Look Great at Any WeightForget the Skinny Jeans
-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Beauty Writer
My closet used to be divided into three sections: clothes that fit when I was 20 pounds heavier; clothes that fit when I was thin but miserable (from my “never-eat-anything-fun” phase); and clothes I could wear at that moment.
Unfortunately, the clothes that actually fit me were the fewest in number. I was tired of either squeezing into clothes that were too small (and feeling like a stuffed sausage) or swimming in big, unflattering clothes. I needed a wardrobe overhaul—I needed to look good right now.
Sound familiar? I bet it does. What women hasn't held on to her "skinny jeans," dreaming of the day she'd wear them again, only to realize that 10 years had passed and they were now hopelessly out of style. Even worse is the woman who holds on to her "fat clothes" because she doesn’t really believe that she will be able to maintain the weight loss she has worked so hard to attain. And so our closets are jammed with clothes that just don’t fit.
Even if you need to lose weight you still deserve to look your best today instead of waiting for the day that you reach your goal weight. Whether you need to lose 50 pounds or just a few, with the right fashion tricks you can look great at any weight.
The trick to looking your best is to recognize your attributes and then play them up to your advantage. Have great legs? Show them off with a flattering skirt and a great pair of heels. Accent an hourglass waist with an eye-catching belt, and nobody will notice that your arms need a bit of toning. It all boils down to drawing the eye away from your weaker areas and calling attention to the parts of your figure that you do feel good about.<pagebreak>
Here are some more tips to help you look your best no matter what your size:
Clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn an item in a year (or more!), get rid of it. Sell gently used items to a local consignment shop for some extra cash, or donate them to charity. Don’t hold onto clothing hoping you will fit into it again someday. If you do lose weight, go out and buy yourself some new clothing—you deserve it.
Work with your natural body shape. Even though a piece of clothing is in style, it doesn’t mean that it will look good on you. For example, low-rise jeans aren't flattering on anyone with a bit of a belly, no matter how good they look on the store mannequin or sales clerk. If your bottom is a little heavy, stay away from details like buttons on your jean pockets—they only call attention to your largest part. Instead, balance your figure with a structured jacket with a strong shape.
Don’t over-accessorize. While one necklace is attractive, wearing it with bangles, earrings and a flashy belt is overkill. Pick one strong accessory for the most impact. The same goes with patterns—don’t combine a strong floral print on top with another equally strong pattern on your lower half. Pick the area of your body that you want to emphasize and play it up with an appropriate print.
Don’t cover up your body with clothes that are too big. When you're wearing a dress or top that looks like a tent, you're not fooling anyone about what's really underneath. Fitted clothes (not tight or oversized), usually look best. Find a shapely, figure-flattering style that skims over your less-than-ideal areas while playing up your attributes.
Buy clothes to fit your hips. This is especially important if you’re pear-shaped. If you're one of those women who has trouble finding the right fit in pants and skirts, get the size that fits your hips and thighs best, and then get the clothing taken in at the waist. Don’t squeeze into a too-small skirt just to have it fit around the waist.
Choose the right bra and panties. The right undergarments can make or break your appearance, while the wrong sizes and styles can cause bumps and lumps under your clothes. Select seam-free panties for a smooth look and make sure you are wearing the right sized bra (most women don’t). It’s worth a trip to a higher-end department store to be measured and fitted by a trained salesperson.
Think color. Head-to-toe black may be slimming, but it can also be severe. Instead, dress in the same shade of one color, such as blue jeans and a royal blue t-shirt, to create a long, lean silhouette.
- Avoid pleated pants. The extra fabric in the pleats calls attention to your tummy, hips and thighs. Select a flat front style without extra details for a smoother look.