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Many women put on a few extra pounds in middle age. It’s a biological fact that as we age out metabolism slows. Therefore we are not burning calories at the rate that we were 10 years ago. This means its much easier to gain a little weight and trying to lose weight also becomes a bit more challenging. I hear this a lot with my clients and have experienced this myself. One strategy that can help is learning how to dress to look slimmer. If you follow these guidelines you can slim your figure, and look taller and enlongated.

Tips to look thinner, leaner and elongate your frame

Dress in 1 color

Dressing in one color will lengthen your frame and create a continuous vertical line. You will look slimmer because the eye will move up and down and creating the illusion of looking taller and elongating your frame. This means dresssing in all blue, or green or yellow, whatever color suits you.  A dress is really works well to achieve this vertical visual line. Bonus points for a maxie dress.

Tonal top and bottom

Tonal dressing is another, more modern way to dress head to toe in one color. By tonal that means wearing two different shades of one color. For example a lime green top with kelly green skirt or  a deep orange top with rust colored pants. The result is still visually slimming, creating a flattering vertical line. Use similar shades of garments in your closet to create your own versions of tonal dressing. No more worrying that things have to match exactly.  You’ll still get the benefit of creating a nice vertical line, it’s jut a bit more updated and youthful version of head to toe in one color.

Wear verical lines

Vertical lines include stipes, the outline of a garment, seamlines such as princess seams, and any details or embellishments that emphasize or attract the eye to move in a vertical direction. The result of these lines will create the illusion of appearing taller, slimmer, thinner and elongating your frame. So, if you are petite, or curvy, wear stripes to create balance in your height or figure.

Leverage diagonal lines

Diagonal lines are so friendly and flattering to women with curves. They slim and accent curves and are very flattering in how they can “slim” your body. Look for diagonal lines as stripes in shirts, sweaters or dresses, and diagonal or asymmetrical hemline in a dress or top. Diagonal lines move the eye in a way that slims the body and flatters curves.

Wear a hat

Hats add height. As a focal point, and because the draw the eye up and put emphasis on your face. An brimmed hat will especially focus on your eyes. A traditional formed, brimmed hat will often add an inch or more to your height, so that your appearance will be taller. Learn more about hat shapes and style here. Check out truly crafted, well made hats by Los Angeles hat maker Nick Fouquet here.

Tailor your clothes

Tailoring makes this list because ill fitting clothes detract from you. Sleeves that are too long, a waist that is too tight, a pant that is not properly hemmed just make you look messy and not very put together. Even cheap clothing will look 10 times better if it is properly tailored to fit your body. You will look slimmer when your clothes fit properly. Find a tailor that you like and trust. If you are trying a new tailor, give him/her 1 or 2 projects to see if you like their work as test. If you like their skills, you can give them more complicated projects or keep shopping for a new tailor. Want a tailor to come to your home? Check out Hemster.

Invest in shapewear

Wear the right size undergarments and make sure that your bras and underwear are in good shape. Old and ratty undies can add unflattering lumps and bumps under knit garments or tees. Replace this on a regualr basis for an accurate fit and so that your clothes will lay on your body in the most attractive way. Also, if you are inclined to try shapewear, they can very good at slimming your figure.

Dark denim

Dark denim is more slimming than regular denim or faded denim. The most flattering and lengthening style is a flared boot cut. That combined with a dark wash, will slim you and add more length to your frame. Trouser jeans are another alternative and readily available in dark denim. They are more forgiving than snug skinny jeans and can be more flattering as the looser fit emphasizes the vertical outline of the pants in a cleaner way, so the eye will move more quickly, resulting in slimmer leaner line.

Nude colored shoes

Nude or flesh toned shoes will extend your legs making them look longer. This will also help in making you look taller and slimmer. Extra points for a pointed toe, as the lines of a pointed toe help continue the movement of the eye enhancing the vertical lines of your legs.

Avoid capris and long walking shorts

Cropped styled pants such as capris will break up the linear line of your body shape. These and long walking shorts will parcel out different sections of you body, giving the illustion that you are infact shorter and stockier than you really are. Avoid these types of garments.