The holidays are over, but the Ghost of Christmas Past has left a reminder of all the festivities gone by - those extra unwanted pounds! You may not believe in New Year's resolutions, but how many of us pledge to go on a diet every January?
As you pass through the grocery store check-out, the covers of the all the latest woman's magazines boast healthy diets and exercise programs. Let's face it - weight loss is a slow process. It may be healthy, but it can also be frustrating. You want to be thinner and you want it now!
The secret weapon to help you look thinner is right at your fingertips-your wardrobe. Any woman can look 5, 10, or even 15 pounds lighter with a few fashion tricks that fool the eye. Clothing can be used to balance your body and put everything in proportion, which is what dressing slim is all about.
Start by looking past the extra pounds and focusing on your overall body shape. If your top is larger than your bottom, dress to bring the eye downward. If you are bottom heavy, look for clothes that bring the eye upward. Think of great necklines and bright colors near the face, and dark colors on the bottom.
A good trick to look thinner is to wear a garment with a long V-neck. This creates a nice vertical line and a leaner longer look.
The goal is to achieve a visual balance between your top and bottom. When you look in a full length mirror, no one area should jump out.
Wearing clothes that fit will make any woman look thinner. Clothing that is too tight or too baggy will make you look larger. Whether you are a size 2 or a size 22, if you wear the wrong size clothes, you end up looking bigger. Always try on clothing before making a purchase. Different designers have different size charts.
Everyone has a feature on their body that they are most proud of. Find yours and buy clothing that draws attention to it. If you have nice firm legs, wear shorter skirts. Accent a small waist with eye-catching belts.
Choose items that skim over areas that you want to disguise. To give the appearance of a flatter tummy avoid skin tight vests and choose a flattering tunic top. Hide chunky thighs under a floaty skirt. Avoid soft or clingy fabrics like silk.
When choosing a skirt, remember that an A-line cut is the most forgiving style. It accentuates everything above the waist. Skirts that end a little above or below the knee tend to be the most flattering, as are mid-calf styles. A thick waistband on skirts or slacks helps flatten the tummy.
A simple rule to remember - the higher the waist, the larger your backside will look.
Choose pants with a smooth front. No pleats, PLEASE! Pleated pants draw attention to your stomach. Also be sure to pay attention to the rise. Too high a rise creates the illusion of a tummy, too low can lead to the dreaded muffin top.
For a taller slimmer look, the hem of your pants should almost touch the floor, with a slight break in front of the top of the shoe. Pants that end just below the ankle can add 10 pounds to your appearance. To look thinner in jeans go for a dark wash and plain pockets. Straight legs or a slight boot-cut are the best choice for a slimmer over-all look.
No matter what the article of clothing is, choose fabrics wisely. Avoid stiff, hard and heavy fabrics, as well as clingy ones. Shiny fabrics, such as velour or satin, only add unwanted pounds.
Use monochromatic color schemes when putting together an outfit. You can choose one solid dark color like brown, navy or black or vary tones of the same color. Brighter hues such as aqua or coral do not necessarily make you look larger if you try wearing the same color on your entire body. Black is billed as the most slimming color. Be careful not to create a look that is boring. Accessorize with a nice colored belt, jewelry or embellished shoes.
Avoid horizontal stripes. Instead, look for thin vertical and diagonal lines for a fluid look. Bold patterns can blur your outline, tricking the onlooker to focus on the pretty pattern instead of the things you want to hide.
A long leg creates the leanest look. Wear sleek, undecorated high heels with pointed toes. A heel height of a couple of inches will help a woman look thinner. Dark panty hose or tights will make legs appear thinner. Match your shoe color to your leg. Stay away from patterned leggings. Avoid strappy sandals, particularly if your foot is chubby or wide. Look for a chunky heel, which can make you look 5 pounds thinner. Ankle straps and square toe shoes can make you look squatty and your legs appear shorter.
Small handbags should be avoided. Stick with a medium-sized bag in proportion to your body. Be sure to choose jewelry carefully. If you favor chunky jewelry, don't overdo it. Choose one large piece and keep others in proportion to your body size.
One of the most important body slimming tricks is to choose the proper undergarments. If you want to give the illusion of a skinny figure, go for one of the popular supportive styles on the market.
Remember, you don't have to be skinny in order to look good. Stand up straight, pull your stomach in and your shoulders back. Always be yourself and wear clothes that you like.
Here's to you and looking good in 2012!