I have a tum. A “spare tire,” to be exact. I learned that term from a Golden Girls episode many, many years ago, and it is the best possible descriptor for my particular tum. It is a small but pronounced ring of flubber that starts at my belly button and ends just above my pelvis. I look like I am wearing a teeny tiny inner tube made of bonus-Sal just above my hips. Oh the joy.
Now, do me a favor and don’t advise me on how to get rid of it, mmkay? My weight has gone up an d, but the tum stubbornly remained. I do about 16 hillion jillion ab exercises of every possible description each week, and believe me, I have UPPER abs that would make a model jealous. And yet … the tum remains. Two words, people: Staying power.
And the thing is – while I certainly have my big bad bloat days when I angrily threaten my tum with lipo or mesotherapy – the experience of writing a letter to my body helped me realize that my tum is simply a part of me. A natural part of me. Something in my genetics coded for “spare tire,” and dangit, there must be a reason.
Yet, I do feel better about how I look when my tum isn’t quite so … out there. So I’ve learned how to dress to draw attention away from – and even disguise – my tum. And since it’s unlikely that every last one of you fabulous readers has abs like Kate Moss, I thought I’d share a few of my secrets, on the off chance that you have a keen interest in tum diminishment!
Tricky to wear
Low rise jeans: As far as I can tell, this style creates instant muffintop on anyone with non-flat abs. The stiff waistband causes your tum to spill out and protrude further.
Fitted sweaterdresses: There are plenty of sexy dress styles that will flatter the figure of a tum-haver. Something that clings all the way down your bod is probably not one of them.
Drop waisted anything: If you have a spare tire, you amy also have a smallish waist and large-ish hips. A drop waist masks your waist, while drawing attention to your hips. And as drop waisted garments are frequently constructed like formless rectangles of cloth, the garment’s front will likely hang straight down from your rack. Your tum will take this formless, flowy-cloth opportunity to create a second rack-like protrusion just above your hipbone. Just sayin’.
Skirts with fly closures: A zip fly adds bulk to the tum area to begin with, and your spare tire is going to push on the fly causing it to protrude even further. As a matter of fact, anything with a fly – including pants – is best avoided. I know, I know, I have uttered a blasphemy. And I certainly ignore my own advice on Casual Fridays when I am desperate to don my comfy jeans. But the fact remains that a tum will work in conjunction with a button and zipper to create the illusion of mondo tum.
Easy to wear
High- and mid-rises: Ideally, you want a waistband that sits above the top of your tum. This compresses your tum a little, which means fitted tops will skim your body and accentuate your upper-half assets. Many bottoms tailored to a mid or high rise also will fit your hips beautifully.
Fit-and-flare dresses: This style of dress typically has a hard waist that sits above the tum and a full skirt that floats over it without clinging. This silhouette that accentuates your waist and skims your hips. Full and A-line skirts have similar effects.
Structure: Take it from me: In many cases, formless clothes will make you look like a sack full of live squirrels. Tailoring, heavy cloth, and princess seams will pull your look together. Don’t try to hide your tum under yards of loose, billowy cloth. Give your whole body some structure instead by choosing fitted garments, and your tum will fall in line.
Wide waistbands: Skinny little waistbands are the sworn enemy of the tum. They tend to subdivide the tum, thereby creating artificial bulges. A nice wide waistband worn directly ON the tum – on any garment – will give you a more streamlined silhouette.
Side- or back-zip skirts: Skirts are a fabulous option for the tum-tastic among us so long as they have a nice, flat front. Avoid fly-fronts (as mentioned above), and seek out skirts with a concealed zip entry. The less frippery you have going on in the tum area, the better.
Hopefully those of you toting a spare tire will find a helpful tip or two within this post, but I’m sure I haven’t thought of everything … anyone else have tum-disguising tips to share?