Stretch marks can appear almost anywhere on the body and are caused by tiny tears in the skin. These minuscule splits result in thin red lines that often appear during periods of accelerated growth, such as puberty, pregnancy and considerable weight gain. Over time these small grooves will fade and take on a silver white sheen which makes them far less noticeable. A flabby tummy on the other hand can result from any number of factors but is especially common after childbirth, illness, weight gain and insufficient physical exercise. While there is no quick cure for either of these matters, both stretch marks and extra weight around the belly region can be artfully covered up to make them appear less noticeable.
Know what clothing styles to avoid when trying to downplay your stomach and stretch marks. Avoid shiny fabrics and any clothing that is too tight or fitted, especially in the stomach region. Stay away from cropped shirts, short halters and tube tops because these not only accentuate your stomach but can also highlight stretch marks as well. Be sure to wear the correct size when it comes to underwear, tights, belts and jeans. Doing so helps to avoid having a "muffin top" where your stomach pops over and above your attire.
Understand what type of clothing works best with your body. Tailored, well fitting clothing in the right size is imperative for a figure flattering look. Empire style shirts work well when trying to distract attention from your stomach since they are fitted in the bust line but loose and forgiving in the stomach region. V-neck style tops and dresses take the focus away from your stomach and draw the eye upward. A line style dresses with tights or panty hose that are the same color are also quite complimentary.
Purchase high waisted underwear or shape-wear that helps to smooth out and flatten your stomach. Be sure to try these garments on at the lingerie store to ensure comfort and a good fit. In the past, many women relied on girdles to slim their midsection, however, today tummy toning panties and versatile minimizing shape-ware can provide the same effect but in a much more attractive and easy to wear fashion.
Minimize the appearance stretch marks with a tan. Self tanning products are safe and easy to use when you want to give your skin a boost without having to bask in the sun or go to a tanning salon. While self tanners will not eliminate or remove stretch marks, they will make them far less noticeable while giving the rest of your face and body a healthy looking, sun kissed glow.
Hide your stretch marks completely with cosmetics specifically designed to cover stretch marks, spider veins, scars, tattoos and skin discolorations. Products such as Dermablend can be applied directly to your stretch marks to conceal them entirely. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully to ensure a smooth, even finish.