One of the repeat requests I’ve gotten is for outfits that specifically don’t accentuate the belly. I’ll admit that pre-pregnancy, I almost always tucked my tops into high waisted bottoms (in order to highlight the waist), which may not always be comfortable or flattering. So whether you just want to cover up your midsection, or if you’re newly expecting and don’t want colleagues to know yet, here are a few simple “camouflaging” tips!
1. Basic Flattering Formula (business office appropriate)
Cropped blazer + untucked, printed A-line blouse + elongating pants.
You’d be surprised at how much a drapey blouse in a large print can camouflage! For reference, I’m over 5 months along in these snapshots. To add back some waist definition, I like shorter blazers like these that nip in at the front center, creating the slight illusion of a narrower waist.
For pants, I’d stick to a slim ankle silhouette (above) OR a floor-length boot cut trouser (below) to help lengthen the rest of your body. As mentioned in my recent reviews, I found LOFT maternity work pants in petite sizing to run a little small (especially at the belly band area) – I’m trying on 1 size up from my pre-pregnancy size in both pairs here.
2. Monochrome Layers
This won’t work wonders if you’re further along, but pairing a jacket over a blouse of the same color will add some layered dimension and take some attention away from the belly.
3. Tummy-forgiving Tops
A. Hip length drapey tunic + statement neck accessory (scarf, necklace)
I first featured this tunic in my Seattle post, and swear I still look exactly the same in it despite week after week of belly growth! It’s cut generously in a very lightweight / non-clingy maternity, which is key for the blouse to skim over your stomach. If you are not pregnant, size down if possible otherwise this might be too big.
B. Dark, longer tee with eye-catching neckline detail
Even though this is a semi-fitted tee, black + a longer length can be magic. I also like the general theme of interesting accessories or details (like this wide scalloped neckline!) that draw the eyes upward.
C. Tucked with a twist
So this is not for work, but this was one of my favorite tops (so soft & comfy!) from pre-pregnancy that’s still getting good wear! You might think the detailing would accentuate the belly, but all the twists and drapes camouflage that area rather well. Note it runs short, so if you’re petite and buying it while expecting, I’d suggest trying regular sizing or a size up for a little longer length. On a baby bump, it looks cute when the twist knot detail fully falls below the belly.
Here’s a few other pieces worth checking out at H&M (use code 0040 for free shipping over $40):
– Fitted blazers under $35 – I tried these exact blazers on months ago (when I was closer to my regular size) and found them to be nice and fitted in size 2, comparable to a 00 or smaller in other brands. Petite ladies would need to get the sleeve shortened though, like with most H&M jackets. The fabrics were nothing to write home about, but for a work blazer it’s certainly worth the $35.
– Maternity leggings under $13 (!) – super affordable and comfy, plus the 3/4 length is perfect for petites. I’m wearing XS, although could’ve gone a size up for room to grow into esp with the over the bump belly panel.
FYI, in comparison to the Ingrid & Isabel active pants (on major sale in grey) I often rave about, these are longer (hits below my ankles instead of above), are not foldable at the belly, and the biggest difference is they are made of a thinner, typical legging fabric (cotton) instead of a thicker activewear material. I wear these H&M leggings for lounging at home, and the I & I ones for workouts, errands, and travel.
– Mama swimsuits that are actually quite cute, unlike many maternity one-pieces!
– Jersey striped dress. Classic navy & white striped tee shirt dress. XS is a tad roomy on me and hits right above my knees.
– Bra band extenders. One of my first pregnancy purchases, and oh-so-necessary to literally extend the life / band of your bras through the first and second trimesters!