I have got to get back to doing my sit-ups every morning! This is what I said to myself when I saw this beautiful 49-year-old, Angelica Barbieri. At the time I said it, I was darned serious, but by the time I moved on to the next Instagram photo, I’d forgotten all about sit-ups. Do sit-ups really get rid of tummy bloat anyway? For me, it’s more about burning calories and eating healthy, fiber-rich foods every day. Make a note to self: ask a fitness expert if sit-ups actually flatten your tummy…after menopause.

There are OTHER ways to make your tummy look flatter. And I’ve listed six of them below! It’s all about The Art of Distraction, a method I coined many years ago. It’s all about camouflaging the areas you DON’T want people to look at, and highlighting the areas you DO want them to notice. Simple concept. Simple to pull off. Hiding your tummy is about wearing garment shapes and fabrics that work WITH your body, not against it.

With summer coming to my hemisphere, I’m all about wearing light, comfortable fabrics that breathe, and using clever ways of layering the lighter materials to create distractions. I’m also about eating lighter meals, drinking more water, and getting outside to enjoy walking, running, biking, hiking, and gardening. How about you?

Here are 6 ways you can make your tummy look flatter:

Tip #1: No Zipper Pants

I have a confession to make. I NEVER thought I would be a fan of elastic waistband pants. I felt they were the perfect design for little girls under 10 and women over 80. Boy, was I wrong! I appreciate them now — their ease of use, flattening effect, easy on/easy off, well you get the picture. You can find more zipper-free pants nowadays. They’re called “pull-on pants” on some of the clothing websites. Pictured here: Barney’s Cotton Pants, Krazy Larry’s Plus Size, and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ). Look for a wide waistband, no zipper, slightly higher waist and rise to prevent muffin top. You’d be surprised how this flattens out your tummy without the bulge of zipper and closure.

Barney's Stretch CottonKrazy Larry Plus Size NYDJ Alina Pull On Ankle Jean

Tip #2: Clever Layering

Toppers such as kimonos (pictured below, Style Over 50 Facebook Group stylish member, Paula Gaumer, shows off her recent kimono purchase), lightweight cardigans, jackets, and cropped jackets provide lots of tummy distracting coverage. I love the look of a long tunic top with a shorter topper. Or, reversed, a short knit top with a long topper. Keep your top and pants the same color to provide an even more elongating look. Jackets that have tailored darts and a built-in belt around the back also give the illusion of a smaller waist and tummy.

Paula Gaumer Kimono Bally

Tip #3: Empire Design Line

Top and dresses with an empire waist give your torso a longer look. Plus, the empire band falls at the smallest part of your body and then flows away from your tummy. Covered Perfectly (Pictured below: Fit and Flare and SuperSoft Mandy Top) understands exactly what a women is looking to cover up and what she wants to expose in the most attractive way. These tops are soft, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors. These are the tops you want to wear every day, and you can dress them up with a gorgeous necklace or wear them with a pair of jeans.

I’ve recently acquired a 20% discount coupon for Covered Perfectly styles that I get to pass on to you! Use the coupon code LW20.

There are several styles to choose from, and the discount will apply on up to two items. Or you may take advantage of the “Buy 2 get your 3rd FREE” special. This special applies to any combination of items store wide, just add 3 items to your cart and the discount will be applied automatically. Only one of the discounts will work. Start shopping!

Covered Perfectly Fit and Flare Covered Perfectly Mandy Gathered Front Top

Tip #4: V-Necks and Vertical Lines

The more vertical focus in your outfit, the more tummy-distracting. V-necks elongate your neckline and focus attention upward. Wearing long, layered necklaces creates a vertical look to your clothes. Vertical stripes and embellishments around the neckline call attention away from your stomach area (pictured below: Soft Surroundings top).

Soft Surr Paraiso Tunic

Tip #5: Stay Loose

Loose-fitting tops and toppers are on trend now, and that’s a good thing! The key is to avoid THE LAND OF FRUMP-A-DUMP. Here’s how: if you’re wearing a loose-fitting top, pair it with skinny pants or leggings to show off your gorgeous legs. Add accessories, such as necklaces, bracelets, long earrings, and strappy sandals to a loose-fitting dress. Wear loose-fitting tops that have interesting shapes, are made of good quality fabrics, and aren’t too boxy.

BUYKUD Loose Orange DressEilleen Fisher

Tip #6: Shapewear

Last, but not least, you’ve always got shapewear to flatten your tummy — literally. I recommend wearing shapewear with form-fitted dresses when you want to streamline your tummy and backside. Yes, it works! But is it something you want to wear every day? Not for me… For a special occasion, or a really fitted outfit, do explore wearing shapewear to smooth out your body shape.

Spanx Shape My Day Shorts 72dpi

Please leave a comment if you have a favorite TUMMY DISTRACTING technique that you’d like to share!