We all have that one dress that makes us feel sexy. And we all have those pair of shoes that makes us want to strut down the street. At its core, the right piece of shapewear works as a means to help distribute bulges while smoothing you out and holding you in. Same goes for trousers: Choose dark colors black and navy are your best bet without any upper pleating.
With blazers and jackets, always make sure the seams sit perfectly at the bony tops of your shoulders, and that the sleeves hit exactly at your wrist. So, a low vamp cuts across the base of the toes, while high vamp can come up the foot and possibly up to the ankle. Speaking of shoes, a heel—think two-and-a-half inches and above—lifts the body and makes clothes fall better, which gives a slimmer appearance. Look for pumps with slightly pointed toes and thin heels. Wear All Black Using one color to enhance a slender illusion is the oldest trick in the book—and for good reason: It helps create a long, vertical line.
While wearing head-to-toe black is the most effective—and eternally chicest—option, other darker hues work well, too, such as navy, oxblood, and green. The trick to monochrome dressing: Keep each silhouette crisp and tailored, and stay away from pale shades like beige. In fact, a well-cut maxi skirt can actually give you the appearance of looking longer and leaner. Choose solid versions that skim the length of your body, which will create a long, vertical line forego anything with pleats, bulky pockets, thick elastic waistbands, or too many layers.
Be sure to keep your top fitted—a tucked-in T-shirt and a cropped leather jacket or a well-cut blouse in a dark color, for example—so as to not drown in fabric. The most slenderizing item to choose are slightly high-rise, slim-fitting jeans that hit your ankle with a bit of added spandex for stretch and movement. Be sure to make the elevated waist visible by tucking in a tailored blouse, tee, or opting for a slightly cropped top.
Rock Out with Vertical Stripes The second oldest trick in the book: Vertical stripes create long lines, thus making you look, well, longer. Cinch with Skinny Belts To look slimmer, cinch dresses and tunics with skinny belts—they help define your natural waist in the most flattering way possible.
A thick belt, however, can cut you in half, which can cause you to look stumpy. Not thrilled with your legs but love your upper body? Buy a New Bra Did you know that over 80 percent of women wear bras that are the wrong size? Fake a Tan A subtle glow makes a world of difference when it comes to looking slimmer.
A light spray tan can make your legs, arms, shoulders, and neck look more tone, as can a light dusting of bronzer on your cheeks, forehead, and sides of your nose. A version of this article was originally published in September