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

Becky Joiner-O'Riordan
·6-min read
 Joe Browns Women's Moonlight Wrap Dress
Joe Browns Women's Moonlight Wrap Dress

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 close for comfort, it's hard to always 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. Thanks to some simple styling 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-shaped figure 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. 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 with our guide to finding the best dresses for an apple shaped body on the high street and beyond.

What is the best dress and tips to hide a tummy?

Wrap dresses

Flattering on all body shapes, a wrap dress is a great wardrobe staple. A well cut wrap dress will fit and flatter up top, then skim over your middle area. A deep v neckline is great if you have a larger bust, but works just as well if your bust is non-existent.

Empire line

This genius dress style draws attention to the smallest part of your torso directly underneath your bust. With an empire waistline, the rest of the dress should have a floaty A-line fit which skims over the tummy.

Bold prints

Don’t shy away from patterns and prints. A busy print acts as a sort of 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

Drawing the eye away 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 upwards.

Pleated dresses

Pleats will skim and not cling around your tummy area. They also create a natural vertical line that will draw the eye line downwards and elongate your body.

Trapeze dresses

Don't be put off by the name, trapeze dresses don't have to be like huge wide tents. Chose a style that drops down from under the arm pit with a gentle flow. The idea is that they don't cling to any part of your body. These are especially fabulous if you have great legs (and shoes) to show off.

Best dresses to hide a tummy you can buy now

Zara Printed Satin Dress
Zara Printed Satin Dress

(Image credit: Zara)

Zara Printed Satin Dress

Price: £49.99 | Sizes: XS-XXL | Fabric: 100% polyester | Care: Machine wash at 30

View at Zara

Includes belt for added definition

Quirky print

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
Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Next)

Next Blue Ruffle Detail Wrap Dress

Price: £38 | Sizes: 6-26 | Fabric: 70% Cotton, 30% Tencel lyocell | Care: Machine washable

View at Next

Contains sustainably sourced fabrics

An everyday essential

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
John Lewis & Partners Pebble Print Smock Shirt Dress

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

John Lewis & Partners Pebble Print Smock Shirt Dress

Price: £39 | Sizes: 8-20 | Fabric: 100% Lenzing EcoVero Viscose | Care: Machine wash at 40C

View at John Lewis

It has pockets

Good value

May be too short

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. And the best part? It has pockets!

Whistles Gingham Dress
Whistles Gingham Dress

(Image credit: Whistles)

Whistles Gingham Dress

Price: £119 | Sizes: 4-18 | Fabric: 64% Polyester, 34% Viscose, 2% Elastane | Care: Machine Wash

View at Whistles

Cute picnic print

Relaxed fit

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 now with boots and a leather jacket.

Mango Buttoned Midi Dress
Mango Buttoned Midi Dress

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Buttoned Midi Dress

Price: £59.99 | Sizes: 8-14 | Fabric: 100% Cotton | Care: Machine wash at 30

View at Mango

Bold hue

Easy to style

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 now and swap for pumps in the spring.

& Other Stories Wide Tiered Puff Sleeve Midi Dress
& Other Stories Wide Tiered Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

(Image credit: & Other Stories)

& Other Stories Wide Tiered Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Price: £95 | Sizes: 6-18 | Fabric: 57% Cotton, 43% Polyamide | Care: Machine wash at 30

View at & Other Stories

Trendy puff sleeves

Makes a statement

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
Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Edie Jersey Wrap Dress

Price: £90 | Sizes: 6-22 | Fabric: 95% viscose, 5% elastane | Care: Machine wash

View at Boden

Unique print

Flattering wrap style

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
H&M Long frill-trimmed dress

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Long frill-trimmed dress

Price: £34.99 | Sizes: XS-XXL | Fabric: 100% Polyester | Care: Machine wash at 40

View at H&M

Perfect for special occasions

Good value

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
M&S Collection Jersey Floral High Neck Swing Dress

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Collection Jersey Floral High Neck Swing Dress

Price: £19.50 | Sizes: 6-24 | Fabric: 95% viscose, 5% elastane | Care: Machine wash at 40 delicate

View at M&S

Vibrant print

Good value

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
Arket Printed Kaftan Dress

(Image credit: Arket)

Arket Printed Kaftan Dress

Price: £69 | Sizes: XS-L | Fabric: 62% Lyocell, 38% Cotton | Care: Machine wash at 30

View at Arket

Made from sustainable fabrics

Timeless style

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.