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How to Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier

Four Parts:Building a Good Foundation With UndergarmentsPutting Together Flattering OutfitsAccessorizing With ShoesStyling With Additional Slimming Techniques

Plenty of people feel self-conscious about their weight, and many may even feel insecure about how heavy they think they look. However, with a few simple fashion tricks, you can help yourself look a little slimmer.

Part 1
Building a Good Foundation With Undergarments

  1. Image titled Choose the Right Bra Step 20
    Wear undergarments that fit. This is especially important when selecting a bra.[1] A good fitting bra helps to shape your silhouette and you’re your chest contained. Wearing the wrong size bra can create cutting lines that dig into your skin and cause your bust to spill out from the top. Consider getting your bra size professionally measured at the women’s section of a department store.
    • Wearing underwear that is too small can create bulges and panty lines that can be seen through pants and other garments.[2] Consider purchasing seamless underwear in your correct size.
  2. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 2
    Avoid undergarments that offer no support. While thin bikini bottoms and thongs prevent panty lines, they cover the bare minimum and offer no lift or support. Try boy shorts, briefs, and other styles that help pull in your buttocks, stomach, and thighs.[3] These cuts can help create a tighter, smoother appearance.
  3. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 3
    Try body-slimming undergarments. If you want extra help creating a shapely figure and keeping your excess weight in check, try a body shaping undergarments.[4] These undergarments can slip over your stomach, thighs, chest, arms, and rear and help prevent these areas from jiggling around too much.
    • You may find this option a little excessive for daily wear, but it is especially helpful for special occasions.
  4. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 4
    Consider wearing nylon stockings with a “control top.” Control-top hosiery works extremely well to keep your midsection flat, especially when wearing dresses and skirts. Control top hosiery has a tall, thick layer at the top hem designed to stretch over your stomach and keep everything in place.[5] This creates a smoother look that will make your dress or skirt look more flattering.

Part 2
Putting Together Flattering Outfits

  1. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 12
    Buy the right size clothes. Clothes that are too small and tight will show every area of excess your body has. On the other hand, clothes that are too big and baggy will make you look wider and heavier than you actually are. Only clothes that fit you properly will flatter you. That means trying clothes on at the store.[6] Just because a size tag claims a shirt is a certain size, doesn’t mean that that shirt is going to fit you the same as other shirts you have in that same size.
    • If having your clothes fit you properly means getting you garments tailored, so be it.[7]
  2. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 8
    Opt for fitted clothing styles rather than clingy or baggy styles. Going further than just wearing clothes that actually fit you, wear clothing styles that flatter your body most. That means avoiding overly tight and clingy clothes.[8] Tight material will hug to your body and show every fold you have. When you’re trying to look slimmer, you should aim to draw attention away from excess skin, not display it.
    • The same can be said for the opposite: Clothes that are too loose make you look frumpy and bigger than you actually are – which is unflattering. However, look for clothing that drapes over your frame rather than hanging off of it.[9] You want your clothing to be fitted yet comfortably loose enough to follow along your body's contours without smothering them.[10]
  3. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 9
    Introduce a little black into your wardrobe. Black has a slimming effect on you and can look especially nice with trousers, skirts, and dresses.[11] All black looks can be flattering, but there is a fine line between looking chic and looking gloomy. If you decide to wear an all black look, incorporate a pop of color somewhere (blouse, shoes, lip color, purse, belt, etc.).
  4. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 10
    Add some dark wash denim and other rich colors to your style. Usually, dark colors have a slimming effect similar to the effect created by wearing black.[12] A good way to bring color and interest into your wardrobe is by including a variety of rich colors, from deep plum to dark olive and navy blue to chocolate brown.
    • Strategically use dark colors to slim out your trouble areas, and bright colors to bring attention to your more flattering areas.[13]
  5. Image titled Wear a White Blazer Step 10
    Consider wearing a blazer. A blazer is an easy way to cover up unflattering arms, but the vertical lines of the lapels create a nice elongation of your figure. An open blazer paired with V-neck shirt and dark jeans is an easy go-to outfit to quickly throw together.[14]
  6. Image titled Dress for the Club Step 8
    Try to incorporate bold colors and patterns. As mentioned earlier, bold colors can accentuate your good areas and dark colors can conceal on your problem areas. Consider adding some bold color and print patterns into your wardrobe to mix things up. Be sure that you choose print patterns that are small – approximately the size of your fist.[15][16]
    • Bold patterns can distract the eye and camouflage your outline, causing the observer to notice the item of clothing instead of your size.
    • Choose patterns in bright or deep colors, since patterns in light colors may actually draw further attention to your imperfections and make you look larger.
  7. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 13
    Try monochromatic color schemes. Large blocks of solid color draw the eye up and down rather than side to side. As a result, the eye takes in more height than width, causing you to appear thinner and taller.[17] Try wearing solid color dresses, top and bottom pieces, or even color blocked dresses.
    • Color blocked dresses can create the same flattering look a dress with one color creates, except color blocked dresses have with different colored panels that can create or accentuate a flattering figure.[18]
  8. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 5
    Wear vertical necklines. Stock up on V-neck shirts, sweaters, cardigans, and other vertical necklines to draw the eye up and down, elongating and narrowing your torso.[19]Avoid horizontal necklines, like crew necks and boat necks, since these may make your shoulders and bust look wider.
  9. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 14
    Opt for vertical details and avoid horizontal details. Think pinstripes, pleats, and vertical zippers, and avoid horizontal stripes or rows of embellishments. Vertical details prompt the eye to look up and down instead of side to side, which helps create the illusion of slenderness.[20]
  10. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 15
    Balance out your legs with flared pants. Skinny jeans and other trousers with a tapered leg draw attention to your hips and upper leg, which can make your top look heavy. Instead, look for straight-leg, boot-cut, and other pant styles with a slight flare.[21] These styles pull the eyes down and away, creating an overall leaner look.
  11. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 16
    Look for A-line, knee-length skirts and dresses. A-line skirts are fitted at the hip and upper thigh, but flare out toward the knee, creating a balanced look juxtaposed to your legs. [22] Knee-length skirts are the most universally flattering, but many mid-calf styles may also work well depending on your height.
  12. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 17
    Hide problem areas. For instance, if you carry excess weight in your stomach, look for peplum tops and dresses that flare out and can be paired with a high waisted a-line skirt. Additionally, wrap shirts and dresses can help cinch your waist and cover up bulky areas.[23] Lean toward clothing that carefully masks your problem areas without adding too much bulk.
  13. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 18
    Avoid placing details over your problem areas. If you carry excess weight in your thighs, look for bottoms with few pockets and no embellishments on the hip.[24] Details draw attention, and any part of your body covered in visual detailing will look more noticeable.
  14. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 19
    Accentuate your positive features. If you have strong legs and are proud of them, highlight them by raising your skirt's hemline a few inches. If you have a well-defined waist, look for nipped, high waisted waistlines and belts that really call attention to it.[25] By drawing attention to the most slender parts of your body, you create the illusion of overall slenderness and confidence.

Part 3
Accessorizing With Shoes

  1. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 20
    Try a high heel or platform. High heels make your leg look long and lean, and a leaner-looking leg helps create a leaner look overall. If you have wide feet, strappy sandals and flats will only accentuate the heft of your foot.[26] Your heels don’t have to be stilettos, but a thinner, two-inch heel or more, can help elongate the look of your legs. Try a pointed toe with a lower vamp (area that cover your toes) and avoid squared toes.[27]
  2. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 22
    Avoid shoes with ankle straps. Ankle straps place a horizontal line at the top of your foot, which cuts off your leg and makes it look shorter.[28] A shorter looking leg reduces the illusion of overall skinniness.
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    Wear shoes that match the color of your legs. Shoes matching your leg’s skin tone will create the illusion of longer legs. Black booties or pumps paired with black solid tights are a go to look for the colder winter months.[29] For the summer months, try skin-toned shoes and pumps and wear them with your bare legs.[30]

Part 4
Styling With Additional Slimming Techniques

  1. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 23
    Use makeup to draw attention to your face. A touch of eye shadow or a popping shade of lipstick keeps the focus on your face and off your body. Be sure to keep your eyebrows nicely arched and shaped and to cover up and under eye circles that could appear to drag your face down.[31]
    • However, you don’t wear too much make-up. Just add a bit of color to one feature at a time—usually either your eyes or your lips—and keep the rest of your make-up looking natural.
  2. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 24
    Style your hair. Ask your stylist about styles that can elongate your neck or face. In general, wide bob cuts may add too much width to your face, but many long, layered styles direct the eye up and down instead of side to side.
    • Considering pulling your hair up and away from your face. You could tease the crown of you head to give some volume, while tying your hair into a smooth ponytail.[32]
  3. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 25
    Accessorize with jewelry. Think bright, sassy, long necklaces.[33] Stick with jewelry and other accessories that create a vertical look, and avoid horizontal accessories like chokers that may make your neck or other features look thicker.
  4. Image titled Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier Step 26
    Try a belt. Even though it creates a horizontal line across your body, a fashionable belt tied around your natural waist may emphasize the narrowness of your waist and create a flattering, slim silhouette. Stick with narrow belts rather than wider belts. This will encourage that your waist looks cinched, rather than bound. [34]
    • For example, consider a thin, leopard printed belt with a black outfit.


  • Work on your posture. Stand up straight, pull your stomach in, and keep your shoulders back. Good posture will keep you looking slim and tall, but slouching will cause you to look stouter and frumpier.
  • Wear darker colors like navy and black to conceal bigger areas. Avoid lighter colors like light blue and beige because they will accentuate your size.
  • Do what you can to feel good about your weight. Manage it with diet and exercise, but avoid unhealthy fad diets or other obsessive behaviors that can lead to eating disorders. A little bit of moderate exercise can help you slim down, relieve stress, and feel confident.
  • Determine Your Body Shape, it will benefit you greatly. There are multiple sites dedicated to helping you shop for your body shape.
  • If you're a pear shape, it may be beneficial for you to wear a flowing top and tight bottoms, giving the illusion of a proportioned body. However, you should always opt to work with colors and designs rather than sizes.
  • Wearing too loose clothing is not always attractive. Try wearing a nice form fitting bottom such as a well fitting pair of jeggings or a pair of jeans in your size, but make sure that the pants you choose come well above your pelvis for a more slimming look. Couple it with a nice horizontally stripped shirt or a top with a fitted bust and a flowing bottom. Both should have either long sleeves or mid-length sleeves on your arm, to cover up any imperfections such as stretch marks. The shirt that you choose should not be too tight in the back if you have a not so flat back, but it should rest on your stomach and form to your natural curves.
  • Wear a belt that is not too tight.
  • Probably a peplum with skinny or boot cut jeans will help to add to your figure.

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