Oh, the dreaded muffin top. How we hate the word--but how we also can’t avoid it. Sure, there are exercises you can do to reduce its appearance, but maybe you don't feel like hitting the gym and giving up all refined sugar indefinitely. In that case, employ one of these five styling tricks to smooth out your midsection without having to lace up your sneakers or revamp your refrigerator.

muffintop fit1

Buy your correct size (even if it means going up one)

Few sartorial choices are worse than a pair of too-tight pants digging into your sides. Ill-fitting clothes are a major cause of muffin tops, even in women who don’t actually have them. Stop worrying about the number (sizing varies wildly from brand to brand anyway) and go with the size that hugs your midsection without overdoing it.

muffintop highrise

Ditch the low-rises

Remember when Britney's "Slave 4 U" days were all the rage? We do too, and we're still recovering emotionally. Luckily, high rises are everywhere right now--to the delight of pretty much every woman who's ever worried about bending over in a pair of Sevens. High-waisted pants follow your natural curves, all while being on trend. Win win.

muffintop tuck

Play with proportion

Even if your fitted pants are causing a little muffin top sitch, that doesn’t mean it has to be obvious. Styling 101: Pair snug bottoms with looser tops. And pair snug tops with looser bottoms. Not only will you keep the visual balance in check, but you’ll also be flaunting your figure in a sophisticated way.

muffintop stretch

Learn to love stretch fabrics

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Spandex is your friend. While we’re not suggesting picking up a pair of full-on jeggings, look for pants with at least a little stretch for forgiveness. Think about it: A pair of classic Levi’s allow for much less wiggle room than a blend with a little Lycra mixed in. Just be sure to pair said stretchy pants with something chic on top, like a chunky sweater or bomber jacket. 

RELATED: How to Wear Leggings as Pants and Not Look Tacky

muffintop skirt

Smooth it all out underneath

You know what else is your friend? Shapewear. Obvious but important: This stuff is like an instant tummy tuck and lets you rest easy knowing that your pencil skirt is creating the hourglass you want without letting anyone in on your Spanx secret. And don't worry: All shapewear isn't created equal. As in, it's not all crazy-restrictive girdles. In fact, even the right pair of light briefs can do wonders.

From Around The Web