Are your clothes making you look heavier than you are? Believe it or not, it happens all the time. A good personal stylist will tell you that the easiest five pounds you’ll ever lose is by getting the fit of your clothing just right. As we move into the fall/winter season, here are some quick fixes you can try right now — for men, women or both. No diet necessary!
Draw attention to your slimmest body part
This is easier for women, but works for both. Are you a woman with great ankles? Lucky you — ankle pants are in style. Have a slim waist? Belt it. For those with an ample chest, subtract pounds instantly by wearing a V-neck top rather than a high crewneck, or by adding a long necklace or low-tied scarf. Make sure skirt hems fall at the slimmest part of your leg, and (for both men and women) avoid pants with super-wide legs, or pants that “pool” at the bottom — they will add instant pounds.
Keep your accessories in line with your size
A tiny little watch on a great big body just makes the body look larger by comparison. And super-chunky bracelets on a petite wrist can overwhelm your look. Keep your scale in mind when choosing your accessories — that goes for ties, collars and shoes, too — and you will look and feel much trimmer.
Roll up those sleeves
Want to look five pounds lighter instantly? Simply alter those overly long jacket sleeves. For both men and women, jacket sleeves should end just below the wrist bone, or at three-quarter length for a more casual look. They should not be halfway down your hand or dragging on your knuckles. Give this a try: turn up your too-long sleeves right now in front of a mirror and see how much more “together” you look.
Choose the right fabrics
If you are a solidly built man or woman, avoid ultra-thin or wispy fabrics, which will only exaggerate your size. Likewise, don’t add heavy, stiff material to a slight frame, or you’ll look top (or bottom) heavy. Like your accessories, fabrics should be in line with your scale — lighter fabrics/smaller patterns for smaller bodies, medium fabrics for medium sizes and more substantial fabrics for larger frames.
Add some proportion!
Good stylists know that no matter what your size, the right proportions can totally change the look of an outfit. Try to create a pleasing ratio with your clothes, usually by using a one-third to two-thirds ratio. For example, for the most eye-catching, slimming look, women should pair a long jacket with a short skirt, or tuck in a shirt and add a belt to go with a long skirt. Whatever you do, don’t cut yourself in half! Also: Keep horizontal lines away from your widest parts.
Add some stretch
Good news! The miracle of stretch fabrics is now available everywhere — for both women and men. Items with a little added stretch subtract pounds and add ease, movement and comfort to your look. Nothing puts visual pounds on faster than a bulky, stiff pair of jeans or pants.
Choose clothes that echo your body shape
Contrary to what you might think, squeezing your body into a too-small size or hiding under billowy larger shapes will not make you look slimmer. Instead, whatever your size is, celebrate it with clothes that work with — not against — your body shape. Fortunately, as manufacturers are finally beginning to reflect the needs of real consumers, there are more sizes and designs out there than ever before. Experiment!
Alter to fit
Perfectly-fitting garments make everyone look slimmer. Yes, we know that alterations can be expensive, especially if you haven’t paid much for the garment itself. But properly fitting clothes will make you look and feel like a million. Ask around for the best tailors in your area and use them regularly.