Cheat your way to slimness

Is your waistline showing signs of over-indulgence during the festive season? Did too much plum pudding and chocolates pass your lips? If so, you may be seeking ways of disguising this extra weight as your prepare to shed it through embracing a fitness and healthy eating regime.

By incorporating a few fashion tricks into your style routine you can create an illusion of a skinnier tummy, smaller hips, longer legs and generally a more slimline silhouette.

1. Dress in one colour. This tends to make you look slimmer because it encourages people’s eyes to travel up and down without interruption.

2. Wear shoes or boots which match your main outfit - these will give an unbroken line of colour.

3. Wear a size larger than you think you need, clothes which are too tight will make you look heavier than you actually are. You will end up with buttons that gape and bulges everywhere. However, do not make the mistake of buying “too large”.

4. Avoid belts because they will cut your figure in half revealing extra inches you would prefer to hide.

5. Say ‘no” to colours such as white, orange, yellow and red. These will make you look heavy. Opt instead for green, blue and grey - all slimming shades.

6. Improve your posture. By straightening up you will look taller and slimmer instantly. If you tend to slump you are creating extra weight where they may be none. Hold your head up, keep your back straight and your tummy in. Aim to keep the distance between your hips and waist as long as possible, that will help you become much straighter.

7. Avoid clingy fabrics and outfits which are tight waisted or brightly patterned. Heavily textured fabrics and knitted garments are not wise choices either. Tailored trousers and boxy jackets are better options.

8. Wearing earrings or a striking necklace will help distract the eye from a problem area, such as your waist or hipline. Wearing a hat which matches the colour of your coat or jacket will achieve the same effect.

9. If carrying a handbag choose one which hangs around a thin part of your body. Avoid little clutch bags or bags with long straps.

10. If you have short legs and now a post-Christmas tummy to rival a five month-pregnant woman do not wear skirts or dresses with flounces or any feature which will draw attention to your perceived shortcomings.

Avoid wearing anything that ends at your waistline, such as shirts, belts, short jackets, etc. Steer clear of figure hugging clothes and heavy fabrics which tend to emphasise your shape. Opt instead for well made dresses which hang below the knee. Aim for a simple classic style - dark colours are smart options.

Divert attention away from your stomach by wearing tailored jackets (ones which cover your bottom will hide a multitude ) shirts or dresses. Another way to play down any less favourable part is to dress in matching dark coloured separates with matching shoes. This continuous line of colour will give an illusion of slimness and add length to your figure.

Be sure to match the colour of your tights or stockings to your skirt or shoes. Avoid patterned or flesh coloured hosiery. Select sheer black or navy instead.

11. Choose shoes with a heel rather than flats. These will slim you down and add an illusion of length to your legs. Even if you are quite tall already, a little heel will still look good.

12. Accessories play a vital role in creating an overall stylish look. They are an ideal way of adding colour, wit and glitz to an outfit and they offer great scope for individuality. They also can divert attention from figure flaws. The great thing about accessories is that they need not cost a fortune and can be updated regularly which means your wardrobe can be dressed up or down to meet every fashion challenge.

You can use accessories to dramatically change your image. You can go from day to night, from city to country look or from a casual to a glamorous style all with the skilful use of a few well chosen accessories.

Remember, the plainer your outfit the more jewellery you can wear. Gold jewellery suits those with warm tones while silver will suit those with cool ones. A simple gold or silver chain and matching earrings will add class to any ensemble. Pearls look good on any age and can lend sobriety or class to an outfit.

13. If shopping aim for garments with a good cut. These may cost more but will be well worth the investment because they will hang well. Do not buy trousers with a lot of hip detail such as flaps, studs or embroidery on the back pockets. Nipped in waists or high waisted pants or trousers with pleats at the front are unwise also.

Select well designed tailored trousers with simple lines, well cut skirts and neck accessories, such as elegant necklaces or pearls which will divert attention away from trouble areas. Look for garments which create balance.

14. If you are pear shaped keep darker colours for the lower half of your body. Choose simple designs as well. Avoid tight skirts or trousers which accentuate every lump and bump and bold patterns.

15. Short people look better in one colour outfits or ones with very small prints. Definite non-runners include oversized T-shirts, multicoloured garments, large prints, strong bold colours and frills/flounces.

Avoid styles that overwhelm such as fussy necklines, ankle length skirts, shaggy or fluffy coats.

16. A tan will make you look slimmer as well as adding a healthy glow to your cheeks so reach for the fake variety. If you are applying one yourself it is a good idea to test it out first on an area that’s hidden from public view, such as the top of your leg. Do this at least six hours before you want results. Then decide if you want to be more sparing or generous in your applications. Most mistakes are made by blending in instant tans.

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