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24 Slides

By By Nicole Boucher

December 22, 2008

The next best thing to workouts and eating right? These figure-flattering style tips. Prepare for compliments!

  • Lose five pounds by matching your pants or skirt stockings and shoes. You'll seem 10 pounds lighter if they're all black...

    Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Match your separates.

    "Lose" five pounds by matching your pants or skirt, stockings and shoes. You'll seem 10 pounds lighter if they're all black! Is the one-color thing too tame for your taste? Slip on a pair of bright shoes to shake things up.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Remember the number one secret of slim dressing: proportion.

    Full, round shapes on top and bottom will make you look…full and round. So always accentuate your smallest part by pairing your more generously cut pieces with a snugger mate. Balance a wide leg pants with a fitted shirt, a miniskirt with a longer top, etc.

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    Sport the right jacket.

    Jackets that are hip-length with tailored lines will look sleek; ones that are too baggy or that pull are figure-flattery disasters. Tapered jackets will always whittle your waist.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Choose shapely skirts.

    The tailored cut of a pencil skirt (we love that it's not skintight through the hips) makes all bodies look sleek.

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    Slip on a long cardigan.

    Waist-length cardigans tend to shorten your body while long, hip-grazing versions make torsos seem long.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Dress up jeans with heels (and tuck in your shirt).

    Ever wonder why you see this look again and again on celebs, in ads, in magazines? Because, done right, it makes every woman look longer and leaner. Most flattering: straight-leg or boot-cut jeans that sit on your hips (as opposed to at your waist or below your hipbone) and cover your instep when you're in heels.

  • Photo: Kevin Sturman


    Use the right belt.

    Try one with a little nylon stretch that comfortably pulls you in. Wider belts instead of skinny ones will actually make you look smaller.

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    Look for these flattering pants features:

    Flat-front styles. They're instant minimizers if you're curvy. Unlike pleats, a flat front creates an unbroken line across your stomach—making you look taller and slimmer. A waistband between one and two inches wide. Narrower ones can divide (and draw attention to) a tummy bulge. A slight flare. These have long been a top seller for a reason: They make hips look slimmer. A smidge of stretch. It helps pants hold on to the clean, sharp fit you bought them for.

  • Photo: Kevin Sturman


    Get yourself a V-neck dress that's cinched at the waist.

    The one dress everyone looks great in, it is usually constructed with darts at the bust, has curve-enhancing seams and cinches in at or just above the waist—all sveltering features.

  • Photo: Todd Selby


    Pick your prints wisely.

    Prints aren't as slimming as solid colors, but you can make them work for you by playing up their camouflaging features. If you're bigger on the bottom, try pairing a printed A-line dress with a pair of black tights. The golden rule of prints: The smaller the print, the smaller you look.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Wear red!

    We've said it before, but we'll say it again (and again!): Wearing something in a bold scarlet hue is a definite DO. The saturated color soaks up the light in all the right ways, and it also gives an I'm-too-sexy-for-my-pants confidence boost!

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Take notice of where your top meets your pants.

    Anything that cuts you off at the waist adds pounds. You'll look slimmer if your top and bottom meet just below the waist.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Try a wide-collar coat.

    It's hard not to feel like an abominable snowman in the colder seasons when you have to get all bundled up. But a wide-collar coat—or a chunky look-at-me scarf worn over your normal jacket—has a way of streamlining everything from the chest down.

  • Photo: Daniel Hallman


    Try the scarf and straight-leg jeans combo.

    Like peanut butter and jelly, Bert and Ernie, Saturday mornings and Golden Girls reruns, long, pretty scarves and dark, straight-cut jeans are better when combined. The always flattering, forever-in-style straight-leg jeans slim hips and thighs, while a patterned scarf like this one draws attention to your gorgeous face.

  • Photo: Todd Selby


    Wear scoop-front heels.

    Sure it sounds silly, but test out different types of shoes in front of the mirror tonight and you'll see what we mean. Booties and ankle-strap shoes have a way of making legs look short, while scoop-front pumps and sandals lengthen.

  • Photo: Todd Selby


    Invest in pumps that match your skin tone.

    Another slimming footwear idea? Skin-tone heels—they're second only to Spanx in the celeb style-secret handbook. Perfect for wearing with knee-length and midthigh skirts, they can add a few more inches to your sexy legs. Be warned—the skin-tone-shoe trick works only with bare legs. Once paired with color tights, the optical illusion is ruined, so save this genius idea for days when you have door-to-door transportation!

  • Photo: Ruy Sanchez-Blanco


    Slip on a long, chunky necklace.

    Not only are these statement necklaces totally trendy, but the elongated U shape will make your torso seem extra long and lean. Make yours stand out even more by wearing over a light-color top.

  • Photo: Ruy Sanchez-Blanco


    Look for interesting necklines.

    Wearing solid colors—especially dark, flirty hues—is figure flattery 101, but those with Ph.D.s in style know that all you need to take a simple LBD or blue dress into "wow" territory is a fancy neckline. A drape-y deep-V cut slims the waist even more, while an embellished collar will keep all eyes on your come-hither smile.

  • Photo: Ruy Sanchez-Blanco


    Wrap up in an embellished belt.

    A pretty belt like this one is a major multitasker: It dresses up your look in seconds, gives you a sexy hourglass shape and will earn you the evening's best-dressed title.

  • 2011 Getty Images


    Choose a thicker, shapelier heel.

    Make heel and belt selections using the same general rule of thumb: Aim for balanced proportions. Those with more voluptuous calves and ankles should opt for a thicker, shapelier heel. Kitten heels, on the other hand, can make your feet look extra long (which is only OK if you're into that sort of thing).

  • 2011 Jean Baptiste Lacroix


    Look for midrise jeans with medium parallel back pockets.

    Except for total gym bunnies, most low-rise-jeans-wearing women will be afflicted at least once in their lives by the dreaded muffin top. To avoid this lumpy fate, look for jeans with slightly higher rises; we like midrise jeans, which end a few inches below your belly button. Don't forget to check your rear view before leaving the fitting room. Jeans with medium-size rear pockets that are parallel to the middle seam are flattering on practically everyone.

  • 2011 Getty Images


    Layer darker colors under lighter ones.

    In the future, people will look back and dub us the generation that perfected the art of layering. Seriously, think about it: How many sweaters, cardigans and sheer shirts do you own? Maximize their slimming potential by putting on your darkest colors first.

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    Choose foundation garments that fit.

    Sure, control-top underwear and body-cinchers are effective slimming tools, but let's talk basics. A well-sized bra will hoist your bosom to where it belongs—your nipple at the halfway point between your elbow and shoulder, in case you were wondering—redefining your waist and helping straighten your posture. Get measured by a pro at a boutique or department store that stocks a wide range of sizes.

  • 2011 Ben Gabbe


    Carry a structured medium-size handbag.

    In terms of dressing slimmer, tailoring is just as important in accessories as it is in clothing. Avoid giant, slouchy shoulder bags (they'll just seem like amorphous sacks on your arm) and tiny novelty handbags that look out of proportion on nearly everyone. For a balanced, streamlined appearance, choose a medium-size structured bag for everyday use.

Topicsnew years 2009new years resolutionsstyle tipsdress your bodyplus sized clothingpetite clothingbustypear-shapeapple-shapebody imagebody shapeoutfit ideasjeanswrap dressesparty dressesdietsfall 2011 fashion week group a

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