One of the best things about fashion is that it covers a multitude of problems. No matter her trouble spots, any woman can find fashions that flatter and play up her best attributes while downplaying her worse ones. The only trick lies in finding the right details – the right embellishments, fabrics, and shapes – to help you look your best.
One great, slimming feature to look for is ruching. These tiny gathers catch the eye and create movement, shadow, and texture that help disguise stomach bulges and love handles. Even better, ruching often plays up a small bustline (since all sizes of women battle this problem) by whittling the waist. The result? A more Coke-bottle-shaped silhouette, and more va-va added to your already-existing voom.
And speaking of shapes, ruching isn’t the only way to use contrast to your advantage. Varying tightness or clinginess in your garments – even within the same piece of clothing – helps keep your look fun and flirty, while controlling the areas where you need support and covering the areas you’d rather disguise. Pair skinny jeans with a loose top or wide-leg pants with a tighter blouse. Instead of an all-over-tight dress that looks constricting and leaves everything exposed, try a dress with a fitted skirt and loose, billowy bodice; this look works well for pear-shaped women with larger hips and legs than upper bodies. If you tend to be busty and larger up top than on bottom, switch it; try a fitted top that helps control the bosom with a flippy, bell-shaped bottom. And if your figure is a bit straight up-and-down? Add a waist by cinching an otherwise loose dress with a clingy middle section.
Empire waistlines are also great for emphasizing the bust, arms, neck, and face while draping problem stomachs and hips with loose, flattering fabric. The empire waistline is higher than most; it sits just below the bust instead of near the hips, and really helps you redefine this tough area easily.
Pair an empire waistline with a wrap style, and you’ve got a look that’s easy to take from work to play, day to evening. Wrap dresses and tops not only naturally have deep V-necks that draws the eyes to all the right curves, but they also fit as loosely or tightly as you want and balance themselves off-center. The off-center closure of a wrap style creates a smoother, flatter look down the front of your body while accenting the waist.
And finally, once you’ve got the dress, skirt, blouse, or pants together, you’ve got to finish it off with the right shoes. We all know heels help lengthen the legs and push out muscles that normally would look slack. But not all heels are created equal; thigh- and calf-high boots don’t do much to flatter bigger legs. In fact, they actually enlarge them! Instead, try revealing shoes like low-cut booties that start just below the ankle, or heels with ankle or crisscrossed straps. The more of your feet and gams you show, the slimmer they’ll look!
So now, whether you’re working on building a new body this New Year or simply looking to help your old one look better, you’ve got the tools to make it happen. What next? Why, the fun part, of course: shopping!
Take care of yourselves,