Game-changing fashion hack gives optical illusion of a ‘slimmer waist, hips and tummy’

Vertical lines are your new bestie as they lengthen your frame, as are jackets, coats and cardigans – the fabled ‘third piece’ – creating vertical lines along the torso and breaking up any blockiness.

Rolling up your sleeves to the elbow (secure them with an invisi-bobble hair band) will create the optical illusion of a slimmer waist.

Large hips and thighs

Thanks to Kim Kardashion, the ‘pear shape’ is fashionable again, so ignore the below if you wish to accentuate your derriere, but to bring your upper and lower body into alignment, focus on broadening the top half. 

Three ways to do this are; via colour (wearing a lighter brighter shade on top to make your torso appear larger than your legs, thus rebalancing your silhouette); via texture and detail (big hair, statement earrings, textured fabrics and embellishments around your face and shoulders are flattering) or via volume – yes, the shoulder pads again! 

Layering up on the upper body adds interest and draws the eye. Always define your waist to emphasise beautiful curves, but feel free to ‘move it up or down’ by tucking your top until it sits at the most flattering point.  

A pointed shoe lengthens the leg, and displaying a little ankle adds a feminine touch. Finally, pay attention to where hemlines finish at your hip, any ‘break’ in your outfit will draw attention to that point, so ensure your clothes do not finish at your widest point. 

Whether we’re a six foot amazonian supermodel, or a size 14 mother of two, we all have body bits we’re self-conscious of.  Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks in the styling toolbox which can help us look and more importantly feel our best.

A big bust

With poor styling, a big bust can dominate your whole figure, making you look larger than you actually are.

Adding a structured shoulder can elongate a crowded torso; put shoulder pads in everything (the velcro ones that fix onto your bra are brilliant) show some decolletage with a V, cowl neckline or an open collar to visually divide the upper chest. A turned up collar will further elongate your figure. 

Find your waist and define it to avoid your entire torso merging into one. Echo the shoulder structure with clothing at your hip to recreate an hourglass shape, e.g. the curvature of a jacket hem, a swishy skirt or a wide-legged trouser. 

Steer clear of drop shoulders and batwing sleeves as they can make you look rounder and broader.

A large tummy

During the mid-life, the tummy area can gain extra inches. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the trick is to broaden other body areas to put your figure back into proportion, so ensuring there’s enough volume at the shoulders and hip is vital. 

Structured shoulders and shoulder pads are helpful once again, and it’s important to separate the stomach and boobs, so invest in a good bra which helps you defy gravity. 

Hiding in shapeless tunic tops and baggy jumpers will leave you looking equally shapeless, ignoring where your waist ‘should’ be. 

Find your narrowest point (I promise you have one) then accentuate it by cinching it in – this may feel uncomfortable at first but you will look more shapely. 

Miranda Holder is a Celebrity Stylist and Royal Fashion Expert


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