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14 stylish tummy flattering dresses: Expert stylist advice & tips on the best styles to wear

From occasionwear to everyday styles, we've found the best dresses to flatter the tummy 

collage three models in wrap dresses
Sophie Bates
Commerce Writer
Updated: 4 April 2024
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Spring is officially here, and the warmer weather can come with a sense of dread to pull out our lighter clothing. However, we're all about feeling like our most confident selves in 2024, which is why finding a dress that will give you confidence without feeling the desire to cover up is a must. 

There are plenty of dress styles around right now that are designed to flatter the tummy, and the key is often to add an element of distraction to the area, whether that's with ruching or a knot – and there are plenty of belted options too that bring in the waist to create an enhanced shape. 

Celebrity stylist Ellis Ranson, who has worked with the likes of Fearne McCann and Kate Ferdinand, has given her top tips on the most flattering options for women, and I've handpicked the most stylish options around right now so that you don't have to…

  • Best wrap dress: M&S Polka Dot V-Neck Midi Wrap Dress SQUIRREL_TEXT_13043910 
  • Best knot dress: Mango Knot Detail Dress SQUIRREL_TEXT_13046933 
  • Best belted dress: Boden Laura Jersey Shirt Dress SQUIRREL_TEXT_13047169
  • Best ruched dress: River Island Ruched Bodycon Dress SQUIRREL_TEXT_13047172

How I chose 

  • Style: Whether you're searching for a wedding guest outfit, a special occasion look, or a staple dress that you can wear on repeat, I've chosen a range of styles in midi, maxi, and mini designs, so there should be something to suit everyone's taste.
  • Inclusivity: I've tried to be as inclusive as possible with my choices, and plenty of the dresses in the list have extended sizes and plus-size options. 
  • Expert advice: I've selected styles based on expert knowledge, with wrap, knot, ruched, and belted designs. 

Best wrap dresses

Wrap dresses are flattering on all body types as the cinched waist paired with the V-neck design enhances the hips and bust to give a slimming effect. Wrap dresses are a great staple for all year, but they are particularly popular during the spring and summer.

Ellis told us: "The wrap dress is an easy go-to. It works for all body types as the v-neck works for smaller and larger chests and can be tied to pull you in at the waist. Bring in a print to work this style into your trends."


Phase Eight Petra Wrap Pleated Midi Dress
phase eight pink wrap dress

Sizes: 8-26

Shipping: £2.95 or free with a £150 spend

Returns: Within 28 days

If you're searching for a tummy-flattering dress for a special occasion, Phase Eight's wrap dress is the perfect wedding guest option. The stunning magenta shade is ideal for spring, and the delicate pleating combined with the waist-shaping belt will help you to feel your best from every angle.


Karen Millen Cashmere Blend Wrap Knit Dress
karen millen black wrap dress

Sizes: XS-L 

Colours: Available in black or burgundy

Shipping: £4.99 for standard delivery

Returns: Within 28 days

Karen Millen is filled with luxe-looking fashion pieces that are elegant for both day and night wear, and this belted wrap dress is no exception. Made from soft cashmere blend fabric, the dress falls to a midi hemline, with lightly puffed sleeves and a self-tie belt. The staple piece would look just as stylish teamed with knee-high boots as it would trainers, and it's one you'll be reaching for all year round.


M&S Printed V-Neck Midi Wrap Dress
marks and spencer blue wrap dress

Sizes: 6-24

Colours: Available in blue and navy 

Shipping: £3.99 or free with a £60 spend 

Returns: Within 35 days

M&S's printed midi dress features a flattering V-neck with a wrap design that perfectly cinches the waist. The stretchy fit provides comfort for everyday wear, while the contrasting blue and white print makes the dress easy to elevate with accessories. Style the printed number with heeled boots and a leather jacket for a stylish day-to-night ensemble, or opt for ballet flats and a longline coat for an effortless work look.


New Look Ribbed Wrap Dress
new look boden green wrap dress

Sizes: 6-22

Colours: Khaki or black

Shipping: £2.99 or free with a £50 spend 

Retuns: Within 28 days

Looking for a transitional dress that will see you through the seasons? New Look's khaki midi dress is the one. It has a feminine V-neck, a ribbed finish, and a tummy-flattering wrap front, complete with an adjustable tie fastening. Pair the dress with boots and trainers for spring, then switch them out for a pair of sandals in a few months for a gorgeous summer look.

Best knot dresses 

Knot dresses not only bring you in at the waist, but when the knot design is placed at the front, it works to distract from any lumps and bumps that you may wish to hide. Mini dresses with knot detailing can also be extremely flattering on the figure, as they can enhance the appearance of an elongated leg.


Simply Be Textured Jersey Knot Detail Maxi Dress
simplybe navy knot dress

Sizes: 10-32 

Shipping: £4.50 for standard delivery

Returns: Within 28 days 

Simply Be's textured maxi dress features a front slit, long sleeves, and a twist front design that's so flattering on the figure. Available in sizes 10-32, the versatile number will look great styled with chunky boots, trainers, and heels.


Mango Knot Detail Dress
mango black knot dress

Sizes: 4-16 

Colours: Available in black and beige 

Shipping: £3.95 or free with a £30 spend 

Returns: Within 30 days 

For a shorter style, Mango's knot detail dress ticks all of the boxes. Made from a cotton and linen mix for maximum comfort, the shirt-style mini dress features a V-neck collar, long sleeves with a slit on the front, and a knot finish for a flattering effect. The mini can be styled in so many different ways, and I'd pair it with boots and tights during the transitional seasons, swapping the tights out for trainers and a denim jacket as the weather warms up.


Mint Velvet Jersey Knot Detail Midi Dress
mint velvet grey knot dress

Sizes: XS-XL

Shipping: £3.95 or free with a £100 spend 

Returns: Within 28 days 

Mint Velvet's stylish grey midi dress features a loose fit with a V-neckline and long fluted sleeves, finished with a knot front that brings in the waist to enhance the shape. Both comfortable and chic, the textured number would look amazing with knee-high boots for an evening ensemble, or opt for ballet flats and a longline coat for a smart everyday look.


ASOS Knot Detail Mini Dress
asos red knot mini dress

Sizes: 4-18

Shipping: £4.50 or free with a £40 spend 

Returns: Within 28 days 

A unique twist of the classic knot style, ASOS's red mini dress features twisted detailing across the body, while the elevated ruching adds to the flattering appearance. With its slash neck, relaxed skirt and subtle side split, the ASOS number is effortlessly stylish, and it would look incredible teamed with a pair of gold heels.

Best ruched dresses

There are so many ruched dress styles to choose from, but the trick is to find one that drapes in the areas that you feel least comfortable with. Whether the detailing is at the waist, bust, or hips, the timeless style is a great option for formal wear and smart daywear.


Reformation Silk Dress
reformation ruched dress

Sizes: 4-16

Colours: Six colours available

Shipping: £6 or free with a £100 spend 

Returns: Within 30 days 

Everything about Reformation's silk dress is flattering. The cowl neck, the ruching across the waist, the crossed open back - it's just incredible. Whether the special occasion is, this silk number will definitely have all eyes on you, and it's also available in red, blue, lilac and more.


River Island Ruched Split Bodycon Dress
river island cream ruched dress

Sizes: 6-18

Colours: Available in four colours 

Shipping: £4 or free with a £50 spend

Returns: Within 28 days 

The ruched detailing on River Island's bodycon dress sits across the stomach, bust, hips and back, so its guaranteed to flatter every figure. It features a midi length, a crew neckline and a split hem, finished with a pinstripe print for a sophisticated finish. Available in four colours, the midi can be worn for just about any occasion, and it looks so stylish paired with brown heeled boots.​​​​


Reiss Ruched Waist Midi Dress
reiss cream ruched dress

Sizes: 4-18

Colours: Available in cream  and khaki

Shipping: £5.95 for next day delivery

Returns: Within 28 days 

Could this be the ultimate springtime dress? Reiss's Lena midi dress gives a vintage-style feel with its semi-structured shape and rolled sleeves. Made from 100% cotton, the soft style is complete with side splits, pockets and delicate ruching across the waist. The black contrasting trim perfectly rounds off the classic look, and I'd recommend styling it with black sandals and a cream bag for an elegant finish.

Best belted dresses 

Similarly to wrap dresses, belted dresses create an hourglass silhouette by highlighting the waist. Shirt dresses are a great option for combining comfort and style, and you can elevate your figure even further by teaming one with a pair of heels to elongate the legs.

Ellis revealed:  "A belt can be your best accessory, whether you add to your shirt dress or opt for a dress that already has a belt." 


& Other Stories Tweed Belted Mini Dress
and other stories belted dress

Sizes: XS-L 

Shipping: Free with a £80 spend 

Returns: Within 30 days

A belted dress is a great option if you prefer a slightly looser fit, and they can feel comfortable while bringing you in a the waist to create shape. & Other Stories' tweed mini dress will exaggerate the leg when paired with boots or heels, and it would look look so chic styled with loafers and an oversized leather jacket.


H&M Tie-Belt Shirt Dress
h and m stripe belted shirt dress

Sizes: XS-XXL 

Colours: Available in black, cream, black patterned, black stripe 

Shipping: £3.99 or free with a £30 spend 

Returns: Within 28 days

Whether you're wearing it to work or for date night, H&M's shirt dress is so versatile without compromising on style. Featuring a calf-length and a loose fit that is tied in by the detachable belt, the dress will be a staple in any wardrobe, while the buttoned cuffs and contrasting white trim give in an extra luxe feel.


Boden Laura Jersey Midi Belted Shirt Dress
boden polka dot belted shirt dress

Sizes: 6-22

Colours: Available in seven colours

Shipping: £3.95 or free with a £50 spend 

Returns: Within 90 days 

Boden never disappoints when it comes to stylish printed pieces, and the Laura Jersey dress is a daywear go-to with an extra something. It has a bias-cut skirt, a calf-grazing hem, and a waist-defining belt, finished with a gorgeous blue polka dot print that screams spring. Style it with brown boots, trainers, and a denim jacket for a fresh everyday ensemble.

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