Are you wearing clothes that are visually adding weight to your frame and not doing anything to boost your confidence? It can seem hopeless trying to play up all the hard work you're doing at the gym, but there are definitely ways you can dress yourself to look long and lean. Here are 10 tips for choosing the right pieces, and for styling them, to look smooth and svelte.
1. Choose the Right Sleeve LengthThe upper arms are a common trouble area for most women, but the right sleeve length can help. Avoid sleeves that stop at the widest part of your arms and colors that too harshly contrast your skin tone. Instead, choose billowy long sleeves, three-quarter-length sleeves, slouchy sweaters or V-neck tops.
Try this three-quarter sleeve peasant top to divert attention from the upper arms: GUESS Women's Three-Quarter Sleeve Embroidered Peasant Top ($29.99)
2. Fight the Muffin TopThe "muffin top" is the layer of fat that gets pushed up by tight pants and skirts to create a rolled effect near the waist. To avoid emphasizing it, steer clear of tight, light-colored tops and low-rise jeans. Pair high-waisted bottoms and a belt with a looser top to avoid the muffin top. If you're still suffering from back fat, use high-waisted shapewear to smooth it out.
Try these high-waisted boot cut jeans to conceal a muffin top and balance out wide hips: 7 For All Mankind Women's High-Waist Boot Cut Jean in Los Angeles Dark ($165.00)
3. Divert the Eyes Away from Large HipsIf you carry extra weight on your hips, try not to draw any attention to your lower half. A denim miniskirts, for example, would distract people with its horizontal lines and ragged edges. Try a pencil skirt or a flowy high-waisted one instead to sculpt an hourglass shape. Add a loose blouse with an embellished neckline on top to lock the focus on your upper half.
Try this cute belted maxi skirt to draw eyes away from the lower half and up to your waistline: Tobey Vintage Women's Pleated Long Chiffon Waist Maxi Boho Beach Skirt Dress ($15.00)
4. Look Slim at the BeachTrying to hide extra weight at the beach can be difficult, especially since many of us gravitate towards teeny-tiny bikinis. Unfortunately, bikinis aren't the best choice to conceal added pounds. Horizontal strips should be avoided as well, as they make you look wider. Look for suits with some sort of shaping benefit in a darker color, and add some accessories and a cover-up for even more benefits.
Try this swimsuit with built-in shapewear: Firm Control Halter One-Piece Swimsuit with Detachable Skirt ($29.99 for 2)
5. Look Elegant at the Evening PartyEvening dresses can be tough- you don't want something that will force you to suck in your stomach all night, and you don't want anything too sparkly or that's made with cheap fabric which will emphasize any lumps and bumps in your silhouette. An awesome evening look is the little black dress- it's classic for a reason, because black is slimming and does a great job at smoothing things out.
Try out this LBD: BCBGeneration Women's Solid Double Later Tank Dress ($88.00)
6. Accentuating NecklinesNecklines that show a bit of skin help you look longer and slimmer. V-necks draw the eye to your face and are universally flattering, but if you have a large chest you may want to wear a camisole under your V-neck or try a scoop neck blouse.
Try this blouse: Joie Women's Vivette Leaf-Print Georgette Blouse ($268.00)
7. Go MonochromeA monochromatic look is all one shade, and makes you appear leaner and taller. Black is an obvious choice, but other dark colors can be equally as flattering, such as navy or plum. Monochrome doesn't have to be boring, though, as you can do things like mixing textures and playing with accessories to add interest to the look.
Get the monochromatic look easily with a trench coat like this one: Anne Klein Women's Double-Breasted Wool/Cashmere Coat ($224.00)
8. Wear Your HeelsIf you're comfortable in heels, they can be a huge asset for elongating and slimming your legs. The ideal color is one near your skin tone, as the shade will trick the eye into making your legs look longer. If you're wearing tights, you can create the same effect by wearing the same color shoes as your tights.
These Madden Girl Pumps come in 16 colors including ultra-flattering and versatile black and nude shades ($14.25-$80.00)
9. Careful With ProportionsWhile flowy clothes are great for camouflaging extra pounds, avoid wearing an outfit that has no shape. If you wear a loose top, add a fitted piece on the bottom- this also works the other way around. If you wear two non-fitted items together or a shapeless dress with no cinching, you're not making yourself look any slimmer.
Try a fit and flare dress like this one from BCBGMAXAZRIA for a one-step way to get the perfect proportions ($298.00)
10. Rely on UndergarmentsIf you're wearing an especially tight dress or you have a bit of a muffin top to hide, you should definitely keep some undergarments in your dresser to fall back on. No matter what you're wearing on top, the right shaping undergarments can do wonders to smooth you out and hold you in. The same goes for bras- a great-fitting one will make your bust line look fantastic.
This SPANX Simplicity Open-Bust Mid-Thigh Bodysuit will smooth you out from your thighs up to the lower back and still give you plenty of options to wear over it ($70.40)