We all probably fuss more than we need to over what we consider our figure flaws. In truth we could all be happier if we focused more on what makes our bodies feel great in clothes, but that can feel challenging when all we see is what we don’t like.
But, good fit feels right and can diminish how much you notice those pesky body parts. The key is to stop finding fault with your body and to focus more on finding joy in dressing the body you have.
Of course, I know that’s easier said than done—I’ve had to do it myself. Just because I’m relatively tall and slim does not mean I don’t wrestle with those same body image demons. I do…did…with an occasional slip!
Let me help you with some pointers so you feel more at ease and relaxed. You and your body deserve to feel good in clothes. Here’s a guide to help you do that.
NOTE: Be sure to read all the way to the end because I have a very important point to make following these fashion tips that will help ease your mind as well.
1. Do you feel self-conscious about your waistline?
Softly fitted garments like shifts, chemises, and blouson waists will accommodate a fuller waistline.
Wear clothing pieces that bypass the waist such as a longer tunic or tunic vest over a slim t-shirt. To create the illusion of a waist, wear a blouse belted at the waist, but wear a jacket or cardigan over. When you do that all anyone can see of your waist is about 6” which is why I often say that everyone has a 6” waist! If a jacket and a blouse sound bulky to you, make the blouse a sleeveless one and find a jacket in a lightweight fabric or with stretch for added comfort.
2. Do you wish your neck looked longer?
You can create the illusion of a longer neck by wearing a V-neck or scoop neck blouse, dress or sweater. If you wear a high neckline, which is so popular right now, rather than a V-neck, create a deep V with a long pendant. Avoid thick turtlenecks and short necklaces like chokers. And, by all means, avoid the dreaded crew neck—it will always make your neck look shorter and wider. If you have long hair, wear your hair up off your neck.
3. Do you want to create ease for your upper arms?
Try wearing garments with deeper arm whole cuts, raglan sleeves or dolman sleeves. Choose fabrics that are non-clinging and not shiny which will bring more emphasis, not less, to the upper arm. Avoid fabrics that have a lot of bulk or stiffness to them. This season some of the slit sleeves or bell sleeves can be your best friend…like this one:
4. Are you sensitive about drawing attention to your bosom?
Blouses with extended shoulders will create ease over the bosom although some of these make you look wider so, if you like the look, keep trying until you find one that doesn’t. Create diagonal lines across a full bust with a crossover, wrap, or surplice blouse. You might need to wear a camisole under the crossover top if it gaps or shows more cleavage than you want, but the diagonal lines are very flattering. Avoid tops with sleeves that end at the same line as the fullest part of the bust. Make absolutely sure your bra fits perfectly and above all, avoid a minimizer bra – most of them squish your bust and move breast tissue under your arms making you appear wider.
5. Are skinny jeans making your thighs appear to be bigger than they are?
If you are fuller in the thigh, you have several possible pant styles to consider. A flared pant can balance a fuller thigh, but remember, it is fitted at the thigh itself.
A trouser style pant is great and coming back in style. It should hang smoothly from the thigh. A-line skirts are a fabulous option. They feel flirty and pretty draping softly over your thighs. Of course, with pencil skirts being so popular it can be a little more challenging to find an A-line skirt, but they are there.
6. Do your legs look short because you have a long torso?
Choose a high waisted pant and tuck in your blouse. This look will elongate your legs. Add a heel for more length. The heel does not have to be high or skinny. The popular block heel adds height without feeling like you are teetering on stilts. Avoid wearing garments with dropped waistlines or long jackets or pants (that includes jeans) that have big, low pocket details. Pushed up sleeves give the leg a longer line. Avoid medium length jackets that cut the body in half. Shorter jackets are better.
7. Is your tummy getting in the way of your fashion statement?
Swing jackets or swing cardigans are your friends. Use them over a slimmer pant for a balanced look. Proportions are key. Additionally avoid belts that cinch too tight. Wear pants or skirts that don’t have a waistband and sit on the higher part of your hip instead of your waist. Dusters over a loose top can elongate the body and draw attention away from the tummy. Or a body-skimming tunic in a rich color can look elegant.
Whatever you choose to wear, add a gorgeous necklace or scarf to draw the eye up and away from your mid-section.
Learn how to accentuate your favorite features and bypass all the others
This is the important note I mentioned earlier:
If you read these suggestions and thought, “Great, now I know how to bypass my tummy, but I am also small busted with narrow shoulders and fuller thighs…what do I do now?” I totally hear you! It can feel overwhelming to try to combine and customize all the variables.
Fashion is not a one-size-fits-all experience!
- Raglan sleeves make narrow sloped shoulders look more narrow and more sloped which if you then have fuller thighs makes your thighs look wider in comparison.
- Maybe you want to cover your upper arms, but you don’t want your cap or short sleeves to accentuate your full bust. And going sleeveless doesn’t feel comfortable either.
- Perhaps you like the idea of an A-line skirt to skim your thighs, but you wonder how full the skirt should be before it actually adds width rather than slimming your thighs.
- It could be that you have full thighs with short legs. How do you find the perfect fit combination to balance both?
It can be easy to feel like you address one issue and compound another!
The reason is that every body is different and many of us have more than one body image issue that afflicts us.
Each of these body parts is connected to other body parts. While you can do spot fixes, and they are really important to keep in mind, it is also possible that these individual fashion fixes feel confusing.
The ideas above are general guidelines and customizing for your body is very important.
Believe me, if all of this were super easy everyone would be wearing her perfect outfit every day.
If you are afraid to try these on your own or feel overwhelmed by too many things to consider, don’t worry. I am trained and knowledgeable in all matters of fit. You can lean on me this season and I will help you find ease in the clothes that are right for you making all the variables come together beautifully.
To find out more, schedule an exploration call with me here: https://totalimageconsultants.com/booking/ This is an opportunity to explore the possibilities without pressure and no obligation. Let’s see how to make this all easier and more efficient for you so you can feel wonderful in everything you wear!
Or find out more about my comprehensive wardrobe and personal style online course where we dive deeply into all of these topics to fully answer your questions so you can get dressed with more joy and ease: ‘Dress to Impress–Yourself!’