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How to Look Slimmer

By Sylvia BranchSHOP.COM Associated Content Writer

Regardless of the size on the tag, no woman wants to look frumpy or larger than she is. There is an art to choosing clothing that will make you look slimmer. Create a masterpiece with a few well-placed details and items that fool the eye. Consider these guidelines when purchasing your next ensemble.

The Basics

Step 1Bra: Seek professional help when you get fitted for a bra. The right bra will make a huge difference in how you look and feel. It can slim your overall shape and even make you appear younger.
Step 2Buy clothing in the correct size: Don't be fooled into thinking baggy clothes make you look slimmer. Oversize clothing does only one thing -- it makes you look oversized.
Step 3Go long: Long pendant jewelry does wonders for a simple outfit. The V shape it creates elongates your body and draws the eye to the center of your shape.
Step 4Go light: Avoid chunky shoes. Their weight only adds pounds to your appearance. Look for slim wedges, T-straps and kitten heels to look slimmer.
Step 5Purse: Huge purses stuffed with who-knows-what are not slimming. Choose a streamlined bag for a streamlined look.

The Lingo

Opaque: This term refers to hosiery that is not transparent. Black opaque tights paired with black heels are a classic slimming look.
Overalls: Stay away from these. Denim sacks with shoulder straps do nothing for your body except make it look wide and bulky.
Tapered leg pants: Pants that taper in at the bottom creating a peg leg look will not make you look slimmer.
Boot-cut pants: These slacks flare out a little at the bottom hem creating a balanced silhouette.
Body shapers: The right lingerie can slim, tone and lift in all the right places. There are many varieties to choose from; decide what outfit or what body part you want to focus on before purchasing.
Pleated pants: These are to be avoided at all costs. The pleats only add bulk to your midsection.
Patterns: You can use patterns to your advantage to help you appear slimmer. Prints can draw attention away from flaws and highlight the area you want to focus on.
Color blocking: This is the practice of wearing a monotone color from head to toe, or at least from the waist down to create a long, lean line.

The Experts

Cosmos magazine "Wearing horizontal stripes makes you look thinner, according to new research -- contrary to widely held belief that vertical stripes are more flattering to the figure."
Glamour magazine "Another slimming footwear idea? The nude-color heel-it's second only to Spanx in the celeb style secret handbook."

The Brands

Target Always has a wide selection of brands that feature stylish dresses, tops, jeans and jewelry that can be very slimming and inexpensive.
Victoria's Secret Perfect options for attractive shape wear and undergarments.
Hanes Is a leader when it comes to inexpensive, quality underwear and hosiery.
New York & Co. Known for sophisticated and classic clothing.
Banana Republic Offers flattering tops that will draw eyes to your face and away from any problem bits.
Jessica Simpson This line of clothing has some great belted coats that are slimming, as well as nice dresses that are cut just right.
Charles by Charles David Gold Has a nice collection of slimming dress shoes, including a nude high heel that is a perfect choice for spring and summer. Wear nude high heels without nylons for the best effect.

The Price

$: Dressing slimmer doesn't have a price tag. But some inexpensive choices to help you dress slimmer include a long pendant necklace from Target for under $20 or a simple halter top from Bealls Florida.
$$: About $30 to $75 will allow you to purchase a nice blouse or simple dress from Target or Victoria's Secret. Bras, shape wear, jeans, A-line skirts and dress slacks can also be purchased for this amount.
$$$: More expensive items that can slim you include a jacket from the Jessica Simpson line or items from Victoria's Secret.