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Want to look 10 pounds thinner in minutes? Click through for 10 simple and slimming style tricks every girl should know.
Harness the Slimming Power of Stripes
Horizontal stripes might be every fashion girl's favorite (we've lost count of the number of Saint James and PLAY Comme des Garçons tops Lucky staffers collectively own)—but if you're looking to slim yourself, they're not your best bet. Instead, go for vertical stripes or even pinstripes, which create an instantly slenderizing optical illusion. Another smart pick? Diagonal chevron stripes.
Belt It Out
You'd be hard-pressed to find an item of clothing that isn't suddenly more slimming when belted at the waist—a woman's naturally thinnest point. Cardigans? Check. Blazers? Check. Coats and dresses? Check and check. For best results, keep a variety of cinchers on hand, from wide versions with bold buckles (great for maxi dresses and circle skirts) to skinnier numbers in bold hues (they'll look great wrapped around your favorite cardi or minidress).
Accentuate Your Assets
A large part of looking great in clothes involves playing up your positives. Love your shoulders? Racerback-cut tops and dresses will look amazing on you. Legs for days? Try a slit-front pencil skirt or short suit. Got great curves? Flaunt them in a wrap-front dress (hello, American Hustle!) or fitted pencil skirt. Then, you can balance things out by using dark colors and added material to mask parts of your body you're less confident about—for instance, by picking a racerback tank with a loose, forgiving cut, making use of the blazer half of that short suit to cover your arms and teaming your wrap dress with opaque black tights that slim your legs.
Heels Help—If You Pick the Right Pair
High heels are incredible for a number of reasons; not only do they inherently improve your posture (which makes anyone look instantly 10 pounds thinner), but there's no better way to flatter and lengthen your legs. A classic pump rarely fails. Try to avoid styles with an ankle strap, though—they can widen ankles and make your legs appear shorter and thicker. And if you happen to be blessed with athletic calves and muscular thighs, steer clear of needle-thin stilettos; sturdier heels and wedges will look more in proportion with your lower half and thus be far more flattering. Also, opt for pumps with a lower vamp (the part of the shoe that covers the front of the foot)—a low-cut vamp is majorly leg-lengthening. Lastly, be sure to keep a good pair of nude heels in your closet—shoes that match your skin tone add serious inches to your legs (and just might make you look like Kate Middleton—double win!).
All Hail the Tailor
Don't have a tailor in your iPhone contacts list? It's time to change that. Small tweaks—hemming pants to the perfect length so they hover just above the ground, taking a dress in an inch or two at the waist, shortening a hemline by just a touch—can make a previously so-so garment look a million times better on you. Don't expect a mass-produced piece to fit you perfectly right off the rack; it's a rare woman who shares the bodily measurements of a fit model or mannequin. And here's another fact: A moderately-priced skirt professionally altered to fit you like a dream will always, always look more expensive than an unaltered designer find that's just a bit off.
Embrace Shapewear
Ever wonder why celebrities (including Kim Kardashian, who's been looking pretty darn amazing lately) constantly joke about their Spanx on the red carpet? Because they all wear them. Supportive, super-stretchy undergarments can erase visible panty lines, smooth problem areas and banish muffin tops and love handles—something women at any size can benefit from. A few rules of thumb: If you're shopping for a dress you plan to wear with shapewear, bring said undergarments with you to make sure they're invisible underneath the look you choose; buy your shapewear in either nude or black (white works under surprisingly little); and buy the correct size (this goes without saying, but try it on before you purchase!). And speaking of undergarments, make sure you're wearing the right size bra while you're at it—many women aren't, and an ill-fitting bra can leave you with weird bulges or lines. No fun.
Get It Fitted
It may seem counterintuitive, but wearing baggy, oversized clothes doesn't make you look any smaller in comparison—just shapeless. Slim-fitting, solid-colored garments that skim your body are loads more flattering. For instance, if you're not so crazy about your arms, don't cover them in billowy, loose sleeves—long but fitted sleeves in a sturdy wool, cotton blend or ponte knit will work way better. Similarly, a belted shift will do far more to minimize your middle than will shrouding it entirely in a boho-style tent dress.
Break Out a Blazer
There are a select few wardrobe items a woman can count on regardless of the season or trend forecast, pieces that are guaranteed to flatter and work for a wide variety of occasions—and a perfectly fitting blazer is at the tip-top of that very short list. Look for one in black, charcoal or navy that hits right at the hip—cropped versions can come off as a bit boxy—and for bonus slimming points, opt for a jacket that nips in at the waist. And this is somewhat obvious, but single-breasted always makes you look thinner than double-breasted.
Join the A-(Line) Team!
For some reason, there are tons of fashion myths floating around about supposedly universally flattering items that actually, well, aren't. Wrap dresses? Perfection on hourglass shapes, not so much on those who are rounder around their middle. Pencil skirts? Amazing on women who are top-heavy or (again) hourglass-shaped, but not always the best choice for pear-shaped women or those looking to slim their legs. I have yet, however, to find someone who doesn't look absolutely amazing in a simple A-line skirt or dress. If you're curvy, these wardrobe workhorses emphasize a small waist. Pear-shaped? They subtly skim over your hips, thighs and backside, creating a beautiful, elegant line. Built straight up and down? That flare will give you the illusion of a more dramatic waist-to-hip ratio. Plus, no matter what your figure, you can't beat the twirl effect.
Go High-Waisted Or Go Home
Muffin top is perhaps the evilest of all sartorial evils—and when you pick a pair of low-rise bottoms, you're basically inviting it over for drinks. The benefits of a high-waisted skirt (pencil or A-line) or pants are twofold: not only does it lend the illusion of longer legs, but it cinches you in where you're naturally the smallest. For an instantly chic and pulled-together look, wear your high-waisted bottom of choice with a tucked-in tank, tee or silk button-up—it'll show off your middle in all the right ways and make you appear extra-lean.