- Avoid bulky clothing and any fabric that adds bulk, such as wool sweaters, velour, and fur.
- Stay away from horizontal stripes. Vertical lines will give you a slimmer look.
- To make your legs appear narrower, wear darker hose or tights. Patterned hosiery is a big no-no.
- Don't wear oversized, shapeless clothing to hide bulges - you will appear larger all around. There are a lot of oversized tops out there right now, but try to stick with a more closely tailored silhouette.
- Wear undergarments that provide good support but don't bind. Tight undergarments can lead to rolls and bulges that could easily be avoided.
- Dress in monochromatic colors without patterns. Darker colors will make you appear smaller - try navy, brown, dark gray or black. If you don't want to limit yourself to just one color, choose colors that are close in hue value.
- Avoid shiny fabrics like velour and satin. Matte fabrics don't reflect light and will make you appear slimmer.
- To hide a protruding tummy, avoid belts and choose tops that flow over your middle and end at the hipbone. Tunic tops are in style at the moment and are an excellent choice.
- If you have a large or short neck, choose V-shaped necklines. They create the illusion of a longer, leaner neck and torso.
- The most slenderizing sleeve length is the 3/4 sleeve. It makes you look slimmer overall. If you aren't wearing a 3/4 sleeve, try pushing your sleeves up to that length - it will give the same illusion.
- Choose a well-fitted jacket. A jacket that is too loose (unconstructed) or too boxy tends to add unwanted pounds.
- Use accessories to add excitement your outfit and draw attention away from your problem areas. Draw the eye upward with a stunning necklace (16"-17" is ideal for this purpose), or wear dangly earrings, or a scarf.
- Wear your clothing a little loose (but not oversized). Tight, constrictive clothes not only feel uncomfortable but also make you look larger.
- Stay far away from pleated pants. Every body shape should avoid them.
- A suit can quickly make you look sleeker - make sure the jacket is fitted (but not tight) and the pants are straight-legged.
- A knee-length, A-line skirt made of a structured fabric minimizes the thighs and shows off shapely calves.
- Distract the eye with details. An interesting neckline draws the eye away from your hips and tummy.
- High value contrast between the top and bottom of an outfit will "cut the body in half" - making it appear shorter and therefore wider.
- Use a shirt like a jacket. Choose a generously cut shirt in a heavy or lined fabric. It's an elegant look over slim pants and glides nicely over problem areas.
- Select a heeled shoe that is cut low on the instep. Stick to a thinner heel. Chunky heels make the whole leg look, well, chunky.
Kristen Kaleal is an image consultant and corporate speaker. She is the style and image expert for ClevelandWomen.com and can be reached at (440) 742-0385 or kristen@ClevelandWomen.com.
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