1. Ditch the baggy look. You’re not hiding your body with that extra fabric, you’re making it look bigger. Instead, wear clothes that fit trimly and well.
2. Diminish hips with A-line skirts and dresses. These skim the hips and flare at the knee, making hips appear smaller. Pair with fitted tops and smart shoes.
3. No half-calf. Skirts and dresses should stop around your knee or go down to the floor — no stopping halfway.
4. Don’t button up. Never do up a jacket or shirt all the way to your neck. Leave a couple of buttons open to create a slenderizing V.
5. Avoid bulky fabrics like tweed, nubby knits and boucle. Look for silky jerseys and fabrics that skim over your body without clinging.
6. Watch your proportions. If the extra weight is up top, wear a boxy blouse over a pencil skirt. If you’re the reverse, keep the top slender over stovepipe pants or a fuller skirt.
7. Please, no pleats. Or side pockets. They just add extra fabric at your waist or thighs. Ditto for pants with drawstrings and cargo pants or skirts.
8. Vent your shirts. Side vents at the bottom of blouses and shirts create tiny flareouts that create the illusion of a smaller waist. Make sure these tops don’t go past your hip bones.
9. Forget your size. Stop trying to squeeze into a size 12 if you’re a size 16. All that matters is proper fit.
10. Wear one shade. Dressing in the same colour top to toe is a quick way to “lose” weight. Add interest with a piece of jewelry or scarf near your face.
11. More about pockets. Slash pockets and angled pockets create the thinnest silhouette. Tuck weight-adding flaps inside their pocket.
12. Get in shoe-shape. Shoes with slim, high heels visually lengthen legs. So do shoes with pointy toes. Chunky heels and round toes will make you look just that — round and chunky.
13. Watch those pant lines. On tall women, boot-cut pants that flare at the hem balance too-wide hips, while straight-leg pants make shorter women look narrower. Pants that taper in at the hem make legs and top look bigger.
14. Empire dresses and tops are all the rage, and fabric falling down from beneath your bustline (the narrowest part of your torso) hides your middle, makes you look taller and thinner and focuses attention on your chest. Caveat: Not recommended for the large-breasted because it makes them look even bigger. Don’t let tops dangle much past your waist.
15. Shun small prints. Prints are great for drawing attention to areas you want to focus on, but make them fairly big. Small florals, dots, checks, whatever, make you look bigger by comparison. Also, say no to horizontal stripes, yes to verticals. But you knew that.
16. Hold yourself in. Forget girdles, there’s a wardrobe of body-shaping garments in any lingerie department. Indulge until your gym-trimmed muscles can do it without assistance.
17. Don’t tuck. Tops tucked in at the waist add fabric and bulk. Instead, let top tails show. As well, it’s in style.
18. Nip your waist. Push your boxy jackets to the back of the closet and bring out your pieces that are gently nipped in at the waist. The jacket’s waist nip and curve over your hips make your waist look smaller. Make sure the jacket sits no lower than the top of the hips.
19. Lean sleeves. If your arms are your problem area, try floaty fabrics that will skim over, not hug, them. If the weight is elsewhere, keep long sleeves narrow to give the impression of leanness and to avoid making your top half look even bulkier.
20. Make the jean scene. But stay away from washes and light colours. Instead, choose jeans in a uniformly dark denim.