Shaping up for Spring and Summer
By: Sharon Mosley
As the weather warms up and you shed all those winter layers, you may shiver a little at some of those extra pounds gained over the last few months. But as you lighten up for the spring and summer days ahead, think about emphasizing the best parts of your body shape and forget the lumps and bumps for now. At least until you put that swimsuit on for the first time!
Here are some quick tips for accentuating your positive assets this season:
—First, take a spin in front of the mirror and assess the situation — What are the best things about your body, and what are the “not-so-good” things. We’re talking legs, waist, arms, etc. The trick is to play up the best parts and learn how to disguise the flabby arms or the thick waist or the big hips.
—Then think about what your favorite “go-to” outfit is — the “uniform” you turn to that makes you feel great. There are usually several versions of this in our closets, and we intuitively know what looks best on us. Take stock of the condition of your favorite pieces. Often, it’s these essentials that we wear day in and day out that may need replacing — the great pair of jeans, the simple pencil skirts, the knit cardigans, tees and tanks.
—Then get ready to shop for this season’s interpretation of what you feel is your most flattering outfit. Some of the most flattering shapes for most women, no matter what season it is, are fashion classics that are always in style. Some of this spring and summer’s best options may be the wrap dress in a pretty floral print, the sheath dress in a dramatic contrasting stripe, the black suit with a tuxedo jacket or the tailored trench coat in a bold color.
—One of the fastest ways to shape up your wardrobe is to pay attention to your waist. Cinching in a jacket or dress with a belt gives your waist instant definition. Or you can do the same thing with Asian-inspired obi sashes or ribbon belts. Peplum tops are still a stylish way to shape up your mid-section, too.
—Don’t be afraid to play with prints. The new colorblock graphics can actually trick the eye with strategically placed patterns that flatter your body. Look for bold stripes that line up in all the right places and provide an optical hourglass illusion that slims you down fast.
—Proportion is key. You may love to wear flowing bohemian tunics in the summer, but if you do choose these roomy tops, then keep it simple and streamlined on the bottom. Slim white jeans or cropped pants will balance out the top half. If your tops are sleeker, then a flowing pant or A-line skirt will be your best bet on the bottom. Remember, opposite silhouettes attract — fitted tops with looser bottoms and vice versa.
—Stock up! When you do find the pieces that fit and flatter you the best, don’t be afraid to stock up. Buy several styles of long tank tops in several colors to layer under sheer tops and short jackets. Buy two pairs of those cropped pants that fit you so well. Stick to the basics you love and just add a few new pieces that will transform your wardrobe and flatter your body at the same time.