Chunky? Here’s how to use clothes to hide the flab

Monday, December 10, 2012

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THE intention in January was to start a weight loss programme so you could look slim and trim for this year’s Christmas party circuit. But eleven months later, you are nowhere close to your goal.
You know you definitely can’t turn up at the next Christmas dinner looking like a stuffed turkey, but at this late stage, you are thinking there is nothing you can do about it.
Well, actually there is. You can still look the part of a sleek chick with just a few pieces from your closet, image consultant DJ Shaw says.
Having helped countless women over the years to put forward their best selves, he has no doubt that the right attire can hide a multitude of “shame".
“If it is that you want to camouflage your worst assets, the type of clothes and the fit is important,” he said."You always want to aim for the best fit possible.”
So yes, you may be 20 pounds overweight and be a bit bulkier than you were at the last Christmas get-together, but your family doesn’t have to be any the wiser if you use these tips.

1. Get pumping
No, we are not talking about hitting the gym in a last ditch hope for a miracle, although that could work too. We are referring to you putting on those four-inch pumps that can elongate your legs and create that oomph that gives the illusion that you are taller and sleeker than you actually are. T-strap heels are also great, says Shaw, “especially if you are a bit heavier and have short legs”.

2. Jazz up your look
Chunky necklaces, earrings and bangles can distract eyes away from your problem areas. Long necklaces also add length to a short neck, so your upper body looks more slender. But while you want to get eyes to focus where it really matters, be careful not to run the risk of looking overdone in the process by going overboard with the accessories.

3. Show a little
Now we are not telling you to just let everything out for every random stranger to see, but a v-neck top or wrap dress will show a little without giving away too much. The upside down triangle created by a v-neck can make your upper body look much slimmer and a little exposed cleavage will take away the attention from your oversized gut.

4. Get a bit of support
You would be amazed to know how many well-dressed ladies are actually well tucked in underneath their clothes so that they can look good. Just like a good bra and panty, shapewear should be in your wardrobe. In fact, Shaw says, it’s something more women should maximise on. “They come in every form now, so you can have the dress or the underwear, or whatever design you want.”

5. Black is still hot
A LBD (little black dress) will probably never come out of style because of its ability to be a multi-purpose garment. Add sleeves to the black — a colour that camouflages excellently — and hide the pouches and under arm fat, for example. And don’t be dull, try a scarf or a belt with a cute pair of heals to jazz up your look.

6. Show your face
Style your tresses in a nice updo and show off your bone structure, especially if you have high cheekbones that elongate your face. The fact of the matter is that people generally take you in from head to toe when they are checking you out. If you are going to wear your hair out, then add a centre part to give the illusion that your face is longer.

7. Be simple and clean
You can definitely do without the studded jeans and tops when you have a large frame. Think clean and streamlined when you are choosing jeans. “You can’t go wrong with skinny jeans or pants,” says Shaw.

8. Keep it balanced
It’s all about balance, says the image consultant. If you have wide hips, then wear a dark-coloured bottom and leave the floral tops for up top. However, if you are top heavy, place the coloured items of clothing down bottom and go dark or solid on top.

—Nadine Wilson




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