How to Dress to Look Thinner

According to Stacy London, cohost of TLC's What Not to Wear, it's easy to look 10 or 15 pounds lighter by following this timeless "clothes diet."


Also in Reader's Digest Magazine April 2009
from Reader's Digest | April 2009
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    Lay off the loose to look thinner.

    "The biggest misconception is that looser clothes make you look smaller," says London. "Instead, dress in a way that's tailored but not tight." In fact, a good tailor can be your best ally, making a $30 dress look like it cost $200. "Cut is even more important than dark colors when it comes to having a slimming effect," she adds.

    Build a firm foundation.

    "Well-fitting undergarments always make you look thinner," says London. So get over your reservations about control-top panty hose and other slimmers. Sassybax markets a variety of these products, including bras that eliminate the dreaded back-fat bulge. Guys can also benefit from this logic by wearing compression tops from manufacturers such as Under Armour beneath dress shirts. ("Just make sure they're comfortable and don't rupture any internal organs," notes London.)

    Bisect with a belt.

    It may sound illogical, but if you have a tummy or a beer belly, your best tactic is to have a belt cut across it. Not higher (looks old), not lower (looks sloppy), but smack through the middle. "It creates a shorter torso and a longer leg line," explains London, "which makes you look taller and leaner." The same logic applies to shirts. Instead of letting them hang around your thighs, keep them at the top of your hips (or higher) to preserve a slimming leg line.

    Accessorize to your assets.

    If you're not happy with your bottom half, don't wear bold bracelets that call attention to it when your arms are down. Instead, wear a bold necklace or earrings that draw the focus upward.

    Consider a car coat for a thinner statement.

    It's a great way for women to disguise a tummy or hips. "Choose one that hits above the knee and is tailored at the shoulder," says London. "Then wear it open in order to create a strong vertical column from top to bottom. The coat will cut off your wider parts and give you a nice slimming silhouette."

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