12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)

By Brittany Lyte on 14 October 2014 1 comment

Everyone has days when they feel fat, bloated, and otherwise less-than-beautiful. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the numbers on the scale. On other occasions it's the direct result of a recent holiday cookie binge. (See also: 7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter every Shape)

Fortunately, there quite a number of tricks discovered and perfected by the fashion industry to give your body an instant slim-down without all the dieting, sweating, and weigh-ins. Read on for our round-up of the easiest ways to look trim — even when you're feeling anything but.

1. Wear Horizontal Stripes

Contrary to popular belief, it's horizontal stripes — not vertical ones — that make a person appear thinner than they are, according to new research by a British psychologist. For the most slimming look, go for white garments with narrow, black horizontal stripes. As for those vertical stripes you thought had a slimming effect, this piece of research found that verticals actually make you look more bloated.

2. Grow Your Hair Out

Long hair elongates the face and neck, creating the illusion of a longer, leaner body.

3. Get Some Sun

There's nothing like a sunkissed glow to make the body appear more slender. For a safer alternative, opt for a spray tan or a contour tan, which uses shadows and coloring to create faux features like ab muscles and high cheekbones.

4. Wear Body-Hugging Clothing

A major misconception about dressing for a fuller figure is that baggy clothing hides a person's extra weight. On the contrary, loose clothing makes a person look larger, fashion experts say. Rather, it's form-fitting clothing paired with flowy layers like a sweater or scarf that creates a more slimming silhouette.

5. Tease Your Hair

Don't be afraid to channel your inner Diana Ross. Big hair creates the illusion of a narrower (read: more slender) face.

6. Accentuate Your Waist

Use a belt, shirt tuck, or ruching to draw all eyes and attention to the narrowest part of your torso. This timeless trick will keep focus away from any sags or bulges.

7. Wear Heels

The taller you are, the skinnier you appear. So don't be afraid to add a little extra height. If you're clumsy on your feet, opt for a platform or wedge heel rather than the more precarious stiletto. Men, too, can get an extra boost from a pair of boots with a large sole or dress shoes with a small heel.

8. Wear Dark Bootcut Pants

Bootcut pants that are black, navy, or a deep shade of indigo have a slimming effect on the abdomen, pelvis, and rear end. The bootcut style in particular makes the legs look longer and therefore more trim.

9. Embrace Shapewear

Undergarments that smooth, shape, and tuck away folds, rolls, and bloat can be the confidence boost you need to really strut your stuff. Women can achieve a trimmer waistline using products like the mid-thigh shaper or the open-bust camisole by SPANX. For the boys, try the crew neck body shaper by 2(x)ist or the long leg brief girdle by Underworks.

10. Accessorize With a Super-Long Necklace

A long necklace directs the eye away from the often problematic hips and mid-section. It also lengthens the entire frame, giving the illusion of a trimmer body.

11. Choose Your Fabrics Wisely

For a svelte look, spandex, jersey, cashmere, and fine cotton are your go-to fabrics because they help shape the contours of the body. But steer clear from corduroy, crushed velvet, metallic, leather, sequin-adorned materials, and suede. These heavily textured fabrics will add pounds as well as pizzazz to your look.

12. Opt For a V-Neck

All hail the V-neck — a simple neckline that works effortlessly to slim down the frame by creating the illusion of height. It's the most flattering neckline out there and it does the trick every time.

What are your favorite shape-shifting and slimming tricks? Please share in comments!

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PurchaseWisely

There is something wrong with our society when Spanx are recommended to make women feel better about themselves and a girdle is recommended for me. What about self-acceptance instead?