We’re not saying that you should forgo your workouts or abandon your healthy diet for a (carefully assembled) wardrobe. But here’s the thing—no matter where you are, weight-wise, you deserve to look your best. With a few simple strategies, you can look slimmer, trimmer and perfectly pulled together. Try these tips from five fashionistas whose business it is to help us look our leanest.
Smooth moves. Start with undergarments that fit just right. “Find seamless underwear that doesn’t ride up and avoid hard-cut bras that creates spillage over top and sides. Instead, choose a lace bra (more flexible support for a fuller bust) with supportive straps,” says Sharon Haver, founder and fashion expert, Focusonstyle.com. Set aside your shyness and have a professional bra fitting—most larger department stores have staffs trained in such matters, or seek out an intimates shop, whose sales associates are likely to be experienced in fitting. (Also consider shape wear.)
Shoe-in. “Nude heels do the trick like nothing else to lengthen your legs. Plus, they go with nearly everything,” says Shauna Mackenzie Heathman, certified image consultant and owner of Mackenzie Image Consulting in Charleston.
Tailor made. Simple rule: Wear clothes that actually fit your body! Avoid baggy and too-tight duds that can make you appear larger than you are. “If something is loose, take it to the tailor and get it to fit your body and skim your curves. It will instantly take pounds off you visually,” says Lauren Schugar, wardrobe stylist at Modern Image in Las Vegas. Yes, tailoring can add to your clothing costs, but fewer well-fitting pieces are better than a closet full of less-than-flattering styles.
Monochrome magic. You don’t have to dress in head-to-toe black—pick any hue you love and go for a solid-color look. “Monochromatic outfits create an elongated silhouette because the eye doesn’t settle on one particular thing,” says Monica Barnett, president of Blueprint for Style in Chicago.
It's a wrap. Look for flattering "wrap” styles in tops, dresses and swimsuits. “It whittles the middle and creates an hourglass shape. Also, a plunging neckline draws eyes up to the face,” says Jen Luciani, style expert regularly appearing on Today, Martha on Sirus, and Style Network, and author of The Bra Book.
Hemming and hawing. Create the illusion of longer legs with a skirt hemline that hits about two inches above the knee. “It is generally the narrowest part of your thigh, also visually slimming the frame,” Luciani says.
Layer well. Wear thin layers that don’t build bulk on you like camis, t-shirts, thin cardigans. “In the summertime, wear a couple lightweight, sheer t-shirts together,” Haver says. Also, when donning a blazer, make sure it doesn’t hit you at your widest point of your body. “The most flattering fit is either above the hip or below the curve of the butt.”
Bag it. Keep your purse in proportion to your body, height and shape. “A big girl with a tiny bag looks ridiculous and the same goes for a little girl with huge bag,” Haver says.
Take mom’s advice. Stand up straight! “Poor posture creates all kinds of negative perceptions. Standing tall will not only instantly slim you, it will make you feel more confident,” Heathman says.