Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 6

Color changes everything.

Just as the dominant color of an outfit and the points on your body where color changes are important, so too is the pattern of the colors.

Pattern may be one of the most overlooked elements of strategic dressing. Maybe that’s because most women don’t know how to make pattern work for them. Or maybe women don’t realize the positive potential of pattern–or the potential disaster of  pattern.

  • Bold Patterns might seem synonymous with large patterns. But when I say “bold” I mean “high contrast”. A mini-print can be bold if the colors are high contrast. These are the prints you want to avoid if your goal is to minimize your size. A bold pattern causes the eye to roam around, searching for a place to land. Larger eye movements in any direction other than up and down create width.
  • Subtle Patterns are those with low color contrast. They can be as simple as a sheen on a matte fabric, or one shade deeper or lighter than the background fabric. They can also be varying colors, as long as the intensity of the colors is even. A pastel pink pattern on a soft lavender fabric, or even a pale blue pattern on a blush pink fabric can be considered subtle. The colors are equal intensity and read as similar to the eye. A subtle pattern will allow the eye to rest, thus not moving in a wide pattern.
  • Mini-Prints can be either bold or subtle. It is not the mini-print that makes you seem slim. It is the subtle color contrast. Yes, you can wear a mini-print. Just be aware of the colors.
  • Large Patterns can also be either bold or subtle. The same rule applies as with mini-prints. Take into consideration the color contrast in the pattern. A barely-there large pattern is a safe choice.

Are you beginning to get the hang of dressing to look your best? All the points interplay with each other. We must take into consideration all aspects from cut to color and all of color’s influences each time we put an outfit together. But when we do–wowee! The effect can be dramatic.

So hang in there. You can do this.

Photo: Pixabay

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 5

Color is a very important consideration in dressing to look thinner. But today, and in the next couple of posts, we will discuss different aspects of wearing colors.

Color Breaks can make or break an outfit. A color break is any place one color ends and another begins. Think of a top and where it ends over pants or a skirt. If the items are different colors, this is a color break.

A color break can happen in several different ways.

  • A contrast color belt creates two color breaks–one where it touches your outfit at its top, and another where it touches your outfit at its bottom. Above the belt is one color, the belt is another color, and below the belt is different from the belt. There are thus two places where the color changes.
  • Stripes also create color breaks. I’ll dedicate an entire post to stripes, but for now, let’s assume these are horizontal stripes. Each one is a separate color break.
  • A short jacket over a long top, over pants or a skirt creates two color breaks. If you choose a skirt, the hemline of the skirt creates another color break.

Color breaks can be your friends. But they can also be your enemies. The thing to remember is that you are in control. You get to decide where color breaks happen.

Remember from Part 2 of this series that we talked about directing the eye of those who look at you. You can do that with color breaks. If you want to emphasize your waist, put a color break there. If you want to minimize your hips, make sure no color breaks happen there. Also, if you want to appear to have a larger bust, choose a top with a single stripe across that area.

If you want to appear taller, keep color breaks to a minimum. Each time color changes, the viewer’s eye stops. The more times the eye stops, the shorter you seem.

Each time a color break happens, the eye also travels side-to-side. This makes you appear wider in that spot. Choose your color breaks accordingly.

Doesn’t it feel good to know how to take charge of your own image?

Photo: Pixabay

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 4

Color is one of my favorite wardrobe accessories. It is also one of the least well-understood elements of dressing to look thinner.

Do you believe that black is the only color that might help you minimize your size? You’re not alone. Most women I speak with about color in their wardrobes believe it, too.

But did you know there are other colors that can create the illusion of less body mass? The secret is in the way colors absorb light. Black absorbs a lot of light. But there are some others to try.

  • Red absorbs the same amount of light as black. At least, the right shade of red does. True, lipstick red is the winner here. The more yellow undertones a red has, the less light it absorbs. Conversely, the more blue undertones, the more light a red will absorb.

How does one know which reds have yellow undertones, and which have blue? Think about fruit. A strawberry is a lighter version of red. It has some yellow/peachy tones. A cherry is darker red, with more blue.

You can see where this is leading. Darker colors absorb more light.

  • Dark or Navy Blue is another good choice. Even though Royal Blue has some yellow in it, this is still a good, slimming color because it’s dark.
  • Purple works as well. Again, keep to the deeper, darker shades.
  • Pine Green or Teal are other good choices.

Interestingly, brown is not a light-absorbing color. Most browns contain too much yellow.

So don’t be afraid of color. It can be your new best friend.

Photo: Pixabay

Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 3

Line is the third strategy for dressing to look thinner. You want the person who sees you to look up and down. When their eyes travel in this manner, the psychological effect is that you appear taller and thinner.

The goal is to create either a straight or a Y-shape vertical line  down the center of your body.

  • Single-Breasted Jackets create a strong center vertical line. A jacket or sweater with a center zipper will also create this effect.

  • Cardigan Sweaters with only the center buttons fastened will create a Y-shape. Wearing a cardigan this way will also create the illusion of a smaller waist. Just be sure not to stretch it so tight it wrinkles and bulges. (See Part 1.)
  • A camisole or other top the same color as your skirt or pants, worn under a contrasting jacket will make you look taller and thinner. This technique creates a center column of color for the viewer’s eye to travel.
  • A jacket or sweater and pants/skirt in the same color with a contrast color top underneath. Again, the viewer will see one swath of color from the floor (with pants) to your shoulders. You will look taller.
  • Untucked Tops and blouses lengthen the appearance of your body. Tunic tops can do this too. *A word of caution for shorter women: beware of a too-long tunic. (See Part 2.) Also, be aware of the overall shape a tunic top gives you. If you’re curvy, this can be a large box. (See Part 2.)

Next time, we’ll discuss color.

Photo: Pixabay


Dress 10 Pounds Thinner Part 2

Did you know you can direct the eyes of people who look at you? You can actually tell them where to look. You are in control.

How does this work?

  • Cut + Shape = Eye Direction

The cut of your clothes determines how they hang on your body. Your body shape determines which cuts look best on you.

Do you know your body shape? If not, you can download my handy-dandy primer sheet from the resources page of my website.

Do you know what the cut of a jacket or top or skirt is? Cut is determined by the seams and the end point of the sleeves or hemline.

The viewer’s eye will travel the seams of an outfit and land where the clothes end. The end point is what will be emphasized.

Curvy seams on a jacket, top, or dress will cause it to hug your body curves. If you don’t have natural curves, or you do have all the right curves, this cut might flatter you. But if your body curves out where the seams curve in, the clash can create a natural disaster.

Straight seams will disguise your body’s own curves by skimming straight over them. This can be good if your middle curves out instead of in. But if you want to show your own curves, this cut may make you look more like a box.

Hip-Length jackets and tops will guide the viewer’s eye to your hips and then stop. If you want to emphasize your hips, this is good. Otherwise, a jacket that is a bit longer will help minimize hip size. Be careful of going too long if you’re short, though. The best length is just below the widest part of your hips. A shorter jacket, as in a cropped, or waist-length jacket, will make the eye stop at your waist. It can make your waist appear larger. Tucking in a blouse will have the same effect.

3/4 Sleeves stop at the widest part of your hips, when your arms are at your side. Opting for full-length sleeves is more slimming.

Crop Pants end at the widest part of your calf. This will make you look wider and shorter. Ankle length pants or Bermuda shorts end at slim points on your leg. Either will make you look thinner and taller.

Knee-Length Skirts/Dresses will make you look thinner because they end at a slim part of your leg. Dresses and skirts that end at mid-calf have the same effect as crop pants.

Now that you’re in the know, evaluate the clothes in your closet. Do they flatter your figure?

Photo: Pixabay