10 ways to instantly look slimmer

LISA LYFORD
Last updated 13:26 29/07/2014
Kate Winslet
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WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT: Kate Winslet is one actress who really knows how to dress for her figure - check out those body-slimming side panels... genius!

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From sneaky tailoring tricks to must-wear items - your wardrobe can be your secret weapon if you use it right.

No, it won't actually help you lose weight, but certain garments and styles can elongate your figure and have you looking slimmer in no time.

1. Choose a slim leg

If you can afford to body shape wise, and as fashion dictates, opt for slim style trouser legs. Don't panic, I'm not talking skinnies. I've converted many women from bootcut trousers to slim or straight leg and they've been blown away at the difference it has made, how much slimmer they look and feel.

If you have big thighs or hips, you may need the bootleg or a wide leg to help balance out your look but certainly give a slimmer leg a go. You can always wear a long tunic top to cover your hips and/or thighs.

2. Side panels

I'm a huge fan of clothing with contrasting side panel designs - tops, jackets, trousers, skirts. The design style tricks the eye into believing that the centre panel is all there is, it doesn't look beyond that... suddenly you look a whole lot slimmer.

3. The right size clothing

It sounds pretty obvious, but many women are trying desperately to cover up and therefore choose to wear clothing that is too big. Please do yourselves a favour and buy the right size clothing.

4. Fitted clothing

A lot of women wear shapeless, boxy garments that make you look bigger than you are. Wearing clothing that is more fitted to your body shape is much more slimming. I know some of you will struggle to come to terms with this, but don't be put off - it doesn't have to be figure hugging.

5. Wear a heel

Have you ever taken notice of the difference a heel makes to your calves. Pop a heel on, it needn't be a high one, and voila - like magic your calves have slimmed down.

6. Dark colours

It's a proven fact that dark colours are definitely slimming. Moodier hues don't reflect the light, they absorb it, meaning they don't create shadows or project reflections on your lumps and bumps.

7. Fabrics

Go for plain, dark, matte fabrics as opposed to fabrics that are shiny and reflect light and are more attention grabbing. The key is to play down your bigger area/s, not draw attention to them.

8. Finish hemlines at the slimmer part of your body

So many women want to pull their tops down to cover their hips and thighs, when in fact all they're doing is drawing attention to exactly that spot! Ensure your hemlines finish at the slimmest part of your body:

- Thick upper arms or a big bust - avoid short sleeves that cut across the thickest part of your arm, or draw a visual line across your bust.

- Big bottom, hips and/or thighs - tops that finish at your waist or a little lower, but well above the wide points of your body will work best for you.

- Thick calves - skirts that hit slightly below the knee are best.

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9. Styles to elongate your look

- Avoid volume and unnecessary bulk. Look for long, slim-line styles - tops, cardis, vests, skirts, trousers.

- Long pendant necklaces are great, as are wearing your scarves long.

- Wear heels.

- Avoid footwear with ankle straps. Be careful with ankle boots - they can cut the visual line of the leg, making you appear shorter.

- Wear layers overtop in contrasting colours/patterns and keep garments like cardigans and vests open -  this gives a slimming, long look.

10. Get the foundations right

Perhaps the most important factor in appearing slim is wearing a good fitting bra and briefs - and embracing shapewear if you need it.

- Lisa Lyford is the founder of Gorgeous Me, a DIY personal styling guide that offers free personal styling advice, information and tips as well as makeovers of everyday Kiwi women. Gorgeous Me: because every woman deserves to look and feel fab. 

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