Are the holiday cookies, cakes and pies beginning to haunt your hips? If you're like most people, you've picked up a pound or two in the last few weeks, but that doesn't mean you have to look like it! Regina Haymes of Marie Claire magazine has some easy and affordable tips on how to instantly dress 5-10 pounds slimmer.
V-necks and belts
The wide belt is a must-have in a slimming wardrobe because it conceals if you have a slightly larger middle, and tricks the eye to go up to the face (and away from common problem areas like hips and rear). A deep v-neck sweater also brings the attention up to the neck and face, and adds an elongating effect. A shock of color at the top also draws the eye, but the rest should be black along the length of the body, which lengthens and slims. (V-neck sweater: H&M, $29.90; printed blouse: Sunny Leigh, Macy's $59; black pants: Club Monaco, $119)
All-over printsUsually terrifying, all-over patterns are generally a no-no — but a classic wrap dress is now almost a wardrobe staple, and it does help hide those extra curves! Don't be afraid of a graphic print, especially if you have a curvy body — the print outlines you, but make sure the dress fits properly. The reason wrap dresses work is because they hide bumps instead of clinging to the skin. It allows you to have fun without resorting to black! Be sure to keep the same print from top to bottom (don't mix your patterns), prints work very well as an overall pattern. Plus sticking to mellow and neutral-based colors won't drive you crazy. Also, wraps add a v-neck again, so it lengthens, as it helps define the waist — flattering a fuller-figured woman with an hourglass shape. (Printed graphic dress: Diane Von Furstenberg, $298)
Vertical stripes and tulip skirtsVertical stripes are a great way to instantly trim down! The stripes bring the eye up and down and highlights the slimmest view — head-to-toe (as opposed to hip-to-hip). Also note: If you want to slim down and still wear skirts, avoid pencil skirts! Instead try a skirt with a little flare — almost like a tulip — that doesn't hug all the way down. This fun flare is not only stylish, but gives out a better shape than a straight cut. (Striped shirt: Zara, $69; a-line skirt: Lane Bryant, $49.50)
The shirt dress
Good news! The ultra-slimming shirt dress a huge trend right now! And the better news is that the shirt dress is also an easy and instant 10-pound-slimmer! Zara's version is belted, which is a slight twist on the little black dress or stuffy office dress. Appropriate for work and pulls the whole look together, the black shirt-dress “sucks you in” visually and creates a nice lean line. Very chic, comfortable and very easy to wear for lots of body types, including those with extra curves! (Black shirt dress: Zara, $79)
White jeans? Yes!Yes, you can wear white jeans, even if you have hips! Wearing white on the bottom is very slimming, but only if you pair it with the appropriate top. Try pairing them with a plum or burgundy blazer made of velvet (velvet and denim is a fabulous pair of textures that work very well together). Add to this a bold, printed top, which brings the eye up toward the face (instead of to the hips) and hangs slightly below the belt — the busy pattern breaks up the solid colors of the jeans and jacket. (Velvet blazer: Express, $118; printed tank: Express, $39.50; white denim: Paige Jeans, $169)