If you’ve ever stood in front of your closet wondering how to highlight your best features and create the illusion of a slimmer body, then you’re in the right place. This post is all about embracing your personal style while discovering the best ways to dress for a slimming effect.
Traveling through midlife can be a wonderful experience, but it also presents some challenges to all of us. We are not exempt from the wrinkles, thinning skin that wants to sag, the weight gain as our metabolism slows, and the belly fat that naturally gathers around our middle.
You see, over the years, I’ve had my fair share of fashion triumphs and missteps. And let me tell you, dressing to enhance your shape isn’t about following fleeting trends or squeezing into an uncomfortable outfit. It’s about understanding your body and knowing how to accentuate your assets.
Remember the time when bell-bottoms were all the rage? While they may have been trendy, they didn’t necessarily flatter every figure. Historical context like this reminds us that fashion is fluid, but style is personal.
Whether you’re looking to draw attention away from the tummy area or simply want to find the most flattering look for a special occasion, there’s a simple way to achieve your fashion goals. The secret lies in choosing pieces that work with your body, not against it.
Through this post, we’ll explore together how to create the perfect balance between comfort and style, ensuring you feel fabulous in your own skin. Because, at the end of the day, the best fashion statement you can make is one of confidence.
So, are you ready to uncover the best ways to create a slimming effect with your wardrobe? Let’s start the journey towards a more confident and stylish you!
How to Dress to Look Slimmer
I don’t know about you, but I am not going to sit back and say, “whatever…I’ll have another donut and watch a movie”. No, I fight the aging battle every day, approaching it from a healthy and natural perspective, but fight it nonetheless.
One of the ways we can ‘fight back’ is to learn how to dress to look slimmer. Our bodies may ultimately do their thing to some extent no matter how we battle it, but we absolutely can create a look that shows us at our best.
So here are 10 simple and practical style tips to consider when putting an outfit together, to help you look thinner. We can wear clothes that make us look great, girlfriend!
By the way, if you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
10 Tips: Dress to Look Slimmer
When your goal is to dress to look thinner and trimmer, have confidence and feel good, maybe even a little bit more youthful, it involves more than selecting the right combination of garments.
So our handy list of tips is going to begin with four fundamentals that can make all the difference in how you look and feel in an outfit, whether it’s a casual or more formal style.
1 | What’s Under it All
The most beautiful outfit that drapes well and fits perfectly will look less than hoped-for if the undergarments are baggy, saggy, droopy, or otherwise don’t bring anything positive to the overall look.
A proper fitting bra can make a world of difference, particularly if you are well endowed or find that the girls are sagging more than they used to. We tend to be creatures of habit and our buying decision can reflect that. Just because a particular brand, or size, worked well for you 10 years ago, it might not be the best decision for you today.
Keep an open mind when shopping for undergarments as far as size, support, and if you are on the slow fashion train, sustainability. Here are a few suggestions as a starting point:
ThirdLove.com – including to tips to tell if you bra fits properly
Nordstrom.com – including a helpful video on How to Find a Bra That Fits
Spanx.com – find the right bra + shapewear to help the problem areas with certain fabrics and garments
OrganicBasics.com – for sustainable fashion, including intimates
An option that might work well for you is to get your bra size professionally measured, so you have an accurate starting point.
2 | Understand Your Body Shape
It would be so very simple to say that if you do these three things…1-2-3…everything you put on your body will look fabulous.
But we know better. We are all unique, with unique body shapes and sizes, skin tones, hair color, height and weight…you get the idea.
All that said, there are some fundamental body shapes that most of us fit into, at least a combination of two if not one specific body shape. It’s important to understand what your particular shape is, so that when you’re purchasing garments and putting outfits together you’ll know what to pay attention to, and what to avoid.
There are four main body shapes: apple, pear, rectangle (banana), and hourglass. Understanding your current body shape will serve you well when it comes to selecting the tops, bottoms, and dresses for your wardrobe.
You’ll find all the details, outfit suggestions, shopping info, etc. in this post:
3 | Posture Counts
Yep. There are many benefits to maintaining good posture, and one of them is looking slimmer.
When we stand straight and tall we can appear 3 to 5 pounds thinner, and, our clothes will look better, too.
Think about it. Do you know someone who has a habit of slouching, or perhaps is unable to stand straight? The slumped shoulders cause the rest of our body to stand a little bit awkwardly, and one of the results is that we look heavier.
So, stand up straight, sit straight, and it will make you look slimmer.
Hey there friend, do you struggle to find pants, jeans, crops, & capris that fit you well? Yep, most of us have that problem.
Well, take a minute to learn more about Measure & Made, and their unique sizing system called ShapeLogic. Once you find your perfect size, you can buy and wear any of the bottoms on their site and they’ll fit you well!
4 | The Fit is So Important
Well-fitting clothes are always a plus, but particularly as we get older and are searching for answer to the question of how to look slimmer.
Some women think that by wearing baggy clothes they’ll look slimmer. Not.
Some women wear clingy, tight-fitting outfits in the hope that they’ll look slimmer. They won’t. Does it mean you can never wear skinny jeans and look great? Of course not. Skinny jeans can be quite slimming. It’s knowing how slim along with what you wear on top that makes all the difference.
And, it can be a challenge to find the right balance of a garment that fits well, is not too tight, not overly loose, and (depending on the fabric and garment), drapes well.
Here is my own example. I have been fortunate to stay within the same relative weight for many years, and as a result I have not had to change my pant size for a long time.
That all changed for me this year, at age 65. The changing body shape and the settling of the belly fat combined to create a little more around the middle than would fit comfortably into most of my shorts, capris, and pants.
It was hard to size up after all these years, but I finally made the decision. I honestly don’t know why it should have been so difficult, but I managed to turn it into a big deal (in my head, anyway).
And you know what? My new bottoms…shorts, capris, high rise jeans…look so much better. Sizing up gave me ample room, the fabric doesn’t cling to closely to my midlife body, and I actually look slimmer.
The moral of my little story is this: Proper Fit trumps Size. It may take a few try-ons to get the right fit for you, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
5 | The Top Half
When dressing to look slimmer, keep this tips in mind for your upper body – the top half of the outfit:
- remember the fit…be comfortable, but bigger isn’t necessarily better
- longer length tops, blazers, and sweaters worn on the outside work well with most outfits.
- with fitted trousers, tuck in your shirt unless your middle is a problem area.
- avoid large cowl necks or overly bulky turtlenecks
- round necklines and V-neck styles are most flattering
- leave a button or two open near the neck area
- don’t let the sleeves of your top/jacket/sweater hang down over your hands; it pulls the eye and attention downward. Push them up or hold them up with sleeve bands
- highlight your beautiful face to minimize body fullness. Fluff the hair, add some statement earrings, brighten the makeup a little bit.
- Check out these casual slimming tops that I curated recently.
6 | The Bottom Half
When it comes to selecting the right pants, there are some choices we can make that will help us look slimmer:
- wear long pants that reach the ankles or slightly below
- neutral, dark colors are best
- a little bit of stretch in the fabric is good, coupled with the appropriate size for your body
- avoid pleating at the waist, that will only accentuate an area that you want to minimize
- for jeans, look for a slim fit (skinny jeans are a good choice) with a high rise (as opposed to the jeans that sit lower on the hips). Yes, high rise jeans are sort of like magic to a midlife figure!
Here are some suggestions for you that I curated , to give you a starting point:
7 | Dresses
Wearing dresses is a wonderful option for us, my friend. When we’re choosing a dress and want to to look slimmer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
A dress that has color-blocking, as shown on the left, can do wonders for an overall slimming look. Just pay attention to the colors and make sure that the combination is indeed slimming.
In this example, the majority of fabric is black, with white on each side. A simple sleeve and length just to the knee can result in a stunning look. Wear heels of a height that you’re comfortable with.
The wrap dress is a look that can be very flattering and slimming for most body shapes. Look for a soft, drapey fabric in a solid or small pattern, like these examples:
8 | Skirts
When your goal is to look slimmer in a skirt, it is pretty simple.
A knee-length pencil skirt is most universally flattering. Stay with dark colors and you’ll look great.
A simple A-line skirt is another flattering look, so keep that in mind when wearing separates.
9 | Finishing Touches
Any time we’re putting an outfit together it’s the finishing touches that can really make the statement. And we want our statement to be slimming, right? So, here are a few suggestions:
- Jewelry: necklaces that aren’t bulky couple with small earrings are a good choice
- Belts: if you wear one, make it a skinny belt, not chunky
- Shoes: when pairing with a dress or skirt, shoes that are similar to your skin color can make your legs look longer and your body slimmer. Avoid ankle straps
- Shoes with pants or jeans: short heels, ankle boots or pointy flats
- Scarves: wear loosely around the neck, not tied tight
10 | Putting the Outfit Together
Here are a few final style tips for you in your quest to dress to make you look look slimmer:
- Layering with separates that fit properly can give your body definition, not make you look larger
- Wear a classic blazer or jacket, worn open, to create a long, slim line down the center of your body
- Wearing black can work well for most women
- In general, wear lighter colors on top and darker colors on the bottom
- Small patterned fabrics can also be slimming
And so, my friends, we’ve come to the end of our fashion journey together. But remember, this is just the beginning of your own personal style adventure. With these fashion tips in hand, you’re ready to experiment with different looks, find the right ways to accentuate your best features, and discover your unique style statement.
The good news? Achieving a slimmer look doesn’t have to be complicated or uncomfortable. It’s about understanding your body shape, knowing what works for you, and dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and beautiful. That’s the easy way to looking and feeling your best.
Remember, every day is a chance to express yourself through your wardrobe. So why not do it in a way that makes you feel like the best version of yourself? After all, when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you’re more likely to make choices that align with living your best life.
On a daily basis, we make decisions about what to wear, and these decisions can have a profound impact on how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. Fashion isn’t just about clothes; it’s a powerful form of self-expression.
So, take these tips, mix them with your personal flair, and start creating outfits that make you feel fabulous. Here’s to stepping out in style, embracing our best lives, and always, always feeling great in our own skin. Because, ladies, we’re not just dressing for the world; we’re dressing for ourselves, and we deserve to look and feel amazing every single day.
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