Here’s the thing about a post-baby body. Some days, I have a relatively flat stomach. Others, I look about 4 months pregnant. It all depends on what I have eaten recently, how much water I have drunk, and what time of the month it is. Just laying it all out there. I finally discovered the #1 spring dress trend that hides a tummy. And no, it doesn’t involve insanely uncomfortable body shaping spandex to suck it in. Read on to discover my secret.
What Doesn’t Work in a Spring Dress Trend
First, I am going to tell you what doesn’t work when your tummy is more convex than concave. Sometimes figuring out what you are doing wrong helps eliminate certain items in your wardrobe that contribute to clothing challenges.
Cheap, thin fabric that clings is your enemy. *shudder* There is a reason they call it Forever 21– women whose bodies haven’t borne the weight of a 10 lb. baby in their midsection are more likely to get away with cheaper fabric. Sad, but true. I only buy fabric that drapes (like a chiffon caftan- Ross has ones for under $10) or is very stiff (like canvas) from bargain stores.
Please, please do not wear maternity anything unless you are actually pregnant or recently post-partum (when nothing else fits and you want to wait to buy new clothes). Maternity wear is cut to accommodate a pregnant belly. You do not have a pregnant belly. Maternity wear will not help hide this problem area, it simply accentuates it. Give your maternity clothing a loving, new home if you are done with babies or pack it away if you are still open for business.
Ahhh yes, although it is comfortable and flowy, tent-like garments with zero structure tend to add unnecessary pounds to the frame. There are always exceptions to this but I have seen so many of those cotton/spandex blend Old Navy maxi tent dresses that aren’t doing anyone any favors. This is not a spring dress trend that I ever recommend.
You’ve got a lovely shape, work WITH it, not against it! Rayon Jersey can work if it is draped, but not if it is pulled tight. I can see a flowy dress with adorable accessories, a belt and/or interesting details. I cannot see a dress that covers you from head to toe and just keeps going out at an angle from the shoulders to the ankles. You are not a sideshow, you are the ringleader! Dress like it my fabulous friend.
Dolman Sleeves, Batwing Sleeves, Balloon Sleeves
Adding volume to the arms will not detract from the tummy area. Neither will skin-tight fabric in the arms. Find something that is comfortable and skims your skin, balancing out your body and shape.
What DOES Work in a Spring Dress Trend
Now that you have a list of what doesn’t work (go ahead, I will wait for you to purge your closet…), here is the #1 spring dress trend that does work. It works for every body type, can be dressed up or down, and is a classic. I even saw Adam Glassman recommend an incredibly similar dress to the one I have in last month’s O magazine!
Here is the style we both agree upon for spring.
A shirt dress with waist-defining details.
Here is the info you need to pick the right one! I was sent a sample of an up and coming brand I tried that ticks all of the boxes, including helping women in need. Très Mimi is a local casual loungewear brand for women on the go that donates underwear to women in need with every purchase. (Did you know that over 400,000 pairs of underwear are needed each year in shelters, specifically ones that serve women fleeing from domestic abuse?)
Founded by Jill Weeks, Très Mimi is a brand focused specifically on the natural curves of women’s bodies. Over her 20+ year career in women’s apparel and design, Jill has fit thousands of garments on women of all shapes and sizes.
I spoke with Jill and asked what types of fabric do work well with women’s bodies. She works with her fabric mills to make fabric in weight and feel that drapes the body without clinging. For example, she chose the weight of her Linen/Cotton mix so it’s not too thin and as a result fits beautifully. She adds a bit of cotton to the linen to reduce wrinkle – you can pull the dress from the dryer and it’s ready to go: so easy to care for. The dress I am wearing on vacation below is her “Emma” dress, grab it here!
Jill, who is turning 50 and has carried two children of her own, understands the challenges that women have. Fabrics that drape and angle across the midsection instead of pulling tight are most flattering to women’s curves. Although all of her pieces are designed to fit curves, the Emma Dress, Jade Cardi, and Lila Wrap are especially flattering. Ensure that the clothing sits properly on the shoulders, the buttons don’t gap, and nothing is “pulling” or catches where it shouldn’t. See below- the shoulder seams hit at the tops of my shoulders, the placket is lying flat (this is where the buttons line up), and the sleeves skim my arms.
I also love the versatility of this dress. It can be tied in front and back, creating an entirely different look.
You can grab this dress at 20% off, or any other item on the Tres Mimi website by entering the code: SHOPNOW20. Want free shipping? Use code FREESHIP. Check back soon for new warm-weather offerings from Tres Mimi, including a black and white number that has been a fan favorite.
Cheers to loving your body no matter the shape or size, and celebrating it by dressing in clothes that make you feel fabulous!