Ladies, step away from the chocolates. Step away from the cookies. The quarantine will end, and we will all emerge from it a little, well, juicier than we were before.
Now, I have to admit that it has been a great relief to wear my most comfortable casual and leisure wear. But all good – and bad – things must come to an end.
So, to guide you on the path back to what might be a little more fashionable life in the future, here are some ideas that can help you make that transition.
Start at the Bottom
Ah, how we have enjoyed the great comfort of our sneakers. Well, they are still in fashion. But when you want to dress up a bit, consider shoes that have a lower cut vamp than a higher cut one. Shoes with higher cut vamps make your feet look shorter and pudgier.
The same goes for Mary Janes. Any shoe that has one strap across the ankle, especially one wider strap, will shorten and widen the look of your feet. Some great options right now are simple ballet-type flats, sling-backs in flats and lower heels, flip-flop type sandals, and multiple thinner strapped sandals.
Now, heels elongate the look of your legs and make every outfit look a little, well, sexier. But frankly, I just don’t have any desire to wear them anymore.
Stockings and Leggings
If you’re dressing for something more formal, match your stocking color with the color of your shoes. This will both make your legs look longer and your feet smaller.
If you are wearing leggings with something like a tunic-type top or a skirt, match the color of the leggings to your shoes. You can also wear them in the same color family as the top but of a lighter or darker shade.
And that brings up an important point. Any time you break a line with a new color you are going to attract the eye to that point. So if, for example, your calves are particularly wide, avoid capri leggings that end at the widest point of your calves.
It’s fairly easy to have the waistband on a skirt altered. It’s next to impossible to do that on a nice pair of pants. So, if you need to purchase a new pair, look for one of the straight-leg or wide-leg styles that are very much in style this year.
Those work better when you’re carrying a few extra pounds compared to skinny, cropped, or capri length pants and jeans.
Now, pull-on stretchy pants are a practical option. But quality is crucial. A lot of these types of pants are made from knit ponte fabric that tends to stretch out pretty quickly and look baggy. The last thing you want when you’ve added a few pounds is to look baggy and saggy.
You’d think that synthetics would hold their shape better, but in fact, the opposite is often the case. So, look for a high percentage of cotton or rayon as part of the blend for this type of pant.
As for skirts and dresses, your favorite LBD might still work, since darker colors are less reflective of light. That means new bulges won’t show up as much.
Darker colors, in general, tend to be more slimming. But be sure to look at yourself from all angles, including from the back. This is important if you tend to carry your weight on your backside, hips, or thighs.
Fuller skirts can hide wider hips. Pleated ones will tend to emphasize bulk at your hips and bottom. The currently very popular midi and maxi skirts and dresses are another great option.
And then there is the pocket conundrum. In-seam and angled pockets will “pooch” out when you walk or sit down. Patch, welt, or flap pockets are better for pants, jeans, dresses, and jackets when you’ve added a few pounds.
Add a Top
The shape of a neckline can make a big difference in how slim or pudgy you look. There are some that are just more slimming than others.
Any V-neck top will lengthen the look of your torso. That also goes for surplice tops. They are both slimming and elongating. They also add a little allure because they emphasize your bust line.
But if you wear a simple V-neck top, make sure it ends at least a little further down than the top of your breastbone. Too short a V-neck can make your bust and the upper half of your body look larger than it is.
Shorter sleeves also draw attention to the size of your bust, your upper body, and any arm flab you might feel awkward about showing. Three-quarter sleeves are universally flattering. Just make sure they hit a few inches below your elbow where your arm starts to narrow a bit.
The oversized, bulky menswear type jackets are still very popular right now (frankly, I can’t figure out why). But if you’re carrying a little extra weight, they can make you look heavier than you are.
It takes a lot of boldness in your personal style to carry them off without looking as though you just made a mistake or borrowed ъоур husband’s jacket.
A more traditional blazer, especially one that is slightly longer than your hip line, can elongate your figure. If you tend to gain weight in your middle, look for one that indents at the waist.
If you like the look of a double breasted version, just wear it unbuttoned. Otherwise you can tend to look boxy and heavier.
There are some really cool shorter trench-like coats available this spring. They hit at about mid-thigh and work great with pants and jeans. As an alternative, a duster jacket is a terrific solution for creating a longer and leaner-looking line.
The longer knit sweaters can work too, but only if your body shape, regardless of your weight, is more rectangular than curvy. When you have curves, those sweaters tend to hang up on your bum and hips as you move and walk.
Timeless Tips for Looking Slimmer
There are a few secrets to looking better in your clothes regardless of your weight. For one thing, stand up straight. A lot of us have gotten a little lazy in that department because we’ve either been slumping over our iPads or computers or watching way too much TV or movies.
So, take note if you find that your shoulders are curling forward. If they are, just gently bring your shoulder blades slightly closer together and lift your sternum and chin – also slightly.
And try sitting on a hard surface so you can find those “sit bones” at the base of your bum. It might require wiggling a little bit and moving your pelvis away from your tailbone. That automatically sets your spine in motion to sit taller.
You’ll be amazed what a difference those two little things will make in how you look… and how you feel!
Have you gained a few pounds while locked at home, or have you been exercising regularly? How do you intend to dress differently when you emerge from quarantine? Do you have any pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that will help you look slimmer? Please share the strategy you think will suit you best.