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How Should I Dress If I Have A Beer Belly?

Last update: 2024-06-11

Having a beer belly can make getting dressed challenging. The extra weight in the midsection can make many clothes feel tight and uncomfortable. However, with some thoughtful choices, you can create great outfits that are both stylish and flattering. Here are some tips for dressing well if you have a beer belly.

Choose the Right Fabrics

The fabric you choose for your shirts and pants can make a big difference in how slimming an outfit looks. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen that will skim over your midsection rather than cling to it. Avoid thick, stiff fabrics like denim or wool that add bulk. Stretchy fabrics like spandex blends can also be helpful for a more comfortable fit.

Obese man holding beer bottle against sky

Lightweight Fabrics

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Rayon
  • Lightweight knits

Avoid Heavy Fabrics

  • Thick denim
  • Wool
  • Corduroy
  • Anything too stiff

Consider Stretch Fabrics

  • Spandex blends
  • Jersey knits
  • Yoga pants or stretch khakis

Choose the Right Silhouette

Look for shirts, jackets, and pants with a straight or slightly relaxed fit instead of anything too tight. A-line shirts are ideal for disguising a stomach. Bootcut, pleated, or relaxed jeans can minimize the stomach area better than skinny jeans. And an untucked shirt helps camouflage a belly.

Man in sports uniform holding beer and ball in bar

Shirt Styles

  • A-line or loosely fitted button-downs
  • Polos or knit shirts
  • Untucked casual shirts

Pant Styles

  • Pleated or relaxed khakis
  • Dark jeans with bootcut or straight legs
  • Drawstring pants

Jacket Styles

  • Open jackets like blazers or cardigans
  • Lightweight jacket layers
  • Avoid boxy cuts

Use Layers Strategically

Layering clothing is an easy way to streamline your shape. An open jacket on top of a shirt adds shape without clinginess. You can also wear an undershirt or slimming tank under a roomier shirt. Long tops and tunics that extend past your hips help cover your stomach area.

Workman leaning on barrier in power station, arms akimbo

Layer with Jackets

  • Blazers
  • Light cardigans
  • Unbuttoned dress shirts

Try Slimming Tanks and Undershirts

  • Compression-style undershirts
  • Shapewear tanks

Cover with Long Tops

  • Tunics
  • Longer shirts
  • Sweater vests

Choose Darker Colors

Darker colors are universally flattering and can help slim your appearance. Rich shades like navy, charcoal, and black are ideal for pants, shorts, and jackets. Dark-wash jeans are better at hiding a stomach pouch than light washes.

Middle-aged of japanese man wearing a suit

Dark Basics

  • Black, navy, or dark-wash denim jeans
  • Charcoal or black pants
  • Dark polo shirts

Lighter Accents

  • White or light blue dress shirts
  • Gray T-shirts
  • Patterns or prints in moderation

Break Up Your Silhouette

Distract from your midsection by breaking up your silhouette with contrasting colors. Wearing lighter colors on top and darker shades on bottom helps balance your proportions. Prints and patterns also draw the eye upwards away from your stomach area.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. The fat man in the blue hat kept his hand on the glass

Contrasting Colors

  • Light blue dress shirt with navy pants
  • White or tan jacket with black jeans

Patterns and Prints

  • Checkered shirts
  • Striped sweater
  • Micro-print ties


With some thoughtful styling choices, you can dress with confidence even if you have a beer belly. Focus on choosing flattering silhouettes in dark, solid colors and stretchy fabrics. Layer pieces like tailored jackets and long tunics to streamline your shape. Break up your proportions with contrasting colors and prints. The right outfit can help minimize your middle while still looking sharp. Most importantly, find clothes you feel great wearing no matter your size.

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