Dress for Success

Each of us has a favorite body part – or we should. Do you have an area you think is worth accentuating? If you do, good for you. As you get closer to your fitness/health/weight loss goals, you will likely want to show off more of your body, highlighting your best features:

  • Thin wrists? Wear some bracelets or bangles to show them off.
  • Great legs? Wear skirts to highlight those gams.
  • High collar bones? Get some scoop-neck tops.
  • Tiny waist? Tuck in that shirt and belt your waist.
  • Muscular arms and shoulders? Wear tanks or cap-sleeved tops to accentuate them.
    You can use colors to your advantage, too. The single best use of color for a slimming effect is dressing from top to toe in one dark hue, such as navy, brown or black. Did you ever wonder why school buses are yellow? It’s because that color is so eye-catching. Dress up any body part you want to accentuate with brights like yellow, orange or hot pink while wearing dark colors on areas you want to draw the eye from; dark colors recede.

    Do you have a nice, long neckline, but are your hips are wider than you’d like them to be? Pair a canary V-neck tee with dark blue jeans.

    Proud of your shapely shoulders and lean legs but think you’re top heavy? Wear a high-necked black sleeveless shirt to show off your shoulders – while minimizing your chest – with a fuchsia skirt to accentuate your gorgeous legs.

    Other tips for dressing slim:
    • Opt for small patterns instead of larger ones and avoid wearing prints or patterns on top and bottom – that visually adds 10 pounds!
    • Get rid of anything you own that’s pleated – or at least relegate these clothes to gardening/painting/fishing pants. We women – most of us – have the typical hourglass figure with hips larger than our waists. When wearing pleated pants to fit our waists, the pleats splay out over our hips, creating extra space and making our lower abdomens appear larger than they actually are.
    • If you wear a jacket, make sure it’s fitted. A boxy jacket makes for a bulky you.
    • An “oldie but goodie” slimming rule is dressing in vertical stripes. Thin, vertical lines on jackets, shirts, pants, dresses and skirts creates the illusion of a longer, leaner you.
    • Beware the blue jeans. Wearing them high, accentuating your tiny waist, may be less than flattering from behind because the higher your wear them, the bigger your butt looks. Try to find a pair that sits relatively low on the waist – they don’t have to be indecently low – but the waistband should not be too far above the bellybutton. And skip the peg or tapered leg look. Instead go with a straight leg or boot cut, which will elongate the legs and keep your hips in proportion.
    Take advantage of what you were given naturally and what you’ve worked so hard for. Dress to play it up. When you see your reflection, it’ll make you smile.
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Member Comments

Very informative! Thank you! Report
Interesting! Report
Good article Report
Do you know how HARD it is to find dresses? Almost impossible, especially in the winter! Report
I'm ruler shaped and wish I was more bottom heavy so I suppose wearing light colors on the bottom and dark on the top will give me a more pear like shape. =D Report
I have a high waist, therefore the only jeans that fit me well are high waisted. So I guess that means my butt looks big, huh? Haha! Report
Apparently, the only accent colors that draw attention to good features are yellow, orange, or hot pink. Not too helpful for those of us who don't look good in those colors. :-P

Not a very helpful article in general, sadly... Report
It really bugs me that this article generalizes that all women are the same shepe - ie smaller waist and bigger hips and bottom. I've got news for the author - some women are built like me, meaning that our hip/bottom to waist ratio is much closer. My waist is only a couple of inches different from my hips whether I am at ideal weight or heavy. This is even after having two kids. In the past I used to wear men's Levis, as women's got too big in the hips and thighs by the time I got the waist to fit. Please don't promise advice for all body types if you are going to leave several out. Not very helpful. Report
The vertical stripe theory. Whenever I see women wear vertical strips I think she is trying to look thin so she must be big! Crazy I know. Report
Ladies, make sure you wear a properly fitting bra. Weight loss WILL effect your size, and choosing the right bra will make your torso more proportioned. Also, choosing the right band measurement will help prevent a busty muffin-top.

And Men. My only real thing about menswear is:

Sagging was never cool. No, not even in the 90s. It wasn't cool. Pull up your pants. Report
ha ha - have to find that body part that I REALLY like I guess.

As for the males

no pleats please EVER unless you are a schoolgirl wearing a private school uniform or a lampshade!

That is male or female!

They gap - they bunch - they make your middle look chunky....yuck!

The only ones who could pull it off on a pair of trousers was Katheryn Hepburn or Cary Grant!

I work in a clothing store. I try really hard to help people find clothes that look great on them no matter what size they currently are. I find that the two biggest factors are:

1. Fit. Buy clothes that fit you now. Don't buy clothes that are too tight hoping you'll lose the weight. Yes, you will lose the weight but you can always have the item altered later. Clothes that are too tight as well as clothes that are too loose add pounds.

2. Color. Wear clothes in colors that look good with your skin coloring. Some people look fabulous in green, others look washed out. Ask your friends which colors make you glow. Black or gray allover can have a slimming look but if those colors are not the most complimentary then thing about added a scarf in your favorite color (or shirt or tie for the men) to brighten it up.

But by all means dress nicely, like you care about yourself, at any weight. I've seen women come into the store in sloppy sweats complaining about their weight whether its an extra 10 pounds or 100 pounds. I've seen other women at the same weight trying on clothing that flatters them and they look fabulous. Report
Black makes me look slimmer Report
Pleated pants?!?!? LOL . Yeah I admit I was a bit miffed I though the frst time I read it it was gonna mention some ideas for the guys. No such luck. Report
as for the men, don't wear pleated pants, just like the article said! And careful with those prints... All we have to do is take note of what applies to us. ;) Report


About The Author

Elizabeth Evans Fryer
Elizabeth Evans Fryer
Elizabeth is a freelance writer specializing in fitness topics. Through her writing, she hopes to move others to be as excited as she is about staying healthy.