The Last Piece of the Puzzle

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

  1. 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!
  2. Learn to distinguish real hunger from ‘fancying something to eat’. Teach yourself to enjoy the sensation of hunger!
  3. Portion size - we are generally smaller than men and therefore require fewer calories – keep this in mind when dishing up!
  4. 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.)
  5. Concentrate - eat only when you can pay full attention to your food - no mindless chewing in front of the TV or cinema screen! 
  6. 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!)
  7. Beware of cheese - very high in calories and as we know, very tasty – choose lean protein instead.
  8. Eating out - the more we eat out the less nutritious our diet becomes – FACT.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 -

REGAIN CONTROL!

Sculpting with Tone

Remembering the basic principles that dark colours appear to shrink and light colours appear to enlarge, we can manipulate our outfits to create the shape we want.

If you have just one problem area, such as big hips, saddlebags or bust, it is a great technique to always use your dark tones on these areas and highlight your better features with lighter tones.

Those of us who are shorter, chunkier or have shorter legs than we would like would be well advised to avoid wearing strongly contrasting tones on our top and bottom halves. For example, don’t visually cut yourself in half by wearing a dark top and light trousers or light top and dark skirt. Any visual dissection like that will further reduce the length of your body (see illustration below).

By keeping your top and bottom halves tonally close you will give the illusion of a slimmer, taller you. This does not mean that both halves have to be the same colour – just tonally similar – as light or dark as each other.

This season there are cleverly designed dresses available which do the work for us, making use of tonal contrast to flatter any figure. It is a simple trick, not new, but very effective. The idea is that the central panel of the garment is in one colour, or print, while the side panels, framing it, are in a darker tone. If the contrast is too great, for example black and white, this technique can look too obvious, but Mark & Spencers have produced some very successful examples this season.

Play around with these ideas to visually sculpt a new you without the gym.

Average Proportions and Looking Good

Most of us have fairly average proportions. By being aware of how different tones work, we can make our clothes enhance the way we look.

The basic principles of sculpting with tone are:

  • Dark colours absorb light – visually receding (shrinking)
  • Light colours reflect light – visually advancing (enlarging)

Useful if you need to visually widen your shoulders – good for hippy girls too, as it helps to balance shoulders and hips.

Therefore, people with very slim figures can wear all light coloured outfits with no problem – in fact those who feel they are too thin will find that light colours help to give them volume.

The rest of us know how wearing black outfits visibly ‘shrinks’ our outline – great for ‘feeling fat’ days! But some people are convinced that they can’t wear black for various reasons. I  believe everyone can wear black to great effect with a little planning.

Redheads always look great in black – simply because they have enough natural colour above the neckline to carry it off effortlessly – warm hair & skin tone, green or blue eyes, possibly freckles & rosy cheeks. It is often a favourite colour of redheads as it is a perfect foil for their natural palette.

Those of us without the advantage of an interesting natural colour scheme don’t need to be left out:

  • Eyebrows – if you have indeterminate eyebrows get them tinted and shaped
  • Eye Make-up – a little more pronounced than you would normally wear – experiment with eye shadow colours.
  • A little blusher – always flattering to give your face definition.
  • Highlight brow bones & cheekbones.

Using these hints, you can wear black when you choose, looking glamorous and not dowdy (and a size smaller too!)

Shoes to visually lengthen your legs…

Shoes which help or hinder…

By creating the illusion of an unbroken line right to the tips of your toes, you will add visual centimetres to your leg length. You can do this by;

  1. Avoiding ankle straps, which appear to cut your lower legs in half.
  2. Choosing light coloured shoes where possible. Shoes which are of a similar tone to your legs appear to lengthen the calf.
  3. Try to find shoes which are not totally flat – even a centimetre or two of heel will help.
  4. In colder weather, the best visual trick is a nicely heeled boot under pants or a longer skirt. Keep them in the same tone to enhance the illusion of legs which go on forever…

Our Pinterest Board on shoes which can help to lengthen your legs visually...

Our Pinterest Board on shoes which can help to lengthen your legs visually…