Dress 5 Pounds Slimmer
So maybe you overdid it a bit during the holidays. (So did I.) And maybe you have not yet fully embraced your 2016 diet and fitness regime. (Neither have I.) But armed with a fresh start and New Year’s resolutions, I have no doubts that you’ll soon be back on track. Until then there’s no need to live in regret. After all, you probably enjoyed every precious moment of the holiday season. This includes every sip and bite! You just may wish you could erase the evidence – and do it pronto!
Believe me, I get it. However the key to staying motivated and successfully integrating any New Year’s resolution is to have realistic expectations. Post-holiday season my mom used to say to me “Since you didn’t gain the weight overnight, don’t expect to lose it overnight.” While I never liked it when she said this, I always knew she was right. The truth is we can’t expect to lose 5 lbs. overnight (at least not in a way that is healthy). However we can dress in a manner that makes us look like we did. Interested in knowing how? Read on, my fellow holiday season enthusiasts.
Focus on fit.
Whether you are a size 2 or 22, you should never compromise on fit. Although it’s tempting to hide in a boxy blouse, wearing clothing that is too large will make you appear bigger than you are. On the flip side, wearing clothing that is too tight may highlight any bulges and make you look larger by comparison. Well-fitting clothing that honors your body is the goal.
Color me confident.
You can still wear all of your favorite colors, but think about where you place them. Light, shiny and bright colors visually enlarge the areas in which they appear, while dark, matte, and muted colors will make those same areas look smaller. Ask yourself, “Where do I want to appear smaller (or larger) and choose colors for those areas accordingly.
Adding vertical lines are one of the easiest ways to look taller and thinner. And, no worries – stripes are not the only way to create an elongating, slimming effect. Monochromatic dressing, a column of color inside a jacket, a long scarf or necklace, a line of contrasting buttons or a crease down the front of your pants are some of the ways to create a more vertical effect.
Toe the line.
Be mindful of where you are creating horizontal lines on your body. A color break (i.e., where the bottom of your red blouse hits your black pants) creates a horizontal, so make sure that your tops end at a point where you narrow, as opposed to where you widen. (FYI, when worn un-tucked, tops should be no longer than half the length of your rise so as not to shorten your leg line.) Similarly, be mindful where skirts, capri pants, and horizontal pockets land.
In the short-term you may want to skip your higher crew necks. Instead opt for open collar shirts, “V” and more scoop necklines to visually lengthen your neck and torso. A more open collar not only makes you look longer and leaner overall, it artfully frames the face and keeps the attention up high where you want it.
Claim your space.
It stands to reason that when you stand up straight, you look taller and slimmer. Since all of us probably grew up with someone telling us to stand up straight, I will instead encourage you to ‘claim your space.’ When you think about it that way, you will become more intentional with how you sit, stand and move. Not only will not only sit or stand taller (and look thinner), you’ll also be perceived as having more presence.
Dress from the inside out.
We’ve all heard that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. This is especially true with undergarments. A well-fitting bra elongates the torso and visually removes 5-10 pounds. Similarly, a high-waisted bike short gives the support of 3 products in one to control stomach, hips and thighs. Remember – there’s a reason that they call it shapewear as it actually does ‘smooth’ and ‘reshape.’
Accentuate the positive.
I’m not sure why but most of us have a really nasty habit of focusing on the body parts we’d love to change. Why not shift your attention to your assets and show them off? Be it a defined waist, long neck, ample bust line or slim wrists, make sure your best feature becomes a focal point with the cut of your clothing or an eye-catching accessory. Bonus: by brining attention to your assets, you also divert it away from your challenge areas.
I’ll close for now, as it’s time to head to the gym (smile). Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and stylish 2016!
(For more style tips n’ shopping picks, please visit Carol on FB: /StyleworksofUnionSquare and follow her on Twitter @CarolDavidson. To learn more about her color, wardrobe and shopping services, please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)