How to style a bodycon dress blog graphic

Have you ever had one of those days when you want to wear a bodycon dress, but you’re feeling less-than-ideal about your body? And you don’t know how to style a bodycon dress when you’re also concerned about your belly? 

Never fear! That’s why we are here. (And if by the end of this post you want more bodycon dress ideas, I talk even more about styling bodycon dresses in “BODYCON! Outfit Recipes for Bodycon Dresses.”)

I have 8 hacks to styling a bodycon dress to help you feel less self-conscious about your belly area. 

Take what works for you, leave what doesn’t. Not every hack will work for everybody or every body, so play around and find what makes you most comfortable.

Disclaimers first, your body is perfect. Your belly pooch is beautiful. Also, most people aren’t staring. We’re all too busy worrying about our own body insecurities. (Or we’re self-actualized and enlightened or something?)

Wear what you want to wear and what feels good to you. 

But / and / also, we all have days when we’re concerned about our bellies and want to feel more secure. So here are some hacks for wearing bodycon dresses (or whatever you want) on days you’re worried about your belly pooch.

How to style a bodycon dress when you’re concerned about your belly pooch:

  1. Choose a darker color dress. One of the basics of color theory is dark and cool colors tend to visually recede, while bright and warm colors tend to visually advance. 
  2. Choose a bodycon dress that’s a thicker material with some structure to it. Like a scuba-type fabric, instead of soft and slinky fabric, like a thin knit fabric. 
  3. Layer a cropped top and visually turn your dress into a high-waisted skirt. 
  4. It may seem counterintuitive, but wearing a belt will give the eye a designated focal point. Play around with a belt at your natural waist, or at your hip, or anywhere in between – find out what feels like you. (If you’re a fanny pack type, that could also work.)
  5. Add a long layer to draw the eye vertically up and down. Like a duster or a robe. 
  6. Or layer a short jacket to draw the eye to the jacket and away from your belly. 
  7. Wear a heel or a wedge, or even a platform shoe. Elevated shoes change your posture and that can change how you feel in a dress. 
  8. Undergarments. Not just shapewear (though you can always wear shapewear if you want). But do an underwear check – make sure you’re wearing undergarments that you feel good and supported in.

One last bonus tip: Don’t check your profile when you walk out of the house. When you’re doing the mirror spin outfit double check, don’t look at your profile. You’ll tend to fixate on what’s making you feel self-conscious instead of appreciating your whole look. 

Again, how to style a bodycon dress when you’re feeling self-conscious about your body is very personal to you. So play around with these style hacks to find what feels best to you.

My personal go-to bodycon styling hacks are:

  • #8 making sure my undergarments are ones I feel supported in, 
  • #5 a long layer like a robe or a duster-style jacket, or #3 adding a cropped top, and
  • #1 darker color dresses (and only partly because that’s basically my whole wardrobe).
  • (I also really like having a buffer phrase or two in my metaphorical back pocket, ready if anyone makes an annoying comment.)

Maybe one hack nails it, and that is all you need. Maybe you layer hacks on top of one another like I do. Maybe you use different methods for different days. This is also a fantastic thing to keep track of in your wardrobe inventory – that way, you can always come back to the clothes that make you feel confident.

Whichever you choose, wear what makes you feel your best.

For more body-considerate personal style consider:

For more bodycon dress styling options check out “BODYCON! Outfit Recipes for Bodycon Dresses” here.


Upgrade Your Style

(while taking a peek into my process)

I’ll send you a copy of Holly’s Tiny Book of Style, a free guide to help you elevate and upgrade your style with easy to understand and implement tools and tips, plus future style articles, updates, and more.