How to Dress Your Body to Look Slimmer: Insider Tips for Looking Like You Dropped Two Dresses Sizes Instantly
Example of Illusion Dressing to Look Slimmer
Style is more a matter of illusion, balance and symmetry than a dress size, designer label or trend. You don't need to hire an image consultant or spend thousands of dollars on a new wardrobe to project a slimmer profile. Use these tried and true tips to look sleeker and slimmer instantly.
Just the Facts!
The key to learning how to look slimmer instantly is to know and to appreciate your body type. There are four basic body types, although they are referred to by many different names. For our purposes, let's discuss the pear, apple, round and hourglass figure.
Dressing Pear Shaped Bodies
Pear shaped women have small bosoms, large hips, and neatly defined waistlines.
The trick to dressing the pear shape is to work with styles that enhance and balance the upper body but minimize the lower body.
A-line, sheath, shift, empire waist and baby-doll styles, just to mention a few, reduce the visual girth of the lower body and show off your curves.
Strapless, one shoulder, sweetheart, princess and V-necklines draw the eye up toward the bust and disguise the hips.
Strategically placed shoulder pads add height and balance the upper torso. However, beware of overly large shoulder pads that make you look like you are ready to hit the football field as their width will draw the eyes to the shoulder and throw off the symmetry of the overall image.
In the image above, notice how the high heels and knee-kissing hemline elongate the look of the leg.
The tiny self-fabric belt emphasizes the waist without calling undo attention to the midriff.
This look can go from a resort wear casual look to dressy in a flash by adding a shrug or peplum-style jacket and pearl jewelry.
How to Dress Apple Shaped Bodies
Apple shaped bodies are similar to pear shapes in that their bosoms are larger than their hips. However, typically, the apple shape has less waist definition.
Learning how to dress to look slimmer when you have an apple shaped body means becoming an illusionist – creating the image of a trim midriff is critical – and learning to shift some focus to the lower half of the body to balance the upper half.
V-necklines and wrap style dresses and tops all create the appearance of a slim silhouette in a flash for apple shapes. However, it’s important to choose styles with small or no shoulder pads because you want to create an illusion of the body curving in from the shoulders and then flowing out gently to the hips.
Apple shapes tend to be broad through the shoulders so it’s important not to add any width or bulk to this area. Balance the look by using fullness in the hip area like gathered or gored skirts and wide leg pants.
In the picture above, the necessary slimming vertical line is created with a partial zipped jacket, which creates a V-neckline, and vertical striping on the slacks. The jacket is layered over a long tee that cleverly disguises the hips.
Even though there is horizontal striping on the jacket, the look works because the striping is below the shoulder line and there are no shoulder pads in the jacket to make the shoulders look wider. This is a great look for running errands, meeting friends for exercise or shopping, or just relaxing.
How to Dress Hourglass Shaped Bodies
It’s hard not to be green with envy when contemplating the hourglass shapes with their perceived perfect figures. The key here, as with the others, is balance and symmetry.
For instance, a buxom hourglass figure will look better accessorizing with a skinny belt that accents the waistline than in a wide belt that may make the bust and hips look disproportionate.
Typically, hourglass figures can wear most of the same design shapes as the pear with the exception of the empire waist and baby doll, which could over-emphasize a well-endowed bosom.
In this picture, notice how the simple addition of contrast labels creates a slimming V-neck illusion for an outstanding look that can go from desk to boardroom in a snap.
How to Dress Round Body Shapes
Those with round body shapes face the biggest challenge when dressing to look slimmer because their bodies tend to be about the same size on the top and bottom with no defined waist.
You must create the appearance of a curvaceous figure with a well-defined waistline so use V-necks and scoop necks or princess and sweetheart necklines to neckline interest and draw the eye up. Dropped waistlines and low, slung belts create a waist, while long, sleek styles are the most flattering.
Check out the picture below and note how the open, softly flowing edges of the sweater combined with the V-neck of the top project a long, lean look of slimness.
How to Dress to Look Slimmer: Twist Dress Video
Universally Flattering Styles and Tips
There are several universal styles that any figure type can use to their advantage to dress to look slimmer.
Vertical prints and stripes, like the one pictured, conceal figure imperfections but look sophisticated and sexy.
V-necklines are the quickest, least expensive way to look two dress size smaller for any figure or body type.
Wrap dresses caresses your curves and slim your entire midriff without the need of lifting weights or running a mile. The value of using this technique is illustrated in the picture.
No matter what your age, life stage, or attitude, you can learn how to dress your body to look slimmer.
Experiment with a variety of different styles, fabrics and hemlines until you find a look (or looks) that flatter your figure and feel fabulous.
Fashion Tips on Dressing to Look Slimmer
Buy Slimming Plus Size Clothes
Whether you are looking for a formal gown or some flattering casual wear, you can save time and effort by shopping online. For some great outfits that will make you look two sizes slimmer, browse through the inventory at merchants like these:
- Sydney's Closet: A-line dresses are universally flattering for any body shape. Choose from a wide variety of styles and colors in sizes 14 to 44.
- Casual Plus: Shop here with confidence because all purchases are backed by a 100 per guarantee. From casual wear to business clothes, you can take care of all your wardrobe needs here.
- Lane Bryant: Find the perfect career attire here or shop for any of your other full-sized clothing needs because Lane Bryant is well known for catering to the special requirements of the full-figured woman.
- Catherine's: From shorts to slacks, Catherine's is bound to have just what you want at prices you will love.
While shopping online is quick and convenient, it's not always the best way to get the perfect fit. Stores like Lane Bryant and Catherine's typically have brick-and-mortar stores where you can try on clothing to make sure that the garments you pick fit you to perfection.
Be True to Yourself
Learning how to dress to look slimmer is a broad topic, and there are many great books that have been written on this subject. Some major areas have been covered in this article, but you may want to do more research on your own. The public library is a great place to start, and here are some suggested titles to get you started:
- How to Never Look Fat Again: Over 1000 Ways to Dress Thinner - Without Dieting!, Charla Krupp
- What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life: Ageless Secrets of Style, Kim Johnson Gross
- Does This Make Me Look Fat?: The Definitive Rules for Dressing Thin for Every Height, Size, and Shape, Leah Feldon
Style is more a matter of your mindset than a size, label, or trend. Celebrate your uniqueness and choose styles you really love. Feel free to play with a variety of different looks until you find the one (or ones) that make you feel as great as you look.
Ditch the idea that dressing in black or monochromatic color schemes is the only way to look slimmer. Try some of the looks pictured here or create your own using the tips and techniques.
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References and Source Material
"6 Secrets to Dressing Slim," Goodhousekeeping (online)
Author's own experience as a Certified Image Consultant and clothier