+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: June 24

Clothing can be used to conceal any “flaws” that make you uncomfortable.  As a pear shape, I use my clothing to minimize my hips every day.  But I often receive emails from readers who are looking to minimize their midsection.

I am typically not a fan of the empire waist dress because it’s a fine line between concealing a thicker midsection and looking like you’re wearing a maternity top.  One of my favorite styles for minimizing your belly-area is the twist front dress.  The way the fabric drapes acts like camouflage.  I keep one in my closet to wear post-vacation or anytime I need a piece of clothing that’s more forgiving in the midsection.

Elected Official

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.48.06 PM

Issa Saffron Jersey Dress ($213)

Hill Staffer


Donna Ricco Twist Front Dress ($118)

This dress also comes in petite and plus-sizes.

I also liked this cap-sleeve dress where the twist is on the side, a bit like a faux-wrap.

Paid Intern


Crepe Dress with Twist Front ($54)

Just a fit note, I usually size up when I buy from ASOS.  I find this dramatically improves the fit of most items, though I do need to alter a few of the pieces.

Petite:  I also found this printed twist dress. Plus-size: I found a short sleeve cornflower blue dress and a printed black and white dress.



  1. Ann E. says:

    While not a question exclusive to this type of dress… I own several dresses that are either wrap, twist-front, etc that all seem to have “too low” of a V neck for the work place but are otherwise work appropriate in cut and length. I haven’t worn them to work because I can’t decide whether I should wear a camisole under them or forever alter them to have a higher V, thoughts?

    June 24, 2013/Reply
    • Elle says:

      I always always always wear a camisole when I wear a wrap dress to work. Even if the V isn’t low, I like knowing that I can bend over safely and not have to worry a bit about the neckline gaping or shifting.

      Just curious- how common is camisole wearing? I wear one under at least 90% of my clothes because I like the smoother lines and protection against translucence and gaping issues. Is wearing one that often abnormal?

      June 24, 2013/Reply
      • Belle says:

        I’m wearing one, 40-50% of the time, probably. I think it’s more common in professional offices, but it’s about what you’re comfortable with. If you need that assurance, why not wear one?

        June 24, 2013/Reply
  2. K says:

    That yellow dress is KILLING ME. I want want want it.

    June 24, 2013/Reply
  3. Joules says:

    I’m right there with you as a pear. But these are great choices for slimming the mid section. And the hips, in many ways. Drapey jersey is usually great in general for slimming.

    Style by Joules

    June 24, 2013/Reply
  4. Genny says:

    As someone who always tried to conceal my stomach, you are right on with the whole “empire waist” dress … They immediately make me look like I am 6 months pregnant and they don’t conceal anything IMO. However, the twist front dresses are fantastic, and Target has a bunch of casual ones right now. Now, I’m off to buy the yellow one … budget be damned!

    June 24, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I love the yellow one so much. If you get it and it’s too showy in the bust for you, that’s an easy tailoring fix. I’ve had two dresses taken altered to be a shallower neckline, and it cost about $20 each time.

      June 24, 2013/Reply
      • Genny says:

        I did noticed when I clicked over that it was a little revealing in the front, but I have a good tailor so I should be all set! Thanks!

        June 24, 2013/Reply
  5. Slips says:

    Belle – what full slips do you recommend for jersey dresses? I feel like they always look best with a slip both for sheerness protection and to keep things, well, slipping along gracefully rather than catching on every little bump. I can attest that the Issa jersey is VERY thin.

    June 25, 2013/Reply