There are no rules in fashion these days. Women can and should be able to wear whatever pleases them. What there is, though, are some nifty tips and tricks to help you look better than ever. Here’s what always works.
1. Flash your collarbone
It’s always more flattering to flash a little of your collarbone area, and this is especially true if you are on the busty side, have broad shoulders or less than a swan-like neck. Crew necks and boatnecks can make you look stouter than you really are. That’s not to say that it’s a must to have cleavage on display. A modest scoop neck or V-neck, or a shirt worn open at the collar draws attention to the face and elongates the upper body.
2. Opt for a shapely silhouette
Never swathe yourself in shapeless dresses because you are trying to hide hips, stomach or other parts of the body that you are less than pleased with. The gunny sack look flatters no one but the slightest waifs, and only serves to make you look heavy and dumpy. A structured dress or a sharp, well-cut blazer with a nipped in waist are better bets for a flattering silhouette.
3. Ditch chunky wedges and platforms
Flatforms, platforms and chunky wedges have become comfortable go-tos for those who want elevation. However, these can add heaviness to the lower half of your body and visually drag you down. This is particularly true if you are of a diminutive height but curvy. Avoid looking like you’re clomping around by opting for sleeker, slimmer heels. Block heels that are not overly chunky and wedges that taper to a narrower base can be good compromises.
4. Wear pops of colour
True, black is versatile, slimming and suitable for almost all occasions. But wearing too much black can also make you look older than you are, plus it draws attention to dark shadows around the eyes. Be equally wary of neutrals like grey, camel or brown — not all shades work for every skin tone and you want to avoid looking washed out. Strategic pops of colour, like a statement necklace or a jewel-tone top can brighten up the complexion and add some youthful energy to your look.
5. Watch where your clothes end
Avoid tops that cut off at the widest part of the hips. The same goes for matronly, shapeless skirts that cut off where your calves are the biggest. A swingy skirt that ends just above the knees is much more of a universally flattering length. If your aim is to hide knobbly knees, a form-fitting skirt with a hemline that hits below the thickest part of the calves is a much better bet.
6. Never size up with stretch denim
You’re not buying clothes for a child to grow into, and sizing up for any clothing item that has stretch in it is usually a bad idea. This is even more true for stretch denim, because you don’t want any excess fabric bunching up anywhere. The right pair of stretch denim jeans should fit your form perfectly. It should feel tight without you looking like your thighs are bursting out of them, and it should give you a perkier derriere.
7. Buy beautiful, fitting lingerie
No woman ever felt good in ill-fitting underwear. A bra that doesn’t fit properly can make you look shorter and heavier, while a VPL has never enhanced any look. To ensure that you’re wearing the right-size bra, do a fitting every year — weight fluctuations and hormonal changes can lead to changes in breast size. Beyond making sure that your underthings fit well, make sure they look good too. Knowing that you’re wearing beautiful lingerie will make you feel like a million bucks, and you’ll look it too.
8. Nip and tuck with a good tailor
The importance of a professional tailor you can count on for alterations cannot be overstated. The key to looking good in everything you wear is fit. From taking in the extra inch at the waist to tightening the taper of a form-fitting skirt, the devil is in the details.
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