Last updated: May 01, 2008

Face it: Changing your lifestyle takes time. So in the interest of immediate gratification, we asked a group of fashion experts how to look leaner now. These tricks of the trade are, of course, no substitute for good old-fashioned workouts and calorie consciousness. All were doing is giving you a fashionable jump-start—so you look as good as you feel while you wait for those resolutions to start paying off.



Look Leggier
The trick to appearing taller is using the right proportions to create the illusion of a long, unbroken line.

"Let your pants go long. Hemming them up to the ankle makes legs look shorter. The bottoms dont have to sweep the floor, but they should cover everything except the fronts of your shoes.”

“Choose knee-length skirts. Going too short or long can draw attention where you dont want it—to large thighs or calves.”

“Avoid chunky heels. Heavy shoes dont flatter the legs. Thin, shapely heels no higher than 1 1/2 inches are practical yet chic.”

“Simplify your color palette. Wearing pants, a top, and a jacket in different colors breaks up the body too much, says Susan Metzger, president of Jones New York."


Fake A Tummy Tuck
It doesnt take surgery to de-emphasize a bulging belly.

"Buy a pencil skirt. Choose one without a tummy-hugging waistband, and pair it with a shirt or jacket that falls below the stomach for a smooth, linear effect.”

“Consider a wrap dress. The design distracts the eye, and the flowing fabrics drape your torso without being too formfitting.”

“Opt for slacks with stretch. Check fabric labels for 1 to 4 percent Lycra—just enough to ensure a sleek, comfortable fit without binding, Metzger says.”

“Invest in underwear. The new control-top undergarments can slim your silhouette. But make sure they fit properly: If theyre too tight, they can cause bulging. Some of the best smoothers include Hanes Body Enhancers Boy Cut With Tummy Control ($9.95) and Barely There Total Toners Briefs ($16)."

Don't Be So Top-Heavy
If youre not crazy about your curves, here are some ways to tone them down.

"Go with V-neck tops. It creates a vertical line and elongates the look.”

“Embrace a silk blouse. Select one thats tailored (but not too nipped-in at the waist) and has a little stretch built in.”

“Choose long-lapeled jackets. Avoid turtlenecks, collarless jackets, and high-neck tops that just accentuate your chest. Long lapels draw the eye downward.”

“Get smart with accessories. If you feel exposed in a low-cut top, a short, chunky necklace can shift the focus away from your chest. But be careful with scarves; wrapped or draped around the upper body, they can make you look bigger."

Get Less Hip
If youre working with wide hips, the key word to keep in mind is balance.

"Opt for A-line skirts. They flow over hips instead of hugging them tightly."

"Try low riders. Trousers and jeans that sit on the hips can actually make you seem less curvy. High-waisted pants, on the other hand, only exaggerate them.”

“Look for jackets or tops that fall at or just below the hip. Anything shorter will make you look dumpy.”

“Pick pants that flare slightly. The fullness counterbalances wide hips so theyre less obvious.”

“Beware of side pockets. When theyre on the side seams of a pair of pants, they tend to gap and make you look hippy."

Stand Straight
Use these tips to help you look straight and tall until you get rid of the slouch for good.

"Wear tailored jackets. The best styles follow the contours of your body, cutting in at your waist instead of dropping straight to the hips, and have a bit of padding in the shoulders.”

“Try a sleeveless turtleneck. They make your torso seem longer and your spine straighter. Wide necklines can emphasize slouch.”

“Dont overaccessorize. Those that spotlight the shoulders—scarves, shawls, and large necklaces, for instance—can also call attention to poor posture."