Clever cheats to a slimmer you

Dorothy Perkins panel bodycon dress.

Fed up of new year resolutions to drop weight? Lisa Haynes unveils the fashion secrets for figure flattery.

IF you’re not much of a long distance runner, fashion has all manner of figure-fixing shortcuts. From illusion dresses to leg-lengthening trousers, you can pretty much dress to create the figure of your dreams.

“Panel dresses are great for ladies whose hot spot is their hips, while jeans and skirts with tummy control hold in stomachs for a streamlined silhouette,” says womenswear designer Della Nelson.

It’s time to banish body bugbears with clothes that instantly flatter your figure.

Toned tum: For many, the midriff is the place where post-festive excess decides to settle. But the muffin top can be camouflaged with some clever construction. Look for dresses, skirts and even jeans with in-built control panels that suck you in for a bulge-free effect.

“Brands have discovered the joys of Lycra,” says Veronique Henderson, author of Colour Me Slimmer.

“Not only does it give ease in a fabric, but in its heavier form, it can also help to keep extra kilos under control.”

Wearing patterns across the midriff area can also help disguise any unwanted fullness.

Balanced bottom: Beyoncé is living proof that a curvy bottom is beyond sexy, but if you’d describe yours as ’squidgy and oversized’, dressing can be trickier. If you’re lacking in bum mojo, avoid tight fits and VPLs.

“Rounded, curvy bottoms need skirts and trousers that are either shaped with darts or some easing of the waist to accommodate your curves,” Henderson says.

Wonder waist: The Holy Grail of the hourglass figure is a curvy, defined waist. You can magic one up if you’re short-waisted or straight-up-and-down, with clever block colour panels that resemble the Ambiguous Vase illusion.

“If you’re lacking a defined waist, straight or boxy clothes in crisp fabrics can add kilos,” Henderson warns.

Longer legs: Whether you’re a dedicated trouser or skirt wearer, the key to longer, slimmer looking pins is the cutoff point. Always ensure your hemline finishes at the narrowest point of your leg. If you have pronounced calf muscles, for instance, avoid midi skirts that fall directly at their fullest.

Banish the bust: Nobody wants to diminish their bust completely, but if you’re top heavy and not happy about it, rebalancing your proportions is simple.

Try colour blocking tactics, using plain black to minimise your bust and a lighter shade directly underneath.

Body-boosting tips: Serve up your new season wardrobe with a slimmer you. Follow image consultants Colour Me Beautiful’s advice for instant figure transformation — no diet necessary:

¦ Straighter bodies need straighter constructions while curvier bodies need softer, shaped pieces

. ¦ The heavier the fabric, the more bulk it adds to your silhouette.

¦ Good posture will naturally create straighter shoulders and a flatter tummy.

¦ Colour Me Slimmer by Colour Me Beautiful image consultants is published by Hamlyn, €19. Available now


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