Celebrities have access to the best and latest in couture. When we see them step out onto the red carpet they are looking as perfect as it is possible to look. Pampered and toned no doubt, but the structure of the dresses they wear contribute to the overall glossy appearance. We never see a bulge, wrinkle or VPL because the gowns are built around their own support structure.
This technology is available to us all, especially when choosing formal, wedding and cocktail / evening dress. They feel great to wear, giving us a little more confidence in our appearance without the need for complicated underwear.
It is a shame we can’t feel like that at other times, without the expense of a special dress.
But now we can!
Almost all of us require a little help to smooth our contours at times. The current popularity of clingy, stretchy fabrics increases this need from time to time.
We females all have that pesky extra layer of body fat to some extent, and there are times when we would like it to be camouflaged.
We are not talking corsets – in fact corsets, with their boning, are not appropriate at all under jersey fabrics, as the bones will show through, giving a bumpy appearance.
We have known for years about Magic Knickers which would smooth and control the hip, thigh and tummy areas – but were heavy and hot and caused a bulge where they end.
Fortunately there is a new generation of fibres and technologies which designers have put to good use producing ingenious garments to combat most problem areas.
There are new versions of contouring knickers with built-in lift, body suits with a range of cup sizes or those which allow you to wear your own bra – there are camisoles and waist cinchers, slips and full slips and an almost endless variety of other little helpers.
Due to the popularity of shapewear at present, the prices tend to be high and the majority of pieces probably too ornate and glamorous for everyday wear.
For everyday, a light body suit will give us a firmness, without constraints and make us feel a little more confident, streamlining our silhouette under any outfit.
So if you feel like you would like a little less jiggle and fewer bulges, consider a trip to the shops to see what is available for your particular area of concern. Beware of getting caught in the trap of thinking ‘If I pay more it will do more for me’, that could lead you to buy fancy products you might hardly ever wear – comfort + confidence is what you want.
N.B. Of course this is not a way to get out of exercising In fact a light bodysuit worn while jogging help control the boob bounce and improves performance!
Shapewear OptionsShape wear items - High Waisted thigh slimmer, thigh slimmer, full slip
Shapewear OptionsShape wear types - Body, wear your own bra slip, wear your own bra body.
Shapewear OptionsShapewear options - V-neck body, waist cincher and pant/cincher
Shapewear OptionsShapewear which allows for a full range of cup sizes, strapless slip dresses, and waist slips
Which part of you would benefit from a little help?
If you are otherwise slim but carry weight on your thighs, consider a thigh slimming garment – but beware of one which ends at the waist unless you carry very little extra fat there – or you will still end up with a muffin top – go instead for a high waisted version.
If your bottom is not as perky as you would like, a simple pair of contouring knickers – designed to lift the buttocks, makes a flattering difference under fitted pants and dresses.
If you have difficulties finding bras to fit – or have your favourite brand and size, go for a body or slip designed to allow you wear your own bra.
Some brands produce bodies with a full range of bra and cup sizes, some underwired.
If it is your lack of waist which concerns you, try a waist cincher which just focuses on that area. Waist cinchers also come in pants form if you prefer.
Full slips, either v-necked, scoop necked or strapless will smooth out your contours under any fitted dress – choose the one which best suits the dress you buy.
The classic man’s suit has something important in common with its casual equivalent – the Levi jeans and shirt / t-shirt combo. The reason they have been popular for so many decades is that they both camouflage any figure problems men may have*.
* Men don’t have the same issues as women of course, but nevertheless basic body proportions vary, length of torso vs length of legs etc., wide hips, skinny legs / arms (you can see how the twin outfits of men’s suits / classic jeans / shirt perfectly do the job of disguising any problems)
Men, wisely or instinctively have recognised for years that they look better in these classics. However, while still attractive and readily available staples, they can be a tad predictable and men might feel the need for a change now and again too!
The Recent Past – Teddy Boys and drainpipes, flares & flowers.
There have been some forays into various options over the years, sometimes interesting, sometimes disastrous.
There was the ‘Peacock Revolution’ in London in the 1960’s – brightly coloured suits with flared trousers replaced the traditional dark ones. Cravats and slim fitting floral shirts made an appearance, often worn with high waisted flared trousers or jeans and platform soled shoes which enhanced the tall lean look.
These were a welcome change after the post war uniformity of the 40’s & 50’s, which was broken only by the Teddy Boys with their Edwardian style frockcoats, drainpipe trousers and crêpe soled shoes (brothel creepers). The drainpipes regained their popularity when they were adopted by punk culture. But on the whole, very little improvement has been made on the classics in terms of enhancing the male image.
The Future – Men or insects?
There was a vibe at the end of the 90’s when it seemed there might be an exciting change of direction in men’s clothing. It felt as if there might be a shift towards shapes and fabrics inspired by the east. Softer, longer collarless shirts, layering, looser unstructured pants. But 9/11 quickly quashed that particular possibility and sent men’s fashion running for cover.
There has still been a leaning towards eastern influences, unfortunately , very half-hearted, with garments arriving in the shops completely out of context, with no supporting image to aspire to. An example of this is the dropped crotch jeans/trousers which look dreadful worn with traditional western shirts/t-shirts.
The super skinny jeans so popular now are another example of a garment which needs to worn with appropriate tops – not just slotted into an existing wardrobe. There have been some terrible sightings of short legged, wide hipped men wearing really tight figure hugging jeans with short tops, looking like some type of two legged insect.
While we wait for something new…
So if we are looking for a gentle change for you guys – let’s look at some basic guidelines:
Be aware that the male models you see advertising a look – they are picked, like the female equivalent because they are almost perfect.
If you know you have short legs try to cover the point where your legs join your body – but don’t overdo it – just cover!
Unless you are uniformly slender try to avoid the skinny pants look – generally speaking they don’t look good on any other figure type, unless accompanied by a longer, softer style of shirt (you will have to shop around – look online)
Make use of the well tested outfits – suits, jackets, classic jeans but look for more interesting fabric, prints, weaves, textures, colours – be adventurous!
Unless you are really well proportioned (look in a full length mirror, be honest, as a friend) avoid wearing a strong contrast in colour on your top and bottom halves.
Consider your colouring – eyes particularly.
If you have blue eyes – wearing blue close to your face will enhance your eyes, likewise if you have green or brown eyes choose shades of these colours.
Dresssense is essentially a guide to dressing for the figure we have right now. Some aspects of our shape + proportion we can do nothing to change – but, looking around, how many of us would clearly benefit from losing a few kilos?
We have all tried various regimes and diets suggested by manufacturers and magazines – some with a little success sometimes.
The truth is – we can all lose weight if we really want to – without paying a cent. We have to fully accept the responsibility ourselves.
So here it is:
The Last Piece of the Puzzle
Okay girls – we all know what we should and shouldn’t eat, we all know we have to exercise – we all know we should drink more water -
SO WHAT IS GOING WRONG?
WHY AREN’T WE LOSING THOSE EXTRA KILOS?
The answer is simple – we have developed bad habits which are sabotaging our efforts – EVERY DAY!
The Ten Deadly Habits
Imaginary “calorie cancellation”
Be honest with yourself – be aware of everything which passes your lips. There are no free calories – even that chip from someone else’s plate!
Learn to distinguish real hunger from ‘fancying something to eat’. Teach yourself to enjoy the sensation of hunger!
Portion size – we are generally smaller than men and therefore require fewer calories – keep this in mind when dishing up!
Breakfast – sorry, but it is essential.
It takes three weeks at most to learn to enjoy it. (Women who skip breakfast but on weight more readily – FACT.)
Concentrate – eat only when you can pay full attention to your food – no mindless chewing in front of the TV or cinema screen!
Eat slowly - give yourself time to enjoy every mouthful and chew well (and give your stomach time to send a message to your brain to tell it when you have had enough!)
Beware of cheese – very high in calories and as we know, very tasty – choose lean protein instead.
Eating out – the more we eat out the less nutritious our diet becomes – FACT.
Soft Drinks – they are all either full of sugar or chemicals, neither of which we need – train your palate to enjoy plain water and green tea or herbal teas, or pure fruit juice diluted with water.
Alcohol - Sorry – this is a habit most of us have come to enjoy – but if we value our health, looks and waistline, one drink a day is the only safe allowance – two for special occasions!
IT MAKES SENSE TO BECOME AWARE OF THESE SLY LITTLE HABITS -
We all want to look our best, to find clothes which draw attention to our best features and away from our shortcomings. It is relatively easy with the short leg issue. The main thing to keep in mind is that it is best not to demonstrate too clearly where your legs meet your butt. Unfortunately sometimes that might mean avoiding some fashions which look great on the likes of Elle Macpherson! It does mean not allowing yourself to follow fashion blindly. It does not mean however, resorting to Kaftans.
Try to avoid:
But try these tricks:
We soon learn to recognise the shapes which suit us – the ones which make us feel good, more poised – we soon learn to shop with confidence!