Entertainment Style Look like you’ve lost weight, even if you haven’t
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Look like you’ve lost weight, even if you haven’t

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I have a friend’s wedding in Europe coming up, and when the invitation arrived, the dress code stated “gowns”.

I don’t have a gown. Well actually I do have a gown, it’s a tight black beaded sheath that fit me like a glove in 2000 which doesn’t even bear thinking about trying on now, 16 years later.

Parts of me now rest in areas they previously didn’t. I promised myself I would diet for six weeks in order to get into it, and save myself buying another expensive dress, but of course, here I am, one week before I am due to leave for the wedding, and I haven’t lost a kilo.

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No amount of Spanx are going to help get that zip done up. I’m wary of compression underwear anyway. It seems to me a scientific given that the fat, while being squeezed in somewhere, will be naturally forced to relocate to another spot.

Horizontal stripes are not advisable for those looking to appear slimmer. Photo: Getty
Horizontal stripes are not advisable for those looking to appear slimmer. Photo: Getty

I once took a black Nancy Ganz one-piece swimsuit for an airing at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast. It was comic getting it on, levering myself into the pneumatic, industrial strength lycra.

Once in, with my bosoms squished and heaving, my mid section strapped tight as a drum, I breathlessly asked one of my sons how I looked.

“Weird,” he answered, with the horrible honesty of the teenage boy. “You look like a supermodel at the top, but it’s all been pushed down and is escaping at the bottom.”

So I’m not going to be losing the weight anytime between now and next week and, somehow, a long-haul flight to Europe guarantees you magically go up a dress size somewhere over Dubai.

If you’re in economy, let’s say two sizes because you have to factor in that you will be losing your ankles.

Hopefully all the other glamorous guests will be puffy after their long winter, but what to pack so I will appear slimmer without having to go on a pesky diet?

Here are my failsafe slimming rules…

1. Wear black, black and more black.

Or maybe navy, at a pinch.

French fashionista Carine Roitfeld has slimming fashion down pat. Photo: Getty
French fashionista Carine Roitfeld has slimming fashion down pat. Photo: Getty

2. Dark on bottom, bright on top.

In terms of wearing colour, the rule generally goes that you should keep the bottom half darker, and the top half lighter, such as slim black pants or a longer skirt worn with a coloured or patterned shirt or top.

3. Avoid horizontal stripes.

They make you look wider and really don’t do very much for larger busted women either. The same for boat necks. So that boat neck matelot t-shirt? No. A v-neck t-shirt is much more flattering and elongates the neck.

4. Dress for your proportions, and highlight your best features.

Don’t follow trends if they don’t suit your body shape. You have great ankles and feet? Then wear jewelled sandals. You don’t? Then wear high heeled ankle boots.

You have a small waist but a big bum? Wear a belt. You have no waist? Choose an A-line dress, or a peplum style to give yourself the illusion of one. You have big bosoms? Skip the peasant blouse.

5. Fit is all-important.

Ditch anything too tight. If clothes are straining at the seams, you will not only appear bigger, you will feel uncomfortable. Think about easy separates such as silky, elastic-waist pants and long skirts, silk shirts and long-line cardigans worn with high heels.

6. Sheer is your friend for evening.

A sheer white, beige or black blouse, worn with a pretty black camisole or bustier underneath, is far sexier than showing too much flesh. Of course, a glamorous knee-length opera coat, stockings and high heels is the last word in chic. It’s no one’s business but your own what’s underneath.

For more from Kirstie Clements, click here.

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