Stylish dresses to hide a tummy—plus top tips from our fashion experts

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

collage of three of the best dresses to hide a tummy
(Image credit: Future/Zara/Next/Whistles)

Self-conscious about your middle? You’re not short on company. Many of us find it tricky to shift weight around the stomach. The good news is that the high-street is awash with stylish dresses to hide a tummy, you just need to know what to look for.

With a few simple styling tricks and tips for choosing the dresses to hide a tummy in your back pocket, suddenly the idea of shopping for a new frock doesn’t seem quite so daunting after all. Remember, a stubborn midsection (or anybody hang-up for that matter) shouldn’t affect your style. Keeping that in mind will improve your confidence far more than even the best shapewear will.

Rather than focusing on disguising your stomach, think instead about drawing attention to your best assets. Apple body shapes tend to have a generous bust, a small bottom, and slender arms and legs. So far, so gorgeous. In fact, the only difference between apples and the much-coveted hourglass body shape is a less defined waist. 

The best dresses for your body type will therefore be ones that put the focus on those enviable features. Spaghetti straps, V-necklines, and flattering knee lengths are all your friends here, as are bold patterns and prints. 

Above all, don't overlook comfort: think soft, breathable fabric that'll carry you through summer heatwaves and beyond. With our curation, you'll thank us later.

The best dress styles to hide a tummy

  • Wrap - Flattering on all body shapes, a wrap dress is a capsule wardrobe staple, not to mention one of Kate Middleton's favourite dresses. A well cut one 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 - When it comes to dresses to hide a tummy, empire line styles come up trumps. They 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 stomach.
  • 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. 
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • Statement sleeves - 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 from your middle.

Gorgeous dresses to hide a tummy chosen by our fashion experts

H&M Calf-Length Wrap Dress

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Calf-Length Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: $34.99/£24.99
Sizes: XS-XL

For all the reasons we've previously explained, a wrap dress is a failsafe choice. This one is made from recycled polyester, for extra eco-friendly points. 

Fatface Laurie Jungle Palms Midi Dress

(Image credit: Fatface)

Fatface Laurie Jungle Palms Midi Dress

Specifications
RRP: $82/£55
Sizes: US: 2-18/UK: 6-22

Show off your slender arms, and embrace the warmer weather, with a sleeveless dress. An elastic panel to the back and tie-waist will help create the illusion of a smaller middle.

Zara Printed Poplin Dress

(Image credit: Zara)

Zara Printed Poplin Dress

Specifications
RRP: $69.90/£49.99
Sizes: XS-XXL

Now that's what we call a statement sleeve! Puff sleeves are a huge trend for this season, especially when teamed with a square neckline. The busy print makes this one of the best dresses to hide a tummy. 

& Other Stories Collared Twist Detail Midi Dress

(Image credit: & Other Stories)

Specifications
RRP: $119/£85
Sizes: US: 0-12/UK: 32-44

Nipping in neatly beneath the bust, the skirt on this wrap dress will skim straight over your stomach. The tailored cuffs and collar, as well as the midi length, ensure it's office-appropriate too.

Whistles Maila Electric Floral Dress

(Image credit: Whistles)

Whistles Maila Electric Floral Dress

Specifications
RRP: $339/£169
Sizes: US: 0-14/UK: 4-18

Want to inject some more colour into your wardrobe? This floral midi is the perfect first step, as the black base stops it from feeling too bright. The empire line cut is really flattering.

Mango Broderie Anglaise Cotton Dress

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Broderie Anglaise Cotton Dress

Specifications
RRP: $99.99/£59.99
Sizes: US: 2-10/UK: 6-14

Say hello to the trapeze dress of dreams. The broderie anglaise fabric, the square neck, the tiered hemline - need we go on? It even has pockets.

All Saints Yuni Vernus Dress

(Image credit: All Saints)

All Saints Yuni Vernus Dress

Specifications
RRP: $379/£245
Sizes: US: 00-10/UK: 2-14

Don't believe the fashion myth that apple shapes can't wear slinky fabrics. This midi drapes in all the right places, meaning the focus is on the swish of the dress, rather than your middle.

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

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. 

Jigsaw Vintage Floral Dress

(Image credit: Jigsaw)

Jigsaw Vintage Floral Dress

Specifications
RRP: £175
Sizes: 6-18

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. 

Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Next)

Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: £38
Sizes: 6-26

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.

Whistles Gingham Dress

(Image credit: Whistles)

Whistles Gingham Dress

Specifications
RRP: £119
Sizes: 4-18

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

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.

Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

Specifications
RRP: £90
Sizes: 6-22

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.