This probably is the last time I’ll be able to do this!
What am I talking about? The optical illusion you see in the photo above achieved during my sixth month of pregnancy, with an abdomen measuring nearly 100 cm.
This is one of the most challenging transformations I’ve tried so far. I’ll admit it, it has given me quite the trouble, but the final result ended up being, well… spectacular to say the least! Thanks to the style strategizing behind it, I’ve managed to optically decrease the size of my abdomen with more than 50%.
And, just so that I won’t forget, the very same principles can also be used by women who are not pregnant but have a somewhat prominent abdomen. So I urge you to read closely the tips that follow! 🙂
How can you reach this look and be able to tuck away a protruding abdomen? These are the steps:
1. The cornerstone of making your attempt successful is choosing matte clothing. A texture with sheen to it will only capture more light and draw the eye. This would, of course, be the exact opposite of what we want, so I want to make sure I stress enough the fact that the only way to camouflage an area of volume is to cover it with matte clothing. Details do matter! Big time!
2. For a further brick to our wall, make sure that your black is black! Color (tones and shades) are, again, very important. As a rule, you’ll find in stores what amount to a whole variety of shades and tones of black. Some reach for navy, some for grey, some are more highly pigmented, some are less saturated. Well, in order to avoid any light getting reflected (the sheen I’ve been talking about), the fabric should be highly saturated, intensely pigmented black.
3. If we discount the accessories, my outfit is made up of a jacket and a dress. If you don’t have a similar dress, the same look can be achieved by using a simple body on top of which you layer a translucent skirt.
Be careful, though, most bodies have fabrics with a high lycra content. It’s a very frequently used fiber thanks to its ability to provide elasticity to so many materials but, like any good thing, it comes with its drawbacks. It adds sheen. There’s no need to once more point out that this is not the finish we look for in a body… You should go instead for a light jersey one. It’s not going to just be elastic, but also bring to the table the matte finish we strive for.
4. It’s unbelievable how many features can be smoothed out by a matte piece of clothing! Try and see for yourself!
In the photo here above, even if my bump is far from an ideal abdomen and measures nearly 100 cm, with a good few dozen centimeters more than before my pregnancy, the dress/body manages to fool the eye when casting a frontal look.
Things are somewhat different, though, from the side. The very ample abdomen can’t be entirely hidden by the mere use of a non-color, that’s why the look needs a further trick. And this comes in the shape of an added piece. A jacket worn loosely on the shoulders will frame (and also camouflage) the sides of your body, leaving to show just its central part (the one we’ve visually adjusted earlier). So, even if someone looks at your profile, the volume of the jacket is highly likely to shield the bump. Be very careful not to fasten it, though, as this would make the jacket hug the body and highlight everything we’ve managed to hide so far.
5. To a silhouette with, well, nothing to hide, we could easily add, for a little extra drama, a cropped leather jacket with studs and other metallic appliqués. Why haven’t we gone for this from the very start?
Because that would make the jacket end at the very widest of the body and the basic rule of any styling project is that no piece should cut across the widest point of the body. For instance, the waistband of trousers should never rest on the abdomen if this is the most ample part of the body, the length of the top or jacket should always rest above or go beyond the hips if they are very prominent, even gloves need to be chosen with an agenda, that of not crossing the widest point of the arms, and so on. So, I’ve chosen a jacket that can easily go past the complicated area we are dealing with, but not long enough to take away from the length of the legs (already made look shorter by the booties going up the ankle).
6. In order to make sure the focus rests some other place than the abdomen, I’ve added two pops of interest. A deep cleavage, framed by two accessories (a metallic belt and a chocker necklace) meant to draw the eye to the very space between them.
Unlike the plan for choosing clothes, the strategy employed in correctly choosing accessories makes use of the opposite logic. The accessories are going to be metallic, meaning shiny, for the exact purpose of drawing the eye in their direction and that of the space between them. Additionally, the low cut cleavage, even if close to the abdomen, is likely to balance it out through the light-catching skin always claiming more attention than the matte black.
Think of it as the same trick used by makeup artists in contouring. They highlight the eyes and cheekbones through pearly colors, and the sculpting is made through matte colors. A stylist is going to make the same adjustments, only not to the face, but having the body as a practice canvas.
7. And one further detail! You have probably noticed that at the very first look you’ve cast on the photos, the area most catching your attention is that of the legs. And not by chance, of course! It’s another well-crafted strategy! Another excellent idea for manipulating the eye.
Should the legs not be your best feature (even if this can be worked on as well), you can go for a skirt that is not transparent and, also, create a new point of focus by dressing up your feet in statement shoes – shoes featuring accessories and powerful design elements.
If you still choose the see-through skirt, you have to make sure that the body has a bikini generous enough to fully cover the bottom, like a pair of shorts. A retro cut body is a sure bet in this respect. The wonderful thing about a semi-transparent skirt is that it allows for a peek at the skin while also dissimulating any imperfection. During the length of the pregnancy, most of all, cellulites and orange skin can intervene at any moment, without even mentioning fluid retention or the mere thickening of the limbs due to an increase in weight. So, a see-through skirt long enough to cover all problem areas can successfully replace a mini with maintaining the same level of sex-appeal.
Nota bene: I believe the stylistic recipe described above to be functional up to halfway through the pregnancy or a little longer. Each body reacts differently, so depending on the speed the bump comes to develop and grow we can maybe get to push things a little further along the way. Still, I don’t think you can go as far as attempting this effect beyond the 6 months limit. The abdomen would be far too developed and, as a consequence, the figure-adjustment strategies would have to come up with another type of outfit.
Nevertheless, it’s impressive that so far along in the pregnancy we can get to juggle with stylistic elements so as to completely readjust our proportions, wouldn’t you agree?