Dress comfortably to conceal your food baby

Save the yoga pants for your period. These breezy summer styles are comfy and professional. 

I trust everyone ate and drank a lot more good food than they planned yesterday, right? I know I did.

But now the fun and fireworks have sizzled out and you’re left with a “food baby” so severe you might skip breakfast. But it’s back to work, and on top of all your discomfort you’ve got to pull on a professional outfit and look put together. Only unlike the day after a winter holiday the heat makes feeling bloated ten times more uncomfortable.

Luckily I’ve got some summer styles to help you conceal your food baby (that’s stomach rounded from eating too much at once, for anyone who doesn’t yet know) and still look professional.

  1. Palazzo Pants

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This matching top and trousers looks chic and comfortable. Style and photo by Aimee Song, @songofstyle.

Palazzo pants are a wide-legged, often high-waisted, loose-fit pant made of linen and ideal for business casual and professional offices in the warmer weather. These marvelous pants have a flattering silhouette, flaring out at the bottom and tying just at the waist. This gives you plenty of room for bloating, a food baby, and the sweat that will be pouring off in buckets if you are hungover. Plus, the tie-waist style leaves plenty coverage to conceal any signs of bloating, if that’s what you want.

Just tuck in a blouse, or a tank top and a light jacket, and you’re ready to go.

Some cheaper versions are made with a synthetic silk such as rayon. They’ll be lighter weight and more flowy, but won’t absorb sweat as well as linen/cotton.

Shop the chic trousers at Macy’s (on sale $36), Shein ($21), and Free People

If pants seem unbearable in the weather, go for culottes, the calf-length version of palazzo’s.

2. Vertical stripes

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A striped wrap top, like this one from Zara, is concealing and has plenty of room for your food baby. Photo by Zara.com.

Stripes are so in right now that chances are you probably already own a shirt or dress in this classy pattern. But the direction of the stripes can make a huge difference. Vertical stripes elongate and thin your frame, will horizontal or “sideways” stripes widen.

I recommend sticking to vertical stripes on your torso the day after a food-fest. You could even mix it up with a contrasting or diagonal stripes pattern to throw people off.  Bonus if it’s a wrap top or tie-waist dress like this MSK cotton midi dress, because the tie can both conceal and distract, making your waist appear smaller regardless of how you feel inside.

You can shop stripes just about anywhere, but some of my favorites are Zara, also in a wrap top,  and this transitional tee at Nordstrom.

 

3. Ruffled and Peplum tops

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I’d throw a light blazer or sweater over there and head to work. Photo (c) Amanda Song.

 

I’m a huge fan of the peplum (above). It’s practically magical the way it elegantly hides bloating and tummy fat. It’s a shirt that flares out usually starting at the belly button, giving you room to eat more. But the ruffled hem masks the food baby beneath too.

Of course a more contemporary and on-trend version is the ruffle top, with interesting statement shapes, angles, and cuts hitting the market now, such as this FWRD one-shoulder frill top. It’s got so much going on, it’s sure to draw any attention away from the food baby beneath. (Keep in mind that business professional offices wouldn’t approve of any cold shoulders.)

Shop office-appropriate peplum tops at Macy’s, or Zara, here and here.

4. Color block

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This would make for a perfect (and easy) July 5th office look. Just throw a light jacket over it and get back to work! Photo by Eloquii.com

My take on the “dress in dark to hide bloating” is similar but with a twist: keep dark color blocks around your waist with brighter color blocks drawing attention elsewhere, such as with the ensemble above. This adds a fun pop of color to the dark tones that conceal bloating, while also pulling the eye off the concealed areas and toward the bright colors.

Note how your eye naturally traces the white color blocks outlining this model’s assets: her bust and natural curves. Not that you need to flaunt your curves at work, but if it means concealing a food baby, we would probably not shy away from it. Besides, dressing your best in general usually means highlighting your strongest features.

Shop color blocks here and plus size here.