I tried 6 ways to hide my food baby this festive season and look my best at the same time

AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

'Tis the season to be jolly! Fear having a food baby after stuffing yourselves at all the Christmas dinners and parties as well as the upcoming Chinese New Year home visits? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

We pulled some looks off the racks at these stores — popular Spanish label Zara and its sister brands, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius and Oysho, each trend-setters in their own categories. These brands all come under Inditex, one of the world's largest fashion retailers and they’re having their Fall/Winter sale now.

Here are some handy styling tips to help hide your food bump and make your festive season a whole lot jollier, especially when you can eat to your heart's content without worrying about your bulging tummy.

OUTERWEAR TO CONCEAL THE FOOD BUMP

The easiest way to conceal a food baby is by covering up the tummy with a jacket or cardigan. Bonus — it hides the arms as well. With sweater season upon us now, you can layer your outfit without suffering from the heat.

If you're planning for an overseas winter trip this festive season, Zara has the perfect thick coat that will keep you snug as a bug. Pair it with a lace blouse and high-waisted pants so you're all toasty for a white Christmas. 

Pro-tip: Accessorise with an oversized buckle waist belt to cover up your tummy.

Outfit from Zara (after discount): Coat $159, Blouse $45.90, Pants $69.90 (not included in the sales)
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

Go big or go home this festive season! Pick an outerwear with bold colours, like a red blazer, to make your outfit pop. If you're looking to make a statement, pair it with a shimmery bralette and matching high-waisted pants.

Who's going to notice your food baby when you're this dressed up? If anything, people will be talking about your outfit.

Outfit from Bershka (after discount): Blazer $49.90, Bralette $25.90, Pants $49.90
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

A plaid blazer takes you from office to party when you pair it with a lace top underneath it and a matching skirt.

Outfit from Stradivarius (after discount): Blazer $55.90, Top $25.90, Skirt $29.90
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Rainer Cheung

YOU'LL NEVER GO WRONG WITH DARK-COLOURED CLOTHES

When in doubt, there's always dark-coloured clothing to fall back on — they are effortless to match and make you look slimmer.

Zara's velvet suit isn't only dark but it's oh-so-comfy to wear to a house party. I can see myself lounging around the Christmas table in this suit.

Outfit from Zara (after discount): Blazer $119, Trouser $55.90
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

If you're going for a buffet and want to slip into something that offers optimal comfort, you can opt for this oversized graphic tee with a black midi lace mesh skirt, both from Bershka.

Outfit from Bershka (after discount): Top $25.90, Skirt $35.90, Shoes $99.90 (not included in the sales) 
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

CHOOSE V-NECKLINES TO DRAW ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE STOMACH

Highlighting other areas of your body can help to draw the eyes anywhere else but your food bump.

Find a part of your body to accentuate like a V-neck dress to elongate your neckline, which will draw the eye in a vertical direction

If the celebration calls for a dressier look, a low-cut wrap dress like this one from Zara will have you party-ready. The ribbon tie lets you tighten or loosen the outfit as the night progresses.

Dress from Zara: $69.90 (after discount)
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

A dress like this from Oysho comes with a low-cut neckline and a waistband to create an illusion of a thinner waistline.

Dress from Oysho: $55.90 (after discount)
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

WEAR LONG SKIRTS OR MAXI DRESSES

Long skirts and maxi dresses lengthen the body and instantly help to shave off some pounds by elongating your height. Just make sure you're not dragging the hem on the floor or look like you're drowning in it.

Satin skirts are on trend now and the one at Massimo Dutti does the job in covering your food bump. For a Christmassy look, pair it with a knitted top and boots. 

Outfit from Massimo Dutti (after discount): Skirt $125, Top $95, Boots $145, Necklace $69
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

OPT FOR SMALLER BAGS

Sometimes, an oversized bag weighs you down and can make you look bulkier, so do away with it.

If you're not afraid to experiment with styles, fanny packs or crossbody bags can be used to cover your tummy, an effortless styling hack that can be added to your wardrobe easily.

Outfit from Massimo Dutti (after discount): Bag $145, Top $85, Pants $95
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

HIGH-WAISTED JEANS WITH LONG SLEEVES

Find the right pair of jeans and it will make you feel 10 times more confident.

Because I have a pear-shaped body, I tend to go for high-waisted jeans, which helps to tuck in my belly roll and love handles, and it even gives an illusion of a smaller waist and slimmer legs.

Mom jeans are becoming popular too; they are tapered at all the right places, with the thigh area loose enough for moving about without constraint.

For a more relaxed look, I threw together a pair of Mom jeans and a long-sleeved top from Pull&Bear. I loved how comfy I looked without looking shabby or dressed down. 

Outfit from Pull&Bear (after discount): Top $11.90, Jeans $29.90, Bag $29.90
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

This ripped knee and distressed jeans from Bershka distract the eyes and the cut is flattering. Pair it with a black top and boots and you'll get an elevated look for the night.

Outfit from Bershka (after discount): Top $29.90, Jeans $49.90, Boots $59.90 (not included in the sales)  
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

PLAY WITH PATTERNS

Lines, flowery prints and plaids are styles you can play around with when putting together an ensemble. With so many things going on, the eyes will be distracted by the patterns and away from your food bump. 

Look playful yet girly with this printed floral dress from Pull&Bear. Not only will the prints camouflage your belly, but the V-shaped neckline also draws attention away from the area too.

Outfit from Pull&Bear (after discount): Dress $39.90
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Rainer Cheung

This checkered top from Bershka keeps you on trend with its balloon sleeves, and draws the eyes upwards. Pair it with a black faux leather skirt and you're good to go for a Christmas gathering.

Outfit from Bershka (after discount): Top $35.90, Skirt $39.90 (not included in the sales)
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Rainer Cheung

YEAR-END SALE

To make your retail therapy for the party season that much sweeter, all the stores mentioned above will be having a year-end sale of up to 50 per cent discount from Dec 20 onwards.

Cheers to more flattering silhouettes without having to suck in your tummy in ill-fitting clothes.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Al-Futtaim Group.

melissagoh@asiaone.com