Can you lose 10 pounds in an instant? You bet you can. All it takes is the right clothes that play up your strengths and diminish your trouble spots. Five Health readers show how its done.
Manage your middle
Height: 5' 6"
Job: Financial trader
Fashion challenge: “My stomach isnt as flat as Id like, and Im thicker than I used to be. I dont like trying to conceal my stomach under loose, baggy tops, but its difficult to find beautiful clothing that fits well.”
Expert answers: Wear an attention-grabbing necklace to draw the eye to your face. Find curve-hugging clothing in heavier fabrics like chunky knits and suede. This suede dress follows curves while also camouflaging flaws. Slip on a pair of pointy-toed pumps to lengthen the look of your legs.
DON'T: wear heels with an ankle strap; they cut off your legs at the ankle, making them appear even shorter.
Next Page: Downsize your derriere [ pagebreak ]Downsize your derriere
Height: 5' 5"
Job: Account manager
Fashion challenge: “I have a fairly wide butt and curvy hips, so finding pants that are flattering can be difficult.”
Expert answers: Choose tops with ruffles and other detailing that draw attention away from your lower half. Look for jeans with back pockets that are parallel to the center seam. They take inches from your rear. Stick with boot-cut jeans like Tonis. The slight flare at the bottom balances out your rear.
DON'T: wear light denim, which (like any other light-colored clothing) tends to make everything look bigger; choose a darker wash.
Next Page: Tame your tummy [ pagebreak ]Tame your tummy
Height: 5' 6"
Job: Marketing director
Fashion challenge: “Ive gained a little weight in my belly, so I dont like wearing formfitting outfits. Its tough to find something thats comfortable but still looks good.”
Expert answers: Try dresses and tops with an empire waist, especially if the material is thin. The below-the-bust cut on this flowing floral dress allows the fabric to drape over the stomach without revealing bulges. Stick with smaller prints. Large geometric patterns can make you look bigger. Wear peep-toe shoes to make your legs look longer.
DON'T: wear a belt cinched tight right at your middleit will make you appear thicker and short-waisted.
Next page: Minimize your bust
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Minimize your bust
Height: 5' 3"
Job: Newspaper art director
Fashion challenge: “I tend to wear layers to minimize my size 38DD chestbut that doesnt really seem to help.”
Expert answers: Choose tops that cling to your curves but are made of thicker fabrics (like cotton knits). Clothing that hangs can make you appear shapeless and square. Fight the short-waisted look (a danger for large-chested women) with longer tops and jackets that fall low on the hips and elongate the torso. Try wide-leg pants, which keep your legs in proportion with your upper half.
DON'T: think an outfit has to be all black to be flattering. A combination of rich hues and vertical lines does the trick here.
Next Page: Disguise your thighs [ pagebreak ]Disguise your thighs
Height: 5' 7"
Job: Art director
Fashion challenge: “I have thick thighs, but a rather small waist. When something fits my waist, its too tight in the thighs and draws attention to that area.”
Expert answers: Put lighter, brighter colors on the top and save darker shades for the bottom half of your body to draw the eye up and away from problem areas. Minimize thighs with an A-line skirt like this one, which flares from the waist. Skirts that fall at the narrowest part of the lower body, usually at or above the knee, are the most flattering. Get a long, lean look with tall black boots. A good heel2 to 3 inchescan also help elongate the body. Choose chunky heels for stability and comfort.
DON'T: wear ankle-length skirts. They only look good in drapey, loose fabrics, but those reveal every bulge.