Restyling to Minimize Hips/Tummy

I introduced an August Challenge in our subscription online community:  Beat late-summer boredom by creating a new outfit each day, combining pieces you already own.  In the process I discovered a way to make many of the tops in my current closet a lot more flattering regardkess if the season …

The photo below shows one example.  I love the colors of this overblouse, but the styling hid my waistline curve, positioned the hem right at my hipline and made my legs appear even shorter.  NOT exactly the effect I was going for!

In frustration, I took a length of 1/4″ elastic, tied it around my waist over the garment and bloused the excess length over the elastic.  PRESTO!  Waistline more defined, hips balanced out, legs elongated.  I could barely believe the difference.   Try it with a top from your own closet and I’m betting you’ll love it.

If you want a more permanent solution, mark the position of the elastic on the garment, then stitch a row of seam tape to the wrong side of the fabric to form a casing for your elastic. Here are just a few of the tops I’ve modified this way:

NOTE: This trick works for most body types – not only Hourglass shapes like mine.

  • Triangles benefit in the same ways an Hourglass does.
  • Rectangles will likely love the “essence of waist” this trick provides.
  • Many Inverted Triangles will like how the peplum effect fills out their hip area to balance their fuller upper body.
  • Ovals – this tip is just not for you.  You want that straighter fit through the mid-body.  Instead you’ll want to build up your shoulder area a bit with removaable foam Shoulder Shapers.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Pam on October 10, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Thank you. Great idea

  2. Angela Steen on October 10, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Wonderful trick! I cant wait to try it. Thanks!

  3. Holly Krach on October 10, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    Wow. what a great idea. A picture’s worth a thousand words. I took your color analysis several years ago and have used the accompanied packet of information on numerous occasions. It’s been so helpful. Thanks for your expertise.

  4. Nan Cross on October 10, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Time was when it was easy to buy very skinny stretch belts in gold-tone and silver-tone. No longer seem to be available—-and my waistline outgrew the ones that I used to have. But this is exactly how I used them.

  5. Ann Gosch on October 10, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Great tip, Nancy! I have a top almost identical to yours and recently put it in the bag to go to Goodwill. Now I’m going to dig it out and do exactly what you did! Thank you!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on October 10, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      That’s high praise coming from you!

      • Ann Gosch on October 11, 2022 at 4:41 pm

        Aww, thanks Nancy. But YOU have the best information!

  6. Janice on October 10, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    A belt would also work. Just leave it hidden.

  7. Sharon on October 15, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, Nancy, you look like you lost 10+ pounds in the second picture! Your legs look longer, you look balanced, and so put together. The first picture hid your lovely shape. I also like the look with the jacket. Thank you so much for this easy trick. I have a couple of beautiful blouses that I don’t want to tuck in (slight tummy pooch😢) so I’m hoping your trick works with them.

  8. Nancy Gruber on October 23, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Cetainly makes a big difference! I have too many baggy tunics, so will definitely give this a try.

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