There’s no doubt about it — looking good gives us a confidence boost and makes us feel sexy, intelligent and confident. Looking fat, on the other hand, can sap that confidence. Charla Krupp, veteran beauty and style editor and author of How to Never Look Fat Again: Over 1,000 Ways to Dress Thinner — Without Dieting! says, “It’s not you, it’s your clothes.”
It’s your clothes. “How else do you explain why on some days you look your thinnest and on other days not so much — when you weigh exactly the same?” Krupp asks. For her, it’s simple. Unflattering clothes, which she describes as “high-fat,” are the culprits, and they have to go. Replace them with “low-fat” or “no-fat” clothes, and you could look 10 pounds lighter by tonight.
High-fat clothes. Krupp says that four factors determine whether a wardrobe item is high-, low- or no-fat: shape, color, fabric and fit. Balloon skirts, pleats ruffles and ruching all add extra fabric and bulk to your clothes, landing them squarely in the high-fat category. On the other hand, items with cut-out waists aren’t going to do anything to hide a bulge, either, and so are best avoided if you want to dress to whittle off the pounds rather than emphasize your imperfections. Oversize or intricate small print patterns, high shine or bright neon colors also draw the eye, and so are designated high-fat.
Low-fat clothes. Low-fat items, Krupp says, are the comfortable, yet uninspiring basics that, while they don’t add weight, don’t do anything to flatter your figure, either. These are the safe wardrobe staples. Twin sets, denim jackets, straight calf-length skirts, cotton tees and plain pumps all fit into this category, along with cotton, denim, silk and wool fabrics, in darker colors.
No-fat clothes. Spandex shapers and a well-fitted bra are the stars of this category, along with control camisoles and high-waisted opaque stockings. These are the undergarments that “slurp you up in all the right places,” Krupp says. High-heeled knee-high boots, boot-cut jeans and flat-front trousers, pencil skirts and V-neck sweaters are all flattering, hardworking, no-fat options. Wear a single color from head to toe, whether that’s a pant or skirt suit or a dress with shoes and top. It doesn’t have to be black or boring to be slimming, Krupp says. Opt for jersey, fine cotton, cashmere, spandex, vertical pinstripes and, above all, a perfect fit.