I’ve never understood fashion trends that are unflattering on – everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are four or forty, gauchos will make you look frumpy and overweight. Tube tops are wrong on oh so many levels. And, in spite of their popularity, low-rise jeans are not flattering on women. They fall at the widest point of the midsection creating a muffin top and causing the disappearance of a woman’s natural figure.
Fashion trends come and go, but the quest to have a small waist remains. We are all born with a predetermined body type such as apple or pear. Me, I’m a string bean. My body shape is basically a rectangle. As much as I’ve yearned for a tiny waist, all of my life, the fact is that unless I take tips from Scarlet O’Hara and wear a bone-breaking lace-up corset, I’m never going to have the hourglass figure I admire. However, the appearance of an attractive, feminine silhouette can be achieved with a few style tricks regardless of your weight or body proportions. There is no reason to sacrifice your femininity because of your body type.
I’m a huge fan of structured clothing. In fact, I believe the popularity of loose fitting knit clothing has contributed to our country’s obesity epidemic. Regularly wearing stretch pants, yoga pants, or any pant made with knit fabric, allows us to gain weight without even noticing. These stretchy garments silently grow with us. While these styles are surely comfortable, it is difficult for any woman to look anything but slouchy when wearing them. Structured garments, made with woven fabrics, are unwavering in their ability to alarm us when we gain a pound or two. Structured garments also remind us to hold our tummy in. A ballet teacher constantly emphasized to my class that squeezing “belly button to spine” is one of the best exercises for abs. Structured, woven garments also help keep us aware of our posture. As old-fashioned as it may sound, posture is vitally important for a sleek and smooth appearance. Poor posture causes clothing to hang sloppily on the body. Woven garments also allow you to tuck in your blouse. By doing this, you can actually see the waistline. All in all, it’s best to save your stretchy yoga pants for your yoga class.
Many women think that hiding their waist or hips or whatever body part they feel is undesirable is the best way to conceal an area. However, this can actually bring unwanted attention to that area. Wearing baggy clothes can make you appear larger, square-shaped, or shapeless. As contrary as it may sound, highlighting your waist is often the simplest style trick to define and make your waist appear smaller.
To accomplish this, a belt is your go-to accessory. Belts define your waist by cinching in and bringing attention to the narrowest point of your midsection. With cold weather on its way, we’ll soon be wearing jackets and overcoats. These added layers can appear as extra pounds. A wide belt worn over your coat can cinch in your waist. Belted trench coats have remained stylish for many years because of their slimming attributes. Whether you are wearing an overcoat, sweater coat, dress, or tunic with leggings, accessorizing with belts will bring a slimming panache to your overall look.
Natural or high-waisted jeans, leggings and skirts are finally making a strong return to fashion because high waisted is simply the most flattering way to wear pants and skirts. This style sits at the waist, cinches it in, causing it to look smaller. Best of all, the unattractive muffin top is contained. When wearing high-waisted jeans or pants, it’s very important to wear the correct size. Nowadays, Spandex®) or Lycra® is added to the fabric of most pants and jeans, which resolves the baggy derriere problem of the past.
Dresses with dark side panels have become very popular as this type of colorblock dress flatters most figures. The snug-fitting dress has princess seams with black or navy panels on each side. The center front and back are usually a bright color. The curved, dark sides create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
Retro fit and flare dresses have a slim top and flared skirt. The bodice and skirt are usually seamed at the waist for added definition. Wearing a petticoat or lining under a flared skirt will add volume to the hips and make the waist look smaller. Kate
Middleton’s small waist looked even tinier by adding a bustle and full underskirt under her wedding gown.
Designer Diane Von Furstenberg changed the way women dress with her classic wrap dress. This dress never goes out of fashion because the diagonal line tricks the eye into seeing a smaller waist. Diagonal colorblocking works the same way. Take care that wrap dresses wrap completely around your body to avoid any embarrassing gaps.
You can create an optical illusion with vertical stripes. This can work with the fabric of your garment or by adding scarves or sweaters that lay against your midsection. The vertical lines send the eye up and down rather than around. V-necks flatter a waist more effectively than round or square necklines. You can also draw the eye up with a bold necklace, pretty scarf or bow-blouse.
Showing too much skin is never a good idea. Wearing crop tops will emphasize your waist because wherever skin shows, a focal point is created.
You may not think about shoes when contemplating your waistline, however, wearing nude heels will give you a long lean look and therefore the appearance of a smaller waist. The color of your shoe should closely match your skin tone or hosiery.
Don’t discount the importance of wearing the correct underwear. Undergarments that hit below the waist can also create a muffin top. For a smooth silhouette, your panty line should match the line of your outerwear.
Our feminine shape is something to honor. There is no reason to dress unattractively because of our size or body type. We can embrace our feminine power with confidence and style.
Style Expert, JeanAnn Taylor can be reached at email@example.com