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 -
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.
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!)
The female body typically carries an extra layer of fat tissue – it is what gives us our curves and softness, but an excess in specific areas can be a problem.
The thighs can stubbornly retain fat, creating an impediment to elegance. Fortunately there are several simple ways to conceal over enthusiastic thighs thereby drawing attention away from them.
Trouser / Pant suggestions for troublesome thighs
When choosing trousers, if there is a definite convex outline when you look at your side view – then those pants are not for you!
Similarly, try to avoid trouser styles which are tight enough to produce horizontal creasing around the crotch – these become exaggerated as you walk and draw attention to the problem.
Try instead elegant and flattering Palazzo pants or the similar Katharine Hepburn wide legged and tailored long pants almost touching the floor (over shoes with heels to keep yourself in proportion).
One last piece of trouser advice – avoid sharply tapered trousers, these create a peg shape, highlighting the contrast between bulky thighs and narrow calves.
Skirts for thicker thighs
Avoid skirts cut on the bias – they cling in all the wrong places for you.
High waisted skirts and dresses which flare and skim over the thighs are the kindest shape as well as the current trend for full length floaty dresses which are ideal for concealing this particular problem area.
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!