Slimming Down for Spring
By: Sharon Mosley
Does this make me look fat? Who hasn’t uttered those words on one or two occasions? (Especially, if you’re standing in front of those dressing-room mirrors on steroids!) No matter what your size — or your age — we all want to look our best.
And yes, there are some real secrets to slimming down on the fashion front. This season, Sher Canada, Chico’s style expert, offers her tips on new ways to shape up and look fabulous. Here are some of her best bets when it comes to slimming down for spring:
— Start with column dressing. This is one of my personal favorite tips that I’ve used in my own wardrobe for years. Simply put, it’s wearing the same color on top and bottom — then topping it off with a great cardigan or jacket and wonderful accessories. My basic “column” pieces are usually black, but in the spring, it’s time to lighten up, according to Canada. Column dressing “creates a longer, leaner look, even in white,” she says. Metallic silver and gray is my alternative to black in the spring.
— Style it, girls! OK, you’ve got to work it a little bit. Come on, you can do it! Canada says to push up those sleeves, wear heels with your slim-leg jeans and pile on the jewelry. It’s the little things that mean the most when it comes to creating a stylish spring look, even when you’re wearing the most classic clothes. Try teaming oversized accessories with your professional suits for a more up-to-date style.
— Throw in a trend. You can do this, too! Update your wardrobe with at least one new trendy item that suits your own fashion personality. Canada suggests the “modern-in-the-moment, must-have pant” on the spring horizon: “an incredibly comfortable cargo that’s chic with satin.” And the jean du jour? A slim-leg, zippered ankle jean.
— Balance is critical. Hopefully, you’ve already figured out what “proportions” look good on you. Cropped jackets over flared pants? Long, soft tops over skinny pants? Then tweak your favorite pieces and take it to the next level: “The key is the high-low rule,” says Canada. “Build your look around a single star piece, and balance it with basics.”
— Get energized with color. No, you don’t have to wear black to feel slim and trim in your clothes. Break out of that style rut and mix it up a little bit … even if you wear a pop of a purple sequin tank and cardigan over your black pants. Citron is another way to give your wardrobe an unexpected twist: “Citron always looks fresh with white and silver,” says Canada. Another colorful tip? “Match colored denim with a patterned novelty jacket to look perfect but not planned,” adds Canada.
— Accessories shape up. Yes, you can wear a belt and get the lean look, too. “Think you’ve lost your waistline?” asks Canada. “Think again.” She suggests experimenting with “slouch” belts hooked on top of your stomach — “not too high, not too low. The slight dip will slim your waistline,” she says. Stretch or chain belts are great when worn underneath a shirt or jacket to show off the buckle and hide the elastic.
— Scarf it up! We all seem to have problems on the way to wearing a scarf. But I personally have dozens in my wardrobe. Talk about a way to add a lot of personality and variety to those basic “column” pieces! Canada advises wearing scarves in a natural way: “You want a scarf to look as if it just fell into place — even if it didn’t.” She also finds that uneven ends form a slimming vertical line. “Even ends cut you in half.” So, if you only buy one accessory this spring, make it a scarf. It’s instant glamour!
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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