Alright, ‘fess up: You had seconds (and maybe even thirds) at Christmas dinner and you haven’t been able to keep your hands out of the cookie tin. The holidays have a way of making our willpower disappear, and while we may not be able to undo our transgressions, we can try to camouflage those extra pounds–at least until we start to see results at the gym. Here, our experts share their secrets for looking slimmer, the eco-chic way.
1. Don’t Be a Slouch!
Danica Lo, the author of How Not to Look Fat, a freelance stylist, New York Post columnist, and a regular contributor to US Weekly’s Fashion Police feature, has a simple and sage piece of advice that costs nothing and can make you look 15 pounds lighter. Lo says, “The number one cheapest, easiest and quickest way to look thinner is to stand up straight. Everything lines up, even your fat! Your belly will seem flatter, your back fat will be less noticeable, your boobs will look perkier, and your rounded shoulders will seem more graceful.” We can’t think of a single better reason to hold your head up high.
2. Figure Flattery Will Get You Everywhere
Cate Sheehy, a top stylist and producer for Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, stresses the importance of accepting your curves or lack thereof. She says, “Always dress for your specific body type. Get to know your own silhouette. If you have a tiny waist, show it off! If you have legs for miles, do NOT cover them up!” The key is to accept what you have and make the best of it. Sheehy says there are enough garments on the market to help you fake a good figure (she’s a big fan of Spanx, in particular). “If the “ideal” shape is a well-balanced hourglass (no matter what the size, 2-22), this can be fudged by choosing garments that help create this illusion even when it isn’t there,” she says. Danica Lo also recommends that curvy gals embrace their bosom and bottom by wearing gorgeous necklines and prim, but provocative pencil skirts.
3. Miracle Garments Can Happen
The one piece of clothing that works wonders on all women according to Lo is the universally flattering 3/4-length sleeve, clavicle-exposing, hip-length top. “The neckline draws attention to the center of your body, away from your edges. The 3/4-sleeves don’t add visual bulk to your look, while still camouflaging upper-arm trouble areas. The hip-length covers unruly bellies and makes butts look smaller from the back,” she says. Lo’s biggest secret? When she really wants to suck it all in, she relies on Rago Control Top Underwear, a corseted, boned, control-top undergarment from the 1940s–an eco-choice if ever there was one, given its vintage provenance. But Lo doesn’t recommend vintage underpinnings for everyday because a girl’s got to breathe!
4. A Strategic Cover-up
One of the biggest trends this year is layering and Lo believes it’s the key to looking slimmer. “Winter wardrobes are a fat girl’s friend–trust me, I speak from experience,” she says. Those opaque control-top tights, knee-high boots, and scarves that we’ve come to rely on when temperatures drop can also help camouflage a host of figure flaws. But the trick to making it all work is putting dark colors under lighter colors. “It tricks the eye into believing that the darker bits are actually farther away, a. k. a. smaller,” Lo says. “Remember the idea of a shadow–a silhouette in a lighted doorway–you want the darker in the center, the light on the outside. It frames your figure in the most flattering way.”
5. A Good Fit Is the New Black
What is that one piece of advice you have heard all your life when it comes to dressing thin? Wear dark colors. Our experts agree, but with one caveat. Sheehy elaborates: “Black obviously camouflages, but again, I think that black only works well if it is a proper fit. Anything that is too big, or proportionally off isn’t going to help a body appear thinner.” So remember: While that roomy, black, boyfriend cardigan may be the comfiest thing you grab in the morning, it’s not always the most fetching choice.
6. Denim That Won’t Give You the Blues
If the perfect 3/4-length sleeve top is a miracle worker for your top, what works wonders for your bottom? A comfortable, but oh-so-sexy pair of jeans, of course. Sheehy says, “It is a pain to go out and try on a million pairs of jeans to find the perfect fit, but once you do find it, dressing for most occasions becomes that much easier.” We love the idea of no-brainer party dressing and these skinny-but-not-second-skin jeans from Levi’s eco collection are a good fit (no pun intended). Remember to throw on a pair of heels to elongate the leg and you are ready for virtually any social situation.
7. Change Your Stripes
We’ve all heard that horizontal stripes make you look bigger, but recent experiments by British scientists have found just the opposite. They say it’s actually vertical stripes that give the illusion of a fuller figure whereas horizontal ones make you look thinner. “Of course vertical stripes make curvy women look even curvier, duh! They expand and contract around your curves, which actually emphasizes your trouble spots. My vote is for no stripes at all,” Lo says. Sheehy, on the other hand, loves horizontal stripes, but admits they are not for everyone. She adds, “As with everything, it really depends on the specific item of clothing.”
Sprig.com‘s mission is to inform, inspire and motivate the mainstream smart, socially engaged person into becoming a little more green without sacrificing quality, convenience, style or budget. We point out what’s good about green living–how it benefits your health, looks, finances and of course the planet.