Have you ever had one of those mornings where you need to lose 10 lbs by tomorrow? I know I have! Whether you have an important presentation at work, a television appearance, or a wedding to attend, I can teach you how to fake a slimmer figure through the magic of fashion.
#1 Vamp it up in V-Necks
Classic v necklines are universally flattering. The space at the top elongates the body, creating a taller (and therefore slimmer) appearance. The flash of skin also brings the eye up to one's face and away from any bulges below.
#2 Wear Low Vamp Heels
The vamp of a shoe is where the top of the shoe ends on your foot. A lower vamp that exposes more foot area gives the illusion that your legs are longer. A heel adds height. Of course, not everyone can or chooses to wear heels. In this case, a flat with a low vamp and pointed toe will do. Either way, bonus points if the shoe matches the tone of your legs or pants.
#3 Sport a Low-contrast Outfit
Similar to my first two suggestions, a low contrast look creates a taller silhouette. It doesn't have to be the same exact color from head to toe. Hues and tones that are similar work just as well. It is important that your shoes match the tone of your pants (or legs if wearing a skirt) to create an effective monochromatic look.
#4 Define Your Waist
This tip may go against your instincts when you're feeling a little fluffier than usual. In my experience, most women run to leggings and flowy tops in an attempt to "hide" any problem areas. Do not do this. I repeat, do not do this. You won't find "pair black pants with an oversized schmatta and call it a day" anywhere on this list. Any hint of shape is lost and you end up looking larger than you really are. A top or dress with a defined waist will show off the smallest part of you, giving you a leaner appearance. The top does not have to be tight, but it needs to have a shape. Adding a blazer with a nipped in waist also creates a slimming effect.
#5 Enjoy Scallop Hems
Scallop hemlines on dresses, shorts, and skirts can be extremely flattering. Since the wave-like pattern flows more softly than a straight line, it doesn't break up the body quite as much.
#6 Find Full Length Pants
While ankle and capri pants are all the rage (and sometimes all you can find), you are essentially giving up that height below the ankle when you wear them. Pants and jeans that go all the way down to the ankle are more flattering. If you are petite like me, you can save a trip to the tailor by purchasing the cropped or ankle version of straight size pants. They will be full length on us. If you are under 140 pounds, you can also try shopping the children’s department. You’ll be surprised to find you can wear a child’s L or XL most of the time.
#7 Embrace a Maxi Dress
If you're tall enough (5'6" or above), a maxi dress can be a wonderful, slimming garment. Keep in mind you want a dress with a shape that is more like a column than a tent. If you're wearing a maxi skirt, follow the low-contrast rule and pair the skirt with something similar on top.
#8 Make that Denim High Rise
I'm a huge fan of high rise jeans. The higher, the better. They lock in my tummy and when they inevitably slide down during the day, I'm not exposing anything. For the most flattering jeans, go for a plain, dark wash. Avoid whiskers, flap pockets, or embellishments. If you are larger in the middle, you might find high rise jeans don't fit well. If this is the case for you, I suggest going with mid rise jeans. Avoid low cut jeans at all costs.
#9 Rock a Heavy Pendant Necklace
Long pendant necklaces serve two purposes. Like many other suggestions on this list, the long line of the necklace elongates the lines of the body. Second, a heavy necklace will indent light fabric, which can be especially useful when wearing a loose top. It creates shape.
#10 Play with Patterns and Prints
This tip is especially useful if you are hiding lumps and bumps in the tummy and back areas. Prints and patterns confuse the eye, so the focus is off those trouble areas and on to a pretty face, long legs, or whichever area you choose to highlight.
If you're overwhelmed with an onslaught of information and don't know where to start, or you don't have the time to track down the most flattering clothing, I am here for you! I offer one on one personal styling services in San Diego and Orange County. Even if you're not local, I can style you virtually.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical fashion advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.