breeze. A simple shirt style with a flared design and puffed sleeves, it ticks every sartorial box. The bold red hue will liven up any dull day too. Wear with boots in winter and swap for pumps in the spring.

& Other Stories Wide Tiered Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

(Image credit: & Other Stories)

Specifications
RRP: £95
Sizes: 6-18
Fabric: 57% Cotton, 43% Polyamide
Care: Machine wash at 30
Reasons to buy
+Trendy puff sleeves+Makes a statement
Reasons to avoid
-Limited sizing-May come up big

The voluminous sleeves gives this beauty extra style kudos, adding interest to the top half. It’s a real statement-maker so minimal accessories are needed when styling. Team with stompy boots for a fashion-forward look and finish with gold hoop earrings for a feminine flourish.

Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: £90
Sizes: 6-22
Fabric: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
Care: Machine wash
Reasons to buy
+Unique print+Flattering wrap style
Reasons to avoid
-More casual material

When all else fails, opt for the ever-reliable wrap dress. This fun floral print deserves a spot in your wardrobe. The tie waist makes it easy to adjust for the perfect fit and the jersey fabric keeps it comfy and easy to nail that effortless weekend look. Wear it on repeat.

H&M Long frill-trimmed dress

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Long frill-trimmed dress

Specifications
RRP: £34.99
Sizes: XS-XXL
Fabric: 100% Polyester
Care: Machine wash at 40
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for special occasions+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Can come up big

This floor-sweeping frock just oozes romance – an ideal wedding guest outfit. The ruffle detailing takes centre stage, distracting from any other areas and the chiffon fabric gives it a whimsical edge. Pair with strappy sandals.

M&S Collection Jersey Floral High Neck Swing Dress

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Collection Jersey Floral High Neck Swing Dress

Specifications
RRP: £19.50
Sizes: 6-24
Fabric: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
Care: Machine wash at 40 delicate
Reasons to buy
+Vibrant print+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-More casual fabric

You can’t beat mood-boosting florals and this retro-style swing dress gets our vote. Finishing just at the knee, its shorter style is balanced out with a high neck in a light jersey style. A new everyday go-to, wear with a denim jacket and trainers.

Arket Printed Kaftan Dress

(Image credit: Arket)

Arket Printed Kaftan Dress

Specifications
RRP: £69
Sizes: XS-L
Fabric: 62% Lyocell, 38% Cotton
Care: Machine wash at 30
Reasons to buy
+Made from sustainable fabrics+Timeless style
Reasons to avoid
-Limited sizing

Until we can rock this breezy kaftan on a beach, we’ll be wearing it over tights and boots instead. With its timeless monochrome print and relaxed fit, it will hide that lockdown bloat effortlessly.