Look Slimmer: Beyond Basic Black

By Yolanda Early

You want to look slimmer. So, you wear black. And that’s fine because it works. Black is chic, sophisticated and sexy. However, wearing too much black too often can make you appear hostile, depressed or worse…boring. Don’t become a one-trick pony. You can look slimmer without an addiction to black. Here’s how.

Love the skin you’re in. There’s no way to make a size 20 body look like a size 2 body. Looking slimmer is not about looking skinny. It’s about making peace with the body you have, celebrating it and showing it in its best light.

Wear proper foundation garments. This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many women miss this. A properly fitted bra can make you look ten pounds lighter. Good panties create smooth, barely visible lines while ill-fitting ones create lumps and bumps. If you wear body shapers of any kind, make sure they fit well too.

Focus on silhouette. Highlight the features you want to show off and downplay the ones that you don’t. It is the difference between looking big or curvy, fat or voluptuous, frumpy or sexy. Your clothes should complement your body shape, whatever that may be. Define your waist. Wear wide-leg pants. Buy items with details like darting and ruching.

Show some neck. The deep V-neckline makes the body appear longer and leaner. If you prefer more coverage, then pair a deep v-neck with a lightweight camisole. You could also invest in a cami bra. Go monochromatic. Plus size women can get the same slimming benefits they’d get from wearing black by choosing pieces in the same color family. Mix and match shades of the same color. It works with neutrals too. For an added bonus, wear the darker shades on larger parts and lighter shades on smaller ones to create balance.

Choose prints that flatter. To look slimmer, plus size women should wear prints that slenderize. Go for florals and geometrics that are medium to large in size. Smaller prints will make you appear larger. Horizontal and chevron stripes are good choices. Pick patterns with dark backgrounds whenever possible. Eliminate excess. When you have a full-figure, you have to find clothes that don’t add padding to your frame. Layer with lightweight fabrics. Choose clothes with simple construction. You don’t need pleats, drawstrings, or elastic waistbands. Go for items with details that work for you, not against you.

(Note: Elastic waistbands are great for active or maternity wear. However, too often in women’s plus size clothing, elastic waistbands are the mark of frumpy, old-fashioned clothes. If clothes without elastic waistbands are available in your size, they are likely your best choices. Comfort is not the only guide for choosing what to wear.) Get a lift. Heels make you look taller. They make legs look stronger and butts look higher. The heels don’t have to be super high either. Even a one-inch boost will help you look slimmer.