Sometimes your clothing contributes to that unsightly bulge.
Rolls of fat are adorable on babies. They're not so cute when you're 34 and spilling out the top of your too-tight, low-rise skinny jeans that squeeze out fat like toothpaste from a tube.
If you're tired of looking in the mirror and seeing those lumps and bumps, there are things you can do to get a more streamlined silhouette. And they don't involve going on a drastic diet (never a good idea) or under the knife.
Of course, you can't beat eating right and exercising to shrink this troublesome zone (sorry, fresh out of magic pills here), but in the meantime, something as simple as changing the way you dress can actually make a muffin top vanish-instantly. Really .
MORE: Sleep More and Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans
Ready for a smoother shape? Read on.
Dress to Minimize a Muffin Top
Rather than picking yourself apart in front of a mirror, you may want to take a closer look at your clothes. "Nine times out of 10, a muffin top appears from poor choices in clothing," notes personal stylist and founder of The Re-Stylist, Bryn Taylor. "In other words, you can't have an actual overflow of muffin without the casing that's squeezing it up and out! The good news is it's mostly preventable. You just have to pay attention to where clothes are cutting you off."
The most common mistake women make is with their choice of undergarments, according to Taylor. "Wearing underwear that hits you at the lower waist can pinch and create the illusion of muffin top," she says. "Higher-waisted briefs can cut down on instances of muffin top since they will hit you closer to the smallest part of your waist."
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Of course, we're so used to low-rise everything that the thought of wearing higher rise underwear probably sounds like you'd be sporting granny panties, but opting for underwear with a bit more coverage-such as Fleur't's sexy-cute boy shorts or Hanky Panky's lace version-can help prevent pouch without sacrificing sexiness.
If you're not willing to part with your favorite low-rise thongs, there are other ways you can smooth out your silhouette. "Women also overlook the power of a slimming undergarment," says Taylor. "I invested in a Spanx tank top that I wear under almost everything. I tuck it into my jeans-or underwear if I'm wearing a dress-and it instantly creates a smooth line."
After laying down the groundwork for a good foundation-namely, underwear that isn't super low-cut and slimming shapewear-pay attention to where your pants hit you (we're talking to you, low-rise skinny jeans). "It's true that a lower rise jean will constrict you on the lower waist, which creates that dreaded muffin top," says Taylor. "Mid- or high-rise jeans offer a smoother, more continuous silhouette. They may feel like mom jeans at first, but remember, unless you're planning on wearing a crop top-which I hope you're not-no one will see the top of the jeans."
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Don't worry-you don't have to forgo your good fashion sense to gain some skin-smoothing coverage: Several popular brands have mid-rise skinny jeans, including Levi's, J Brand and Hudson.
Another smart, slimming move? Seek out clothing with some structure. "A top or dress made of thicker, more structured fabric will fall loosely against your mid-section as opposed to something thin or slinky, which has a tendency to cling and enhance any bulging," says Taylor.
Last but not least, don't underestimate the power of layering. Slipping on a blazer or long cardigan will give you a long, lean look, while instantly covering and camouflaging your midsection.
- by Rachel Grumman Bender