With dozens of trends constantly coming and going in the world of fashion, it can be hard to determine which looks are the most flattering for your body type. I must admit it’s taken me a few fashion faux pas myself to learn the tricks of the trade. But I’ve found that dressing to flatter my figure is truly a rule of style–no matter how much I love a trend, it has to work on my frame. Today I’ll be sharing 10 of my favorite foolproof styling tips to keep your look on-point and looking lean, no matter what. Without further ado, here is my go-to guide for dressing yourself the flattering way:
- Pick peplums. This lovely trend not only looks adorable in the form of a skirt, top, or dress, it also flatters your figure. A peplum cinches at the waist, so it keeps your upper body looking trimmed while hiding a not-so-flat tummy.
- Instantly slim. Elastic body suits work to kind of “hold everything together.” They’re one of the greatest inventions if you want to create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette in a snap. One of the best brands I’ve found is ResultWear. Personally, I think shapewear should be reserved for special occasions. For example, if you were going to be wearing a skin tight silk dress, throwing on a shaping slip from ResultWear would be wise. When necessary, these undergarments can work miracles, solve fashion crises and give you an instantly svelte shape.
- Choose small, tight prints. Bigger prints make you look bigger. It’s as simple as that. If you’re concerned about this, stay away from oversized patterns. Instead, opt for small, tight prints la Prada’s Fall 2012 collection. Small patterns distract the eye from trouble spots and create an overall proportioning effect for your figure. Plus, this trend happens to be very in for fall, so why not give it a try?
- Go head-to-toe monochromatic. While I do have a soft spot for color blocking, it’s not the best way to lengthen your silhouette. But wearing the same color head-to-toe? Now that’s a tinting trick that works. Going monochromatic creates a longer, leaner figure because it doesn’t chop up your body. Wearing an all-black ensemble is your best bet for looking lean, but since I’m a girl who loves color, head-to-toe anything will do the trick.
- Try a side-paneled dress. Side paneling on clothing tricks the eye into believing that the body is slimmer than it actually is. Dark side paneling virtually “cuts away” the sides of your silhouette, making you appear narrower. Designers like Stella McCartney, Jason Wu, and Cynthia Rowley all showcased side-paneled dresses in their fall 2012 collections. Not only is this look flattering, it’s also in season and can be found at a variety of price points.
- Choose heels that lengthen your legs. If you’re in the market to give your gams some length, stay away from heels with ankle straps. Straps at the ankle create a horizontal line that chops up the leg, making it look shorter than it actually is. Instead, choose heels in nude or flesh-tone shades to create the illusion of longer, leaner legs.
- Get tailored. One style tip I swear by is making sure my clothes fit me perfectly. No one looks good in frumpy fits. If you ask me, ill-fitting clothes can make you look up to 10 pounds heavier. No thank you. Keep your look streamlined and sleek by paying a visit to your tailor. Get your pants hemmed, dresses fitted and tops modified as needed. If your clothes fit properly, you will look and feel your best.
- Wear the right undergarments. We all underestimate the importance of wearing the correct size bra and underwear. In general, undergarments are an often-overlooked category of clothing. If a bra is too tight, it can create bulges around your torso. Same goes for panty lines, ladies. I cannot stress this enough–wear undergarments that are the correct size. This will keep your silhouette smooth and bulge-free.
- Slim with the right sleeves. If your arms aren’t your best assets, don’t choose a top with sleeves that hit where they are widest. (Short sleeves and cap sleeves are often the worst offenders for most women.) Billowy sleeves that cover the upper arm or longer sleeves that hit mid-forearm are the most flattering.
- Say goodbye to muffin tops and pooches. Muffin tops and pooches–neither of these are areas any woman wants to accentuate. To keep your silhouette lump-free, avoid low-rise bottoms. Instead, wear high-waisted fits to flatten the front and cinch your waistline. It’s also important to avoid tight, short, and light-colored tops. These tops will only draw attention to problem areas. Rather, go for dark, printed, or flowy blouses.
While these tips are guidelines to help you achieve a leaner look, the most important thing is to understand your own body shape and wear what works for you. Forget trends (they come and go), what’s important is that you wear what’s best for you.
What’s your biggest getting-dressed dilemma? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer your question in follow up posts.
Photo: Harper Collins, Lauren Conrad Style