Subtitle: Fast fixes for dealing with the extra pounds you may have added over the holidays.
I’ve added a few extra pounds over the holiday season. It happens every year. I don’t worry too much about it anymore because I have decided that just doesn’t make sense. If I’m going to allow myself to have the delicious treats and festive beverages over the holidays, I may as well just enjoy and not feel guilty about it. I know that I’ll get back on track after the season is over.
But . . . while I’m waiting for my recommitment to more reasonable eating habits and a fitness routine to help melt away those holiday pounds, I have a few tricks that I can share with you (just in case you are also dealing with the evidence of a few holiday cookies and eggnog).
By focusing on drawing attention to our assets and away from those areas that we’re not loving right now, we can create the illusion of our pre-holiday figures.
One: The Foundation
Start with what’s underneath your clothes. The foundation is what creates a good or not so good silhouette.
- Bra – Make sure your bra fits! The cups should hold in all of your breast (no spillage) and the straps should not cut. Remember that when you change the band size, the cup size may also change, e.g., if a 38C is too big around and you go down to a 36, you may need a D cup size. It’s worth having a fitting to be sure you have the perfect fit. Also, make sure the girls are held up and not resting too low – it’s one of the most aging silhouettes to have your chest resting too low.
- Undies – No one wants to see panty lines. Do you really want the focus to be on your underwear? Plus, panty lines ruin the line of your clothing. There are lots of brands out now that focus on “no VPL” (visible panty lines). Two that I’ve tried and like are Soma Intimates Vanishing Edge and Uniqlo Seamless Shorts (they’re not really shorts).
- Shapers – There are times that we want to smooth things a bit and there’s no shame in that. Hey, celebrities do it; why not us regular people?! You can find shapers for every part, from neck to knees. They are available in a variety of price ranges pretty much wherever intimates are sold. It’s like magic, so don’t ignore the option to use a shaper, especially for special occasions.
Two: Go Monochromatic
- Dressing in one color creates a long and lean look. Be careful about the color you choose, though, to avoid calling too much attention. It is probably wise to stick with neutral shades with this approach to slim dressing. Another way to incorporate a long line, columnar look is to wear a single shade on top and bottom and then add a long cardigan in a complementary, but different, color over the outfit.
Three: Whittle Your Waist . . . and Other Places
- Belt It – Adding a belt to your outfit will define your waist. Even if you don’t have a defined waist. Add a skinny belt to a monochromatic look – it doesn’t have to be tight; you can wear it slightly loose and resting a little at the top of your hips. Even wearing a wider belt under a jacket or cardigan can give definition to your waistline when the jacket or cardigan is worn open with the belt visible.
- High Waist Jeans – Waists on pants have gone up and down over the years. It seems like they are now on the “up” rise, and that’s a good thing. Look for jeans and pants that have a high rise that doesn’t cut in, creating the dreaded muffin top look. It’s actually quite slimming.
- Wrap or Shirred Tops and Dresses – This style is like a miracle for the midsection. It’s like magically losing a few pounds. I need to add more of this style to my regular wardrobe.
- Draw Attention Up – Use embellished tops or eye catching necklaces and/or earrings to draw they eye up and the focus on your face. This is simple and really works when you prefer not to call attention to your waist, abdomen, hips, or legs.
- Use color or patterns paired with dark or neutral colors. Be sure to wear the pattern or color where you’d rather draw attention and let the dark or neutral color act as the minimizer.
Three: Make Sure You Are Wearing the Right Size
- It goes without saying that wearing clothes that are too tight usually makes us look heavier than we would want. But the opposite is also true. It’s really tempting to want to hide in loose clothing when we are feeling like we are carrying a little too much weight. But wearing clothes that don’t fit right actually does the opposite of making us look slimmer. We end up actually looking bigger. Try an experiment. Look in the mirror when you are wearing oversized or very loose clothing. Then try an outfit that fits better – a little closer (I’m not talking tight). Maybe try a loose shirt over a pair of jeans or pants. Then try a shirt with a well fitting blazer and pair of pants. What looks better?
Four: Use Accessories – Always Add a Surprise
- Adding accessories to your look is an easy way to be in charge of the focus of your look. Jewelry is an obvious go-to. Eye-catching earrings or a great statement necklace can be the focal point. But other accessories can also play a key role: a beautiful print scarf or bright handbag are attention getters and flattering to your shape when strategically placed. It’s fun to add to an outfit a little surprise in the way of a pop of color, unique necklace or earrings, handbag, even a cool pair of shoes.
Five: Your Mother Was Right: Stand Up Straight!
- I don’t want to sound like your mother, but really, posture accounts for a big percentage of how we look in our clothes. I’m the first to admit that my posture needs improvement. But when I focus on standing straighter, I feel like I am a few pounds lighter and also more confident. Good posture doesn’t mean simply pulling your shoulders back. Try this: Stand tall and pull your shoulder blades together and slightly down. Take a look in the mirror. Do you look different?
These quick fixes can really help us feel good in our clothes when we aren’t feeling our most svelte – after the holidays or any time.