I received a meme the other day which said, ‘That sinking feeling when you realize your muffin top has become a pound cake!’ And while we may strive to whittle down the muffin top – there’s no excuse for us to dress like slobs at work because of some extra girth around the abdomen. For anyone with a jiggly belly, formal dressing can be a nightmare. So here are some tips, tricks and guidelines for us muffins to look good at office, no matter our size!
1. First Base
Thumb rule: If it doesn’t fit on the inside, it won’t fit on the outside. The first thing to keep in mind while dressing a roomy body for the workplace is the underwear. If your intimate wear is too tight, it will create unsightly bulges even in the smartest of work wear.
For women: Dressing in underwear meant for slimmer bodies will not make our, um, matronly selves look any smarter. So try-and-buy all your inner wear making sure that the waistband elastic or bra band doesn’t squeeze any bulges out and gently hugs you instead.
For men: The same goes for you guys too – yes, I know you’re reading this – there’s a whole line of anti-muffin underwear for you too. And let’s face it; soft centers are delicious, no? So go for broader, softer elastics that hug all your curves lovingly and ditch those low-waist, hard-to-breathe in vices you call briefs. Trunks and boxers may end up providing better support.
2. Bottoms Ups
Thumb Rule: If you have to do an Africanized Honey Bee dance just to fit into a pair – they are way too tight and deserve to be booted out of your wardrobe.
For women: Any gravity-defying, low-slung jeans or pants from your glory days need to be chucked out. Go for high-waist or mid-waist trousers or jeans which give your torso support and do not squeeze out those spare tires. If you are going for skirts try high-waist again and wear them with short, tailored blouses. There’s no need to be embarrassed about your natural curves, you should love your body – just avoid re-sizing it with ultra-tight clothes.
For men: Your pants, chinos or jeans need to be more your size than the boy’s next door. Waistbands that are too tight will squeeze any fat above it and cause you to poof over. Wear a comfortable, non-pinching size, even if you have to notch up to a bigger one. Avoid skinnies like the plague and slim fits like the plague too. They’re equally bad for jiggle bellies.
3. Topsy Turvy
Thumb Rule: Hiding layers under billowy tops will only make you look bigger. Wear fitted and structured clothing instead.
For women: Think structured tops in materials that flow instead of lovingly sticking to every curve in sight. Cotton, satin, polyester and even soft linen are good buys. Avoid stretchy tops and see-through chiffons as they will emphasize what you want to hide. You could also go for asymmetrical tops that show off a little skin but remember to dress for work, not a party.
For men: For any guy struggling with love handles, side wings, muffin tops or whatever fancy name you want to give your spare tire in the middle – slim-fit shirts are a complete and unequivocal no as are the billowy, oversized ones too. You need to go for tailored shirts that fit you well, everywhere. Try vertical stripes, dark solids and even a few casual pastel prints. Do not wear a dress shirt un-tucked over jeans; instead buy casual shirts that suit the purpose.
4. Sneaky Slim
Thumb rule: An excellent slimming trick is color blocking – an outfit made of two blocks of color. The first color is used as a solid rectangle on the front and back and then the second darker color, like black, is used on the sides. This creates a vertical illusion of looking slimmer than what you are. Another neat trick is to use layering – wearing well-fitted blazers, jackets, coats shrugs, wraps and even scarves to hide any flabby layers, smartly.
For women: Think peplum when it comes to dressing and wear a shaper underneath. This will give you a cinched waist and the girth will be hidden beneath the frills. You can also go with A-line flares or empirical waists in thicker materials for a similar effect.
For men: Think body shapers are only for the fairer sex? Well, try again! Yes, we know – this time we’re asking you to wear the Spanx, so listen up! The next time you are out basic shopping, get a couple of body shaper vests to really keep and hold in that beer gut and flap; perfect for formal office wear and for important meetings.
So while you work your ass, or rather belly fat off – look good and continue to be motivated.
Above all, eat right and be happy, and love yourself and your body. If you have more such office wear tricks up your stud muffin or cupcake sleeve, tell us about them in the comments section below. Pretty please!