The Dreaded Muffin Top: 5 Ways to Use Your Wardrobe to Banish it Forever

Ah, the dreaded muffin top. Among all the fashion faux pas, an ill-fitting pair of low-slung or too-tight trousers that cause an over-spill of the area just above your hips is probably the most notorious. And part of its notoriety comes also from its power: In the Machiavellian sense, the muffin top knows it’s much better to be feared than loved.

And while most of us know what a muffin top is (and if you don’t know, here’s a great example), not everyone knows how to combat it. And here’s another lesser-known fact: You don’t actually have to stop eating bread, start a juice diet, or generally lose a ton of weight to prevent the muffin top effect. In fact, you can remain exactly your wonderful, lovely, curvy self and still never have to worry about le muffin.

The trick? Use your clothing. We’ve rounded up five tips to use your wardrobe to banish it forever.

1. Get rid of your super low-waisted jeans.

These were super en vogue circa the early 2000s, when Britney Spears completely changed the way everyone looked at pants. But in these more modern times, there’s really no place for jeans that hit much lower than your belly button. A healthy average body fat percentage for a grown woman is between 18.5 and 25 percent; that means, if you’re healthy, you probably have a little bit of extra padding on your lower abdomen. And that’s okay. We would all be healthier and happier if we stopped dressing like our body fat percentage is much lower than it actually is.

Pull your pants up, ladies. This is not you.

2. Next step: buy some high-waisted bottoms.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the pants that only our beloved Brit Brit could rock circa 2001, it’s time to go shopping. And it’s time to embrace one of the chic-est modern staples (which is actually a throwback): the high-waisted pant. Back in the days of Marilyn Monroe and other voluminous screen sirens, it was known and accepted that women’s bodies are simply softer than mens, and they have more dips and valleys. Wearing high-waisted bottoms — pants, trousers, skirts and even bathing suits — was the norm because ladies wanted to highlight their tiny waists and minimize their plentiful hips.

Designers are now hearkening back a bit to those times, and for good reason: They flatter everyone. They serve to hold in your stomach, minimize the anterior curves of your hips, and strictly geometrically speaking, they make muffin top a physical impossibility. Without a place from which to spill out (because the bottoms rise up so high), there simply is no muffin top.

3. If you must wear low-rise bottoms, pair them with longer tops.

Part of the reason the muffin top is even possible is because there’s a gap between a shirt that’s too short and a pair of bottoms that are too low. As outlined, the easy way to combat this style problem is to just pull your pants up. That being said, we also understand the compulsion to keep your favorite pair of low-rise jeans, so there is another way: Wear them if you must, but wear them with a top that’s gracious in its length, to ensure that none (or very little ) of your 18.5-25-percent body fat hangs out over the sides. You might even try tucking the shirt in.