Know Your Size
Squeezing into a smaller size will never flatter your body. Minimize bumps and bulges by buying clothes that fall perfectly. If you're between sizes on a gorgeous piece, buy the looser one and have it tailored. This also goes for bras and undergarments. A woman's bra size can fluctuate from year to year with changes in weight, muscle tone, pregnancy, and age, according to Bare Necessities. A well fitting bra won't ride up in the back, look wrinkled in the cups, have straps that slip, or an underwire that digs. For a complete guide to sizing, see here.
Invest in Shapewear
Embrace a slimmer silhouette with properly fitting shapewear like Spanx. “You don’t have to wear something that will totally change your shape,” Milena Joy, an image consultant, told WebMD. Joy advises targeting trouble spots like the butt, thighs, and stomach. She also warns against sizing down in shapewear—doing so can cause bulges and dangerously compress your body's organs.
Watch Your Hemline
Jeans and trousers should hit at the ankle or an inch below. Dark colors with a slightly tapered leg and no pleating are the most flattering. Choose pencil skirts that hit mid-thigh, right above the knee, or right below the knee. Any shorter can make your legs look heavier (unless you're petite), and any longer can make them appear stubby. Stay away from capris, long or baggy shorts, and shapeless calf-length skirts, advises StyleCaster.
Try a High Rise
Experiment with high-waisted, slim-fitting jeans in dark denim or black. The higher waist will make your legs appear longer, especially when paired with a tucked in blouse or tee, or even a slightly cropped top. To keep the look modern, only buy pairs with a zipper fly (not an elastic waistband) that hit just above your belly button.
Don't Forget to Accessorize
Skin-toned and pointy toed shoes with no ankle straps elongate the line of your leg. For added oomph, try a pump with a low-cut vamp (meaning that the portion of the shoe that sits across your toes should run as close to your toes as possible). For jewelry, look for pieces with length. Long necklaces and drop earrings will add to your outfit's vertical effect.
Work a Monochrome Look
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
All black is always chic, but other dark colors are equally slimming. Give deep greens, reds, and blues a try: The monochrome look will create a long vertical line, making your body seem tall and lean. StyleCaster advises keeping the outfit crisp and tailored, and staying away from the lighter end of the color spectrum.
Find Your Flare
A-line dresses or skirts add the perfect amount of volume to your lower body while also accentuating your waist. The ideal hemline for anything A-line is just above the knee.
For loose-fitting blouses, cardigans, and tunics, add a skinny belt. Stay away from anything too thick; a chunky belt will cut your body in half, which will make you look shorter.
Keep Your Bag Proportionate
Oversized totes aren't flattering on most bodies. For a big night out, try to pack your essentials down to a mid-sized bag or clutch.
Tailor the Perfect Sleeve
Three-quarter length sleeves are considered the most universally flattering sleeve length, according to WhoWhatWear. For long sleeves, tailor them to hit the wrist.