After a long winter of cozy sweaters and jackets, there’s a chance you’ve totally forgotten about muffin-top. The horribly named problem, caused by too-tight waistbands that pinch the midsection, can ruin the look of an outfit. The good news? Avoiding it entirely is as easy as knowing what to shop for.
“What’s awesome about jean trends right now is that the rise of the moment, the high-rise, is the ultimate concealer,” American Eagle style director Preston Konrad told me. “They come up to the smaller part of your waist, creating a slim, tucked-in, elongated look and feel.” He warned me to stay away from low-rise styles and always shop for stretch.
To completely obliterate muffin-top, what you pair with those jeans can make a difference. “Creating a slimmer look in your midsection is really about pairing tops and bottoms that embrace the slimmest part of your waist.” When styling those high-rise babies, throw on a cropped top that hits at the waist band or tuck a blouse in; both will show off the tiniest part of your torso.
Underwear and tights
As expected, the most important factor for avoiding an unsightly fit is to make sure you’re shopping for the proper size. “It’s best to avoid undergarments that hit just below the waist,” Cathy Volker, executive vice president of global licensing for Donna Karan International, said. For dresses and outfits where you can get away with it, consider a high-rise pantie or layering a shaping camisole as a base. “Any of those will smooth your silhouette for the most flattering look and feel.”
For a smooth bikini fit, simplicity is always better than cutouts, metallic rings, or multiple ties. “The best for avoiding muffin-top are suits with soft or fold-over bands that sit on top of the skin, rather than digging in,” Gwyn Prentice, owner and founder of swimwear line Helen Jon, explained. Along with paying attention to the sizing (a too-small suit will result in bulges), the material can also be a factor. “Fabrics that are thicker and matte, not shiny, are typically more flattering on the body and less likely to reveal problem areas.”